People become more and more health conscious with each passing year. Fad diets, home gyms, and quick weight loss pills constantly flood the market. However, there has always been one tried and true road to good healthy; healthy eating. Finding ways to eat healthy can be difficult, especially with the high fat and cholesterol content that is found in red and white meats. But there is an alternative that has been long embraced by both eastern culture and vegetarians alike, and that alternative is tofu.
Tofu is made from soybean curd that is pressed into blocks that can be used in various recipes and methods of cooking. Different varieties of tofu are suited for different kinds of recipes. Soft tofu is a form of fresh tofu – produced directly from soy milk- and contains the highest moisture content of all varieties. Its custard-like texture makes it conducive to use as a dessert.
Firm tofu is a form of fresh tofu that has slightly less moisture content than soft tofu. While it is still soft in texture, it is able to hold its shape unlike soft tofu. The firmest form of fresh tofu is dried tofu. Dried tofu has the lowest moisture content and has the firmness of cooked meat. Dried tofu can be sliced, crumbled, or pressed into forms like noodles.
Tofu’s appeal to chefs and diners is two fold. First and foremost, it has very little natural flavor so it can be used in a wide variety of dishes and sauces. Tofu’s lack of flavor allows it to assume the flavors of the recipe without overpowering the dish. Its versatility is also evident in the preparation methods as well. Tofu can be served raw, fried, grilled, stewed, stir fried, in soups, or even as a filling or stuffing. But ultimately, tofu’s wide appeal extends beyond its versatility. Its nutritional benefits make it a food of choice for so many health conscious people. Tofu is low in calories, high in protein, and has no cholesterol. The FDA states that a daily intake of twenty-five grams of soy protein, which is found in tofu, may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Tofu is literally a “wonder food” that acts as a canvas for flavors while providing tremendous health benefits. It is no wonder that tofu has become increasingly popular for food lovers and health conscious diners alike.