All About Tofu – Pros and Cons – Detailed Guide 2023

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This soy substitute for cheese has become so popular that today even non-vegetarians include it to their diets. It is said that tofu is healthy and can be consumed by anyone regardless of their state of health. So why do some people still question the benefits of tofu?

Let us find it out.

The History Of Tofu

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Many of us call it soy cheese, and basically, it is quite close to the truth. Just like ordinary cheese made of cow milk, tofu is a result of coagulating soy milk and further pressing the curds into blocks.

This foodstuff has a subtle flavor which makes it suitable for adding into savory and hot dishes. Besides, it absorbs odors and savors very well, that is why this “cheese” goes so well with various sauces and marinades.

This foodstuff can be hard or soft, it can be white, beige, or have slightly yellowish shade – all hangs upon what sort of soybeans was used for making it. The taste also varies from bland to more beany.

This product has been known for two thousand years already being first created in China. From there, it spread all over the East getting to Japan, Vietnam, Korea, and other countries. And although we still don’t know how exactly it was invented, tofu has become and remains very popular nowadays not only in Asian cuisines.

Types Of Tofu

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We are used that tofu is sold in bricks of white or light beige, but in fact, this soy cheese can have more shapes.

  • Unpressed tofu

This is actually a gelled soy milk with curds prior to being cut and pressed. It has a gelly-like or spongy texture, smooth and soft.

  • Extra soft

This is also the unpressed product made of soy milk mixed with sea salt to make it curd. Those curds stay soft and loose, and such a product is consumed boiled with some seasonings or without them.

  • Soft

Also highly moist, unpressed, and jelly-like, this soy cheese is usually used as a substitute for eggs, dairy products, and as a part of smoothies or bakery desserts.

  • Pressed (firm) tofu

This is the one we all know. Hard bricks of this drained soy product must be quite moist and bounce when pressed.

  • Extra-firm

This sort of soy product reminds cooked meat in terms of hardness. It crumbles when sliced, but some types of it can be noodle-shaped and eaten as a side dish.

Tofu Eating Pros And Cons

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So is this soy cheese good or bad? It does indeed has several undeniable benefits that have been proved by scientists.

  • It lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Its antioxidant properties lower the risk of certain types of cancer
  • It’s beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes since soy protein doesn’t wash out of body
  • Soy protein in tofu makes the kidney functions better
  • It’s good for bones reducing the bone loss
  • It protects our liver from being damaged by free radicals
  • Tofu is even good for brain health!

On the other hand, scientists warn that tofu and other soy products must be consumed reasonably since the excess intake of this product may cause certain health issues.

  • It was suggested that excessive soy intake could increase the risk of breast cancer
  • Processed soy cheese and other soy foods can more likely cause tumor than unprocessed counterparts
  • Those soyfoods produced in the US are mostly genetically modified which makes them health threatening.

So, to be sure bean curd won’t harm you, choose this product made of organic soy, unprocessed, and don’t eat it excessively. One hundred twenty grams per person daily is more than enough to get all the beneficial nutrients and keep your body healthy.

How to Cook Tofu

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Most of us only know that bean curd can be either marinated or added to stir-fries, or, well, maybe grilled. But in fact, this soy product has way more options for being used!
To fully experience the culinary abilities of tofu, try several recipes that call for this ingredient.

1. Tofu Pad Thai

A sweet and spicy dish made of noodles, tofu, beans, and veggies takes only twenty minutes to make it.

2. Sweet tofu with bok choy

Immerse into Asian cuisine with this piquant and easy dish with tofu seasoned with garlic and ginger.

3. Tofu curry

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Why not try something unusual and make a common recipe taste new? Traditional curry with spiced soy cheese can make this dish “sound“ unexpected!

4. Miso tofu

This extremely easy soup will become more nutritious if you add tofu and noodles to it.

5. Ginger soup

This Thai food with wild rice and coconut milk is spicy and hearty. Tofu will be very welcomed here!

6. Peanut butter tofu stir-fry

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Tofu, red cabbage, and veggies seasoned with soy sauce and peanut butter – the taste you won’t forget!

7. Toasts, rolls, tacos

Tofu is a truly versatile thing. When fried, with some favorite sauce of yours, it fits any sandwich, or toast perfectly well. As a variant, try to add cubes of fried tofu to tacos – we bet this soy cheese will fit the spicy Mexican snack perfectly!

8. Oven-baked tofu bites

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A perfect option for a quick snack. Crispy baked tofu cubes go perfectly well on their own or paired with rice. Anyway, it is a healthy substitute for nuggets!

9. Tofu cup pie

Yes, this soy cheese can be used even for making desserts! This sweet, silky cake with peanut butter has bean curd to thank for its amazing texture. Fast to make, and fast to eat!

10. Tofu fudgesicles

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Even for ice cream, this product can become a perfect ingredient. These chocolate popsicles are creamy and tasty – all thanks to the soy cheese. And yes, they are way healthier!

So, as you can see, tofu can become an irreplaceable part of your daily cooking! Only make sure you buy healthy and organic products since only then will it be possible to enjoy its taste and texture to the full and be sure that it will bring you only good.

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