Gardein is a wholesome range of tasty plant-based foods with a meaty texture. It’s made from soy, wheat and pea proteins, vegetables and ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet and kamut®). It’s free of cholesterol, trans and saturated fats. Gardein is also animal and dairy free, meaning all Gardein products are vegan and certified by Vegan Action. They also only use ‘identity-preserved’ soy protein (which basically means, it helps to ensure us that our soy protein is not genetically modified). That being said, I was intrigued to try these faux chicken tenders.
gardein: water, soy protein isolate*, vital wheat gluten*, expeller pressed/canola oil, organic ancient grain flour (kamut ®, amaranth, millet, quinoa), natural flavor (from plant sources), modified vegetable gum, yeast extract, sea salt, organic cane sugar, potato starch, onion powder, garlic powder, pea protein, vinegar, carrot fiber, beetroot fiber, extractives of paprika and turmeric. seven grain breading: wheat flour*, water, rice flour, oat bran, oats, salt, sugar, spices, millet flour, amaranth flour, quinoa flour, kamut®, leavening (sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar), yeast, extractives of paprika. *Non-genetically engineered soy and wheat.
We chose to bake these in the oven to avoid having to fry them in a shallow pool of fat and they cooked up beautifully. I was impressed that the breading actual was crispy and the texture of the “meat” was fibrous/stringy (like chicken) and moist, it definitely feels like you’re chewing on the real deal. They are very lightly seasoned, so not overpowering at all, which I think would allow them to be used in a variety on dishes. My only qualm, and it’s one I have with just about all meat substitutes, is that there is a substantial amount of sodium and fat and this is to make them flavorful. A serving size, 2 pieces, has 4.5 grams of fat and 240 mg of sodium. That’s all dandy when you abide by the suggested serving size, but let’s face it, one can easily take down the bag in one meal.
I would totally recommend these, but this, like most meat alternatives, is a special occasion item and should be eaten sparingly. If you’re worried about your protein intake eat more leafy greens.