When you follow a vegan diet, being able to get the nutrients you need can be tricky. After all, you’re avoiding some of the most common foods that people use for protein. It’s not impossible to give your body what it needs while being vegan, but it may be difficult to find products that fit your needs at first.
Many vegan food products depend on using soy as one of their main ingredients. The nutritious value of soy is highly debated, and soy meats tend to be exceedingly processed. In addition, some people may suffer from soy allergies. All of this could lead to a soy-free vegan feeling really lost.
Reliable Soy Free Vegan Meat Products: User Ultimate Guide
There are many options out there for vegan meat without soy. Some brands that sell soy-free plant based meat products include: Beyond Meat, Field Roast, Cool Foods, Atlantic Natural Foods, Sweet Earth, Hilary’s, Quorn, and more.
Does All Plant-Based Meat Have Soy In It?
Although many meat alternatives do contain soy, many do not. Soy is a common ingredient used for its ability to bind large quantities of water. It is also a decent protein source with essential amino acids, but the nutritional value of soy is highly questioned.
Soy is not the only option for giving meat substitutes the elements they need. With the rise of health consciousness and allergen-free products becoming more accessible, brands are stepping up. In the place of soy, other ingredients like wheat, peas, mushrooms, or mung beans are used instead.
What is Soy Free Vegan Meat?
Non soy meat substitutes are vegan meat products that use another protein besides soy. Various other ingredients could be used instead, and it’s becoming a more accessible option, too. Many soy-free vegan meats tend to be friendly to other allergens as well.
What Vegan Meat Products Do Not Contain Soy?
If you follow a vegan diet and avoid soy, it can be difficult finding products that work with your diet. But, there are quite a few out there. Let’s take a look at some of the top-rated non soy vegan meats.
1. Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat is a brand known for being able to almost exactly replicate the taste and feel of regular meat. Even people who aren’t vegan opt for Beyond Meat at times, due to the fact that it’s a healthier choice where taste is not sacrificed.
As a company, Beyond Meat tries to replicate the protein amounts that you would get from traditional meats. One Beyond Burger patty has 20 grams of protein, so it’s safe to say they have succeeded in this venture.
In addition to burgers, they sell vegan versions of sausage, breakfast sausages, meatballs, and beef. Beyond Meat products are gluten-free as well as soy-free, so they are a great option for households with food sensitivities.
2. Field Roast
Instead of soy, Field Roast uses wheat gluten to make their products. The use of wheat results in an impressive lineup of soy-free veggie meats, including deli slices, nuggets, wings, burger patties, and a wide variety of plant-based sausages.
Field Roast has a keen focus on making their foods as natural as possible, so ingredients like shiitake mushrooms, sea salt, pea flower, celery, and mushroom powder are used to give these plant-based meat alternatives a resemblance to the real thing.
Seitan is made using hydrated gluten that is found in wheat to make products that appear and taste like meat. Interestingly, seitan does not have the high carb content that is typically expected from wheat products. It does not contain soy but is not suitable for those with gluten intolerances.
It is also high in protein and extremely versatile. It’s one product but can be used for virtually any purpose that regular meat would be. It could be used as part of a stir fry or as a pizza topping. With seitan, you can get as creative as you want.
4. Cool Foods
Cool Foods does not have a very large product selection to choose from. Actually, they only currently have one meat substitute on the market. This would be their Veggie Bacon Bits & Dips.
Bacon bits are a simple delicacy that you might not even realize you miss until you remember them. And Cool Foods does an excellent job at replicating the mouth-watering, smoky taste of bacon bits. If you’re looking to add some more protein to your salads, check out Cool Foods.
These bacon bits also contain only five ingredients: sunflower oil, yeast extract, pinto beans, vitamin E, and natural flavors. They also contain no added sugar, which is a major plus. Cool Foods are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free.
5. Atlantic Natural Foods
Atlantic Natural Foods tries to cater to all diets and preferences. One helpful meat substitute they sell is their Neat Meat Replacement Mix. This works as a stand-in for ground beef, and it comes in four flavor varieties: the Original Mix, Southwest, Italian, and Mexican Mix.
Garbanzo beans and pecans are used to add protein to Atlantic Natural Foods. Aside from their ground beef alternatives, they also have fish replacements and prepackaged meals. This is one brand where you’ll have to double-check the labels; their variety of products results in a variety of ingredients. Some products may contain dairy or soy, but not all.
6. Sunshine Burgers
Sunshine Plant-Based Foods has a limited selection as of late, with only their plant-based burger patties. They do come in four varieties, though: Original, Shiitake, South West, and Garden Herb. These products are free from soy and gluten, and are USDA organic certified as well as Non GMO verified.
The nutritional profile of each of these varies, they contain between seven and 17 grams of protein, depending on the variety you choose. For 17 grams of protein, opt for the Original burger. Sunshine Burgers come in four-packs, with each patty wrapped individually.
The brand mission of Hilary’s is to focus on making products that are suitable for people with all sorts of allergies. So, their products are all free of corn, nuts, and soy. Their main product is veggie burgers, but they also sell various breakfast sausages and whole grain medleys.
A Hilary’s burger contains around eight grams of protein, which may not be much in comparison to other brands, but is enough if you have a well-rounded diet. Hilary’s products are also all free from the top twelve allergens, including soy.
Instead of using soy, Hippeas products are based on chickpeas. If you’re looking for a vegan, soy-free snack, check out Hippeas. They sell organic chip puffs in flavors like vegan white cheddar, sriracha, and barbecue. They also have tortilla chips that are comparable to Doritos.
Lightlife is another brand that uses chickpeas as a base for their products. They sell pretty much any meat alternative you could think of. Some of these include deli slices, hot dogs, tempeh, ground beef alternatives, and various breakfast sausage options.
Their goal is to help those on a plant-based journey without using any synthetic ingredients. Their website has many recipe options for creating vegan and allergen friendly but scrumptious meals. They are a 100% carbon neutral company with all non-GMO products who believe that less is more when it comes to ingredient lists.
10. Amy’s Kitchen
Amy’s Kitchen is known for their allergen-friendly products. Not everything they sell is vegan, so this is one you’ll have to double-check the ingredients for if you follow a dairy-free diet. One vegan product they sell is their Organic Summer Harvest Veggie Burger.
Instead of meat and soy, this vegan burger relies on quinoa, onions, rice flour, and carrots to make it work. It has a relatively low protein content, but the ingredients make up for this with other essential nutrients. Another vegan option from Amy’s Kitchen is the Sonoma Veggie Burger.
What Vegan Meat Alternatives Do Not Contain Soy?
Maybe you’ve got a craving for something specific, or don’t want to sleuth around the grocery store looking for one product. The market of soy-free meat alternatives is vast, and you’re sure to find something that fits your taste.
1. Vegan Chicken Nuggets
For vegan chicken nuggets that are soy-free, check out the brand Quorn. Their products are known for having a consistency and taste like chicken when plain, but can be cooked in various ways. They sell vegan chicken nuggets and many red meat alternatives, too.
2. Vegetarian Bacon
For vegetarians, the meat substitute market is even larger. Many meatless products are made using eggs, so while they may be soy-free, some options are only suitable for those who consume dairy.
Choices for vegetarian bacon can come from brands like Morningstar, Ozo, Lightlife, and Sweet Earth. Some of these brands make dairy-free products as well, just be sure to read the label before purchasing to make sure it fits your dietary needs.
Mushrooms are an already-common ingredient in cooking. They are a decent source of protein and other nutrients. Plus, they are low in calories, sodium, and fat. Many different varieties of mushrooms exist and they all slightly differ in taste and texture.
Eggplant may seem like an outlandish choice for a meat replacement. After all, the brands on this list so far strive to have products that look and taste like meat. Eggplant is simply a vegetable, but this means it is not processed.
The texture of eggplant is somewhat meaty, which makes it a good meat replacement at home. If you don’t mind being adventurous with your recipes, try subbing in some eggplant slices for your next sandwich. Grilling the eggplant can give it the perfect texture for burgers.
When jackfruit is cooked, its flesh takes on a texture similar to that of pulled pork. So, for recipes with pulled pork or chicken, you can substitute jackfruit without worrying that the texture will be unappetizing. And, as it is a vegetable, it’s allergen friendly and unprocessed.
Because of its interesting texture, jackfruit tacos have become increasingly popular in recent times. One thing to note is that, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t really taste like meat. The taste of jackfruit is on the sweeter side, which can complement some recipes perfectly. With the right spices it may not even be noticeable.
6. Coconut Burger
The coconut burger is of Filipino origins and is made from shredded coconut pulp. This pulp is what’s leftover after milk is extracted from coconuts. Some coconut burgers use eggs as an additive, so be sure to double-check, but this is a very sustainable and unique option.
This is one of the most popular soy-free meats out there. It’s made from tofu (hence the name) and has a similar taste to turkey. Tofurkey is friendly to vegans and is part of many veggie burgers and pasta. Tofurkey is also popular around the holidays, as it can be stuffed just like a regular turkey.
What Vegan Meat Products Should Those with Soy Allergies Avoid?
Many brands are becoming more conscious of allergens. Because of this, there are meat-free companies that make only products which are soy-free, but others may vary. Some vegan meat brands may make certain products that are free of soy, while others of the same brand do contain soy.
To stay on the safe side, when you’re shopping for soy-free meat alternatives, just skim over the ingredients label. Many products will have allergen warnings in bold. So there isn’t really a definitive answer to what to avoid, if something catches your eye just make sure to read the ingredients list before purchasing it.
There are plenty of delicious vegan foods out there that do not contain soy. Many brands are becoming more conscious of allergens and are creating new products that are soy-free, amongst other common allergens. Soy is a common source of protein, but it isn’t the only one, or the healthiest one. Vegan meat without soy is typically more likely to also be GMO-free. The most impressive part is that flavor does not have to be sacrificed for your health.