Tofu, Seitan & Co.? Meat substitute under the microscope

The alternative to meat does not necessarily have to be pressed with additives. There are enough healthy plants that can land on your plate instead of steak, goulash or grilled sausages. Here are the most popular ones.

Meat substitutes? Why not eat meat immediately?

The term meat replacement is often fundamentally negative. Why should you replace something if you can also have the original? There are many Reasons to restrict or give up meat consumptionEveryone has to make a very personal decision. This includes health aspects such as high cholesterol or other discomfort caused by too many unsaturated fatty acids. Also who one diet eliminating meat products can often save a lot of calories.

Besides, there are more and more people coming out Environmental or animal welfare reasons want to live vegetarian or vegan. And moreover, the occasional enjoyment of an alternative is not necessarily linked to a general meat boycott. A dish without meat to cook contributes to Diversity of the diet If you like to try something new, you can occasionally fall back on a herbal alternative product.

Roughly speaking, meat alternatives are vegetable foods that try to digest the meat product in Taste, mouthfeel or protein content imitate. It should not be about highly processed finished products, but simply about plants that taste delicious and can act as a substitute for meat by the variety of their preparation options and their healthy ingredients.


The best known and most frequently offered meat substitute consists of soybeans, The legumes resemble meat especially in their high protein content and can be enjoyed in various forms.

Often soy products are in the criticism, as for the cultivation Rainforests cleared and the soya plant often genetically modified is. It must be said that the soy products to be purchased from us for the most part Organic quality and grown in Europe. In addition, only about 1% of the world's soybean harvest accounts for food such as tofu. The the largest part is processed into animal feed, Genetically modified foods may not be sold in Germany without labeling, but for meat products, feeding with such substances need not be specified.


The most important thing in the preparation of tofu is a tasty-spicy marinade that gives it flavor.In China, tofu, also known as soy cheese, has been a staple food for hundreds of years. He is going out pureed soybeans manufactured. These are mixed with water to soy milk, which then? similar to cheese making? coagulates and becomes a solid mass.

Tofu contains a lot of protein and provides all amino acids essential for the human body with a very high biological value. In addition, the soy cheese is waiting B vitamins, minerals such as iron and calcium and low calorie density on. Tofu contains only 1/3 calories of lean chicken meat.

Naturtofu is the basic variant, which is characterized by a neutral taste and a rather soft consistency. Season and marinate is therefore the alpha and omega in the preparation! To do this, the tofu should be squeezed out first to make it receptive to spices and marinade. If you have time, you can really enjoy the marinated tofu let a day passto give it a delicious spicy taste. Oil in the marinade is counterproductive because it covers the tofu like a shell, which can no longer absorb the spices. For example, it works better with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or soy sauce. Tofu is suitable for example instead of minced meat for the preparation of vegetarian chili and Bolognesesauce or as scrambled eggs or Basis for burger patties, Try this tasty vegetable pan with tofu!

In the production of smoked the raw mass is treated with liquid smoke, resulting in a spicy smoke note developed. He is thus a little stronger than natural tofu and less watery. Smoked tofu tastes best spicy seared as veggie bacon, in slices as a sandwich or as Topping in salads as well as in pasta sauces. A small Tofukunde with helpful tips and information can be found here.


Tempeh consists of fermented soybeans and, with its nutty taste, fits crispy as a salad topping.A much less known soy product in Germany is Tempeh. He is originally from Indonesia and is part of the daily diet. It's about whole soybeans fermented with mushroom cultures, For production, the soybeans are cooked, peeled and then inoculated with mold fungus cultures and fermented for 2 days. The mushroom spreads and connects the beans to a solid mass.

Tempeh is very good digestible and through the fermentation process results in a high availability of nutrients, The nutritional values ​​are similar here as with tofu, with 19g / 100g Tempeh even has a higher protein content. Since it is a natural product, for the production of which the whole soybean is used, more nutrients are preserved.

Like Tofu, Tempeh convinces with its higher content than meat unsaturated fatty acids and is free of cholesterol.

Through the fermentation Tempeh gets one nutty taste and fits great fried in the Gemüsepfanne or to Asian dishes, but is also suitable as Bread covering or soup insert.


Because of its meat-like consistency Seitan can be prepared, for example as a vegetarian schnitzel or medallion.Seitan is about extracted wheat protein, By washing out wheat starch, the starch is removed, leaving behind the water-insoluble protein. Since this is pure gluten, people with an intolerance should better leave the hands of Seitan products. Seitan has its origins with Asian monks who have been making it as part of their vegetarian diet for centuries.

Unfortunately, many of the wheat contained in the manufacturing process Lost vitamins and minerals and the remaining protein is less useful to the body than for example soy protein. The big plus of Seitan is his fibrous, very meaty consistency, He is therefore well suited to produce in a dish the mouthfeel of meat.

Seitan is basically tasteless, who produces it himself, should therefore already in the production on one good seasoning pay attention, which may also be a bit stronger than usual. Who does not want to do so much work, can buy in many supermarkets or online Seitan powder from wheat gluten. This only needs to be seasoned, shaped and cooked according to your own preferences. Seitan lends itself very well to its meaty texture Vegetarian grilled steaks, sausages or sliced ​​meat as well as cold cuts.


Lupine plants are beautiful to look at, but edible is only the sweet lupine, a breeding without bitter substances.The lupine, which is also known under the name Wolfsbohne or Feigbohne, is native to Central Europe and graces many front gardens with its colorful flower. Like all legumes, lupins are also important for agriculture, as their cultivation contributes to the regeneration and loosening of farmland. By the regionality There are no long transport routes for lupine products, they are often in Organic quality available and are not genetically modified.

As well as beans and peas, the lupine contains basically bittersthat are toxic to humans. With the lupine However, there is a breeding without these harmful substances. That's what lupine products are for better tolerated and less bloating than other legumes, Lupine seeds have one Protein content of unbelievable 40% and contain all the essential amino acids, also low in fat and high in fiber as well Iron, calcium, magnesium and E-vitamins.

Similar to soy products, there are now many in the supermarket Meat substitutes like to buy burgers, schnitzel, sausages or lupine-based spreads. Also Milk, yogurt and ice cream from the legumes is coming and offers an alternative for people with lactose intolerance. In organic markets, lupine seeds are also present in brine, which can be used like beans. There are even made from roasted lupine seeds coffeewhich is then decaffeinated.

Out Lupine snails - flakes or meal But you can also make meat alternatives yourself and refine to your own taste. It is about full-fledged plant productsbecause all the lupine seeds are processed. Lupine meal tastes delicious as breakfast porridge and offers an interesting alternative to oats, but is also suitable instead of minced meat vegetarian vegetable filling, Lupine flour can be used for gluten-free cheeks be used and replace 10-15% of the flour, as well as vegan egg substitute in baked goods.


The immature harvested jackfruit is characterized by a fibrous texture reminiscent of pork.The jackfruit grows in India and Southeast Asia and can weigh up to 40kg. In order to use it as a meat alternative, however, she is in immature condition harvested at 2-3kg weight. So she is not sweet and can be marinated and seasoned at will. Due to the far-away growing areas fall for jackfruit products always long transport routes and thus a high CO2 consumption, what should be considered when buying.

With its nutritional value, the jackfruit can not shine, because these are similar to those of a potato and therefore have nothing to do with meat. She scores points with her fibrous texture reminiscent of pork, Therefore, it usually becomes too Vegetarian Pulled Pork, Sliced ​​or Goulash processed. There are jackfruit pieces to buy inserted in cans or as ready-made veggie products. Since the unripe fruit is almost tasteless, the pieces must be good like tofu seasoned and marinated become.However, this results in a lot of creative freedom and the jackfruit can be adjusted depending on the dish, for example, Asian, Oriental or spicy.

What you do not think directly

Because of their high protein content, legumes are perfect as a meat substitute and offer a great variety.Meatless cooking and occasionally a vegetarian dish on the table is guaranteed with the presented alternatives a delicious variety. For the sake of completeness, there are now a few suggestions for herbal products that are already known to everyone, but also great to use as a meat substitute.

beans There are thousands of colors and shapes, so there is something for every taste. you are protein and nutrient rich and are not only useful as an ingredient in salads and vegetable pans, but also great for making vegetarian burger patties, Also lenses belong to the legumes and provide up to 30% protein as well as a lot of fiber and a low glycemic index, Red lentils can be used, for example, to prepare Bolognese sauces and lasagna fillings be used.

From beans or greens and various vegetables you can make great vegetarian burger patties.Spelled harvested immature a few hundred years ago out of necessity is now known as Grünkern designated. The cereal product is easier to digest as a normal spelled and offers one good nutrient availability, You can also find in Grünkern B vitamins and many minerals ? It is therefore perfect for a healthy, wholesome diet. You can make it delicious, for example Spreads or patties and, incidentally, support regional agriculture.

Surprisingly, too mushrooms Great to be used as a vegan meat substitute. Many mushrooms get a meaty consistency when roasted and bring in vegetarian dishes with their texture a great mouthfeel. Particularly well suited Chanterelles or oyster mushrooms, large postage papers also give a delicious Burger patty off, which is certainly an eye-catcher.

These foods are found in many people anyway in the pantry or land now and then in the shopping cart. you are cheap, healthy and varied and if used properly in a dish, it can be nutritious, filling and, above all, delicious without any meat. Just try it!

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