Let’s make one important thing really clear: this story is not going to provide you with license to bite into a Slim Jim inside the name of nutrition. But beef jerky is absolutely transitioning from a service station bad habit into a trendy health food.
Because the snack darling of the Paleo Diet, cured meat could possibly be the new kale chip. The proof is within Paleo bloggers like Stupid, Easy, Paleo and Nom, Nom, Paleo posting about making it themselves, as well as the most companies now selling their better-for-you jerkies to healthy eaters all over the country.
And we’re not discussing it being available only at interstate truck stops. Krave Jerky counts healthy-living fanatic Jillian Michaels among its ambassadors and sells its extensive selection of flavors at discerning national chains like Whole-foods and yoga festivals like Wanderlust. The jerky is even infiltrating the healthy city scene, with indie brands like filet-mignon-inspired Three Jerks in La and SlantShack in New York.
“Portable protein is actually difficult to get in a wholesome source-jerky is ideal once you don’t have enough time to grill up a steak or sear a chicken breast,” says Whole30 co-founder Melissa Hartwig, a sports nutritionist and the co-author in the new book Whole30: The 30-Day Help guide Total Health and Food Freedom, out in April.
It is essential to learn about the beef jerky homemade is that it has little in normal with the previously mentioned Slim Jim-outside of, you know, the meat.
This version is usually organic or grass-fed, and ingredient lists are free of added sugar, sodium, MSG and preservatives. Three Jerks even switched while using soy sauce to tamari to help make its products gluten-free.
And although traditional jerkies are infamously cured with nitrates and nitrites-compounds with lots of purported health risks (and considered “probably carcinogenic to humans” with the International Agency for Research on Cancer)-these are typically a lot more like the steak you may eat at a restaurant…just dehydrated, baked, or cured using natural ingredients.
Since eating Paleo is centered on returning to basics, making jerky in the home is simply another way to satisfy that urge, much like, say, fermenting. But for those who are a bit lazier (or busier), the newest foodie flair this crop of brands offers is actually a super flavorful bonus.
“It’s not any longer this dry, tough strip of plain old meat,” says Hartwig, who’s a fan of and possesses partnered together with the brand Primal Pacs. “There are a multitude of varieties of dexqpky90 jerky nowadays, it is possible to satisfy any taste or texture preference.”
I certainly experienced that although taste testing (together with the generous assistance of my significant other). These jerkies are chewier and more tender compared to overly processed version. With brands like SlantShack that use 100-percent grass-fed beef, the flavor is rich and meaty, and so they then in the culinary ante with flavors like Vermont Maple Glaze and Garlic Powder.
Krave not just has unique flavor pairings, but they use meats other than beef, too (their Turkey Basil Citrus was one of our favorites). And Primal Pacs even mixes its jerky with ingredients like dried fruit and nuts, so that it is a sort of meaty trail mix (in the yummiest way possible).