It’s likely that many of you have already heard of biltong, but if you haven’t and are wondering what it is and how you can incorporate this tasty snack into your training regime then keep reading.
What is Biltong?
Biltong is a form of thinly sliced, dried, cured meat that originated in Southern African countries such as Malawi, Namibia and South Africa over 400 years ago. Although biltong can be made from a wide variety of meats ranging from beef to game as well as fish, you’ll usually find it in beef form.
Although biltong has visual similarities to beef jerky, the only resemblances they share is that they were both traditionally used on long distance journeys as a pick-me-up for travellers. Click here to find out more.
When it comes down to taste and how the meats are cured, biltong and beef jerky couldn’t be any more different. Biltong can be made with many different cuts of meat which allows for a wide range of flavours and textures, it’s much thicker than beef jerky and is cured by taking strips of meat, rubbing it in vinegar and spices and then hanging up to naturally air dry.
Jerky, on the other hand, is typically thin slices of lean beef marinated in a non-vinegar rub which is then cooked and dehydrated. The result? Biltong is much more tender, has less sugar and offers a high amount of protein for a small serving.
Can Biltong replace my intake of protein in whey powder?
Biltong has many nutritional benefits – it’s high in protein and low in carbs making it a perfect fit for a wide variety of diets, including keto. While whey protein powder is convenient and comes in a number of different flavours, it’s also manufactured in a factory meaning it’s unfortunately highly processed and due to extreme refinement of whey powders, most of the essential nutrients are left behind.
Biltong, on the other hand is natural beef sourced from grass-fed cows which is then cured for a few days with a different flavours and spices. Biltong contains an impressive 50g protein per 100g making it a perfect addition to any training routine.
When Biltong is slow dried, it loses 55% of its weight, enhancing the nutritional values and almost doubling the amount of protein per serving – 100g of beef steak can contain around 25g protein but once this has been slow dried it doubles to around 50g. As Biltong is typically red meat, we would suggest only consuming it 2-3 times per week alongside a balanced diet.
Does Biltong taste better than whey protein?
This completely depends on whether you’re more of a sweet or savoury person! If you have a sweet tooth and love to curb your cravings with a deliciously sweet protein shake, then Biltong may not be the snack for you. But if you enjoy savoury snacks and enjoy cured meats then Biltong is one snack you need to try.
One of the great things about Biltong is that during the natural drying process it can be flavoured with various spices making it a super tasty snack. Just like whey protein, there are many flavours available on the market – from garlic, chilli to honey mustard, you can be sure to find something to suit your taste.
Is Biltong healthy?
One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to Biltong is ‘is it healthy for me?’ Well, we can confirm it 100% is healthy. Not only does it taste delicious, but Biltong is ideal for healthy snacking, a wide range of diets such as paleo and keto and anyone looking for a high protein, low fat snack.
Unlike many other cured meat snacks, Biltong is super low in fat with just 3% in a 25g serving. The creation of Biltong is very natural in comparison to many other protein snacks on the market making it a snack that is rising in popularity in gym bags around the globe.
The final verdict
You probably already know how important protein is for your body – it helps to maintain and improve muscle mass and cell function and helps to keep hunger at bay much better than fats and carbohydrates. Biltong is laced with protein, which is why it makes for such a great snack to have around.
It’s low in fat, has high levels of vitamin B12 (which is important for red blood cells) and is much more natural than whey protein. While whey protein has many readily available flavours and can be purchased in almost any store, Biltong has stayed true to its origins – a traditional snack for busy lives on the go.