Tofu is an easy to digest, somewhat bland food with a texture similar to cheese. It is made from soybean curd and is often substituted for meats, cheeses, and certain dairy products because of its healthful properties. Tofu is also a popular food choice among people who don't eat animal products, and it is used in many different diets, including vegan and vegetarian eating plans. It's also a staple in many low fat, low cholesterol diets, and is regarded as a healthy part of high protein low-carb lifestyles.
This food offers many valuable nutritional benefits, including high concentrations of B-vitamins, easily digestible proteins, isoflavones, and unlike most soymilk products, calcium. B-vitamins and isoflavones are said to be helpful in diminishing menstrual and menopausal symptoms, including discomfort and irritability. They may also protect against certain types of cancer. Calcium helps prevent osteoporosis and other bone diseases and helps make teeth strong.
There are three different kinds of tofu: silken, soft, and firm. The silken variety is perfect for blending with other foods because of its creamy consistency. It is frequently used to replace higher fat options such as cream cheese, and it works great for a healthier version of cheesecake. Soft tofu has a texture more like al dente pasta. It is an excellent choice for dishes such as lasagna, where pasta is replaced to create a lower carbohydrate option. The firm variety is thicker and not as soft as the other types and can be diced up as an alternative to meats in dishes like salads, soups, and casseroles.
Many healthy, delicious recipes use tofu as an alternative to meat, because it takes on the flavors of other foods with which it is combined. It is quite bland and has very little distinctive flavor of its own, which makes it the preferred choice in food substitutes as compared to other low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-sodium, and even low-carb options. These other options generally have distinctive tastes or aftertastes that change the flavor of the dishes in which they are used.
This soy product is available in most supermarkets. It must be refrigerated and is usually located near other meat substitute products or in or near the produce section. Once a shopper brings it home, he or she should be sure to refrigerate it or freeze it immediately. It is generally safe to keep it for about one week in the refrigerator and at least one month in the freezer.