Vegetarian jerky sounds like a meat-lover's nightmare, but these soy-, seitan-, and mushroom-based snacks are packed with savory flavor.
The product: Primal Strips meatless jerky ($1.39; available at natural and mainstream stores nationwide)
The taste factor: I'm not a huge fan of regular beef jerky, so to avoid a biased opinion I left the tasting of this product to my vegetarian boyfriend. My boyfriend used to love Slim Jims, so he jumped at the chance to try meatless jerky.
His verdict? "Delicious," followed by "Where can I buy these?" He said they were packed with umami, a Japanese word that describes the meaty or savory taste found in food, and he said the Hot and Spicy variety had the best texture. Though the bars all had the meaty flavor, he said the seitan bars were slightly moister than typical jerkies.
The health factor: Each bar packs between 75 and 100 calories, with 2–3 grams of fat, and 6–10 grams of protein, making Primal Strips a great snack option. They're also made of mostly natural ingredients and non-GMO soy. The only downside is that each bar contains about 15% of your daily sodium allowance. High amounts of sodium may put you at risk for high blood pressure, other cardiovascular diseases, and even obesity, so if you have one of these bars, watch your salt intake for the rest of the day.
Editor's pick: Hot and spicy made with shiitake mushrooms
Why we love it: Vegetarians need protein too. These are great on-the-go meatless snacks. Just be sure to lay off the salty snacks for the rest of the day.