10 brands of healthy vegan jerky
When you think of cured meat, the first image that comes to your mind is a dehydrated stick of chewy, reddish, super-processed convenience store meat. In recent years, however, Jerky has received a makeover with new artisan brands, recipes to try at home, and now a plethora of meatless options.
Vegan jerky is a healthy snack to go if you’re trying to eat a more plant-based diet or cut down on processed meat. It’s a good way to refuel while you are walking, hiking, or exercising, and the best news is that the flavor is the.
How to choose a healthy and tasty vegan jerky
✔️ Experiment with the ingredients. Vegan jerky can be made from mushrooms, fruits, or other plants, and some ingredients are better for particular nutritional needs. “If you go for a high protein snack, look for jerky made with soy or seitan (vital wheat gluten),” explains Taylor Wolfram, RDN, a dietician specializing in vegan nutrition. “Fruit and vegetable jerkies are low in protein and often low in calories, which means they won’t give you a lot of energy.”
✔️ Consider the flavor and texture. Some jerkies are made to mimic the taste and texture of meat, while others offer similar nutritional benefits. Vegan jerky is awesome due to the abundance of options, but it helps to know which aspect of jerky you want to emulate. Typically, mushroom jerkies have a bit more chewiness than cured meat, while fruit-based jerkies capture a close flavor with a less similar texture.
✔️ Keep your business in mind. When you eat your vegan jerky, do you take it on a road trip or rely on it for fuel on a long hike or endurance walk? The nutritional information on the packaging can guide you on what jerky meat will work for you: Some vegan jerky meats have as much or more protein than jerky, but others have less. “For the energy for endurance activities, you’re going to want more calorie jerky,” says Wolfram. Otherwise, she recommends choosing what you like and what feels good about your body.
With so many brands on the market, there are so many flavor combinations to choose from! These are great choices for the flavor, variety, and reliability of the brand.
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Best overall flavor
Louisville Jerky Smoky Carolina Vegan BBQ
If you’re looking for a fantastic sweet and tangy jerky, Louisville Vegan Jerky’s most popular flavor is Smokey Carolina BBQ. The brand was a pioneer when it was launched in 2012, and today they are still made in small batches, by hand, and with many locally sourced ingredients.
Best jerky sample pack
Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky Sample Pack
Primal Spirit has a great sample pack to help you determine the perfect jerky flavor and texture for you. their jerky is made with certified soy, seitan or non-GMO shiitake mushrooms and comes in six different flavors like Hot & Spicy and Texas BBQ.
Better meat texture
NOBLE Jerky Original
If you are looking for a real meaty texture, look no further than Noble Jerky. This soy protein jerky is full of protein and a favorite for those who want a close meat substitute. Some customers liked the texture so much that they had to verify that Noble hadn’t accidentally sent the real deal!
Best Newcomer Jerky
Moku Hawaiian Teriyaki Jerky
Oyster mushrooms make a great meat substitute in Moku Jerky, an eco-conscious brand based on the island of O’ahu. Created by two renowned chefs, the Hawaiian Teriyaki flavor is like a taste of O’ahu, and each pack has 7 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
Best fruit jerky
Wild Joy Goods Banana Jerky Chipotle Lime
Banana Jerky might not have the same protein punch as other vegan jerkies, but it has with no added sugars, gives you a potassium kick and is full of powerful antioxidants. If you’re not a banana fan, Wild Joy has just launched two new lines of coconut and dried mango products.
Best sweet and spicy pack
It’s Sweet and Spicy Jerky Y’all Pack
This Texas-based company knows its jerky flavors. It’s Jerky Y’all is a higher calorie jerky that delivers bold flavors in their sweet and spicy combination of chipotle prickly pear and teriyaki. If you are also looking for a socially conscious company, It’s Jerky Y’all donates 10% of all net profits to support Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, which is a cattle ranch turned into an animal rescue.
Designed with the best technology
Urban Cowboy Vegan Jerky
Urban Cowboy claims to be the “Best Plant-Based Jerky Ever,” possibly because they make their vegan products using artificial intelligence. For two years, the company has developed and refined its recipe using AI-assisted technology to create a unique plump texture. The underlying umami flavor of the mushroom base complements your choice of sriracha, sweet teriyaki onions, and black pepper.
Best reliable vegan brand
Gardein Ultimate Herbal Jerky
You might know Gardein for their vegan chicken nuggets and burgers, two tasty options to any meatless Monday roast. Now they have a high protein vegan jerky made from a robust combination of seitan and soy. “This is so good, it should be illegal,” wrote an Amazon reviewer. This jerky is great for hikes and road trips and has the classic hardwood smoky flavor. Although it is filling and delicious, beware if you are sensitive to salt.
Best ecological jerky
Akua Kelp Jerky Sesame & Nori Sea Salt
Seaweed isn’t what you might expect in a vegan jerky, but AKUA has created another fantastic way to enjoy this tasty sea vegetable. As veggie-based jerkies disappear, their Kelp Jerky is doing well nutritionally with 10 grams of protein and fiber, 97 calories and lots of omega-3 fatty acids. AKUA also uses a zero-input crop that removes carbon from the ocean!
Best all-around jerky
Sassy Birch BBQ Jerky
The women of Sassy Birch have designed their jerky with variety in mind: you can add it to dishes, cook with it, or just snack on it. This independent, women-owned and operated business uses jackfruit for its jerky, surprisingly meaty. As one customer wrote on their site, “I usually don’t even like jackfruit, but it was so good I ate it both jerky and rehydrated like a slider.”
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