When you think of Birds Eye, their frozen peas and fish fingers probably come to mind. But I bet you’d never think of plant-based products!
This post has been sponsored by Birds Eye.
Well, let me tell you a little secret. I’ve been experimenting with Birds Eye’s range of plant-based products – aka meatless mince, burgers and meatballs – and they’re jolly good!
In the past, I’ve not been a fan of a plant-based, or vegan, diet. I really feel that you need the nutrients from meat and fish, such as vitamin B12, iron, zinc and omega-3. Also, vegan meat-substitutes are often highly processed, which are not foods we should be eating more of. In contrast, most red meat in Australia – such as beef, lamb and kangaroo – is grass fed and constitutes a single food, with all that this implies.
I’ve tried these three newish offerings from Birds Eye’s Plant Based range (mince, meatballs and burgers) and I have to say, they’re delicious. And I’m not just saying that because this is a paid review. I genuinely believe it. Here’s what I discovered about these products. They are all based on protein coming from soy, wheat or pea so are different to those made from quorn which comes from a fungus. I have featured quorn before.
There are many added flavours from yeast (a natural source of iron), yeast extract (a little like Vegemite which has a lot of umami flavour to it), salt, hydrolysed vegetable protein, onion, garlic, not forgetting the smoke flavour as well as flavour overall.
You can use this “mince” in place of beef or lamb mince, with no issues whatsoever. It makes a super Bolognese sauce. The mince didn’t taste fake or plant-y, but it did feel a little weird to be eating meatless “meat”.
The “meatballs” tasted OK.
They weren’t as light and fluffy as those I would make with beef mince, but were still acceptable. Each packet contains about 30 small meatballs. They did taste somewhat bland, even with a tomato, herb and garlic sauce. I decided they would perhaps be a good alternative to falafel on pita bread with hummus and yoghurt.
The “burgers” were indistinguishable from meat burgers, once combined with onion, beetroot and tomato (my usual burger additions) in a bun.
Here are the nutrition details for the plant-based mince, which I like and will continue to buy:
Here are the nutrition figures based on a 100 g serve (each 300 g pack contains 3 serves):
|Fat, saturated, g||1.1|
Health Star Rating
Not surprisingly, this mince shows a Health Star rating of 4.5 out of 5, which is very high. The Burger and the Meatballs both sported 4 out of 5.
Water, plant based protein (25%), canola oil, flavour, yeast extracts, maltodextrin, salt, sugar, hydrolysed vegetable protein, yeast, vegetables (onion, garlic), smoke flavour, food acid (tartaric), pepper, mineral (zinc), vitamin (B12).
All these products are quick and convenient. The nice thing is that you can cook them from frozen (see picture of the frozen mince below), and there’s no wastage.
Some 60–70% of the ingredients in the products are Australian ingredients, with 4 out of the 5 products manufactured in Australia. The manufacturer told me that Birds Eye are working towards everything being sourced in Australia, saying, “We know this is important to consumers, and we are working on plans for Australian solutions.
“Some of the ingredients and technologies used to produce these ingredients are not currently available in Australia, therefore we are required to import them.”
The packaging is either a cardboard box, which is fully recyclable, OR a heavy-duty plastic bag with a gusset, which can be returned to the store. The packaging explains how to recycle the box or bag.
The recycling information is clear and easy to understand. It removes confusion, saves you time and reduces waste going to landfill.
You can also recycle the bags.
There are five options in this range, including Chicken-style Tenders and Chicken-style Strips (not reviewed here). You can find more about this range on the Birds Eye website.
Each packet contains a QR code, which you can scan for more recipes. The Burger code, for instance, takes you to the Birds Eye website, where you’ll find helpful how-to videos and an ebooks of recipes, plus the ingredients list and nutrition figures. In the 18-page ebook, I liked the Mediterranean Burger and Tortilla Wrap Burger recipes.
These are really good products to have in your freezer. Currently, they are only sold at Coles supermarkets and are well priced. They make an easy plant-based switch for the meals you love.
Related links / External websites