Many people are intimidated by tofu. I was one of those people a few years back and had some failed attempts at making it. Fast forward to now and I have the process perfected.
Why are people intimidated by it? They don’t know how to properly cook it, they are confused by the various types that are available at the supermarket and they think that it lacks flavor.
I hope to clear this up for you. I absolutely love tofu, now that I know how to make it. The bonus is that it is incredibly healthy for you and economical.
Why Eat Tofu?
Before we go any further, I want to tell you why you should eat tofu. If you do a search on the internet, you will find articles about the “dangers” of soy. There is a lot of misinformation floating around about soy. In fact, soy has been part of a healthy diet in the Asian culture for thousands of years and the Japanese are the longest living people on the planet. The plant-based doctors that I follow believe that soy is a healthy part of diet.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell wrote The China Study, which is based on the most comprehensive study of nutrition that was ever conducted. He has found that eating soy is a healthful way to control cholesterol levels and lower heart disease.
Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible medicine believes that soy is beneficial to health. Among the health benefits, soy products have been shown to be beneficial for lung cancer prevention and survival, prostate cancer prevention, breast cancer risk and survival rates, heart health, diabetes, bone health, inflammation and hot flashes.
Dr. Michael Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org and the book How Not to Die studies all of the published nutrition research and produces easy to understand videos for the lay person. Based on the research, he believes that soy is a healthful part of the diet.
Dr. Mark Messina is an expert on the health effects of soy. He is a huge proponent of soy. More info about the health benefits of soy can be found on the website: www.soyconnection.com.
Soy is a high protein food, containing as much protein as meat. Many meat eaters will say that you can’t find a complete protein in the plant kingdom. A complete protein is one that contains all of the essential amino acids—these are the amino acids that your body doesn’t produce on its own. Amino acids are involved in many bodily functions and work to promote health. Soy, part of the plant kingdom, is indeed a complete protein and contains all of the essential amino acids.
Best of all, tofu is low cost. A 14 ounce package of regular tofu will cost between $1.50 and $2.50 per package. One package contains 5 servings. I have been known to eat a whole package on my own, but a typical meal for me will be ½ package. You can find it at any supermarket or health food store.
I do have one word of caution. Over 90% of the soybeans that are produced in the US are genetically modified. There are many studies showing that GMO food poses a serious risk to human health. Therefore, I feel it is important to buy organic soy products, as non-organic is genetically modified.
What is Tofu?
Tofu is soy milk (mature soybeans and water) with a coagulant added. The soy milk and coagulant are simmered until the curds and whey separate and then are placed into a mold and pressed until the whey drains out. The longer you press, the firmer the tofu. Silken tofu is made without curdling the soymilk.
Types of Tofu
There are many types of tofu but for the purposes of this post, I will focus on silken and regular block tofu, which are the types that most people will start to explore. Knowing the differences will help you in choosing the right kind for the dish you wish to prepare.