According to the instructions on the box, it’s best to bake these chik’n nuggets in the oven from their frozen state. So that’s what we did. The suggested timing was 10-12 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.
At 12 minutes I removed one nugget and it wasn’t nearly cooked enough. The breading was super soft and the internal part of the plant meat was too soft as well. The breading was also crumbly, like it wasn’t totally sticking to the plant meat.
Rather than give up and give them all to the dog – I’m sure Lilly would have loved that – I put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
The extra baking time made all the difference. The coating, while still not as crispy as it should be for a nugget, was firm and hardened enough where we could enjoy eating them. The plant meat itself with five additional baking minutes actually tasted like chicken, whereas with the recommended baking time it didn’t taste like anything. The plant meat texture also improved, where now it textured like a combination of dark and white chicken meat.
I made a quick veggie mayonnaise, dill relish and prepared yellow mustard sauce for dipping. The box contained twelve nuggets, so we each had four. We each could have eaten at least double that, but we enjoyed the snack for what it was – a snack.
My recommendation? Make the coating crisper and the nugget thicker. Next time I’ll pan-fry them just to compare, which means I’ll be buying them again.
Dive Brief: Kraft Heinz has reformulated and rebranded its Boca burger to better compete in the growing plant-based foods category, according to Food Business News. The improved product was introduced at the Natural Products Expo West show. Also at the show, and underscoring the plant-based category’s growth, Campbell Soup’s senior vice president Carlos Barroso said his company is “literally scouring the earth” for new sources of protein, with a specific focus on plants.
Last year, the plant-based food category grew 8.1% and surpassed $3.1 billion in sales. Plant-based meat sales grew at a rate of 6%. According to some estimates, the plant-based meat market is set to reach $6.4 billion by 2023, reaching one-third of the market by 2050.
Dive Insight: The vegetarian burger has been a case study in accelerated innovation. Just 25 years ago, demand for the then-new Boca burgers was so high, major grocers could not keep them in stock. Now, the company is sprinting to catch up to younger, tech-savvy companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.The question now is, is it too little too late? Can Boca’s changes compete with Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger, which mimics a beef patty in taste, texture and appearance? Boca has tried to upgrade before — in 2015 it introduced patties made of quinoa, brown rice and black beans.
Still, it’s share of the frozen meat substitute category has continued to decline. If there is good news for Boca, it’s that it has the marketing power from Kraft Heinz to shift consumer mindsets. The updated Boca, on the surface, falls in line with current consumer trends by touting protein content on the front of its packaging. That packaging also features a very meaty-looking burger. A new iteration was necessary — recent technology advancements have changed the entire conversation around plant-based food, and Boca has not been a part of that conversation.
For example, Impossible Burgers figured out how to use a biochemical process to make its plant-based burger “bleed” and sear like real meat.It has been two years since Google listed plant-based proteins as the most important trend in technology, noting that the industry is entering a revolution of replacing livestock with plant-based proteins…
Pan-fried Boca Original Chik’n Veggie Patties on a broiled tough-skinned foot long sub roll with Caponata Babaganoush and mustard as condiments. Layered with Pickled Roasted Yellow Peppers, fresh spinach and sweet onion!