Previously, vegan tuna meant getting a tin of chickpeas, a jar of mayonnaise without an egg, celery maybe, and mashing it all up with a fork. Convenient? Yes. Delicious? Oh yes. But today, the plant-based food market has evolved to include vegan options for just about everything, including tuna which matches the taste and texture of the conventional version.
It’s time for vegan seafood
The vegan seafood market is changing so fast that it’s almost difficult to keep up with all the new releases. Not so long ago, the plant-based frozen section of the supermarket was dominated by burgers and other alternative beef products, with the occasional appearance of a fillet without fish. Now, there are several seafood options to choose from, and that’s good news for the oceans.
Like Netflix Seaspiracy Presented, many of the problems facing the world’s oceans relate to the global fishing industry.
The true scale of the problems facing the oceans cannot be broken down into a few words. But, in short, seafood production is the biggest source of plastic pollution in the oceans. This plastic – mostly ‘ghost gear’ like old fishing nets – is known to harm marine life and damage habitats like coral reefs, which are home to more species per unit area than any other marine habitat. According to UNEP, some of this plastic enters the food we eat through fish which take the plastic debris for a meal. There is also bycatch – that is, when unintentional species are caught in a net – and, contrary to popular belief, fish experience pain.
Fortunately, vegan seafood is easier to find than ever, ranging from fish sticks and crab cakes to shrimp and caviar. And, of course, tuna – both the type you’d want for sashimi and the flaky, versatile stuff out of a pocket or box.
If you’re still in love with chickpea tuna, we highly recommend making this pronto recipe, but if you’re keen to try new products, here are the best vegan tuna options on the market:
Good Catch Foods Plant Based Tuna
Founded by pioneer plant-based chefs and brothers Derek and Chad Sarno, Good Catch Foods Plant-Based Tuna is the result of years of DIY to perfect the texture and flavor of seafood. Good Catch makes its sound. tuna from a blend of six gluten-free pea proteins, soy concentrate, soy isolate, chickpea, faba and white beans. And, it contains seaweed oil, an ingredient derived from seaweed, to give it a fishy flavor.
Good Catch’s tuna comes in a one-serving sachet, which contains 14 grams of protein, and is available in three flavors: Naked in Water, Mediterranean and Oil & Herbs. It is available online or at Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, Tesco in the UK and other retailers.
Garden Gourmet Sensational Vuna
Sensational Vuna is a vegan tuna sold under the Nestlé’s Garden Gourmet brand. This vegan tuna comes in a glass jar, is made with just six ingredients, and relies on pea and wheat protein to mimic the flaky texture of tuna. According to Nestlé, its R&D team spent nine months making its product look and taste like tuna at its facilities in Switzerland, Germany and the United States.
It is currently available in around 600 Coop stores across Switzerland and will be rolled out in Germany this year, a Nestlé representative told LIVEKINDLY.
Loma Linda Tuno
Founded in 1933, the Loma Linda Food Company makes its vegan tuna, nicknamed “Tuno”, from soy protein, so it’s gluten-free. It’s available in several flavors, ranging from classics like spring water and lemon pepper to flavors inspired by East Asian cuisine: sriracha, Thai sweet pepper, and sesame ginger. It comes in a box or sachet, each of which contains about 8 grams of plant protein per serving, and it’s a source of vegan omega-3 fatty acid.
Tuno is available online or at Walmart, Wegmans, Sprouts and other retailers in the US and Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda and independent retailers in the UK.
Lily’s Vegan Pantry Tuna
Founded in 1994 as a small family business in the heart of New York’s Chinatown, Lily’s Vegan Pantry, formerly known as May Wah, has been specializing in meatless foods for decades. Its vegan gluten-free tuna is made from soy protein and contains 15 grams of protein per serving.
Sophie Toona’s kitchen
Made from pea protein, Sophie’s Kitchen Toona meets your soy and gluten free needs and contains 10 grams of protein per serving. It is available in two flavors, sea salt and black pepper, and is available online or at independent retailers in the United States.
New to the scene, California brand Jinka makes vegan tuna spreads that are perfect for anyone who needs a quick meal – just pair it with bread or crackers and you’re good to go. This fish-free tuna is made from a blend of soy and wheat, it contains 14 grams of protein per serving, and it also gives you the recommended daily intake of omega-3s from seaweed oil. It also comes in three flavors: Original, Spicy, and Lemon & Dill.
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