Being from the South, I loved my cured meats, barbecue and, of course, jerky. At the same time, I recognize the health benefits of reducing my meat consumption and increasing my intake of fruits and vegetables (read about The Health Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet). If I can find a meat substitute that offers the same satisfaction factor, I consider that a win—especially if it's lower in sugar and sodium, which many vegan alternatives are not. Always read the label!
So when I came across a display rack of Unisoy vegan beef jerky at my local grocery store I was skeptical but decided to give it a try. To my delight, it did not disappoint! I felt like I hit a meat-alternative gold mine after the first bite. Their jerky is smoky, sweet, savory and slightly salty—basically everything you could want in your favorite jerky.
And if you're a connoisseur of vegan meat like me, you know that texture is key. So I was over the moon when I discovered that each chunk of the jerky felt almost identical to the real thing. As I ate my way through almost the entire bag I found that each piece had the perfect thickness and just the right amount of chewiness. The texture is firm but not super dry and tough like some real jerky can be.
There are 6 to 7 grams of plant-based protein per serving, so you're getting the same amount of protein as you'd get from one large egg. If you're watching your salt intake, you should know that there are about 220 to 360 milligrams of sodium per serving, depending on the flavor, but it has less sodium than many other types of meat jerky. You also get a little bit of iron (this varies by flavor), which can be a tough nutrient to eat enough of on a plant-based diet.
The best part? This tasty meat alternative comes in six delicious flavors and they're all equally delicious (trust me, I tried them all). This is hands down the best vegan jerky I've ever had and one snack that I'll have on hand at all times.
Buy Them from Walmart.com ($8.99 per pack):