Meat Substitutes for Vegetarians

Have you always wanted to become a vegetarian, but there is something that is holding you back? Do you find the idea of not eating any meat unenticing? Don’t worry because there are so many like you who have the same experience. In fact if the top reasons why people fail to switch to a meatless diet are listed, being unwilling to stop eating meat would probably be at the top spot.

An Age Old Problem

Don’t ever think that you are unique position if you are not ready to lose the meat in your diet. That’s because people have dealt with that problem for centuries. Practitioners of different religions that recommend a meatless diet has tried dealing with the problem by coming up with meat substitutes. There are also more modern meat substitutes.

Meat Substitutes

Meat substitutes are foods that are used for replacing the meat found in the normal human diet. The main thing that these substitutes have in common with the real thing is the texture. They have the same chewy texture. Most meat substitutes would also look like the real thing when cooked and added on to dishes. Achieving the same kind of taste is more difficult to achieve, but with the adding of some spices and flavourings, the real taste of the substitute can be masked.

We have listed here some of the more common meat substitutes that are used today.

Natural Meat Substitutes

These are the natural products that can be used as a form of meat substitute. Usually, these produce would require no extra processing except for cooking in order to make it appear like meat in dishes. Mushrooms are the most common example of this. Some mushrooms have a naturally meat like texture. They also have a natural flavour of their own which is sometimes similar to meat. When added on some dishes, the pieces of mushrooms can be made to look like real meat.


Tofu was invented by Buddhist monks in China many centuries ago. These monks wanted to create a substitute for meat and so they experimented with soy beans. They were able to come up with tofu which can be made into all kinds of shapes and sizes. When tofu is deep fried, it can achieve the texture and consistency of real meat. It is also very nutritious. Tofu is heavy with protein, making it a valuable source for that nutrient among vegetarians.


Gluten is the protein component that can be made from wheat and other similar species of grain. The most common way of making gluten is by turning flour into a dough and then washing the starch away in water. As the process of washing is continued, the protein component will be left behind as the starch from the flour is removed. Coloring and flavour can be added to make the gluten look more like real meat.

These are just some of the more common meat substitutes that are used today by vegetarians all over the world.

Recommended Reading