Seitan, a Vegan Delight that can be Made from Scratch in your Kitchen
As a cook, and a vegan athlete I am always searching creative ways to get nutrient dense meals in. One of my favorite things to eat because of its high protein content is homemade seitan. It is a spongy pattie created from vital wheat gluten that can be molded into anything you can imagine. There are literally thousands of ways you can prepare seitan, from stews, to stirfrys, and they are all delicious.
However there is one problem with seitans only ingredient, vital wheat gluten. Most store bought vital gluten is heavily processed and not fresh. It is okay to make seitan like this on occasion, but it wouldn’t be a good idea to processed junk on a regular basis. Making seitan at home is actually quite easy, although it is time consuming and tedious. The reward you get for this arduous task is well worth it.
In either case, I have created an easy step by step visual guide on how to make this versatile dish from scratch. The only things you will need is a bag of flour, some salt, a fine mesh strainer and a huge mixing bowl.
Vital Wheat Gluten, Seitan, A Low Fat & Low Carb Protein Powerhouse
Seitan is a protein rich dish that can easily substitute many animal based alternatives served on the table. It is a sponge and it literally sucks up the flavor of whatever you are cooking it with.
It goes well in anything from veggie burgers, to stews, and stir fry. My personal favorite is to bake it, then add it into a curried stir fry. Curry has no shortage of flavor and other health benefits.
One serving of seitan comprises of 28 grams or one oz and contains 21 grams of protein in that serving. That serving contains four grams of carbs and one gram of fat. This all amounts to a measly 108 calories. Most of the time, in order to get this much protein, calorie consumption is spiked up.
Another added benefit of choosing vital wheat gluten is its low glycemic load index of two. Being 80% protein, seitan can accompany a variety of different grains, and or vegetables for a complete dish.
Seitan, Vital Wheat Gluten Preparation & Instructions
Get your big bag of flour, and dump it into the huge mixing bowl. Fill the bowl with water up until the top the of the flour. Start mixing the the flour by hand into a dough. After it has become a dough, you are going to continue kneading it.
Add more water to the mix and continue to knead the dough until it becomes firm. This is where it begins to get extra sticky.
Washing the Dough is the Arduous Part Mentioned Earlier
Transfer the dough to the mesh strainer, and keep it under a gentle flow of water. You are going to want the bigger bowl underneath just incase you drop a piece of dough. Continue adding water, put the dough in the strainer, and keep kneading it under the flow of water. I have a mesh strainer with an extended handle.
Washing the Starch out of the Flour to Make Seitan
Here is a video on how to wash the flour, it is easy, but takes a little bit of time
After the Seitan Wash
Once the starch from the flour has completely washed, you can can transfer it to a pyrex to bake.
Oil the pyrex, or whatever you choose to bake it in. The water content of the seitan needs to be cut.
Bake the vital wheat gluten until it has reached a golden brown color.
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