Australia is one of the top producers of cured meats, with the market size being 4 billion AUD through 275 established businesses. As such, many Australians may not consider meat a snack, but biltong is a form of dried meat found in many pantries and lunch boxes. And as more and more Australians seek healthy and sugar-free snacks with high nutritional value and protein, the biltong industry has seen significant growth.
The South African and American-style biltong in Australia with grass-fed meat, void of nitrate preservatives and no sugar has opened up a new arena for snacks and children’s lunch. Moreover, the industry is built upon quality produce that is traceable to local and trusted provenance.
The Origin of Biltong
It is an irresistible form of cured and dried meat that has its origins in South Africa. It has been in the works for 400 years as Dutch settlers travelled and sought to preserve the meat during their long, arduous journeys. Early colonists would air-dry the heart from the carcass to ensure the availability of non-perishable, ready to eat food to ensure their daily protein intake. However, today, beef and other forms of biltong are available in neatly packed packages that are ready to be consumed.
Facts About Biltong Being a Healthy Snack
Biltong is a high protein food source that is highly essential for muscle growth and to burn off additional fats. It helps reduce hunger among adults and ease them through in-between meals without causing bloating. Besides, the long shelf life of biltong makes it a convenient and safe snack to carry. And it generally has low fat, usually less than 3% per serving, unless a person selects a fattier version. It is healthy for the heart and removes unwanted calories from the body. One must also note that biltong is not fried meat but cured meat. Therefore, fixed oil is not used during preparation, making it a healthy choice for people following Banting or Keto diets. Moreover, the products are usually free of preservatives and have 100% natural ingredients.
Nutritional Aspect of Biltong
One of the main reasons for the popularity of biltong in Australia is its nutritional composition. Compared to other snacks like cookies, potato chips and crackers, biltong is a healthier choice due to its low carb, high protein and iron content. Meanwhile, research shows that every 28 grams or one ounce of beef biltong has about 90 calories, 16 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fat and no sugar. As such, dried beef biltong serves as a great source of many other essential nutrients and minerals like vitamin B, potassium and magnesium. And vitamin B12 present in biltong is essential for healthy blood, cell replication and nerve cell building. Besides, the protein helps sustain energy and build muscles among gym-goers.
Biltong As a Snack or Lunch for Kids
When it comes to lunch and snack ideas for children, biltong is a great option as it comes in neatly packed packages, in many flavours, styles and quantities. Also, biltong is available as slices, slabs and sticks that are neatly cut and great for on-the-go snacking, lunch or in-between nibbling. It is also, therefore, versatile, convenient and easy to use.
Due to its increased shelf life and lack of preservatives, it is an excellent addition to lunch box meals like cheese sandwiches, pasta salad, chicken salad, ham and cheese. So, it is durable, easy to carry, delicious, healthy, filling and doesn’t cause a mess.