Not everyone’s on board with the whole fake meat craze. Maybe it’s the taste, the texture, or just the idea of it that doesn’t sit right with you. The good news is, you can eat plant-based without eating “meat” grown in a lab with a less than stellar ingredient list a mile long. These 10 plant-based alternatives that are not only better tasting but better for you too.

Plant-based beyond burger patties on grocery store shelf.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.
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Quinoa

Quinoa. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Quinoa isn’t just a trendy grain; it’s a complete protein superstar that puts many fake meats to shame. It’s versatile, gluten-free, and offers a nice texture to dishes, proving that natural foods can easily outshine lab-created alternatives in both nutrition and taste.

Lentils

Lentils. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Lentils are the unsung heroes of the plant-based protein world. They pack a powerful protein punch, are ridiculously versatile in soups, salads, and stews, and they’re easy on the wallet. Plus, they’re a fiber powerhouse, keeping you full and satisfied longer than any faux meat product could dream of.

Edamame

Edamame. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Edamame are the fun, poppable snacks that also happen to be a great source of complete protein. They’re perfect as a snack, tossed in salads, or as a side, offering a fresh alternative to the often overly processed taste of meat substitutes, with all the benefits of whole, natural food.

Beans

Beans. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

Beans, beans, the magical fruit; the more you eat, the more you… get a fantastic source of protein and fiber! They’re perfect for bulking up any meal, from chili to burgers, without the processed feel of fake meats. And let’s not forget the variety—black, pinto, kidney—the list goes on.

Peas

Peas. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Peas are the little green gems that prove size isn’t everything when it comes to protein. They can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, or dried, making them a versatile addition to any meal, and their natural sweetness adds a burst of flavor that no fake meat can match, all while packing a protein punch.

Hemp, Flax & Chia Seeds

Hemp, Flax & Chia Seeds. Photo credit: Canva Pro.

These tiny titans of nutrition—hemp, flax, and chia seeds—are a trifecta of protein power, offering a wealth of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and, of course, high-quality protein. They can be easily sprinkled over your morning oatmeal, blended into smoothies, or used as a crunchy salad topping, providing a natural, unprocessed alternative to meat substitutes. With their varied textures and health benefits, they’re the perfect way to boost your meals without any artificial ingredients.

Tempeh

Tempeh. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Tempeh is the funkier cousin of tofu, with a nutty flavor and satisfying bite that makes it stand out in the crowd. It’s fermented, making it great for your gut, and its dense texture makes it a satisfying meat substitute that’s all-natural, unlike those processed fake meats.

Oats

Oats. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Oats might make you think breakfast, but their protein content should make you think all-day powerhouse. They’re perfect for energy-boosting meals and snacks, offering a comforting texture and a hearty dose of protein that keeps you going without the need for processed meat products.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional Yeast. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Nutritional Yeast, or “nooch,” is the cheesy-tasting, vitamin B12-packed secret weapon in the plant-based world. It adds a cheesy umami flavor to dishes, along with a nice protein kick, showing you don’t need fake meat to make meals delicious and nutritious.

Tofu

Tofu. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Tofu is like the chameleon of the protein world, absorbing any flavor you throw at it, making it the perfect canvas for your culinary creations. It’s high in protein, low in fat, and has the unique ability to go from breakfast scrambles to desserts. Bye-bye, bland fake meats; hello, tofu versatility!

Boost Your Health With These 11 Superfoods Already In Your Kitchen

Eggs in a carton on a wooden table.

Ever wonder what makes a food a “superfood”? It’s all about those nutrient-dense ingredients that pack a punch for your health with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But here’s the kicker: you don’t need to search high and low for exotic or obscure ingredients. Turns out, some of the best superfoods are probably sitting in your kitchen right now. Here are some of the everyday items that are not only easy to find but also super good for you, proving that boosting your health can be as simple as opening your pantry or refrigerator door.

See them all here: Boost Your Health With These 11 Superfoods Already In Your Kitchen

11 High-Fat Foods You Should Actually Be Eating

Avocado on a cutting board with a knife.

Rethinking dietary fats has shown their indispensable role in health, from supporting hormone function to aiding nutrient absorption. Foods rich in healthy fats, like avocados, dairy, and eggs, not only fuel the body but also enhance fullness and slow carbohydrate digestion. With a shift from fearing fats to understanding their benefits, it’s crucial to focus on unsaturated fats and keep saturated fats within recommended limits. This article will guide you through the nutritious high-fat foods essential for a balanced diet, underscoring the importance of selecting the right types and amounts for optimal health.

See them all here: 11 High-Fat Foods You Should Actually Be Eating

Stop Refrigerating These 15 Foods

A pile of slices of cantaloupe on a table.

Have you ever stored a tomato in the fridge, only to find it’s lost its juicy charm? You’re not alone. Many of us unknowingly shorten the lifespan and diminish the flavor of certain foods by refrigerating them. We’re shedding light on common kitchen staples that are better off outside the chilly confines of your fridge, explaining why room temperature can sometimes be the better choice for freshness and taste.

See them all here: Stop Refrigerating These 15 Foods

Select photos provided by Depositphotos.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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