Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gluten-Free Organic Beef Jerky from Jerky Direct

Beef Jerky is something I do not eat often these days for two reasons: 1) many commercial brands use soy sauce that contain wheat (and thus gluten), and 2) after spending over 7 years of my life as a vegetarian back in the late 1990's, I just do not eat that much meat even now (I really struggle with the fact that eating meat implies killing animals).

But, that aside, I do appreciate good beef jerky on occasion if I can find a gluten-free jerky that I like. I recently came across some Gluten-Free Organic Beef Jerky from Jerky Direct (in particular their "Sweet n' Spicey" variety) that I was quite pleased with. You will see the somewhat prominent label of "Gluten-Free" that is requirement #1 for me to even try such a product:





I found this jerky rather enjoyable. The flavor, a combination of sweet and spicy just like the label indicates, was nice; not overpowering, not too sweet, not too spicy, but just right in my opinion. The jerky texture was also just right, meaty, but tender too (some types of jerky I have tried are either too soft, or too dried out).

Like most jerky, the core flavorings involve soy-sauce, but in the Jerky Direct product, that is wheat-free soy sauce (aka, Tamari); also some salt, paprika, apple vinegar, and presumably some peppers. Everything came together just right in this beef jerky variety. I now need to try some of their other flavors (they have quite a few on their website).


By comparison, I also on occasion have eaten the Whole Foods Organic Beef Jerky (their 365 Organic brand) - especially their "peppered" variety - which is gluten-free, and though it is good, I think I prefer the Jerky Direct Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky.

Either way, I still will not be eating much jerky, gluten-free or not, but when I do, I have some delicious options to choose from. The things I like most about jerky as a snack is that it is: 1) high protein; 2) stores well and stays fresh (unopened) for a couple year; 3) is highly portable and can be packed in a small area; and 4) low carb diet food is a nice offset to usual high-carb snack foods.

Bottom line: if you are a meat-eater and want a great tasting high-protein portable low-carb snack that fits your gluten-free diet, this may be a nice fit.

5 comments:

Liz said...

It's difficult to find portable, gluten-free protein sources -- thanks for posting this!

Allie said...

oooh, i love jerky! thanks for posting! trader joes makes a brand that is gluten free as well - although, their cross contamination issues always makes me wonder...

Anonymous said...

if you are in east texas and looking for this jerky, I found it at the Weisman center in Marshall Texas. I had no clue how many variations there were.

monanotlisa said...

Oh, man, thanks for confirming WF's 365 Organic is gf! It does NOT say so on the label, but the sticker in the market indicated it, and I checked the ingredients. Guess I'll see tomorrow...

Mike Eberhart said...

mona...
The WF 365 Jerky was GF when I wrote this article in 2009. I honestly have not had any in a couple years or even looked at the package (I went back to being mostly vegetarian for quite some time now). So, I sure hope it remains GF. Last I knew, Whole Foods also had a list of GF items available somewhere on their website (I'd expect a quick google-search should help locate it). m