If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’re probably used to checking ingredient labels on everything from packaged foods to restaurant menus. But what about those little cubes of flavor that add a punch to your soups, stews, and gravies?
Are beef OXO cubes vegetarian-friendly? With the rise of plant-based diets and the popularity of meat-free products, it’s a question worth exploring.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients in beef OXO cubes and whether they’re suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Are Beef OXO Cubes Vegetarian?
Beef OXO cubes have been a staple in British kitchens since their launch in 1910. These little cubes are packed with big flavors and can be used to add a meaty taste to a variety of dishes, from soups to casseroles. But are they suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
The answer is no. Beef OXO cubes contain ingredients that are derived from animals, making them unsuitable for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. The ingredients list includes beef extract and beef fat, both of which come from cows.
However, Premier Foods, the company behind OXO, has recognized the growing demand for plant-based products and has recently launched a meat-free version of the famous meat extract. The vegan-friendly stock cubes are made with extra yeast and an altered mix of herbs and spices to create a flavor that mimics beef stock.
This move by Premier Foods reflects the changing attitudes towards meat consumption and the increasing popularity of plant-based diets. According to market research firm Mintel, sales of meat-free foods are predicted to pass the £1bn-a-year barrier soon.
What Are OXO Cubes And How Are They Used?
OXO cubes are a brand of food products that are used to add flavor to dishes. They come in various flavors, including beef, chicken, and other versions with Chinese and Indian spices. The cubes are typically broken up and used as a seasoning in meals or dissolved into boiling water to make a bouillon.
The original product was the beef stock cube, which was sold as a liquid before the company started making cubes in 1910. The cubes were easier and cheaper to ship, and more appealing than the brown liquid. The cubes were individually wrapped and packaged in tins with lids of quantities of 6, 12, 50 or 100.
OXO cubes are widely used in British cuisine to add flavor to stews, casseroles, and soups. They can also be used to season meat dishes or as a base for gravies and sauces. OXO cubes are a convenient way to add flavor to dishes when time is short or when fresh ingredients are not available.
To use an OXO cube, simply crumble it into the dish you are cooking or dissolve it in boiling water to make a bouillon. The cubes can also be crushed into a powder using a measuring jug or by unfolding the flaps on either side of the cube packet.
While beef OXO cubes are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans, Premier Foods has recently launched a meat-free version of the famous meat extract that is suitable for those following plant-based diets.
What Are The Ingredients In Beef OXO Cubes?
The ingredients in Beef OXO cubes include wheat flour, salt, maize starch, yeast extract, flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate and disodium guanylate, color additives like ammonia caramel, beef fat, autolysed yeast extract, dried beef bonestock, flavorings, sugar, acidity regulator (lactic acid), and onion powder. These ingredients are blended together to create the iconic meaty flavor that is loved by many. However, it is important to note that the presence of beef extract and beef fat makes these cubes unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans. It is also worth mentioning that the percentage of each ingredient used in the product may vary from batch to batch.
Are Beef OXO Cubes Suitable For Vegetarians And Vegans?
Beef OXO cubes are not suitable for vegetarians and vegans due to the presence of beef extract and beef fat, both of which are derived from cows. However, Premier Foods has launched a meat-free version of the famous meat extract that is suitable for vegans. These vegan-friendly stock cubes are made with extra yeast and an altered mix of herbs and spices to create a flavor that mimics beef stock. The individually foil-wrapped cubes are convenient to use and can be dissolved in boiling water or crumbled into dishes for an added burst of flavor. As the popularity of plant-based diets continues to grow, it’s great to see companies like Premier Foods recognizing the demand for meat-free products and offering alternatives to traditional meat-based products.
Alternatives To Beef OXO Cubes For Vegetarian And Vegan Cooking.
If you’re looking for alternatives to beef OXO cubes for vegetarian and vegan cooking, there are plenty of options available. Here are some ideas:
1. Vegetable Stock: Vegetable stock is a great substitute for beef OXO cubes. It is made by boiling down vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and herbs. It won’t have the same meaty depth of flavor as beef broth, but it will still work. The best way to use it as a beef OXO cube substitute is to add more aromatics like garlic, bay leaves, and parsley which can help boost flavor.
2. Miso Paste: Miso paste is a Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans. It has a rich umami flavor that can be used to add depth to vegetarian and vegan dishes. Miso paste comes in different varieties, but the most common type is light miso paste. It can be added to soups, stews, and sauces to give them a savory flavor.
3. Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce is a popular condiment that is used to add flavor to meat dishes. However, there are vegetarian and vegan versions of Worcestershire sauce available that are made without anchovies. This sauce has a tangy and savory flavor that can be used as a substitute for beef OXO cubes in recipes.
4. Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is a staple in many Asian cuisines and has a salty umami flavor that can be used to enhance the taste of vegetarian and vegan dishes. It can be added to soups, stews, and sauces to give them a savory flavor.
5. Mushroom Stock: Mushroom stock is another great substitute for beef OXO cubes. It has a rich umami flavor that can be used to add depth to vegetarian and vegan dishes. To make mushroom stock, simply simmer mushrooms in water with herbs and spices.