Seitan, Another Way to Eat Meat for Vegetarians

Meat is a nutrient-dense food, but we eat it more than for its nutrients. Many of us eat meat because it tastes good, right? Whether it’s a restaurant or a street food stall, meat is usually the main ingredient of the food items. Does it mean being a vegetarian is boring? It does seem so when we’re focused too much on flavors. Being a vegetarian means you have to steer clear of animal food sources that we know make delicious dishes. Well, that’s no longer a problem that we have seitan here.

What is seitan?

Seitan is a meat substitute made of wheat flour. Not only does it resemble meat, but it also makes a good source of protein. It’s originally flavorless. You can add all kinds of spices to improve the taste. You can cook it the way you cook meat. It’s good for grilling, frying, soup, etc.

Seitan is chewy just like meat. However, it’s still different because meat comes in more diverse textures. For example, chicken has a different texture from beef. Beef is typically harder and more solid. Meanwhile, seitan has one recognizable texture regardless of how it’s made. It also has a meat-like appearance especially when it has been cooked.

A good source of protein

Protein makes up a big portion of seitan. There are 19.6 grams of protein in 100 grams of seitan. It’s not really a problem for a vegan to meet the needs for protein. Besides seitan, there are tofu, tempeh, and some other choices. As for the calorie count, the same serving size contains 90 calories. Besides protein, this food also provides Vitamin C, B Vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and other essential minerals.

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Touted as a vegetarian meat substitute, seitan is not just for vegans. If you want to restrict consumption meat, this could be an option. What are the benefits? It’s good for the muscles because it has a high amount of protein. It’s also loaded with fiber, which is good for digestion. The best part is it’s pretty much fat-free.

Fat tends to slow down food absorption. It can also cause stomach upset when eaten too much. With seitan, you shouldn’t worry about bloating and other digestive issues. Is seitan better than meat? Not necessarily as both have their own characteristics. While meat is incredibly healthy, high cholesterol often comes with it. If you don’t want any of that, seitan makes a good alternative. It’s made of flour, so cholesterol isn’t present at all.

As we know, cholesterol is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease. People whose diet consists primarily of meat are at a higher risk of developing this disease than those eating mostly plant-based foods. It’s not to say that meat is bad, but we can’t rule out the compounds that have been known for causing health problems.

Easy to make

Seitan is made by separating protein from its starch. You just need two ingredients, flour and water. Just mix the two until they form a dough. Knead it for a few minutes and rinse it with water repeatedly until the water starts becoming transparent. The milky color is from the starch, so when the water becomes transparent, it shows that the starch is almost fully separated from the dough. The next step is to boil it and then you can season with different spices.

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