Sunday, October 19, 2014
Product Review - Sweet Earth: Hickory and Sage Smoked Seitan Bacon...
Look out folks there’s a new vegan bacon in town! Sweet Earth Natural Foods has just come out with a Hickory and Sage Smoked Seitan Bacon, that’s pretty darn good. I don’t normally buy pre-packaged vegan bacon as I prefer to make it at home myself but you know how the novelty of a new item always makes me want to try it at least once.
Personally I think seitan is probably the best candidate for making the most realistic vegan bacon. Of course that doesn’t do much to help those who follow a gluten-free diet, but for the rest of us I think seitan makes for the closest and most accurate bacon texture. If you like soft - think wilted - chewy bacon, seitan can do it, if you like crispy hard bacon, seitan can do it, if you like something a little in-between seitan can do it. Where as Tempeh doesn’t really do ‘soft’ and tofu never does crispy without becoming super chewy. Shiitake, coconut, and eggplant bacon are all great as well, but none of them ever stack up texture wise. So Sweet Earth has really achieved something unique with their seitan bacon, the texture is fantastic, and the flavor is pretty darn good too. When they say smokey they mean smokey for sure! Though I didn’t taste much sage. Overall this is a very savory product and satisfying to the palate, although I think - since I like a bit of sweetness with my bacon - next time I’d drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the strips as they’re cooking.
Now the nitty-gritty nutritional details. For 2 slices of seitan bacon it’s 90 calories, 30 calories from fat. 7% sodium, 2% carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 1g fiber, 10g protein, 8% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, Iron and Calcium, 50% Vitamin E and also contains several B vitamins in varying percentages. Unfortunately this is not the most allergy-friendly product out there as it contains wheat, soy, and coconut, however the only soy listed on the ingredients list is soy sauce. The ingredients are pretty basic, mostly spices, maple syrup, a bit of sugar, wheat gluten, red beans, and buckwheat groats, and the product is non-gmo, with no nitrates. According to their website Sweet Earth also works hard to ensure their products are sustainable so you can feel good knowing that too.
For all the vegan bacon lovers out there, this is a nice addition to the vegan bacon market, and tastes great served up alongside a tasty tofu scramble. I enjoyed it drizzled in a bit of maple syrup served with the Tuscan Tofu Scramble from Chloe Coscarelli’s latest book “Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen.” My husband loved it too, saying it’s one of the best commercial vegan bacon’s he’s tried, and I’d have to agree. Though honestly when it comes to any commercial vegan bacon I prefer my own homemade stuff, but this is a nice change of pace once in a while or great if you don’t want to go to the trouble of DIY.
My only real complaint is the packaging is horrible to open. It's like opening a tempeh package. You need to get our your scissors and because of all the marinade it just makes a freaking mess. So be warned.
If you want to learn more about Sweet Earth you can check them out Here.
PS: One of the craziest things about this bacon is that when you cook it, it actually smells like bacon. It’s not like when you cook tofu and tempeh or other vegan bacon’s and you just smell that salty, blackening smell. This actually smelled like bacon - but without the grease. Weird.