What the FLIK is... Plant-Based Seafood?
Plant-based seafood is a relatively new segment of the growing vegan and vegetarian food market.
Why Plant-Based Seafood?
With the growth of plant-forward diets, people are looking for additional meat-free alternatives. Plant-based seafood offers choices beyond meat and poultry substitutes. These alternatives also offer people with seafood allergies the opportunity to safely experience seafood. Finally sustainability is a growing concern as it relates to our oceans and certain species of fish. For over fished species like tuna, plant-based seafood my offer a solution to the diminishing population.
What’s in it?
Replicating the taste and texture of seafood has been more challenging for producers then other protein alternatives like beef and chicken. The many varieties of seafood commonly consumed has offered an opportunity to use different combinations of plant foods in the development process. The most common ingredients currently found in plant-based seafood are beans, legumes, seaweed, algae, yeast, food starches, and vegetable oils.
How does it compare to actual seafood?
We won’t compare taste and texture – we’ll leave that up to you! Let’s instead look at nutritional value. Two of the most popular seafood choices consumed in the United States are shrimp and tuna fish so we will look at those.
New Wave Shrimp® is a plant-based alternative made primarily from seaweed and mung beans. It is sold “cooked” and only needs to be reheated. When compared to traditional cooked shrimp (like shrimp cocktail), one of the significant differences is the amount of protein. Traditional shrimp has more than three times the amount of protein per serving. The traditional shrimp also contains less than one-third the amount of sodium. This should be kept in mind when preparing meals with a plant-based seafood alternative.
Good Catch’s seafood free tuna is made with their 6 Plant Protein Blend® (pea, soy, chickpea, fava, lentil, and navy bean) along with seaweed and yeast. Similar to the plant-based shrimp, the fish-free tuna has a lower protein content – although not by much – and a higher sodium content, almost double the amount.
Other than a significant amount of sodium, which can be mitigated by serving with other ingredients that are low in sodium, plant-based seafood can be nutritionally comparable to traditional seafood.
Most plant-based seafood are found in the freezer section of your grocery store or specialty market.
At FLIK Hospitality Group we believe in great food, great service, and great people. Our wellness first approach ensures our food supports healthy and delicious choices, specially curated by our team of culinary experts and registered dietitians. At FLIK, we believe in seasonality in sourcing our ingredients and providing a customized approach to the culinary and hospitality needs of each client. Our dedication to providing quality hospitality service is unparalleled in the industry.
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