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Good binder for meatloaf (cracker replacement)

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  • Good binder for meatloaf (cracker replacement)

    Does anyone have a good recommendation for something I can use in a meatloaf recipe in place of saltine crackers? My favorite meatloaf is a mix of beef and pork with onions, garlic, eggs and herbs - very simple and delicious. The trouble is it also calls for 1 cup + of crushed saltine crackers. i tried just leaving them out, but the texture was much too dense and I didn't care for it at all.

    Any suggestions? I thought about using grated zucchini, dried a bit so that all the moisture is gone, but didn't know if that would just be a mess. What are some of the bread replacements that you guys use for meatloaf that actually result in a tender, good-textured meatloaf?

    I appreciate any replies,
    Thanks,
    Jenn

  • #2
    For me, meatloaf and hamburgers are pretty much the same basic recipe. I just add an extra egg and omit the breadcrumbs or crackers completely. Pre-primal, I'd use oatmeal or even rice as the binder, but that doesn't even work now.

    I don't mind the density, so it's not a problem for me or hubby.

    Maybe the almond meal could help...just not sure how great it would taste.
    Now and then it is good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

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    • #3
      I find an extra egg does help with the denseness a bit, but if you need that cracker texture make some almond crackers and bash them up or food process them!
      The more I see the less I know for sure.
      -John Lennon

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      • #4
        You might try food-processing veggies like carrots and green peppers until they're very fine and using those instead of crackers. It's what I use, but I don't know if that would alter the taste too much for you.

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        • #5
          we had meatloaf last night! my very first actual beef (grassfed) meat loaf. i used to be a strict ground turkey only eater. my partner made it a lil spicy with some cayenne, paprika, and red pepper flakes. i believe i tasted oregano in there as well. she definitely didn't use any crackers, but i'm not sure if she added an extra egg or not. either way it was yummo. do ya'll also add worchestershire sauce?
          i will maintain the truth
          i knew naturally as a child
          i won't forfeit my creativity
          to a world that's all laid out for me
          i'll look at everything around me
          and i will vow to bear in mind
          that all of this was just someone's idea
          it could just as well be mine - ani difranco

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          • #6
            I've always loved my mom's meatloaf recipe but it called for about 1 c. oatmeal for 2 lbs. of ground beef (plus egg, onion, salt, pepper, tomato juice). I made it last night, but I omitted the oatmeal and instead used 2 T. coconut flour and 2 T. ground flax seeds. I mixed it very well in the stand mixer. I was nervous that the texture would be wrong, but it turned out excellent. I actually couldn't tell a difference in the texture from using oatmeal.

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            • #7
              I sub parm cheese and/or crushed pork rinds in my meatloaf.
              Melissa Fritcher - 330/252/150
              http://lessofmimi.wordpress.com
              Trample the weak, hurdle the dead.

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              • #8
                I have tried almond meal, 1/4 cup almond meal and 1 egg per pound of ground meat. Seems to work well, especially with a lot of finely chopped veggies for flavor and moisture.

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                • #9
                  Second the vote for crushed pork rinds. They doesn't suck up moisture as readily as more starchy fillers, but they do the job.

                  "How do you sop up the grease?" "With a spoon."

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys! I'll try the finely textured veggies and add an egg. I even thought about coconut flakes, but that just seemed like a flavor that was too...wierd.

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                    • #11
                      Ooh pork rinds... good idea!!!
                      The more I see the less I know for sure.
                      -John Lennon

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                      • #12
                        Sundried tomatoes, dried peppers, onion flakes. Process as much as you need into a flaky powder. They are almost as absorbant as bread crumbs or oatmeal and make a better meatloaf, imo.

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                        • #13
                          I just run a couple of carrots through the food processor and use them instead of bread in my regular meatloaf mixture. Comes out just fine.

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                          • #14
                            I've used the meatloaf recipe on one of the main MDA site blog posts (search "comfort foods") and it's pretty good. I would recommend grating the apples and pressing out the juice, otherwise its kind of meatloafsoup. I personally prefer a tart apple (did before I was primal, even more so now!). I've also tried potatoes, but I used too many and they definitely should have been cooked some beforehand.

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                            • #15
                              I use Alton Brown's meat loaf recipe, which already has finely chopped vegetables, and sub out pork rinds for the croutons.

                              Also I use tomato paste instead of ketchup for the glaze. I still use the honey and worcestershire though. Would it be worth using liquid aminos or something instead, or can I just consider this my 20%?
                              Last edited by jengatron; 05-25-2010, 01:40 AM.

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