Is tofu good for you? – The benefits of eating more tofu
September 14, 2023
At first glance, tofu might not be the flashiest ingredient in your fridge, but it certainly deserves some attention. With its rich history, impressive health benefits, and versatile culinary uses, this plant-based powerhouse is a fantastic ingredient to add to most recipes – savoury or sweet. Scroll down to learn more about tofu and why we think it deserves some recognition.
Tofu: What is it?
Tofu is made using soaked soybeans, which are mashed with water to form a smooth puree. Afterwards, the puree is filtered, which separates the firm, fibrous constituents from the liquid content. The liquid is then heated to just below boiling point and curdled, which solidifies the liquid content in a similar way to how cheese is made. The tofu is then pressed into slabs, while the leftover solid mass, commonly known as okara or soy, is dehydrated and used as mince, chunks, or cutlets.
An Asian staple
The history of tofu is steeped in tradition, tracing back over 2,000 years to ancient China! Since then, it has been a cornerstone of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine due to its versatility and health benefits, and is now particularly popular with vegans worldwide. Tofu made its way westward in the 1960s and 70s, gaining popularity as a health food and later as a sustainable alternative to animal proteins.
Nutritional benefits of tofu
Tofu is made from soybeans, which are highly nutritious. It is a great source of plant-based protein, essential amino acids, and minerals like calcium and iron. Plus, it’s packed with B-vitamins, especially B1. Tofu is also a low-calorie, high-fibre food, making it a smart choice for those looking to regulate their weight.
One of tofu’s superpowers is its chameleon-like ability to adapt to any dish you use it in. Savoury or sweet, main course or dessert — tofu can do it all. Because of its mild flavour, it effortlessly absorbs the tastes of its companion ingredients. From silky smoothies, hearty stir-fries, and spicy curries to rich pies, custards, and even ice cream, tofu can transform your culinary creations into nutritious, plant-powered wonders!
Tofu: An Eco-friendly Solution
In our constant quest for more sustainable food options, tofu stands out as a clear winner. Compared to many animal-based proteins, tofu requires much less water and land to produce, and emits far fewer greenhouse gases. By choosing tofu, you’re not only nurturing your own health, but you’re also contributing to a healthier planet.
Incorporating tofu into your cooking is more than just a culinary decision — it enhances your health and protects our planet. Here at School Plates, we use tofu in a range of our dishes that have been taste-tested by kids and are packed full of goodness. In fact, we’ve got an entirely tofu-themed online workshop coming up on Wednesday 20th September, where we’ll be showing you how to cook some of our favourite tofu recipes created especially for kids! You can sign up here, or keep an eye on our YouTube channel for the recording.