I have never been one to follow trends, always preferred to be a bit different to the majority but its hard to ignore the Vegan trend we are all witnessing grow at a rapid rate.
The number of vegans quadrupled in the UK between 2014 - 2019 with there now being approximately 600'000 vegans in the UK, almost 50% of these converting in the year 2018 when vegan was named the largest food trend of the year.
I decided to research further into the benefits of going vegan on a personal, environmentally and animal welfare level and found many pros to converting:
- Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual's carbon footprint from food by up to 73%
- It Can Help You Lose Excess Weight
- It's Linked to a Lower Risk of Heart Disease
- Vegan food can boost your mood
- Your skin may benefit
So I have decided to give Veganuary a go and review how it effects both my health and my mood, however! a chef, I wanted to experiment in this arena rather than buy from the shelf.
After seeing the number of vegan meat alternative burgers on the market I thought it was time to give it a go and developed what my family and I thought was a very delicious burger without compromising any flavour or texture. Having at a leading meat burger manufacturer for several years I know a good burger too!
I created the burger using:
- Soy protein
- Wild mushrooms
- Shio koji
- Herbarom AF 12
- Citrus Fibre
I've always hated the aftertaste associated with Soy, the hexanol taste that leaves your mouth feeling dry and metallic. With this in mind I wanted to test the power of Shio Koji, masking this flavour to allow the true flavour of my burger to come through.
Shio Koji also has high levels of naturally glutamates, this is what us chefs know as 'Umami', giving the product that savoury, salty flavour without adding any free salt. when married with the wild mushroom; also offering umami, we get a double hit of this incredible flavour making the burger incredibly full of flavour and really moreish!
I added Herbarom to give my product the colour of meat, I didn't want a pale burger which I would find unappealing. Herbarom is a natural product extracted from Apples and is the perfect substitute for caramels & Malt extract giving the product a natural look. This used in combination with beetroot extract gives the burger the pink meat colour, along with the brown cooked colour creating the perfect meat free burger visually.
I wanted my burger to be healthy, but didn't want to compromise on the 'fatty' mouth feel you get when eating a beef burger. To achieve this i added Citrus fibre to my product. I experimented and found that a citrus fibre solution added in at 8% offered a real fat like mimetic to the burger and the moisture was not lost during the cooking process.
The finished result went down very well within my family. The burger was juicy, flavoursome and had the texture of a meat burger. We were all pleasantly surprised with the finished product and are looking forward to future home creations!
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