Please allow me to introduce myself; I’m a source of lean protein and good taste. I am seitan—pronounced like “Satan”, only the accent is on the second syllable.
Seitan is also known as vital wheat gluten. Seitan is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before it becomes edible.
If you are looking for a lean, vegetarian protein source other than soy or soy products, look to seitan. Just one ounce supplies twenty-one grams of protein, four grams of carbohydrates, and a mere one gram of unsaturated fat. That equates to a protein-packed sixty or more grams of protein for an average serving! Considering the average adult protein daily requirements range from one hundred to two hundred grams, seitan packs quite an economical punch. Animal-based protein sources only deliver two to ten grams per ounce, depending on the fat content. Seitan is also a good source of selenium and very low in sodium.
Once a rare commodity outside of Asian markets, seitan is now found in many supermarkets and health food stores. It is also found in vegetarian entrees by such national companies as: Morningstar Farms, Lightlife, Gardein, and my favorite—Tofurkey. Some companies also sell a powdered form of wheat gluten. Bakers use this to increase the chewiness and up the protein content of breads and other baked goods.
While seitan is rather flavorless on its own, you can buy or prepare it with marinades, oils, and other seasonings to taste. It can taste very meaty when prepared correctly.
So if you are looking for an alternative to factory-farmed, antibiotic-injected, inhumanely-slaughtered animals pumped up with genetically modified corn and steroids, give seitan a try. Your lean, hungry muscles will thank you.
Fitness Enthusiast and Guest Blogger