It's spring, and the thing we most like to bring out this time of year is our balls. Balls for every taste. Beautiful balls. Misshapen balls. Aromatic balls. Meatless balls.
Hearing our fondness for all things ball-shaped (and vegan), the folks at Nate's Meatless Meatballs sent us some samples to try.
These poppable little suckers are snack-worthy and easy to prepare. They can be microwaved in seconds or oven-baked, and you can eat them plain or mix them into spaghetti, plop them on a sub, or crumble them onto a salad. If ground beef can do it, so can Nate's.
Though they're not as juicy (or as greasy) as actual meat, they do possess a satisfying, chewy texture and a familiar mouthfeel. They come in three flavors: zesty Italian, classic, and savory mushroom. Mushroom was a fave, though the seasoning on all three was pretty subtle. If you like one, you'll probably dig the other two.
They're made with soy but are GMO-free and boast nine grams of protein per serving -- an apt replacement for the fleshy stuff.
I passed some samples along to another food writer, who was happy with their presence in her pasta dish. No animals were harmed in the making of that plate of spaghetti and meatballs.
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While not a groundbreaking addition to the meat replacement genre, these chewy little balls are an easy, tasty snack that are superhandy to have on hand. Keep a bag in the freezer for those moments when you're craving a couple of balls in your mouth. You can pick up Nate's Meatballs at Whole Foods.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.