In my search for high protein and non-meat alternatives, I recently came across an amazing option I had not heard of before (In all fairness, it was actually Marco, my significant other who discovered it).

Seitan is a flavoured wheat gluten used as a meat substitute and packs a supreme amount of protein per serving. One serving size of 100 grams contains a whopping 75 grams of protein! If you’re striving to build lean muscle tissue and looking to up your protein content and you want to avoid meat sources, seitan is a great alternative to include in your diet. 

Seitan (pronounced “say-tan”) is a vegan meat substitute. Seitan is also known as wheat meat (no, it is not gluten free) and is a vegetarian substitute comprised of wheat gluten and typically made from vegetable stock, soy or tamari sauce, ginger and garlic. This non-meat alternative is high in protein, low in fat, contains no saturated fat, is a decent source of iron, and also contains fiber and essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and trace minerals like copper.

When I first saw and tried it, it reminded me of the likes of very firm tofu, but it is not made of soybeans; yippee!  It is quite versatile, much like tofu. It is made of the main protein found in wheat (vital wheat gluten, AKA gluten flour).  Seitan is vegan and one of the most popular forms of faux meat on the market today. (Don’t know why it took me so long to discover it! 😳) Due to the texture of the wheat gluten, seitan is the preferred choice for mock meat dishes which are meant to duplicate the texture and flavour of meat.  As a meat substitute, seitan can be used in a variety of recipes and takes on the flavour of ingredients it is cooked with. Seitan can be prepared to taste like chicken, beef or other meat varieties. Seitan can be flavoured with tamari sauce, hot sauce, spices, ginger, sesame oil, and other natural flavours and spices of choice. Without any of the added flavours, seitan is very bland, comparable to tasting like bread or plain chicken.

Although you can purchase seitan, it can be somewhat costly when compared to making your own. You can find it in health food stores, or if you want to MYO, you can search the internet for a recipe. If you’ve ever made bread from scratch or you’re an avid baker, it’s a cinch to make. If that is not you, it’s still relatively easy to make, but be sure to read through the entire recipe before you attempt to tackle it. I have often skipped doing that and missed some important steps. You can purchase the ingredients for making seitan at your bulk food store or healthy grocery store, although more mainstream grocery stores are now offering an area for healthier baking and cooking ingredients. The possibilities for using seitan are abundant and if you’re a creative cook, you’ll have a lot of fun experimenting with this high protein source. 

Please do send me your amazing creations and we’ll share them here!

Happy cooking!

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Marco GirgentiComment