Behind soy sauce, tofu is the best-selling soy product in the United States. Tofu is made from soymilk by coagulating the soy proteins with calcium or magnesium salts, usually in the form of nigan seaweed. After the whey is discarded, the curds are pressed together to form a cohesive bond that can rage from soft to firm. Tofu originated in China 2,000 years ago when a cook accidentally curdled soymilk after adding nigari seaweed. Tofu was introduced in Japan in the eighth century, and to the United States in the 1960s. With interest in healthy eating on the rise, tofu has grown in popularity.
- Tofu is an excellent source of iron, calcium, protein as well as the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous.
- It also contains magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1.
- Because it is made of soy, tofu provides protection against cancer and heart disease.
- Studies have shown that substituting foods like cheese with tofu can help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Tofu is often used as a substitute in many dishes for various ingredients such as steak and cheese. For an imitation egg salad, scramble tofu with vegetables, mustard, paprika and turmeric, in a pan with olive oil. Or, add tofu to a stir-fry with snap peas, ginger, cashews and your vegetables of choice. A slightly more unconventional application is to add tofu to a mix of blueberries, bananas and flax meal in a blender for a parfait like breakfast or desert. Are you a tofu fan? Read my “Encyclopedia of Healing Facts” for more preparation tips!