What Is Seitan? The Definition of the Meat Substitute Seitan
With so many new and different meat substitutes circulating around the vegan community, it can be hard to know which one is best and what most of them actually consist of. However, saying that, finding the perfect meat substitute for you is essential for making sure you get enough protein and iron to properly fuel your body and immune system. The meat substitute seitan is one of the most consumed by vegans and vegetarians, as it is one of the few plant-based protein products that are not made from soy. Seitan is also considered to be the new kid of the block when it comes to vegan meat alternatives and has only just been launched into amazing vegan recipes, award-winning restaurant dishes, and grocery store staples.
What Is Seitan?
One can define seitan simply as a vegan meat alternative, a substance that strongly resembles both the flavor and texture of meat, most commonly chicken. But what is seitan made of? Seitan is actually made from hydrated gluten which is the element of protein that is found in wheat. So you may be wondering how is seitan made, and what is the process by which they are able to wheat gluten into a plant-based meat substance? The innovative and intelligent minds of those heavily involved in transforming the vegan community came up with a process that involves kneading wheat flour with water to create sticky strips of gluten protein which is then rinsed to remove and scratch residue, so you are simply left with pieces of pure gluten. The great thing about this particular meat alternative is that it is basically flavorless and thus can take on any kind of flavor you wish to put on it.
What Does Seitan Taste Like?
Seitan on its own without any flavorings, and in its natural form as a very neutral flavor and to be honest pretty much tastes like nothing at all. It’s the way seitan is flavored and cooked that really gives it its unique and meat-like appearance. The one thing about this meat substitute that makes it stand out is the seitan texture, naturally, it has a slightly tough and chewy texture that strongly resembles meat. It is pretty much a blank canvas for chefs to create whatever they want and thus can take on the form of anything such as chicken nuggets, burgers, grilled chicken, steak, minced meat, and everything in between.
Is Seitan Good for You?
The dying question that we all want to know about this delicious meat alternative, is is it actually healthy? For all those who are ready to get their hands on some tasty seitan products, you would be pleased to know that seitan is actually the healthiest of all-vegan meat substitutes and thus your best option when trying to monitor those waistlines. You may be wondering how this product that is entirely made from wheat gluten can actually be good for you. Well does seitan have protein? Yes, and a whole lot of it too, and that is where the majority of the nutrients come from. The high protein content combined with the low fat and low-carb elements of seitan is what makes it a great choice for a dietary addition. So not only is it a tasty and delicious addition to meals, but it’s also nutritious too and will give you the added protein and iron you may be lacking in your fully plant-based lifestyle.
What To Do With Seitan?
Now that seitan has been given the green flag to enter your already well-balanced diet, we can get into how you can incorporate it as well as the multitude of various different things you can do with it. Some of the best and most popular things to make with seitan include :
- Summer BBQ salads
- Fried chicken burgers
- Grilled sandwiches
- Meaty pies
- Hot dogs
- Rice bowls
- Wraps and burritos
The Bottom Line
As you can see the world of seitan is pretty vast, with endless cooking options and readily available ready-made products, it is a great and healthy meat alternative that can so easily be incorporated into your everyday meal plan and diet.
So if you’re looking for a way to get some added protein, replace soy products or refine your diet as a whole, then seitan is definitely the way to go.
There are so many recipes you can make and experiment with, as well as top-rated vegan restaurants you can try that you simply cannot go wrong.
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