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what is vegan jerky made of

What Is Vegan Jerky?

Let’s face it! going vegan, we can all admit is a huge commitment that requires a substantial investment in lifestyle choices, that at the onset may seem exhausting.

 But does it have to be?

 When it all boils down to it, it is really only going to be as hard as we make it.

Consider your typical vegan grocery shop. Vegetables, fruit, canned legumes maybe some almond milk, and a bag of pumpkin seeds to snack on. Kinda ordinary huh? But what if we explored a little further? What if we pushed the imagination just a little? and really gave our taste buds a reward for all of our abstinence.

 Well, here is one such treat you may want to give a try. I give you ………vegan jerky! That’s right V E G A N. After all, why should the carnivores have all the fun? So what is vegan jerky you ask? Read on, and we will discover more about one of the many possibilities to get more excited about being vegan.

what is vegan jerky made of

Vegan Jerky – It’s A Thing?

 Yes, it is. And what’s more, it’s a tasty thing that even your meat-loving friends might enjoy. So what exactly are you eating when you’re chewing on vegan jerky?

The cool thing about jerky is that it can be made using a wide variety of foods. If you’re after your protein fix, you can find jerky made from soy, tofu, tempeh, and seitan. But, your options don’t stop there. Mushrooms, coconut, vegetables, and fruit can all make yummy jerky. With a touch of seasoning and a splash of sauce, your jerky starts to find some real character. Texas BBQ, smoked black pepper, balsamic eggplant, teriyaki, and mesquite lime are just some of the delicious flavors you’ll find available.

So Talk Me Through It, How Is It Made?

Quite simply, jerky is made by dehydrating food to the point where it becomes a firm chewy consistency. This can be done in an oven on very low heat or by using a proper dehydrator. Before dehydration, foods that are to become jerky are usually marinated overnight in sauces like BBQ, teriyaki, soy, etc to soak up those mouth-watering flavors. Another seasoning can be used like black pepper, spices, chili, and lime zest.

Then the dehydration begins.

When using the oven method, marinated foods are dried out over several hours on low consistent heat (usually the lowest available oven temperature) it is monitored to make sure the heat doesn’t get too high and starts cooking the food. The oven method is quite a lengthy process and can take up to 7 or 8 hours. During the required time the food will lose moisture to the point that it becomes……yes you guessed it……jerky.

The most common way to make jerky is in a dehydrator, specifically built to draw moisture out of foods. Dehydrators often come with temperature settings for specific foods. After marinating, foods are patted dry, sliced, and then placed on trays inside the dehydrator. Heating elements create an atmosphere for the moisture to be drawn out while fans keep circulation consistent. Similar to the oven process, but more refined with the sole intent of dehydrating food.

what is vegan jerky made of

Is Vegan Jerky Healthy For You?

Like most things, there are pros and cons. Vegan jerky, when compared to meat-based products can prove to be a better choice in regards to diet, particularly because it doesn’t contain cholesterol. It is high in fiber, can offer a protein boost, and retains plenty of vitamins and nutrients. However, one does still needs to consider the sodium or salt content of each product.

Commercially produced jerky often uses salt, sugars, and other additives to create flavor. Another issue worth investigating before purchasing a tofu-based jerky is whether the supplier uses GMO ( Genetically Modified Organism) foods. GMO’s are used when growing plants to help reduce exposure to pests and diseases. They are also used to combat certain climate restrictions.

what is vegan jerky made of

Vegan jerky can possibly be made from seitan which is a wheat protein and is not gluten-free.

Some jerkies are smoked directly to add flavor however, it is said that some smoked foods can contain dangerous carcinogens and may be worth researching further in order to make an informed decision. Smoked jerky’s that have the Smokey flavor added to them rather than being directly smoked are generally considered safer options.

 Being plant-based, vegan jerky doesn’t contain HCA’s (heterocyclic amines) which is linked to causing cancer, however is found in animal tissue and not plants.

 With all that serious stuff out of the way, one thing that you might consider is making your own vegan jerky. The benefit here is that you have control over the additives you use and what base products you select. Marinate, season and dip however you choose. Not only will you impress your friends with your dehydrating skills but, you will have full control over any dietary recommendations you wish to use.

Why Should I Add Vegan Jerky To My Shopping List?

Well, why shouldn’t you? It’s a simple snack for when you’re watching tv, an easy to store treat for road trips, a nice addition to a picnic or cheese board and you can enjoy exploring all the different options available. And on top of that, it’s easy to make at home if you want to spark up those creative vibes and get experimenting. When made correctly jerky is long-lasting as well. Because the moisture has been removed it makes it unsuitable for nasty organisms to grow and cause your food to decay and rot, thus essentially preserving your food.

Jerky can also make nice gifts. You can even spoil your dog with a chewy vegan treat.

So Is It For You?

 It’s certainly food for thought. Being vegan doesn’t mean being restricted to a boring diet. It is high time we dismantle the stereotype and shed some light on the possibilities a vegan diet offers, and seriously, who doesn’t like jerky? If done correctly, even your non-vegan friends won’t tell the difference. So why not give it a go? you might just open up a world of exciting experiences that you can share.

Below is a list of FAQ’s that might help you discover more about vegan jerky.

 Q: Where can I find vegan jerky?

 A: Organic food stores, some supermarkets, and online stores are the easiest places to find vegan jerky.

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Q: How can I make my own vegan jerky?

 A: There are two main methods. Oven and dehydrator. If you choose to use your oven you may need to prop open your door to regulate heat as not to let the temperature rise too much which will essentially bake your jerky instead of dehydrating it. You will want to set your oven to its lowest heat and allow your food to dry out over several hours (generally 7 to 8 hours) testing times may vary and experiment with times and different foods will indicate ideal preparation. Tofu or tempeh are good beginner foods to use. Beforehand, to add flavor you can make a marinade using whatever you wish. Hickory bbq sauce, soy sauce, and teriyaki are popular sauces. You may wish to add herbs and spices as well. Marinate overnight and then slice into thin pieces before placing it in your oven.

If you choose to use a dehydrator you will follow a similar method. Dehydrators often have specific temperature settings for different foods. Follow the guides provided.

Test your creation and adjust the timing if needed. Your jerky should have that recognizably chewy texture and be free of moisture.

 You can find plenty of recipes free online and you could potentially create something new on your own with a little imagination.

Q: How Do You Store Jerky?

 A: Store jerky in an airtight container or ziplock bag at cool to room temperature. You can keep it in the freezer for further longevity. Jerky should be consumed within 2 weeks after opening.

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Q: What Are Some Flavors I should Try?

A: Texas BBQ, roast garlic and black peppers mushrooms, pineapple, mango, banana, and mesquite lime are all popular flavors to consider.

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Q: Is Vegan Jerky Good To Add To My Diet?

A: Vegan jerky is a suitable addition to your diet as an on the go snack.

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Q: Does Vegan Jerky Taste A Lot Different To Meat Jerky?

A: It all comes down to what ingredients are used. For example, you could potentially use a base product like eggplant, then marinate it in a combination of sauce, herbs, and spices. After dehydration, you may find similar tastes and textures to that of beef jerky. Seasoning will be the main factor that determines whether they will taste alike.

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Q: Is Homemade Jerky Safe To Eat?

A: Provided you use fresh ingredients, use clean preparation utensils and benches, follow correct dehydrating guidelines, and store your jerky properly, there shouldn’t be any reason that your jerky is unsafe to consume.

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Q: What Are Some Characteristics Of Good Quality Vegan Jerky?

A; Good quality jerky will maintain a fresh color and not look dull. It will have a pleasant aroma and not smell rancid or rotten. Good quality jerky should also have a crisp flavor and not taste stale. Lastly, there should be no traces of moisture.

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Below is a list of FAQ’s that might help you discover more about vegan jerky.

 Q: Where can I find vegan jerky?

 A: Organic food stores, some supermarkets, and online stores are the easiest places to find vegan jerky.

—————————————–

Q: How can I make my own vegan jerky?

 A: There are two main methods. Oven and dehydrator. If you choose to use your oven you may need to prop open your door to regulate heat as not to let the temperature rise too much which will essentially bake your jerky instead of dehydrating it. You will want to set your oven to its lowest heat and allow your food to dry out over several hours (generally 7 to 8 hours) testing times may vary and experiment with times and different foods will indicate ideal preparation. Tofu or tempeh are good beginner foods to use. Beforehand, to add flavor you can make a marinade using whatever you wish. Hickory bbq sauce, soy sauce, and teriyaki are popular sauces. You may wish to add herbs and spices as well. Marinate overnight and then slice into thin pieces before placing it in your oven.

If you choose to use a dehydrator you will follow a similar method. Dehydrators often have specific temperature settings for different foods. Follow the guides provided.

Test your creation and adjust the timing if needed. Your jerky should have that recognizably chewy texture and be free of moisture.

 You can find plenty of recipes free online and you could potentially create something new on your own with a little imagination.