Sunday, June 7, 2009

What is the nutritional content of gluten/seitan?

uestion: Hi! I love to make gluten steaks, but can not figure out the calories for them? After I wash the starch off I usually have a 2 pound ball of gluten. Can you estimate the calories in that? And there is no fat, right? Thanks for your help.

Answer: Making homemade seitan (or gluten steaks as you call them) is a highly nutritious and economical meat alternative. Besides being a great cholesterol-free protein source, it is also a good source of iron. While seitan is low in carbohydrates and fat, it is not fat-free.

Many people find it difficult to figure the exact nutritional breakdown of homemade seitan because it can be made with various wheat flours (from 100% whole wheat to unbleached bread flour). I am providing you with an estimated average nutritional composition for a 2-pound ball, and for the recommended serving size of seitan (which is 4 ounces or 1/2 cup).


Total Calories - 1,280
Total Fat - 16 grams
Total Carbohydrates - 80 grams
Protein - 208 grams
Cholesterol - 0 grams
Iron - 28.8 milligrams


Total Calories - 160
Total Fat - 2 grams (3% RDA)
Total Carbohydrates - 10 grams (3% RDA)
Protein - 26 grams (43-50% RDA)
Cholesterol - 0 grams
Iron - 3.6 milligrams (20% RDA)

*Percent RDA is an approximation based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

For more information, read...

"Seitan" at

and my Q&A
"Seitan: What is it and how do you make it?" 

Other Recommended Reading...

Cooking With Seitan: The Complete Vegetarian "Wheat-Meat" Cookbook
by Barbara Jacobs and Leonard Jacobs

The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen
by Donna Klein

Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock
by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet
by Brenda Davis & Vesanto Melina

Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World
by Bob Torres, Jenna Torres

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking
by Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano

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Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.

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