Vegetarian Friendly: Contains No Meat or Animal Fat
These days it seems like animal-derived ingredients are in everything, from lard in pie crusts to beef stock in vegetable soups and even chicken or beef fat in mashed potatoes or french fries! Sometimes it’s hard for a vegetarian to escape all the hidden meat ingredients in foods, but here is an interesting find: Betty Crocker’s Bac-Os contains no meat or animal fat. Something from a mainstream company to simulate meat without any meat! Fantastic.
What would anyone use Bac-Os for? On the side of the container it notes that Bac-Os may be good on “salads, potatoes, eggs, vegetables, casseroles, and other dishes for an extra crunch!” It suggests visiting Betty Crocker’s website (www.BettyCrocker.com) for more recipes and ways to use this product.
The product I purchased comes in a plastic container of 4.1 ounces (116 grams) with a green screw-off lid. The serving size one might use is not incredibly large, so this container lasts a long time, usually several months in our home, but we don’t use this product very frequently.
On the front of the container it reveals that this product contains no saturated fat nor any cholesterol and that it’s bacon flavored chips that are artificially flavored. The list of ingredients is not terribly long: defatted soy flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, water, salt, natural and artificial flavor, sugar, caramel color and red 40, tocopherol (preservative). Obviously those allergic or intolerant to soy would not want to use this product. Also, vegans and vegetarians beware that many things such as artificial colors and flavors as well as some dyes are ingredients derived form animals, so further investigation may be needed.
The product is little crispy pieces and a reddish color. The pieces are rather small but vary to look like bits of bacon that have been crumbled. Bac-Os taste more like salt than anything else to me, but it has some other mild flavors I can taste and is good once in awhile for a change or when I want to add some extra crunch or texture to my foods.
Nutritionally, this product doesn’t offer much. A standard serving size is about one and a half tablespoons (about 7 grams). According to the label there should be about 16 servings per 4.1 ounce container.
There are 30 calories in a serving (10 from fat). Total fat in this product is 1.5 grams, of which none is saturated. As aforementioned, there is no cholesterol in this food. It does contain 115 mg of sodium per serving, which is 5% of the daily value. There is also 3 grams of protein per serving and a small amount of iron.
This product is more like a condiment than anything else. If you plan on using this product I recommend cutting back or eliminating any salt you might have used in your recipe, as this product tastes salty enough on its own, in my opinion. Betty Crocker Bac-Os has a long shelf life. Although the label recommends refrigerating after opening “for added freshness and convenience,” I just store my Bac-Os in my spice cabinet.
I recommend this product to anyone wanting a crispy change of pace for their salads, casseroles, potatoes, and anywhere else you might have used bacon bits for flavor and/or texture. Obviously it’s not something you’d want to use on a daily basis, but it’s a nice treat on occasion.
(Originally published at Factoidz.com)