Tofu slices

Tofu full of nutrients

To the non-believer, tofu might seem like a white, tasteless block of God-only-knows-what whose popularity they cannot understand. Perhaps they bought it once and tried it and this further sealed their confusion.

 You either love it or you hate it, there is no in-between. People’s opinions on tofu can be rather black and white. To some, it is a delicious delicacy that they cannot wait to get their hands on but to others, tofu is an ingredient that they cannot wrap their heads around. 

However, the truth is, in most cases when someone does not like tofu, it usually means they do not know how to prepare it because prepared correctly, tofu can be incredibly delicious.


History of tofu


Although in the modern world, tofu is associated with the vegan diet and seen mostly as “novel vegan food”, tofu has been in existence for thousands of years. 

It has its origins in China. It is thought that a chef in ancient China accidentally added Nigari, a type of seaweed to his soy milk, causing it to curdle and suddenly, tofu was created. It is believed to have originated during the Han dynasty.


What makes tofu different from other meat alternatives?


An Asian tofu dish

There are two reasons that people tend to add meat substitutes to their diet. One, is to add a familiar taste or texture to their meals. 

The second is to replace the nutrients in their meal. Tofu stands out in terms of meat substitutes because it is the only meat substitute that contains all 9 amino acids present in meat. In short, tofu is a superfood. 

Therefore, by removing meat from your diet and replacing it with tofu, you are adding a cleaner, healthier dish to your meal that reflects the nutrients in meat. On top of protein, tofu is packed with calcium, iron and other vital nutrients that are important for your body.


Other benefits of tofu


In addition to its nutrients, tofu has also been shown to reduce heart health issues. Cardiovascular disease is the number of killers in the world. Like all soy products, tofu contains antioxidants, phytoestrogens and Isoflavones that help your heart to stay healthy.


How to make tofu


Soya milk is allowed to be curdled

As mentioned above, the difference between those who love tofu and those who don’t would usually be the way it was prepared when they ate it. Tofu is usually a bland, tasteless food but it can be flavoured and spiced in a way that it can be incredibly delicious. 

One of the fantastic things about tofu is that it is a spongy substance that can soak up the flavours you mix it in. Traditionally, it is cut into cubes, pan-fried or deep-fried and then tossed in with onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and other sauces. 

It can be prepared as a sweet and sour dish or as mapo tofu. It has even been prepared as curry. If you have prepared a meat dish, you can substitute tofu for the meat and use the same recipe. Another way to use tofu is as a scramble or in a wrap.

Traditionally, tofu is seen as a food for vegans or those looking to move into veganism. However, given its many health benefits, tofu would benefit anyone no matter what diet they follow. Skipping the meat and adding tofu to your meals a few times a week would help you to lose weight and improve your health drastically.