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Is seitan (vital wheat gluten) healthy?


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So I was thinking of making up some seitan for the very first time, but I was wondering whether it was healthy or not? Also, I know this might seem really silly, but is all gluten flour the same? There's no such thing as "whole" gluten flour, right?

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If by "gluten flour" you mean the gluten that you'd use to make seitan, then , no, there is no "whole" gluten flour. Gluten is a processed product of flour.

I have dabbled with seitan (wow, say that out loud in a Christian fundamentalist church......) in my vegetarian days and found it to be a useful textural addition to the vego diet. Like anything, it is OK in moderation. Not unhealthy at all. Wouldn't base my diet on it though.

edit: unless of course you have celiac disease. Then obviously its not healthy. I sort of assume that a person who knew they were celiac would know not to eat gluten tho.......

As long as you don't have celiac's disease or other gluten sensitivities, it's fine.  Just a natural wheat protein.  I love seitan and make it as often as my husband will let me get away with it.

Do they actually sell "gluten flour" or do you mean "vital wheat gluten".

vital wheat gluten is healthy as a part of a balanced diet. if you can tolerate gluten than i'd give it a shot if you think it'd be good. i don't think it has any 'special' health benefits though.

Hmmmm little side question, how do you make seitan?

I dont know how I feel about seitan as I go by more of the "weston A Price" belief when it comes to nutrition and health... and I don't think they would agree with it because its a highly processed wheat product. I have this product "Nutmeat" that I buy, because its the only soy-free high-protein product I can find... But Im not sure if thats REALLY seitan or something else? Its made with what they call "Wheat protein" in the ingredients list... I guess thats seitan?

Wheat gluten isn't really highly processed...in fact, you can make it at home with a 5lb bag of whole wheat flour, a fine mesh strainer and running water...wheat gluten is just regular wheat flour that's had all the starch washed away, leaving only the protein behind.

 

To the OP: Wheat gluten/seitan is a great addition to the vegetarian protein arsenal. It's perfectly healthy, unless you are sensitive to gluten. As to "whole" gluten flour, like I said above, all the starch is washed away, so it doesn't much matter if the beginning product was whole grain or not.

Original Post by restless_girl:

Hmmmm little side question, how do you make seitan?

I dont know how I feel about seitan as I go by more of the "weston A Price" belief when it comes to nutrition and health... and I don't think they would agree with it because its a highly processed wheat product. I have this product "Nutmeat" that I buy, because its the only soy-free high-protein product I can find... But Im not sure if thats REALLY seitan or something else? Its made with what they call "Wheat protein" in the ingredients list... I guess thats seitan?

 Here's one way to make seitan.

And yes, your nutmeat is most likely a version of seitan, though I'm guessing it's more of a wheat & nut hybrid.

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