Review: Beyond Meat Grilled Chicken

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I tried this a few weeks ago but never got around to reviewing it. I have been so busy with my Criminology, Algebra, and Anatomy college courses that there has been no time for blogging…or much of anything else for that matter!

Beyond Meat sent me complimentary coupons to review their product so I shall get to it.

I have to say that I was quite excited to try this “grilled chik’n.” I am not vegetarian, though my diet contains a lot of fruit and vegetables, yet this product looked intriguing to me. Vegetables with the filling flavor of protein…sounds interesting to me.

First, before I go to the flavor, I will discuss the nutritional facts of this product:

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I did not realize the ingredients of the product until I reached my house. It is not like me to not read labels…hence my brother naming me the “food police” After reading all those ingredients, despite the non-GMO label, I proceeded to try it only because I felt obligated to the company to do so. Not to mention, although I have heard so much about Beyond Meat, I have yet to find reviews on this product from actual consumers.

Curiosity killed the cat!

It looks to me that nearly all of these ingredients are made by people in white coats…and no, they do not wear large hats (a.k.a. chef hat).

The nutrition label is not too bad. It has plenty of protein, calcium, iron, no sugar, no cholesterol, moderate sodium….it is all those ingredients that bug me.

  • Chicken flavor? Obviously because this product is vegan, it has nothing to do with real chicken.
  • Soy protein isolate, yeast extract, maltodextrin…possible hidden MSG

Would I buy this again? Probably not. What if I were vegan? I have no intention of going vegan anytime soon (I love greek yogurt way to much) but that would boil down to the flavor…

Second part… the flavor. The strips reminded me of fingers with brown stripes when I took them out of the package. I stuck them in the microwave for a few seconds and they smelt horrible…I don’t know how to describe it, just horrible.  A little repulsed, I proceeded to make chicken salad out of these rubbery fingers–I mean strips.

I took the first bite and almost gagged. The texture was all wrong. It was not like chicken, I felt as if I was biting into dense rubber. The flavor was odd, it was not necessarily flavorless, it was just a little sickening. Thankfully, I only cooked a serving and was able to swallow it–the bread and mayo helped mask the flavor, just not the texture.

I don’t recommend anyone try this product. It was just gross. It is a cool concept if it could be perfected, but now I understand why I have failed to find reviews on it. Before trying the chicken, I was considering attempting the beyond burgers, but I am not even interested in those anymore.  I find it hard to believe many people actually enjoying this, instead I would think that people assume that it is healthier than chicken and so eat this instead.

My advice? Go for chicken. Yes, it may have more fat and cholesterol, but at least it is natural!

I thank Beyond Meat for sending me coupons and hope that they will take into consideration possible reformulating this product to have less lab ingredients and more real ingredients. Also, to improve upon that texture and flavor-less-ness .

 

 

Review: Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter

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After trying the Larabar Coconut Cashew Spread from Costco (possibly a future review) I was eager to try this peanut butter. The girls at Wild Friends were kind enough to send me two free coupons to try their products!

Despite reading on the back the ‘No refrigeration necessary’ section, I proceeded to put my nut butter in the fridge with all my other “natural butters.” Opening the container the next day…it was rock solid. Uh oh, I thought, this does not look good. The coconut oil had separated from the rest of the mix and solidified on the top, talk about disappointment… sorry, I forgot to snap a photo….

I let it sit on the counter as I sliced an apple, grabbed a spoon and tried to dig in. As I stirred the solid mass began to soften and after a few minutes I was able to mix the coconut oil back in to the rest of the jar, lesson learned–shake your jar of wild friends before putting it in the fridge.

Enough with my rig-a-ma-role, you want to know how this tastes, right?

Pros:  It tastes delicious. It tasted just like a thick Reese’s peanut butter cup, slightly salty and slightly sweet, despite the layer of coconut oil at the top, the coconut flavor was undetectable in the actual butter. If you love peanut butter, if you love dark chocolate, you will love this spread, it is absolutely delicious. So far I have had it three times via. apple scoops and a spoon; but I can easily imagine this on toast as a Nutella-like replacement or on a graham cracker, or on ice-cream, carrots, spinach…go right ahead if you wish, bacon(?) seriously–I have heard of chocolate covered bacon…

So this taste’s delicious, but what about the nutritional stats?

Wild Friends is on the left and Kirkland Organic Peanut Butter is on the right.

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Very similar to normal peanut butter…it has a bit more fat, sodium, and carb per gram…but not much. The fat from nut butter is good for you anyway, so don’t fear the fat. It has a bit less protein; for me this is okay because I don’t really count nut butters as “high protein” foods…many people do, but they have a higher fat and general equal or more carbs relative to the protein levels.

Sugar. Comparing it with the Kirkland, I assume that Wild Friends has about three grams of added sugar per serving (or 42 grams of added sugar per jar)…but, it also contains more iron, thank you dark chocolate.

In essence, it pretty much gives you as much nutrition as normal peanut butter…

What about the ingredients?

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Yes, it is hard to see…

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Coconut, Organic Agave, Unsweetened Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt.

Controversial ingredients:

The only one I can find here would be the agave. It is not something that I regularly want to consume in my diet. I have yet to find conclusive evidence telling me it is harmful to you or that it is good either, so I generally have honey, maple syrup, or raw sugar instead. Too much sugar, regardless of “benefits” is not good for anyone to consume.  In the case of this spread…their is not enough agave to be concerned about it unless I am eating excess of two servings at a time.

My second problem that I have with this spread is that it is actually peanut butter. Peanuts are one of the crops that contains major pesticides and is a genetically modified organism. Wild Friends holds that their products are Non-GMO verified, but peanuts can still grow the toxic Aflatoxin mold. In other words, I generally am not a big peanut butter eater. I eat sunflower butter, tahini, and other nut butters, but generally avoid peanut…

CONCLUSION:
The flavor of this spread is delicious, I also found it to be very filling even though nut butter does not generally fill me up (maybe it is the slight bitterness of dark chocolate). The nutritional stats are basically the same as regular peanut butter and it does not contain hydrogenated oils which is a plus.

Would I buy it again?

I think so. I really like to have store bought chocolate nut spread around the house in case I am unable to make my own…but the price is a bit high for me at $6.00 per jar…so I would not make it a regular…

Should you try it?

As long as you do not have any nut or peanut  allergies, yes! It is a delicious treat.

Thank you Wild Friends.

 

*All opinions are my own and are not sponsored in any way.