Turns Out, You Can Make Meat Out of Oats
Gold&Green makes vegan meat out of oats. Pulled Oats™ are easy to prepare and designed to replace virtually any source of protein.
Charlotte Pointing, Live Kindly
November 6, 2019
When you think of oats, meat might not be the first food that crosses your mind. It’s likely you associate the grain with breakfast cereal or, more recently, delicious dairy-free milk. But oats are versatile. They can be transformed into many things, including protein-rich vegan meat.
Finnish food design entrepreneur Maija Itkonen and food scientists Reetta Kivelä and Zhong-Qing Jiang understand the potential of oats better than anyone. Together, they founded Gold&Green. The vegan brand makes meat out of oats, no animals required.
Gold&Green’s “revolutionary” Pulled Oats™ aren’t ultra-processed. They’re made from just five simple ingredients — oats, canola oil, pea protein, fava bean protein, and salt. The product is made by creating a “pulled” fibrous structure with the oats and legumes. To achieve the meat-like texture, Gold&Green use mechanical processes, including mixing, pressing, and heating.
Some vegan meat products are designed to replace a specific form of protein. Quorn pieces are designed specifically to replace chicken, for example. Beyond Meat makes “bleeding” burgers to directly replace beef. But Pulled Oats™ is a little different; it’s designed to replace virtually any source of protein.
Gold&Green told LIVEKINDLY, “while Pulled Oats™ can be used in many recipes instead of beef, pork, or chicken, it’s not meant to exactly mimic any one type of meat.”
“This desire to create a delicious plant-based protein that is not tied to a specific animal or mocking a cut of meat is exactly what inspired the co-founders,” it continued. “Instead, Pulled Oats™ is a delicious, climate-friendly plant protein that stands on its own.”
‘Excellent Texture and Taste’
Gold&Green wants to give people a product that’s easy to prepare and tastes even better than meat. The brand states on its website, “forget ‘meh’ and ‘just ok.’ meals made with Pulled Oats™ will tickle your taste buds and make your mouth water.”
It’s a bold statement, but the brand has proof to back it up. Earlier this year, it taste-tested its Pulled Oats™ Meze Balls and Miniburgers at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. The verdict? Meat-eaters loved it. Ninety-four percent of those who tried it — 59 percent were flexitarian and 22 percent were meat-lovers — said they would recommend Pulled Oats™to a friend.
One cowboy at the event told Gold&Green, “I usually don’t like vegetarian products that try to imitate meat. But this one had excellent texture and taste. I really love your product.”
If you’re suitably intrigued, Pulled Oats™ is currently on sale in supermarkets across the Netherlands and Finland. Next year, the plant-based product will be available in select U.S. restaurants, and soon, potentially U.S. retailers too.
If you live in the UK, there’s a chance you may have already tasted Pulled Oats™. In May, Mexican-inspired fast-food chain Taco Bell launched the limited-edited Edgy Veggie Taco — made with Pulled Oats™ — in honor of National Vegetarian Week. Itkonen said in a statement at the time, “we are very happy to combine Taco Bell’s experience in taste with our high-quality plant-based protein.”
After the successful pilot in the UK, Taco Bell decided to add Pulled Oats™ to the menu in all of its 53 restaurants in Spain. Taco Bell Spain now offers Pulled Oats™ as one of its vegetarian menu options.
As well as tacos, Pulled Oats™ can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, add the vegan meat to your next bolognese or lasagna. If Thai is more your thing, try it in Pad Thai. If you love Korean, add it to Bibimbap. Want to keep it simple? Add Pulled Oats™ to a salad or even make it into a sloppy joe.
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