Grass-fed, organic, hormone-free beef jerky has been a big health trend over the past few years, but now companies are taking jerky in a different direction: meatless. With options like soy, mushroom, eggplant, and coconut, these new plant-based jerkies are more sustainable for the planet, lower in calories, and more accommodating to a wide range of lifestyles, from vegan to Paleo. Here are three of our favorites.
PAN’S MUSHROOM JERKY
On a visit to see family in Malaysia, Michael Pan discovered the secret to his vegetarian Buddhist relatives’ happiness: their family recipe for mushroom jerky. Made of shiitake mushroom stems, Pan’s Mushroom Jerky tastes shockingly like beef jerky. When we tried the Original flavor, we could’ve sworn it was actually Chinese beef jerky, thanks to its texture, which resembles shredded, dried beef. It has an earthy flavor, warmed up with the addition of a proprietary blend of spices, as well as a sweetness from brown sugar. The Zesty Thai flavor, which is vegan and certified Paleo Friendly, is slightly chewier, with a smokier aroma. Both have the satisfying bite of a real meat jerky, and they’re both soy-free.
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