Tofu An Easy to Prepare Protein
Tofu is a soybean product that you can find in most grocery stores. It is fast becoming a staple protein for many restaurants and for home chefs. For people who want to lose weight or who want a healthier diet, tofu is worth a look. It has a lot to offer, such as:
- Low-fat alternative to beef, pork, and poultry
- High source of protein
- Easy to cook
- Takes on the flavors of other foods
How to Buy Tofu
Tofu comes in a variety of forms. Some stores sell it pre-flavored. In its most basic form, it is sold in tubs as a block. It also is available in crumbles and as a puree. When you buy tofu, think about how you want to use it before deciding on the type of tofu you buy. The blocks of tofu come in different degrees of firmness and that makes a difference in how you use it.
Block Tofu — Available in firmnesses from extra hard to soft. Hard tofu is perfect for grilling, frying, or in soups. Soft tofu makes outstanding spreads, dips, and you can add it to hummus.
Pureed Tofu — Excellent in shakes and smoothies with milk, instead of milk or with a milk substitute. A dollop or two in your yogurt is an easy way to increase the protein in yogurt.
Tofu Crumbles — Great in place of hamburger, as toppings on chili, in tacos, or salads.
How to Prepare Tofu for Salads
Tofu in Salads — The flavored crumbles are nice in salads. A delicious way to enjoy tofu in salads is to make soft tofu jerky. The process is easy.
- Slice the firm tofu into strips that are no wider than 1/3 of an inch.
- Softly press the tofu between two pieces of paper towel to remove the excess water.
- Soak the slices in your favorite marinade like Teriyaki sauce for half an hour or overnight.
- Place the strips on a non-stick baking sheet and then into a preheated 250°F oven.
- The process takes about an hour but can take as long as two hours.
- The tofu is done when it reduces in thickness and the marinade is tacky but not dry.
To use in a salad, simply cut into bite sized pieces and add to your favorite salad mix. This is also a great snack and it goes well on sandwiches too.
One of the most beautiful things about tofu is that it takes on the flavors of food around it. It is basically bean curd and it is very bland tasting if you do not flavor it. It will absorb liquid too which is one of the keys to cooking with it. When you use tofu always gently press it between two or more paper towels. This removes much of the fluid that the curd has absorbed and it leaves the tofu dry. What that means is that you can then marinate it and it will absorb the marinade. You can also flavor tofu by frying it in seasoned oil such as garlic oil, rosemary oil, or hot pepper oil.
Flavoring tofu is easy and it is a skill that every good chef should learn. The process of flavoring tofu does not take long and it will often take on flavors as you cook it.
Benefits of Tofu
There are many benefits of using tofu as a food item. It is much cheaper than beef, pork, or poultry and will help you stretch your grocery budget. It is highly versatile to cook with and it is easy to flavor. It is also very healthy for you.
A half cup of tofu has:
- 10 grams of protein.
- 5.3 grams of fat
- 2.1 grams total carbs
- 3.0 mcg of Vitamin K
- 2.0 mg of Iron
Tofu is a healthy food and healthy foods make it easy for your body to lose weight and gain health. To discover more about how health foods help you lose weight, visit us online at the Metabolic Research Center.
We work with people who struggle to lose weight and we show them how to succeed by using smart food choices, such as tofu, in meals that make healthy eating taste great. Visit our library or talk with one of our professional counselors about the many programs we offer. You can also explore our programs online and read the many success stories. We help people just like you to gain health and shed those extra pounds.
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