Benefits of tofu and its properties
September 29, 2020
Would you like to eat less meat? Tofu is a fantastic low-fat option that contains plenty of protein.
Tofu, made from soya beans, is an excellent source of low-fat protein. To give you an idea, 240 grams of tofu provides the same protein as a 75- or 90-gram steak of ground beef. It is also low in calories and contains a lot of calcium. A 110g serving of tofu contains only 120 calories and as much calcium as a glass of cow's milk. It is also a source of isoflavones that can help mitigate menopausal symptoms.
When it comes to cooking, tofu is a very versatile food. It is true that it has little flavour, but its porous texture easily absorbs the flavours of the ingredients with which it is cooked. Thus, it can be mixed with chocolate to make a dessert or with garlic, lemon juice and basil to make a sauce. Tofu can be incorporated into recipes in a variety of ways. Try it shredded, mashed, sliced, simmered, baked, poached, fried, creamed or diced. You can also buy it baked, smoked, fermented or fried.
How is it made?
Tofu is made in a similar way to simple cheeses, such as cottage cheese. A mineral salt or coagulant is mixed with hot liquid soybeans. The liquid is then separated into curds and whey. Finally, the curd is pressed to form a block, knowing that the longer the pressing time, the more solid it becomes.
What to look for when buying tofu: types of tofu
Tofu can be found in supermarkets, in the fruit and vegetable section or where refrigerated foods are placed. It is sold immersed in water and the water must be removed before cooking. The textures offered and the most appropriate dishes for each are as follows:Firm (or regular) tofu.
This is a tofu that can be used in many recipes. It is not as soft as silken tofu and not as grainy as extra firm tofu. When fried it becomes creamy on the inside. It can be used as a topping on pizzas or in chili and tacos.
Extra firm tofu. This is the type of tofu that is pressed for the longest time, so it will not fall apart when cooked. There are many ways to enjoy extra firm tofu: marinated, gratinised or crumbled to make it look like minced meat for burgers.
Silken tofu. Silken tofu is a soft, silken tofu with a texture similar to custard. Silken tofu can be found in soft, firm and extra firm, but these are all varieties of soft tofu. It can be used as a salad dressing, filling for cakes, desserts and vegetable smoothies.