Tofu Health Benefits

Tofu is a vegetarian favorite and it is usually seen in a white block in the vegetable section, but what exactly is it and will you even like it? Here are a few facts about tofu that you may not have heard.

One, tofu is a source of soy protein. It is soybean curd. Hot soymilk is curdled with a coagulant. It is strained to remove as much moisture as possible. Then, it is pressed into the desired shape.

Tofu comes in many forms: soft, firm and extra firm. Depending on your cooking needs you will choose one of the three. As a protein source it can be used in place of meat in soups, casseroles, lasagna and other dishes. Because it is moldable, it can be shaped to resemble a chicken patty, a steak, a turkey breast or even ground beef.

Second, tofu is a source of good fats. It derives almost half of its calories from fats, but it also provides protein and carbohydrates. It is a complete food.

Third, tofu is versatile. We touched in this fact a little above, but that was just scratching the surface. Have you seen those frozen vegetarian foods? The meat-like substance is made from tofu. It can be cubed and used in place of meat in stir-fry, cooked on the grill and also sautéed in a pan.

Softer tofu can be blended into a creamy base for sauces and dressings. Instead of cream cheese filling in your cheesecake, try tofu. Usually, anywhere your recipe calls for a soft cheese, you can use a type of tofu as a substitute.

Fourth, tofu has no taste. This is good. Do you know why? Tofu can take on the flavor of any food that it comes in contact with. You can marinate your tofu in chicken or beef broth or even the same types of spices you would use for meat. Add some bread crumbs and you have a savory protein addition to your meal.

Compare tofu to some of your other protein sources. It is low in calories. And, it is a leaner source of protein than meat. Unlike meat, tofu can be used in place of cheese and even yogurt in dips for veggies and fruit.