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A Nutritious Outlook on Plant Based Turkey

Plant Based Turkey is one of the imitation turkey products that gives a vaguely meat-like soy product impression. This plant-based alternative to turkey is ideal for vegans and vegetarians, especially those who still miss their meat. The original Plant based Turkey came from an Oregon-based brand by the same name, producing faux turkeys since 1995. Plant based Turkey aims to substitute turkey meat with a common vegan alternative, soybean or organically sourced tofu. The name Plant based Turkey is a combination of two words: tofu and turkey. The newly created Plant based Turkey gives the authentic taste of meat without hurting or killing animals. 

Many vegetarian and vegan eaters are now adopting Plant based Turkey due to its organic and cruelty-free production process. The core ingredients of Plant based Turkey are rich in minerals like calcium and iron. Additionally, its rich protein content makes it ideal for people who want to include plant-based protein in their diets. Interestingly, Plant based Turkey also contains some excellent health benefits associated with its ingredients. Plus, homemade Plant based Turkey is always better than store-bought regarding the nutritional density. 

Nutritional Profile of Plant based Turkey

According to USDA, 100g of Plant based Turkey contains the following nutrients:

Calories: 188 kcalProtein: 15.29 gFat: 4.12 gCarbohydrate: 23.53 gFibre: 8.2gCalcium: 71 mgIron: 1.69 mgSodium: 12mg

Talking about the fat present in Plant based Turkey, one serving of Plant based Turkey contains 1.5 grams of saturated fat. The accurate content of polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats is not known. However, you can make a Plant based Turkey roast using oils rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It would add these healthy fats to the Plant based Turkey roast. 

A serving of roasted Plant based Turkey with fillings like rice, lentils, and seasonings provides 2.8 grams of iron, meeting 15% of your daily needs. However, plant-based roasts, particularly store-bought versions, are also high in sugar, salt, artificial fillers, and preservatives. 

Homemade vs Store Bought Plant based Turkey

Homemade Plant based Turkey is a better choice than store-bought ones based on the nutritional value and benefits. The homemade version contains simple ingredients with no additives, providing a healthy dose of protein and fibre. For example, a simple homemade vegetarian Plant based Turkey typically contains tofu, herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary, vegetable broth powder, homemade seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. Most store-bought Plant based Turkey is jam-packed with unhealthy amounts of extra salt, fat and sugar. 

Be wary of a long ingredient list when buying store-bought Plant based Turkey. Most ingredients in imitation turkeys like Plant based Turkey look better than processed meats, but not all are created equal. Nonetheless, despite having high amounts of sodium, Plant based Turkey doesn’t have as much saturated fat as the real stuff. They also have a uniform texture and slice easily. However, homemade Plant based Turkey allows you to add or remove ingredients according to your needs. For example, while the market version has a coating of maple syrup, soy, and smoked paprika, you can make a healthy Plant based Turkey roast by adding toasted pecans for some crunch, and mushrooms, sauteed onions, celery, and herbs for the stuffing. 

Potential Benefits of Plant based Turkey

Meat Alternative

The change in dietary preferences leads to rising demand for alternative/non-meat proteins. Around 36% of American consumers, including non-vegetarians, are buying meat alternatives to be healthier. 

Research shows that 86.82% of people are willing to purchase plant-based meat alternatives for health and environmental reasons. Ultimately, Plant based Turkey can be very helpful for people who can not or do not eat meat. It is an alternative to meat consumption that also adds the nutrient of soy to the body. 

Provides Protein

The primary health benefit of Plant based Turkey comes from its protein levels. Plant based Turkey is a soy-based product that contains a high protein source. Moreover, most store-bought tofurkey has just as much protein as turkey bird meat. As a result, Plant based Turkey is a healthy alternative to animal protein sources. 

For added benefits, you can eat Plant based Turkey with other fruits and vegetables to add a variety of proteins to your diet. Optimal intake of plant proteins improves overall morbidity and mortality, as stated in a study. The protein content of Plant based Turkey is 15 g per 100 g serving. 

Have No Cholesterol

Plant based Turkey is a vegan food product with zero cholesterol. Therefore, Plant based Turkey is a good addition for those who want to keep their cholesterol level balanced. Since plant-based foods like Plant based Turkey have zero cholesterol, it does not cause any rise in the blood cholesterol level of patients. However, it would help if you made wise and healthy options while pairing them with other side dishes. 

Energy Packed Food

Studies show that carbohydrates are the primary energy source that helps power the body. Therefore, eating sufficient dietary carbohydrates is necessary for optimal bodily functions. Plant based Turkey has a good amount of carbs, making the body feel energised. 100 g of Plant based Turkey contains around 24 g of carbs which is just the right amount for consumption. 

Provides Fibre

Due to tofu and whole gluten, Plant based Turkey is a fibre source for vegans. Eating Plant based Turkey with other fibre-rich fruits and vegetables promotes digestion and prevents specific health problems related to gut health. For instance, Plant based Turkey offers 8.2 g of dietary fibre per 100g. It helps clear constipation and bloating and relieves irritable bowel syndrome. 

Healthy and Delicious Recipes Using Plant based Turkey

Skillet Tofurkey and Baked Beans

Servings: 6

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

Olive oil: 22ml Large onion: 1 piece (quartered and thinly sliced)Garlic: 2 cloves (minced)Plant based Turkey: 150 gBaked Beans: 400 gTomato puree: 78 mlYellow mustard: 4 gSweet paprika: 8 gSalt: As per taste Pepper: As per taste 

Method of Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and stir fry it over medium-low heat. Wait until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic and Plant based Turkey and continue stirring until all is golden. Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet along with 50ml of water. Stir everything together and bring to a gentle simmer. Next, let it be on a low heat setting for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the stove when done and serve hot.

Plant based Turkey Jambalaya

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes 

Total Time: 45 minutes 

Ingredients

Olive oil: 15 mlPlant based Turkey: 300 g (diced)Yellow onion: 1 piece (chopped)Celery: 2 stalks (chopped)Green bell pepper: 1 and a half pieces Garlic: 3 cloves (minced)Water: 50 mlTomato paste: 30 mlTomatoes: 4 slices (diced and roasted)Thyme: 2-3 twigs (chopped leaves)Salt: As per taste Cayenne pepper: 10 gKidney beans: 400 gCooked brown rice for serving: According to the diet

Method of Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a large pot on the stove. Please keep it on medium heat. Add the Plant based Turkey and cook for 5 minutes until browned. Remove the Plant based Turkey and return the pot to the heat. Now, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Add the water and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften. Pour the tomato paste and add the tomatoes, thyme, salt, cayenne, and beans. Then, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. A few minutes before serving time, stir in the Plant based Turkey. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Serve hot with brown rice.

Tofurkey and Carrot Soup

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients

Olive oil plus: 30 mlScallions green onions: 50 gGarlic: 3 clovesCarrots: 5-6 pieces (roughly chopped)Curry powder: 15 gSalt: As per taste Water: 950 mlSoy Milk: 400 mlTofurkey: 150 g (cubbed)Shallots: 50g (sliced thin)Pumpkin seeds: As per tasteApple diced: 1 piece (diced)Parsley: 10 g (chopped)

Method of Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the green scallions and cook until soft. Next, add the garlic and cook lightly. Add carrots, curry powder, and salt. Mix well all ingredients. Add the water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cover and reduce to low heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes until carrots are tender. Remove the veggies and blend thoroughly with an immersion blender. Pour in the soy milk while mixing.In a frying pan, heat a drizzle of oil and add the shallots and the Plant based Turkey. Cook over medium heat until they become brown and slightly crispy. Remove after cooking the Plant based Turkey.Fill the soup bowl with the veggie soup and add the fried items. Add remaining ingredients as garnish. Enjoy the soup hot. 

Storage and Preparation Tips for Plant based Turkey

It would help if you kept the frozen Plant based Turkey roast in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. Then move it to the refrigerator for thawing at least 24 to 48 hours before cooking. You can store leftover cooked Plant based Turkey in an airtight container in the fridge. However, you must use them within 3 to 4 days.

Roasting Plant based Turkey on its own can cause it to dry out. Instead, you must roast Plant based Turkey at 350 F in a baking dish with cut-up vegetables and 1/4 cup of water or broth. Cooking for too long or at a high temperature makes the wheat gluten rubbery. Therefore, cook at a relatively low roasting temperature. Unlike a real turkey, you do not need to rest a Plant based Turkey roast. So once it’s cool enough, you can slice and readily serve it.

Possible Downsides of Plant based Turkey

Plant based Turkey has been a revolutionary product for vegans and vegetarians. However, the product also has specific side effects and problems, which can cancel out the health benefits if you are not careful. 

Here are some possible adverse effects of Plant based Turkey:

Many people have tofu allergies, the world’s top 8 allergens. People with tofu allergies can develop rashes and other allergic symptoms after eating Plant based Turkey since it contains soybeans or tofu.Plant based Turkey also contains high traces of wheat, which is another top allergen. Therefore, people who are generally allergic to whole grains, pulses, legumes, and wheat should avoid consuming Plant based Turkey. Wheat gluten in Plant based Turkey makes it highly unsuitable for people with celiac disease. Additionally, people who do not take gluten or follow gluten-free diets for personal reasons should avoid eating Plant based Turkey.Plant based Turkey has a fair amount of lipid or fats, which can cause plaque buildup in the blood vessels. This clogging of arteries and vessels will harm the heart and cause health complications.The biggest nutrition worry regarding store-bought Plant based Turkey is the high sodium content. Too much sodium leads to high blood pressure, fluid imbalance, and weight gain.The high carb content of Plant based Turkey makes it unsuitable for keto diets. People trying to lose weight should avoid Plant based Turkey as it hinders fat burning for energy.Plant based Turkey might contain additives and preservatives for stabilisation, adding flavour, or changing its consistency. However, these additives cause side effects, including dizziness, nausea, weight gain, and decreased nutrient absorption.  

The HealthifyMe Note

Plant based Turkey can have harmful effects on the body if taken in excess quantities. However, eating Plant based Turkey in moderation and as a part of a balanced diet will not affect health negatively. Therefore, you can make Plant based Turkey by choosing the best ingredients for a more nutritious meal. 

Conclusion

Plant based Turkey can be an alternative meat option for those who want a healthier diet. It contains protein and fibre, thanks to its soy content. This meatless turkey substitute is suitable for vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians. Most meat substitutes in markets are highly processed and full of artificial fillers. Therefore, homemade Plant based Turkey is healthier than Plant based Turkey roast pre-made at the store. While Plant based Turkey has a few nutritional benefits, you need to eat it in moderation as part of a healthy diet. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Are Plant based Turkey products healthy?

A. Plant based Turkey is made from organically sourced products like soybean and brown rice. Most of the ingredients used to make it are natural and healthy. As a result, Plant based Turkey has a high nutritional value with 15g of protein, 8 g of fibre, and 24g of carbs per 100g. The product’s additional nutrients and minerals are calcium and iron. However, Plant based Turkey does contain lipid fats and a high sodium content which is harmful to health. Therefore, eating it in moderation is the best way to receive its health benefits. 

Q. Is Plant based Turkey processed food?

A. Plant based Turkey is a processed food since it comes from a factory. It comes as processed packaged foods in stores. However, you can also try to replicate it at home to avoid eating processed food.

Q. How many carbs are in a Plant based Turkey?

A. Plant based Turkey has a rich carb content. According to the USDA, 100 g of Plant based Turkey contains around 24g of carbohydrates. Therefore, the meal will have a much higher carb content if you cook Plant based Turkey with other carb-rich ingredients. 

Q. Is Tofurkey a complete protein?

A. While most plant-based proteins are considered incomplete proteins, soy is an exception to this fact. Soy products are considered complete proteins with all the nine amino acids required by the body. However, do not overeat Plant based Turkey thinking about its soy content. It would help to balance various proteins to get all the nine amino acids while having a healthy diet.

Q. Does Plant based Turkey have nitrates?

A. Nitrates are unfortunately present in all processed food. For example, Plant based Turkey, processed food made in a factory, has some trace of nitrates. However, it does not have high nitrates like other processed meat products.

Q. Is Plant based Turkey a keto?

A. Plant based Turkey contains about 24 g of carbs per 100 g serving, which means the product is rich in this particular nutrient. High-carb food is not suitable for keto diets. Too many carbs in Plant based Turkey will hinder fat burning, which is the primary goal of having keto diets. Therefore, people who follow keto diets must avoid Plant based Turkey.

Q. Is Plant based Turkey seitan?

A. Seitan is made from gluten which gets sourced from wheat. And Plant based Turkey does contain wheat gluten in its ingredients. Therefore it is a seitan food. In addition, most artificially created meat products or plant-based meat substitutes are seitan and contain gluten.

Q. How many calories are in a slice of Plant based Turkey?

A. A single 100g slice of Plant based Turkey contains about 188 calories. If you cook the Plant based Turkey with other ingredients, the calorie count will rise to a whopping 300-350 calories.

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