New Year’s Resolution – Healthy Fruitango Beef Sticks

by Steven Johnson

Healthy Beef SnackHard to believe that we are already half way through January of 2018 … we figured that was enough time to sort out the serious resolutioneers from the masses. If you are one of those people who has taken your resolution seriously and stayed committed, congratulations! If improving nutrition in general was part of your plan, we have a product that we believe you may be interested in learning about.

Nutrition is complex and our society – in general – has been built on “more, more, more” especially when it comes to fuel for the body – super size, king size, more protein, more fiber, more Omega 3’s, more probiotics … truth is, more isn’t always better. Here at Lucky Beef Jerky, we much prefer good old fashioned “balance”. A lot of athletes are looking for “the most protein” or “the most carbohydrates” and there are supplement products on the market tailored to help them achieve those goals … but that’s not us either. We set out to create the ultimate snack for average active people – like us. Our ultimate goal was “balance” on all levels. We used natural ingredients to create a well balanced blend of protein, fat, natural sugars, sodium and fiber that leaves a person energized and not bogged down. Our Fruitango beef sticks are all about balance … and keeping sodium levels as low as possible.

Creating A Healthy Snack

We took the most natural approach possible and merged it with one of the most popular snack food items in our line – Premium Beef Sticks. Shelf stable beef sticks are traditionally made of lean beef, salt, sugar, seasonings and an acidic element. Traditional beef stick sodium levels are seldom below 350mg/serving and can range up to almost 1000mg/serving. (that’s A LOT) The salt and sugar help to “tie up” active water (aW) which is what reacts with the atmosphere and microbes to break down the food product. The salt also helps to extract the protein strands of the beef to give the beef stick a nice, firm bite. The acidic element, generally a small amount of citric or lactic acid, to create a low enough pH to thwart the growth of microorganisms. When we set out to develop Fruitango, we took a step back and asked ourselves how we could accomplish the same thing, but use far less salt and sugar. Fruitango sodium levels are 200mg/serving, which is as low as we could make them and still have a shelf stable product. The key to making lower sodium levels work: dehydrated fruit. By blending approximately 20% dehydrated fruit and 80% beef we were able to use the naturally occurring sugars in the fruit and it’s naturally low acidity to tie up active water and reduce pH. That combined with a very small amount of raw sugar and salt to help bind the proteins in the beef, and a dash of lactic & citric acid to deliver a consistent low pH allowed us to make a very non-traditional beef stick that is 100% shelf stable. The added benefits to Fruitango are the fact that all the sugars are naturally occurring in the fruit that we use, and the fruit also adds a fiber element to the product, which is something that other beef sticks cannot offer. We make Fruitango by hand, in small batches no more than 200 lbs at a time. We see and control the ingredients that we put into every batch, we make Fruitango with our own kids in mind.

Eating Healthy

Fruitango is not for everybody. Fruitango is one of the most “polarizing” products in our line; people seem to either love it or don’t care for it at all. Kids and “health nut, hiker types” are usually Fruitango’s biggest fans and appreciate the flavor and nutritional balance. People who enjoy traditional beef sticks and sausage find the texture different enough and the lack of salt to be “too different” from what they are used to and generally don’t care for it. The large amount of fruit that is combined with the beef makes the texture quite a bit different than a traditional beef stick and the flavors are not overpowering – they’re not supposed to be. The lack of the usual “saltiness” is the most profound difference when it comes to flavor. The most common reaction we hear from fans of Fruitango is that they feel energized when they eat it, not bogged down or like they ate a brick, which can be the feeling after eating a sugary snack like a candy bar or other traditional mass produced, “high in salt, high in sugar” snack. Fruitango isn’t your grandfather’s beef stick, but if you’re looking for honestly healthy “on the go” fuel for your body, Fruitango is worth a very hard look.

pineapple fuzePineapple Fuze (aka: Pineapple/Red Pepper) – Our “spiciest” Fruitango flavor is sweet followed by a little heat. It’s not so hot that you’ll need to find a glass of water, but it’s far from a boring flavor profile. Its ingredient break down looks like this: 90% lean beef (77%), dehydrated pineapple (19%), Water (processing agent, vaporizes in the cooking process), Raw sugar (2%), Sea Salt (1.5%), Dried, Crushed Red Pepper (1%), and Lactic/Citric acid blend (<1%) for pH adjustment.

mango krushMango Krush (aka: Mango/Jalapeno) – While it sounds like it might be spicy, it’s a pussycat when it comes to heat – the jalapeño is all about adding flavor the natural way. We use just enough jalapeño to balance out the smooth sweetness from the mango. This is the favorite flavor of a local pre-school class, so we know it’s not too hot. The ingredient breakdown: 90% lean beef (77%), dehydrated mango (19%), Water (processing agent that vaporizes in the cooking process), Raw Sugar (2%), Sea Salt (1.5%), dried, diced jalapeño peppers (1%) and Lactic/Citric acid blend (<1%) for pH adjustment.

american pieAmerican Pie (aka: Apple/Cinnamon) – Totally not a flavor combination that people expect when they think beef, but it is straight up addictive! The flavors are subtle but very distinctive and are perfect for every palate. The texture is a little more dry than the other flavors mainly due to the dehydrated apple’s ability to soak up moisture like a sponge. The ingredient breakdown: 90% lean beef (77%), dehydrated apples (19%), Water (processing agent that vaporizes in the cooking process), Raw Sugar (2%), Sea Salt (1.5%), ground cinnamon (1%), and Lactic/Citric acid blend (<1%) for pH adjustment.

cranberry zingCranberry Zing (aka: Cranberry/Chipotle) – This flavor is far and away the most sophisticated in the Fruitango line up. It’s just as at home with a glass of Cabernet as it is with a bottle of water – it is a super-versatile flavor. While this flavor seems to be more popular with moms than kids, it is a well balanced flavor that has a great deal of character. The tartness of the cranberry is balanced by the smokiness of the chipotle pepper and the small amount of added salt and raw sugar help to bring everything together. The ingredient breakdown: 90% lean beef (77%), dehydrated cranberries (19%), Water (processing agent that vaporizes in the cooking process), Raw Sugar (2%), Sea Salt (1.5%), Dried, Crushed Chipotle Pepper (1%) and Lactic/Citric acid blend (<1%) for pH adjustment.

To help get Fruitango launched, we are offering up 20% off so folks who are curious can give it a try and those who love it can stock up and save a little money! Just use the code 2018resolution at check out and we’ll get it sent out today!