Tofu is a nutritious meat substitute that can provide you with the protein you need. Check out this article if you’d like to know how to eat like a vegetarian!
ONE – Tofu comes from beans
Tofu is actually made of bean curds! Similar to the process of making cheese, Tofu is made from cooking soybeans into a kind of ‘soy juice’ and then adding Nigari (magnesium chloride for all you chemists out there). Nigari acts as a coagulant and produces curds that are pressed into the soft white blocks of tofu that you see in the supermarket.
TWO – It’s 2,000 years old
Tofu has been around for over 2, 000 years! Tofu was first developed in China around 200 B.C. It is thought that very early Buddhist monks ate tofu as part of their strict vegetarian diets.
THREE – Tofu can be a dessert
Tofu can be a dessert! Generally, you can get three types of tofu: silken, soft, and firm. Where firm and extra-firm tofu is more meat like in texture and is great for stir-fries, silken tofu is very creamy, almost like custard, and so it is used to make delicious desserts from chocolate pudding to pumpkin pie to cheesecake! It is also great for adding thickness and protein to smoothies!
FOUR – It’s a chameleon
Tofu is the chameleon of food! Yes, tofu is naturally very bland, and this is why it’s such a great and versatile food to cook with – it takes on any flavour you cook it with! Get creative with it! Just make sure you press as much water out of blocks of tofu as you can. The more water you get out, the more room for flavour to get in! Check out this recipe for doenjang soup and spice up your tofu!
FIVE – Frozen Tofu is a delicacy
Frozen tofu is a delicacy! It is called Thousand Layer Tofu because when it is frozen, the large ice crystals that develop within the tofu result in the formation of large cavities that appear to be layered. Have left over tofu? You can freeze it! It will be more textured than fresh tofu but it will hold all the more flavor! Just let defrost before cooking and then cook it like regular tofu.
SIX – Less fat and cholesterol
Tofu trumps other sources of protein in terms of fat and cholesterol content! A 4 oz serving of ground pork contains 24g fat, 9g saturated fat, 105 mg of cholesterol. The same serving of lean ground beef – 17g of fat, 7g saturated fat, and 100 mg of cholesterol. Tofu contains only 6g of fat, no saturated fat, and zero cholesterol.
SEVEN – Awesome
Tofu’s nutritional breakdown is awesome! And it’s a great source of protein. One half-cup of tofu contains:
- 10 grams of protein (the equivalent of about half a chicken breast)
- 25 percent of the daily recommended value of calcium
- 11 percent of iron
- 5 grams of fat
- high phosphorous, magnesium, copper, and selenium
Due to its nutritional rapport, it’s one of the recommended ingredients of the student kitchen. To check them all out, click here!
EIGHT – All essential amino acids
Tofu contains ALL of the essential amino acids! This makes it unique among plant proteins. There are 20 common amino acids and 8 to 10 of these are essential amino acids, meaning our bodies cannot make them, so we have to get them from our diet. Soybeans, and consequently tofu, contain all of the essential amino acids making it the only complete plant protein.
NINE – Health benefits
Tofu has great health benefits! Adding a moderate amount of tofu to your diet can reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, lower cholesterol, reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease (CD), heal hot flashes (yes, hot flashes), and prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries – not a good thing).
TEN – Tofu is everywhere
You can find Tofu at most of the dining locations on campus. Next time you are looking for a healthy meal, try a tofu dish! Here are some examples of what’s available on campus:
- Butter Tofu (instead of butter chicken) at Veda (Sandford Fleming, Multi-Faith Centre, Rehabilitation Sciences Building)
- Tofu stir-fry at the Spring Rolls locations (Medical Science Building and Sid’s Cafe)
- Szechwan Tofu Stir-fry at New College Dining Hall
- Jerked Tofu Nuggets at Chestnut Dining Hall
- Tofu Ratatouille at Howard Ferguson Dining Hall
Check out our Locations page to find all of these wonderful dishes!