**Disclaimer – This product contains oil. While many of the oils in this product are non-GMO, all oils are high in saturated fat, calorically dense, and should be limited or eliminated to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

By now you have probably heard that there are several new options out in the grocery store for plant-based eaters. In fact, it’s never been easier to eat a vegan diet. With a vegan diet being one of the hottest trends in 2016, it is no surprise that some of the largest dairy and animal protein manufacturers in the country are adding plant-based options to their arsenals. Just recently, Vega, one of our favorite brands, was acquired and purchased by White Wave Foods. White Wave also owns Silk, So Delicious, and a few others. But, is this a good thing? In many vegan

In many vegan circles, you will hear that dairy companies purchasing vegan or plant-based brands is a bad thing…kind of like selling out. While I understand that my fellow vegan friends are passionate about the animals and life in general, I think this is a big win. The big dairy businesses are purchasing these plant-based products because there has been a trend in consumer preference. Consumers want more plant-based options, so they are simply doing what they need to do in order to survive and keep hot on the trends.

Enter Tyson. You know…the brand that has those sliced deli meats? Well, just like White Wave purchased Vega, Tyson purchased Beyond Meat; a brand that has been making plant-based meat options for a few years now. I have heard a lot of buzz on social media about their new “Beyond Burger.” Have you heard about it? These new frozen plant-based burgers contain no soy, no gluten, have over 20 grams of plant protein per serving and contain no GMO’s! It’s almost too good to be true, so I had to give them a try. I was skeptical because I have always preferred Gardein brand meat substitutes over any other brands, but this burger actually sells itself on how similar it is to the real thing. In fact, on the front of the packaging, it even says that it is “ready to cook” with a little grill mark.

How Does The Plant-Based Beyond Burger Taste?

The fact that the burger tastes like a real piece of meat is not important to me. I am vegan already. The other talking point that I have heard is that it “bleeds like a real burger.” That doesn’t make me want to run out and buy it either, but when I heard that it was beet juice that ran out of the cooked patty, I was hooked! A further look at the ingredients and you will see that the main ingredients are pea protein isolate, canola oil, coconut oil, water, yeast and maltodextrin. There are several other ingredients, including cellulose from bamboo, potato starch, beet juice extract, and a few others. The list is longer than I would have preferred, but on a night when you are with your extended family having a cookout and want to throw your burgers on the grill with everyone else, these are perfect. If you eat a whole food, plant-based diet (me 95% of the time) and are looking to make your own patty from scratch, you can find directions for how to make your own plant-based patty here. When it comes to convenience and a desire to enjoy food with your omnivore friends, this burger does not disappoint.

I am going to be so daring to say that meat eaters would totally eat this patty without hesitation. It is the best tasting plant-based burger that I have tried…not just because it tastes like “the real thing.” The combination of spices, oils, beet extracts, and flavorings are what make this burger amazing. We cooked ours on our George Foreman grill in just five minutes. We then placed it on top of an Engine 2 brand burger bun and added some lettuce and tomato to it and it was splendid.

In the end, this product is a win mostly for the cows. With 23 grams of fat, it is not something I would eat every day, but for those looking for another option besides animal protein, this burger is great. Dairy companies are headed in the right direction by purchasing these vegan companies. Some of these acquisitions have brought vegan and plant-based eating to the forefront, and that is something to cheer about! It’s not as “weird” as it used to be to say that you are vegan. The term “plant-based” is becoming more widely used as well. Just remember that there is a difference between whole food, plant-based and vegan. Oreos are vegan and so is this burger. : ) Either way, I hope you will give them a try and let me know what you think. While I do prefer to make my own burger patties out of whole food, plant-based ingredients, I think this is wonderful for the movement as a whole.

You can find the Beyond Burger exclusively at select Whole Foods Market Stores for the first year that it is out. Look in the frozen section or ask your local Whole Foods for help finding it. Happy eating!

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