If you know me at all fake meat is not my thing, but a package of Beyond Meatballs was on clearance so I figure I should do a review of them.
Most likely if you are reading this, you have been considering trying Beyond Meatballs for yourself and are wondering what are Beyond Meatballs are made of and what do Beyond Meatballs taste like. In this post, I’ll try and answer all those questions and more.
What are Beyond Meatballs Made Of?
To their credit, Beyond Meat and in turn, Beyond Meatballs are one of the few meat substitutes that don’t go down the soy route. There is enough research that makes me a bit leery of processed soy that I choose to avoid it. Instead, Beyond Meat uses peas to make their meat substitutes. This is great, aside from some people with nut allergies may have an issue with it according to their website.
The ingredient list for Beyond Meatballs looks like this:
Water, pea protein, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, natural flavors, rice protein, yeast, methylcellulose, potato starch, spices, salt, potassium chloride, apple extract, garlic powder, vinegar, lemon juice concentrate, onion powder, pomegranate extract, sunflower lecithin, beet powder (for color), carrot.
Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot in there for me to complain about or be too critical of. The biggest thing I see on their ingredient list that I don’t like is methylcellulose which is a chemically treated wood pulp, that acts as a filler and binder. I think #NotAFan sums up my feelings about it, and it is in a lot of processed foods.
Are Beyond Meatballs Healthy?
To answer this, I must first state that I am not a nutritionist, or a professional in nutritional sciences in any way so my opinion is just that.
According to WebMD:
The answer is yes, according to new research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It found the imitation meats to be a good source of fiber, folate and iron while containing less saturated fat than ground beef.WebMD
That being said, let’s compare some apples to apples (which would arguably be healthier). All of these numbers have been adjusted to be equal to one serving of Beyond Meatballs at 121g.
|Cooked Perfect Organic
Italian Grass-Fed Beef Meatballs
Of course, if you are making your meatballs at home, your numbers will vary, and likely include less salt and no soy like in the Kroger meatballs. The interesting thing for me is how similar in nutrition these three aside from Cholesterol which some people are still limiting even if the science is now showing that cholesterol and coronary disease are not quite as related as we once thought.
One other place that Beyond Meatballs wins out is in the iron content. At roughly four times the amount of iron beats the Kroger brand easily. This should be tempered though against the science that is coming out that meat alternatives have a lower bio-availability of iron and other nutrients.
In my very un-professional opinion, Beyond Meatballs are most likely not significantly worse or better for you than other commercially prepared meatballs, not counting the soy and methylcellulose in most brands.
Beyond Meatballs Cooking Instructions
The company lists three ways to cook their meatless meatballs, in a pan, in the oven, and in the sauce.
Beyond Meatballs In A Pan
As basic as it gets, pre-heat a large non-stick pan over medium-low heat, then cook your meatballs for 7-8 minutes, turning constantly.
Beyond Meatballs In The Oven
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Place meatballs on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-13 minutes. Turn the meatballs over halfway through.
Cook in Your Sauce (Stew Them)
I didn’t try this method, but they say to lightly sear their meatballs and then put them in your sauce and cook them for 45-60 minutes.
Some people have asked if you can cook frozen Beyond Meatballs straight out of the freezer and the answer from the manufacturer is that you should let them thaw first. Of course, someone had to not listen and found that you can cook frozen Beyond Meatballs in your air fryer quite successfully.
Whatever your method of cooking, they warn not to overcook them. That is a common problem with meat replacement. If you over-cook them, they get nasty fast. That may be part of why the Simple Truth Chick’n Patties I tried came out so nasty, but then again maybe not.