More and more studies show that humans, animals and the ecosystem will benefit when we start eating more plants and less meat. But for many, this seems like a big sacrifice. Giving up favorite meats and animal products and replacing with vegetables is not something that everyone likes to tackle, but there are a lots of delicious vegan and vegetarian options out there to help make the transition to plant-based diets more appealing. Faux meats are one of the foods that make it easy to swap out traditional meat-based meals into one that is plant-based and planet-friendly. I finally tried some Upton's Naturals Bacon Seitan, and was pretty impressed with the deliciousness of it all.
Upton's Naturals has cute, sustainable packaging and a clever, hipster look on all their products. Like many faux meat foods, Upton's is made with wheat gluten. Gluten, while allergenic to some, is a great option for vegans and omnivores alike. Gluten is the protein found in wheat (also in rye, barley and spelt), and it's gluten that gives bread it's chewy, springy texture. It's about 80% protein, which means it's a great protein-rich alternative to actual meat. With multiple flavors like chorizo, chicken and crumbles, Upton's can be an option for your meatless meals.
More reasons to like Upton's? Here's the description of their products: "We keep our ingredients simple and clean â€“ absolutely no artificial or "natural" flavors and no GMOs. Wheat, water, soy sauce, and spices are the only ingredients we need to make our seitan unique and delicious."
The bacon seitan was easy to cook: just a bit of coconut oil in my new non-toxic, non-stick pan and grilled until slightly browned. I served it simply with some healthy fried rice and a squeeze of lime. But it would also be delish in some wraps, chopped into chili or beans, or with a tofu scramble!
If you can't eat gluten, my other favorite options for fake bacon are Turtle Islands Smokey Maple Bacon Tempeh, or making homemade tempeh bacon, which is easier than you'd think! There are lots of other brands out there, but these are often made with lots of gunk that you don't really want in your body. Stick to the super natural stuff!