Food – All About Tofu

Tofu is a curd made from soybeans. Although it is quite bland, it has a remarkable ability to soak up flavors and makes an excellent addition to many recipes. Tofu is actually a great convenience food and you should think of it as an ingredient rather than a meal in itself.

There are three main types of tofu. Firm tofu is dense, solid, and holds its shape in stir fries and soups or under the broiler as well as on the grill. It is higher in protein, fat and calcium than other varieties. Soft tofu works best when blended or mashed into dishes, and silken tofu is a creamy custard-like product that works well pureed. Silken tofu is particularly good for dips, sauces, and desserts.

Following are some ideas for using tofu as a vegan alternative in everyday dishes:

  • For any recipe that calls for cream, mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese or ricotta, replace half the amount with silken tofu.
  • Make a topping for baked potatoes. Combine 1/2 cup silken tofu with 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup chopped green onions or chives.

Whatever recipes you choose to make, add variety and nutrition to your meal planning. And with inventive dishes, you’ll never think tofu is boring again.

Recently, tofu has been creating quite a stir because of its potential health benefits. In addition to being a source of high-grade protein—comparable to meat in quality and more digestible—tofu is a good source of B vitamins, potassium and iron.

Tofu is sold in water-filled tubs or vacuum packs and can usually be found in the produce or dairy section of supermarkets. Since it has a limited shelf life, check the “best before” date on the package. After the package has been opened, drain the liquid, place any unused tofu in a bowl and cover with fresh cold water. Store covered in the refrigerator. Tofu will keep for one week if the water is changed daily.