When Quorn came onto the market, it offered vegetarians a choice of different products which gave them a great supply of flavors, rich in protein and low in fat. The product range available from Quorn includes varieties which use the basis of looking and tasting like meats without the cruelty involved in actually killing animals. Quorn isn’t meat. Although many would argue and say “Why would vegetarians want a food that imitates meat?” the fact of the matter is that up until recently most vegetarian foods were relatively tasteless. Quorn provides a range of foods which has flavor and which can be used as main course meals, supplemented with a choice of fresh vegetables and sauces.
What is Quorn made from?
There are many who question this, as it’s a relatively new food. Some think that Quorn is a little like Soy, but they’d be wrong. Its flavor is more delicious. Its texture is different. It’s calorie content is less. So what is it? Truth be told, it comes from the mushroom family, and is a mycoprotein. Still none the wiser? Within the fungus family, Fusarium venenatum is a very high fiber fungus which has been found to give good nutritional value and in fact has been compared with truffles and such delicacies. Manufacturers have found that by adding glucose and minerals, nitrogen and oxygen to this fungus, what they produced was something now labeled as mycoprotein.
Due to the fine strands that this fungus is known for, the composition of Quorn is very similar to that of meat, and the flavors which can be used to enhance both the taste and the presentation of the product have made it a winner with vegetarians.
The health benefits of Quorn are such that it helps to keep cholesterol levels in check. In fact, replacing meat with Quorn will keep fat content to a minimum, since the fat within Quorn is already less than that of meat. Another advantage is that Quorn is filling and thus less is needed to sate the appetite. The fiber within Quorn provides this filling feeling and also aids good transit of foods, making it a great regular contributor to good stomach health.
Another area where this has been shown to be beneficial to health is that Quorn users appear to have more stable body glucose levels.
So what is Quorn when you buy it?
The product itself has been shaped into many formats, and flavorings added to imitate different meat products. Chicken pieces for example, are just Quorn, but can be added to stews or casseroles to bulk out a vegetable stew into a “meat” style meal, making it more substantial for the vegetarian. Quorn sausages are shaped into sausage shapes and cook in a very similar manner to original sausages. The beef steaks have had added peppers and flavorings to imitate beef, and have been shaped into small steaks suitable for frying.
One thing to look out for when buying Quorn products is any allergy to wheat or any of the products used to produce the breadcrumbs used on chicken nibbles and escalopes. Apart from the ingredients shown above, Quorn is basically the pure product from the fungi, though shaped into more traditionally acceptable meat shapes for recognition purposes.
A nut allergy is another to be aware of when purchasing the Quorn nut roasts, though these are clearly labeled as having nut content.
For an alternative to meat, the Quorn range of fungus based products come in frozen format, and do have date limits which should be respected. These products do not keep well in the refrigerator and instructions for their use should always be adhered to, in order to gain maximum health benefits. For the amino acids which may be lacking from the diet, Quorn offers ample of these and may just help to balance the diet of those vegetarians or non vegetarians who want to ensure that their amino acid levels are correct. The products may resemble meat, but indeed this fungus is very clever at taking on a disguise that is suited to all ages and all tastes.