Nutritional comparison of plant-based chicken

image of chickens in a grass yard
Photo by Thomas Iversen on Unsplash

In an upcoming episode of the Nutrition Diva podcast, I’ll be talking about the pros and cons of plant-based chicken.

As  a supplement to that episode, I’ve put together a comparison of key nutrients and ingredients in several leading brands of plant-based chicken (as well as actual chicken).

The first table compares breaded nuggets, which is the most common format.  The second compares the one brand of unbreaded plant-based chicken I could locate with boneless, skinless chicken breast (cooked).

Note: The values in these tables may not match the numbers that you’ll see on the Nutrition Facts labels of these products. That’s because the manufacturers’ serving sizes ranged from 2.5 ounces (70g) to 3.5 ounces (95g). In order to make the comparisons fair, the tables below show the nutrient values for 3 ounces (85g) of each product.

Plant-based chicken nuggets (breaded)

3 oz servingChickenDaringMeatless FarmBeyond MeatImpossible
Calories214180240225216
Fat (g)117131311
Sat fat (g)312.521.5
Carb (g)1519221617
Fiber (g)04222
Sugars (g)0221<1
Protein (g)1410121412
Iron (mg)13212
Potassium (mg)191196370265510
Sodium (mg)379610400475430
Gluten freeNoNoNoNoNo
Soy freeYesNoYesYesNo
IngredientsChicken, water, wheat flour, contains 2% or less of the following: brown sugar, corn starch, dried garlic, dried onion, dried yeast, extractives of paprika, natural flavor, oat fiber, salt, spices, wheat starch, white whole wheat flour, yellow corn flour. Breading set in vegetable oil.Water, Soy Protein-Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Natural Flavor, Spices (Paprika, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mace, Cardamon), wheat flour, canola oil, water, yellow corn flour, potato starch, rice flour, salt, leavening (cream of tartar, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), sugar, dextrose, garlic, onion, yeast.Vegetable proteins (Water, Wheat Protein, Wheat Flour), Cornflakes (Corn, Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt Extract), Water, Sunflower Oil, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Flour, Pea Starch, Pea Protein, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Yeast Extract, Bamboo Fiber, Methylcellulose, Potassium LactateWater, Faba Bean Protein, Breading (Wheat Flour, Rice Flour, Salt, Corn Starch, Pea Proteinᵗ, Canola Oil, Wheat Gluten, Paprika, Spices, Dextrose, Leavening[Sodium Acid Phrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate], Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Dried Onion, Dried Garlic, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors), Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour, Sugar, Sea Salt, Dried Yeast), Vital Wheat Gluten, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Flavors, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Pea starch, Methylcellulose, and 1% or less of Yeast Extract, Refined Coconut Oil, Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Sodium Phosphates, Spices, Titanium dioxide (for color), Sunflower Lecithin.Water, Wheat Flour, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil, , 2% or less Of: Potato Starch, Methylcellulose, Salt, Natural Flavors, Cultured Dextrose, Wheat Gluten, Yeast Extract, Yellow Corn Flour, Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Spices, Leavening (Cream of Tartar, Sodium Bicarbonate), Dried Yeast, Paprika Extract (for color), Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant) Vitamins and Minerals: (Zinc Gluconate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12).

Plant-based chicken vs chicken (plain)

3 oz servingChickenDaring
Calories128108
Fat (g)32
Sat fat (g)10
Carb (g)06
Fiber (g)06
Sugars (g)00
Protein (g)2617
Iron (mg)0.54
Potassium (mg)332416
Sodium (mg)44480
Gluten freeYesYes
Soy freeYesNo
IngredientsChickenWater, Soy Protein-Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Natural Flavor, Spices (Paprika, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mace, Cardamon)

Are decorative pumpkins and gourds edible?

pumpkins-1708769_640

Jessica writes:

“We just threw out the pumpkins we had on our porch as decoration, and it made me wonder whether we could have eaten them. I bought them at the grocery store after all! 

Can you eat/cook any type of pumpkin? (I had a mix of regular, Cinderella, and maybe Yokohama.) If you can eat them, how long after you put them on your porch will they be edible? I’ve only used canned pumpkin to date, is the process of making your own challenging?”

Continue reading “Are decorative pumpkins and gourds edible?” >

How to make Socca

Socca is a flatbread made from chickpea flour and is one of our favorite weekday suppers.  Grain and gluten free and rich in protein and fiber. You can top it however you like or just eat it plain.  Here’s a quick video tutorial.  (Instructions below.)

 

Instructions

Combine 1 cup chickpea flour, 1 cup water, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon each salt and fresh ground pepper.  Whisk until blended and let sit for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, slice 1-2 onions, toss with olive oil and and place in a cast iron or ovenproof skillet. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Pour the batter over the onions, turn up the oven to 500 degrees and return the pan to the oven. Bake for around 15 minutes, or until it’s starting to brown at the edges.

Slide the socca onto a cutting board and gently flip it over. At that point, you can cut into pieces and serve as an appetizer or with soup or salad. Or, slide it back onto the pan, top with veggies and cheese and run it under the broiler to melt the cheese.

How to make homemade corn tortillas

Photo by Amber Engle

Making your own corn tortillas is fun and easy. With just three basic ingredients, a tortilla press, and a hot skillet, you’ll be on your way to having gluten-free, delicious, soft corn tortillas in less than an hour. You can use them for enchiladas, tostadas, tacos, nachos, and more.

How to make tortillas

Here comes the fun part. Although it is easy to do, you will need to be patient if this is your first time making homemade tortillas. There are times where the dough will feel dry or soggy. All you have to do is add more water or add more masa. As you make more homemade corn tortillas, you will quickly learn and enjoy the tortilla-making process.

Ingredients

2 cups of Masa Harina (not regular cornmeal or corn flour)

½ teaspoon of salt

1 ½ to 2 cups of warm water

Important: Masa harina is different from regular corn flour or cornmeal. In order to create masa harina, the corn goes through a process called nixtamalization, which involves soaking it in an alkaline solution (usually lime). This changes the structure of the grain which enables it to form a dough. It also adds calcium and makes the nutrients in the grain easier to absorb. Continue reading “How to make homemade corn tortillas” >

Which Appliances are Worth the Counter Space?

In my house, kitchen appliances live in one of two places: in the kitchen or in the basement. The ones in the kitchen are the ones that I use constantly. The ones in the basement are the ones that only come out once in a while.

My Constant Favorites

Blender

This lives right on the kitchen counter because I use it almost every day. I have a Vitamix which is no small investment, but this workhorse has served me well for years. I’m actually on my second Vitamix. After 15 years, I decided to retire my original, and Vitamix has a trade-in program that gave me a discount on my new purchase. There are less expensive options, such as the NutriBullet Blender–and the Vitamix is more power than you’d need for smoothies. However, its heavy duty parts and high powered motor can also turn whole wheat into flour, nuts into nut butter, and other tasks that might cause a lesser motor to wheeze.

 

Instant Pot Electronic Pressure Cooker


I hesitated before jumping on this particular bandwagon because I’d never used a pressure cooker before and didn’t particularly miss it. Turns out that was just because I didn’t know what I was missing. Instant Pot fans tend to be a bit cult-like, but I’ve totally drunk the Koolaid. I use it to hard-boil eggs (perfect every time!), make stock in 30 minutes instead of two hours, cook hard beans and steel cut oats to tender (but not mushy) perfection in 15 minutes, and countless soups, stews, and one-pot meals. There are many sites, cookbooks, and Instagram feeds dedicated to Instant Pot recipes, so inspiration and instruction is never more than a click away. Easily the best kitchen purchase I’ve made in ten years.

Listen to my podcast episode: 4 Reasons You Need a Pressure Cooker. Continue reading “Which Appliances are Worth the Counter Space?” >