Gardein beefless ground crumbles – Good or Not?
Surprise. Vegan Beef crumbles that look and taste good. I am not kidding. My recipe book is full of recipes featuring ground beef from my old days as a carnivore. Recipes for chili, pizza, lasagna, tacos, sloppy joes and many others, all start with ground beef. Imagine my delight when I found Gardein beefless ground crumbles.
Can you replace ground beef?
The quick answer is “No.” However, as a new vegan, I have far more pressing cooking concerns to deal with. Fortunately, I am on my third month as a vegan and now I can focus on a few of the lesser meat-less challenges like replacing ground beef. Normally, I purchase a few products so I can compare tastes. In this case though, I only started with one product.
Gardein crumbles are a winner!
In my long cooking journey, I pride myself in experimenting with several brands before choosing the right one. In this case though, I found the winner on my first try. Gardein beefless ground is perfect for all my meat-less ground beef needs.
Number One Feature – Looks Real
The first thing you will see is that Gardein meatless beef look like ground beef. Look is an important factor especially if you are just starting a plant-based journey. Trust me when I say that your mind is looking for any excuse to quit a vegan diet. That is to say, if that sloppy joe does not look like the REAL thing, then you are far less likely to enjoy the food.
How about the Taste?
Admittedly, Gardein crumbles lack a true beef flavor. Don’t get me wrong, the crumbles “sorta kinda” have a beef taste but no where near the taste of actual beef. Fortunately, most ground beef recipes contain specialized flavorings. Take a moment and think about it. For example, beef tacos and taco seasoning mix, sloppy joes and Manwich sauce, beef goulash and paprika. Gardein beefless ground crumbles are well suited for these recipes because they absorb flavorings so well.
What about Protein?
A careful review of the nutritional label reveals a serving of the crumbles delivers 18 grams of protein. (38% DIV) Couple this with 87% less fat than regular ground beef, 4 grams of carbs, and 13% iron and Gardein beef crumbles represent a powerful nutritional winner.
There is nothing that ruins a great product faster than a high price tag. Face it, meat substitutes are expensive. On average though, Gardein beef crumbles cost about five dollars per pound, a relative steal in the meat substitute market. Added to the other benefits listed above, Gardein beef crumbles become a invaluable ingredient in any vegan kitchen.
What about availability?
Many times specialized food products are difficult to locate. Amazingly, Gardein beef crumbles are available at large food stores like Walmart, Target, and many regional grocery chains. In addition, on-line food shopping services like Amazon, Thrive Market and InstaCart also sell the crumbles.
Other plant-based ground beef brands
Naturally, there are many popular competitors in this market. I settled upon Gardein crumbles but you may wish to try some of these brands:
- Amy’s … Established name in the vegan marketplace offering a wide array of plant-based products.
- Beyond Meat … One of the leaders in the vegan meat-less market with very high customer satisfaction ratings.
- LightLife … Owners of the famous Impossible Burger line of products.
- MorningStar Farms … Meatless alternatives aimed at the consumer market but somewhat over-processed.
- Quorn … Smaller brand name and often more difficult to find.
- Yves … Another small brand name manufacturer that is receiving high marks.
Meatless Lasagna by DadWithaPan
There are countless customer opinions of Gardein beefless ground crumbles. An overwhelming number of the reviews mention great success with chili or taco recipes. Many reviews highlight the low fat, low calorie nature of this product. All in all, the public is satisfied, if not ecstatic, with this product. For me, I can now reopen the recipe book and confidently tackle ground beef recipes. That is a good thing.
My first project : Easy Taco Soup