Have you heard of seitan? It’s a delicious vegan meat alternative also known as “wheat meat” or “wheat gluten”. It’s made from wheat protein and is perfect for anyone looking for a plant-based protein option. Seitan has a chewy texture and can be seasoned to taste like your favorite meats. In this article, we’ll show you how to make it, give you some yummy recipe ideas, and tell you all about this tasty treat. Sound good? Let’s get started!
How To Make Seitan?
Homemade seitan doesn’t require much effort. You will need wheat gluten flour, a broth made from vegetables and seasonings, and any additional seasonings or flavors you’d like to add. The broth will rinse the dough to remove the starch, leaving only the mass of pure gluten protein, which is water-insoluble. Here is the process:
- First, mix the wheat gluten flour with water and seasonings or flavours to form a dough.
- Then, knead the dough for several minutes until it is elastic and smooth.
- Next, cut the dough into small pieces and roll them into logs or other shapes.
- Simmer it in the broth for about 45 minutes, then drain and let it cool.
- The seitan is now ready to be sliced, diced, or used in your favorite recipe. You can also freeze it for later use.
It‘s very easy, but even if you are super-lazy, it’s okay, you can find seitan in many stores as a packaged product today.
Nutritional Value And Health Benefits
Many people like using seitan because it’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates, but some people wonder whether there are downsides to eating something made entirely from gluten. According to HealthLine, a quarter-cup (28-gram) serving of vital wheat gluten, the main ingredient, offers the following nutritional makeup:
- Calories: 104
- Fat: 0.5 g
- Total carbs: 4 g
- Fiber: 0.2 g
- Protein: 21 g
- Selenium: 16% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Iron: 8% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 7% of the DV
- Calcium: 4% of the DV
- Copper: 3% of the DV
This food is a great meat alternative for vegans and vegetarians if combined with other foods containing more fats and carbs. It’s also a popular protein food choice with vegans allergic to soy (who can’t eat tofu or tempeh). If you don’t have celiac disease and you’re not gluten sensitive, you can surely reap the health benefits of seitan. That being said, it is often high in sodium and processed ingredients, so it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Seitan contains approximately 25 grams of protein per 100-gram serving, making it a rich source of protein and a great meat alternative. It has a relatively high amount of almost every essential amino acid – except for lysine. That is a small problem because you want to get all the amino acids from your diet. So how do you fix it?
VegFAQs recommends adding ingredients like chickpea flour and nutritional yeast to seitan, which are both common, to make seitan a complete protein. It just so happens that chickpeas (and other legumes) are some of the best plant sources of lysine. They are low in methionine, but gluten has tons of that, so they’re a good combination.
Seitan Recipe Ideas
Here are just a few ideas for incorporating seitan into your meals. Experiment with different recipes and seasonings to find the flavor combinations that you love!
- Fried “chicken”: Dredge seitan in a seasoned batter and fry until crispy for a vegan alternative to fried chicken.
- BBQ: Marinate in BBQ sauce and grill or bake for a delicious plant-based BBQ option.
- Tacos: Crumble it and use it as a filling in tacos or burritos. Season with Mexican spices for a southwestern flavor.
- Meatballs: Mix seitan with breadcrumbs, spices, and ground flax seeds to make meatballs. Bake or fry them for a tasty addition to pasta dishes or served on their own.
- Skewers: Cut into cubes and skewer with vegetables for a tasty and healthy kabob option.
- Chops: Season and pan-fry to create a hearty and protein-rich “chop” that can be served as a main dish.
- Seitan “steaks”: Season and bake in large slabs for a hearty and protein-rich “steak” that can be sliced and served as a main dish.
- Buffalo Wings: Toss in a spicy buffalo sauce and bake until crispy for a plant-based alternative to buffalo wings.
- Stir-fry: Cut into thin strips and stir-fry with vegetables for a tasty and filling meal.
- Sandwiches: Slice seitan and use it as a meat substitute in sandwiches or subs. Try grilling it with your favorite condiments for added flavor.
To sum up, seitan has a chewy texture and imitates the flavor of different meats, which makes it a very popular food for vegetarians and vegans who don’t have problems digesting gluten. It is high in protein and iron but low in other nutrients like fats or carbs. For a complete amino acid spectrum, it is wise to combine the protein in seitan with the protein in beans or nutritional yeast. As for recipe ideas, you can eat it as cubes in stews, slices in sandwiches or burgers. I hope you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out other vegan ingredients or recipes here on Veggiepedia!