I finally got to try Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Jerky! Here's how I thought Gardein jerky stacked up vs. other vegan jerky that I've tried.
If you've ever traveled with me, you probably know that I love jerky! It's my go-to plane and road snack. Will Gardein jerky be in my travel bags in the future? Let's find out!
Gardein Jerky review
Dave and I tried the Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Jerky for the pod. I could only find the Original flavor at the store, so that's the one we ate.
I should say right up front that, while I am something of a vegan jerky superfan, Dave is basically the opposite. He was not excited to eat jerky with me.
Gardein jerky is very firm, which is what you want in a jerky! Some plant-based jerkies are on the soft side, but Gardein nailed the texture, just like you'd expect they would.
Dave actually said he wished it were even more firm, but I think he was being a little bit picky there.
Flavor-wise, I wish I'd picked up the Teriyaki flavor to try, because I think a little bit of sweetness would have really amped up the flavor of this jerky. It is very salty, even for jerky.
Even with the saltiness, I still like it. And even Dave thought it was great! He doesn't like jerky, and he asked for a second piece to eat.
Saltiness aside, it had a nice, savory flavor, and we both kept eating more. For me to eat more jerky isn't a big deal, but Dave asking fro seconds speaks volumes.
I'd definitely get this again and am excited to try their Teriyaki and their Hot and Spicy flavors, as soon as I can find them!
Where to buy it
Gardein jerky is starting to pop up all over, at least here in Atlanta! I've seen it at Whole Foods, Buford Highway Farmer's Market, and at Kroger.
What's interesting is that I didn't see all of those individual stores listed on their store locator when I searched my area, only some of them.
You can also order Gardein Jerky on Amazon, if it's not available in stores where you live.
Ingredients and nutrition
The packaging for this vegan jerky touts that it's non-GMO, with 12 grams of protein per serving. A package says that it contains two servings.
Jerky is always going to be salty, and Gardein Jerky is no exception with 26% of your daily sodium in a package. I was surprised to see that it doesn't contain any fiber at all! Most plant-based jerky contains at least a few grams, though I guess I'm not looking to jerky to fulfill much in the way of nutrition anyway.
Calorie-wise, you're looking at 80 calories in a serving or 190 if you go for it and eat the whole bag.
But what's inside the bag? Here's the full ingredients list from the Gardein website:
Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Soy Protein Isolate, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce, Water, Soybeans, Wheat, Salt, Yeast Extract, Salt, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Less Than 2% Of: Spices, Onion Powder, Barley Malt Extract, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Cultured Celery Powder, Celery Powder, Sea Salt, Canola Oil, White Distilled Vinegar, Beet Juice (Color), Citric Acid, Gum Arabic, Pea Protein, Ascorbic Acid
Overall, pretty non-scary ingredients!
The base for the jerky is vital wheat gluten -- the main ingredient in seitan -- and soy protein. Seitan naturally has a nice, toothsome texture, which makes it ideal for something like a jerky.
A lot of the list is just herbs, spices, and natural colors with a few thickeners and extra protein from peas at the end of the list.
More Gardein reviews
We live trying the latest from Gardein! Here are some of the other products of theirs that Dave and I have reviewed:
- Gardein Asian-Style Chicken Fried Rice
- Gardein canned soups
- Gardein Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders
- Gardein Steak and Eggs Breakfast Bowl
- Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets
Where to listen
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Got a favorite vegan treat that you think we should cover on the podcast? Send your suggestions to [email protected]!
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