This Is One Of The Best Vegan Alternatives To Crab Cakes

We know, we know – vegan substitutes are rarely, if ever, the same as the "real thing." This is especially true when it comes to vegan meat or seafood swap-outs, where a "vegan hot dog," for example, can come off as an insult to all hot dogs everywhere. Substitutes are not for everyone, to say the least. But consider, for just one moment, what we like about meat besides the meat itself, as Melissa Huggins from Vegan Huggs encourages us to do.

Often, it's the texture, the seasonings, or the simple experience of eating something shaped and packaged in a certain way that makes you crave that food, Huggins writes. If you go in ready for a similar experience but open to enjoying an entirely new flavor, you might just come around to vegan substitutes. More and more, people are identifying as "flexitarians," a survey by Packaged Facts survey found (via PR Newswire). They're focused on plant-based foods but still animal product-eaters – so even if you're not a dyed-in-the-wool vegan, you might enjoy this break from seafood with a guilt-free conscience.

Try this vegan crab cake recipe with some simple swaps

The vegan crab cakes from Vegan Huggs have a lot of the same elements as traditional crab cakes: chunky texture, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, (vegan) mayonnaise, bread crumbs, and lemon on the side. But instead of crab, she opts for the unexpected hearts of palm – the inner cores of certain young palm trees that are usually sold canned in brine or water (via The Spruce Eats). Some people compare their mild, nutty taste to that of artichokes. The texture, the recipe says, is a lot like crab meat in its flakiness.

Along with hearts of palm, the vegan crab cakes incorporate some garbanzo beans for added protein and texture, plus some kelp granules for a subtle fishy taste. There's a lineup of other seasonings to amp up the flavor, and the cakes are then pan-fried lightly or baked. With some vegan tartar sauce and a lemon? Please sign us up. Tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, these cakes go way beyond your average frozen veggie patty.