Tofu 101

Since starting my blog, I have gotten some questions and comments about tofu. I realize tofu can be pretty weird and intimidating at first. So here’s some info based on my own experience. Hopefully, it helps and maybe even inspires you to try it!

First off, tofu….what the heck is it? Wikipedia says tofu is, ” A food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks…Tofu has very little flavor or smell on its own, so it can be used either in savory or sweet dishes, and it is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish.” Thanks Wiki!

Coagulating soy milk…sounds pretty gross right? Honestly, it’s not gross. But the texture is kind of weird. When I stopped eating meat, I knew I needed a protein other than beans or grains that I could make for supper. I was pretty clueless about tofu. I bought the extra firm type on a whim. I soon learned that firm and extra firm are best for cooking because it holds it’s shape and it’s easy to handle. There are other types, but I have never tried them.

I learned about how to cook tofu from Emily at Daily Garnish. Her crispy tofu method is awesome, and tastes great every single time I make it. I really need to step out of my comfort zone and make it another way, but this way is just sooo good.

Before I got further, I will say that I prepare tofu about once a week, then have enough for lunch the next day. I do not overdo soy in my diet. There are conflicting studies out there. Some saying soy can help reduce the chances of breast cancer, and some saying it can increase the chances. Since breast cancer is all up in my fam, I eat it moderately just to be safe.

Also, it has been said that processed tofu aka fake meat is not so good for you. I try to avoid processed foods as much as possible so fake meat falls into this category.

Ok, moving on. How to prepare tofu…

First, I have only bought Nasoya organic extra firm tofu and Trader Joe’s organic extra firm tofu. They are both good products and one’s I buy often. Nasoya can be found at most major grocery stores.

Begin by opening the tofu package and draining the water. Tofu is stored in water to keep it moist. You will see it’s very spongy and a bit fragile. Because tofu is super saturated with water, it must be squeezed out.

To squeeze my tofu, I wrap it in a lint-free towel. Then I stack two heavy books on top and let the water drain out for about 15 minutes. While my tofu is draining, I prepare the rest of my meal, cut veggies, etc.

Now, I have only prepared tofu in a skillet with olive oil and spices. I chop it up into small pieces and cook it evenly on all sides, so it comes out nice and crispy. There are tonssss of ways to make it, so I encourage you to experiment! (I need to follow my own advice!)

If you do not use the whole block of tofu, store it in a container with water in the fridge. Change the water every day and store up to 5 days.

Easy as that! I love tofu because it takes on the flavors of whatever you are cooking. This is great for sauces, spices, and different cooking methods. By itself it doesn’t have much flavor, but it has the potential to be an awesome meal.

I can’t wait to cook out and make tofu/veggie skewers on the grill. How delish do those look?! And tofu fries…I need to recreate this ASAP!

Thinking about incorporating tofu into your diet? I say go for it. But like with most foods, eat in moderation and do your research. My limitations may not be the same as your’s, so find out what works for you!

Have a great day, lovely readers! 😀

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5 responses to “Tofu 101

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