Usually known as “wheat protein,” “wheat meat” or “wheat gluten,” seitan (pronounced say-tahn) has a glance and texture shockingly much like meat when it’s cooked, and its various namesakes are fairly becoming because it’s constituted of gluten, the principle protein present in wheat.
Seitan stands out as one of many solely meat substitutes fully freed from soy. Like its soy counterparts, it’s additionally excessive in protein, extremely versatile and simply in a position to tackle different flavors.
Nonetheless, store-bought variations are additionally typically excessive in unhealthy meals components, sodium and fillers and a few of its components might even include unfavorable unintended effects.
So do you have to begin including it into your food plan or do you have to skip the seitan altogether? Right here’s what you must learn about this supply of protein so in style with those that comply with a vegan food plan or plant-based food plan.
What Is Seitan?
Seitan is a well-liked meat substitute discovered in lots of varieties of delicacies. It’s a staple ingredient in lots of vegetarian dishes in Japan, China and different East and Southeast Asian nations. It’s used to provide sure meals gadgets like mock duck, meatless jerky, vegetarian hamburger combine and seitan bacon.
Industrial manufacturing of this type of wheat gluten started in 1962 by the Marushima Shoyu Co., which created its seitan product for George Ohsawa, the founding father of the macrobiotic food plan and philosophy, and his college students.
“Seitan” is a phrase of Japanese origin, and when roughly translated, the seitan definition is “manufactured from proteins.” Important wheat gluten is the pure protein present in wheat that’s usually used to create seitan. It’s additionally a typical ingredient in bread recipes to assist the dough rise.
Seitan is created by washing wheat flour dough with water till all of the starch granules have been eliminated, leaving solely the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic, taffy-like mass. This mass is then lower into items and cooked earlier than being eaten.
It’s fairly dense, which makes it extra much like meat than different plant-based protein meals. In the meantime, it has a impartial taste and tends to soak up flavors effectively.
Though the precise quantities can differ between manufacturers, pre-packaged seitan is normally low in energy and excessive in protein. It’s additionally a meals excessive in sodium and incorporates a small quantity of iron and calcium as effectively.
One 3-ounce (84 grams) serving of unique seitan incorporates roughly:
- Energy: 90
- Whole Carbohydrates: 8 g
- Whole Fats: 0.6 g
- Saturated Fats: 0 g
- Polyunsaturated Fats: 0.3 g
- Monounsaturated Fats: 0.3 g
- Trans Fats: 0 g
- Protein: 15 g
- Ldl cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 250 mg (10% DV*)
- Calcium: 40.3 g (4% DV*)
- Iron: 1.4 mg (8% DV*)
*Each day Worth: Percentages are primarily based on a food plan of two,000 energy a day.
Take into account that the pre-seasoned store-bought varieties usually include components, flavorings and additional components that will modify the dietary content material, normally leading to a better quantity of energy and sodium.
Nonetheless, opting to make it at residence offers you extra management of your seitan components, eliminating the danger of components and permitting you to make a lower-sodium model.
1. Excessive in Protein
Seitan is an effective supply of protein and could be a fast and handy approach to assist these on a vegan or vegetarian food plan meet their protein wants. Protein is important for every part from constructing muscle to repairing tissue and producing hormones, so getting sufficient in your food plan is completely important.
Whereas protein alone received’t improve athletic efficiency, analysis reveals that consuming protein advantages efficiency when eaten earlier than and after train. It helps enhance muscle restoration, promotes muscle synthesis and serves as efficient muscle ache remedy.
2. Assist Create Satiety
Is seitan good for weight reduction? As a result of it’s excessive in protein however low in energy, seitan may help help satiety to maintain you feeling full, which may assist promote weight reduction. In reality, high-protein diets have been proven to lower ranges of ghrelin, the hormone that’s accountable for stimulating starvation.
3. Low in Energy
A 3-ounce serving consists of a formidable 15 grams of protein but solely 90 energy. For many who are carefully monitoring what number of energy they want every day, seitan could be a good possibility.
4. Doesn’t Include Soy
Seitan can be one of many few meat substitutes with out soy, which is an allergen for many individuals. It’s finest to pick out natural, fermented and minimally processed varieties.
Like some meals, there are each optimistic and unfavorable facets with regards to soybeans, and a few particular concerns for these with particular well being considerations. Nonetheless, moderately, many soy merchandise may be loved as a part of a nutritious diet.
5. Versatile and Handy Meals Product
Seitan is without doubt one of the extra versatile meat substitutes and can be utilized in a variety of meatless recipes. You’ll be able to simply bake, steam, sauté or simmer it to make vegan fajitas, kabobs, steaks, sandwiches and stews. As well as, it absorbs flavors effectively and might simply mimic the style and texture of meat.
Whereas seitan advantages do exist, there are a number of causes that you could be not wish to begin consuming seitan too usually.
1. Made with Gluten
If in case you have a wheat allergy, celiac illness or gluten intolerance, seitan is certainly out of the query as it’s actually constituted of wheat gluten. If in case you have a sensitivity to gluten, consuming meals like seitan may end up in many antagonistic unintended effects corresponding to bloating, diarrhea, fatigue and stomach ache.
2. An Extremely-Processed Meals Excessive in Sodium
Most individuals aren’t making seitan at residence, however as a substitute are getting it pre-made from eating places and grocery shops. These ultra-processed meals are usually larger in sodium, which may contribute to hypertension and a number of different well being issues. Not solely that, however they’re additionally usually pumped stuffed with components and fillers that not helpful in your well being.
3. Not Fermented and With out Probiotics
Different in style vegan protein meals embrace tempeh and natto, that are each fermented meals — that means they include wholesome probiotics that assist help the well being of your intestine. Seitan will not be fermented and doesn’t embrace any probiotics.
Your intestine microbiome performs an enormous position in well being and illness, and probiotics have been related to an in depth checklist of advantages like improved immunity, most cancers prevention and higher digestive well being.
4. Not a Full Protein
Seitan isn’t a whole protein, because it doesn’t include all the amino acids that our our bodies require to perform. For that reason, it’s particularly essential to pair seitan with a balanced food plan to make sure that you’re getting all the important vitamins and amino acids that you simply want.
As mentioned above, you can also make your individual seitan and be accountable for the components (and keep away from the preservatives in store-bought variations).
- 1 cup very important wheat gluten
- ¼ cup dietary yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a big mixing bowl, mix the very important wheat gluten, dietary yeast and spices.
- In a separate bowl, combine collectively the vegetable broth and coconut aminos.
- Pour the moist components into the dry components and stir till a dough types. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes to develop the gluten.
- Form the seitan dough right into a log and lower it into smaller items.
- In a big pot, mix the cooking broth components. Deliver this broth to a simmer.
- Fastidiously place the seitan into the simmering broth. Be sure the broth covers the seitan items. Cowl and simmer for about 1 hour.
- As soon as the seitan is cooked, take away it from the broth and let it cool. You’ll be able to retailer it within the broth within the fridge for a number of days, or use it instantly.
Seitan vs. Tempeh
Tempeh is one other meat substitute that makes a nutritious addition to any food plan, vegetarian or not, and it may be simply swapped in to nearly any recipe as a seitan gluten-free various.
Tempeh is a conventional fermented soy meals originating in Indonesia. Entire soybeans are soaked, dehulled and partly cooked earlier than going by means of a pure culturing and managed fermentation course of that then binds the soybeans right into a cake type. This tempeh cake is then usually lower into slices or cubes earlier than use. Tempeh’s fermentation course of and use of the entire soybean give it a better content material of protein nutritional vitamins and minerals.
In the event you examine seitan vs. tempeh gram for gram, tempeh is barely larger in energy and protein. It’s additionally decrease in sodium and boasts a wider vary of vitamins together with manganese, copper, phosphorus, riboflavin and magnesium.
Seitan vs. Natto
Natto is one other nutritious possibility for squeezing in some additional protein. It’s created by soaking complete soybeans, steaming or boiling them after which including the micro organism Bacillus subtilis to the combination and permitting it to ferment over time. Natto positively has a scent (like cheese) and a texture (very gooey) that may be arduous to get used to for some, however when you do get accustomed to natto’s uniqueness, it will probably turn into a superb supply of protein in your subsequent meal.
Historically in Japan, natto is a eaten at breakfast together with rice, miso soup and fish. One of many best and commonest methods to incorporate natto in your food plan is so as to add it to rice dishes after cooking so that you simply don’t destroy the great micro organism. You can too add it to salads and noodle dishes. Natto provides not solely vegan-approved protein to a meal, nevertheless it additionally brings a really distinctive taste and lots of very important vitamins, together with vitamin Okay, vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamine and vitamin B6.
Dangers, Allergy symptoms and Aspect Results
Though seitan is excessive in protein, it will probably additionally produce other questionable components that will diminish its dietary properties. So how a lot seitan is an excessive amount of? Whereas ordering it often at a restaurant is okay, it in all probability shouldn’t turn into a staple ingredient in your food plan. In the event you do eat seitan, it’s finest to make it at residence to keep away from extra sodium and added components.
If you’re delicate to gluten, have celiac illness or are following a gluten-free food plan, avoid seitan. These with a wheat allergy also needs to keep away from it. Seitan allergy signs can embrace swelling, itching, stomach ache, cramps and diarrhea.
Moreover, seitan shouldn’t be used as the only protein supply in vegetarian and vegan diets. Be sure your food plan consists of different plant-based proteins corresponding to tempeh, natto, legumes and dietary yeast to get in a big selection of vitamins and optimize your food plan.
- Seitan is a well-liked meat substitute that’s made utilizing wheat gluten and may be discovered in lots of varieties of delicacies.
- It’s typically low in energy however excessive in protein and pre-packaged varieties might also include additional sodium, components and fillers as effectively.
- In these with celiac illness or gluten intolerance, consuming seitan could cause antagonistic unintended effects like swelling, stomach ache, diarrhea and cramps.
- It’s additionally not thought of a whole protein and must be paired with a well-balanced food plan to make sure you’re getting the amino acids that you simply want.
- In the event you do eat seitan, attempt making it at residence to get rid of the danger of unhealthy components. Alternatively, attempt different nutritious plant-based proteins corresponding to tempeh or natto as a substitute.