With plant-based meat alternatives taking over, there are more and more options for people looking to reduce their meat consumption or those who already avoid meat. There’s everything from realistic burgers by brands that have become household names like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. And the options just keep on coming. There’s vegan tuna, sausages, crumbles, bacon, dairy alternatives, and more. Of all these kinds of alternatives, seafood can arguably be the most difficult to replicate but Upton’s Naturals newest product is hoping to pleasantly surprise people.

Upton’s Naturals is famous for their seitan and jackfruit-based products which are meaty plant-based alternatives. But their new “fishy” product uses banana blossom, also known as “banana heart.” It’s a fleshy, purple-skinned flower, shaped like a tear, that grows at the end of a banana fruit cluster. It’s popular in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines.


Owner of Upton’s Naturals, Dan Staackman, tells FoodNavigator-USA that when he went vegan 28 years ago, he was introduced to so much ethnic food he has never tried before. He doesn’t want to just do what competitors Beyond Meat and Impossible are doing — he wants to be set apart and “keep a clean label.”

Staackman says that banana blossom is often a waste item that’s not often in the USA, and describes the taste as “light, delicate, and flaky” like fish, especially when breaded and fried. It’s not a high-protein product, but it is high-fiber.

The banana blossom is cooked in a retort pouch in some brine and is shelf-stable. It will be available in Whole Foods stores when it’s eventually released (the launch will likely be delayed due to the current pandemic).

For homemade plant-based “fish” recipes and ideas, check out:

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

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