May 092012

tofu nutritionTofu nutrition information: it has many important minerals and vitamins and is an excellent source of plant-based protein.

One of the healthiest changes you can make in your diet is to incorporate nutritious soy foods on a regular basis. One of my favorite soy foods is tofu–packed with tons of nutrition and health benefits. I won’t kid you—tofu does take some getting used to, but its neutral flavor and different textures allows it to absorb different seasonings, making it versatile and an excellent choice for culinary experimentation.

It’s funny. Tofu is one of those things I experimented with in the 80’s and lately I find my body is craving plant-based protein, so it’s back on the menu. With a bit of creativity in spicing, you can travel the world with tofu. It lends itself well to both Asian and Indian spices—even Cajun.

Tofu Nutrition: What is the Nutrition and Health Benefit of Tofu?

Soy is rich in protein, iron, selenium, and phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which seem to protect against hormone-driven cancers such as prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Soy also helps protect your heart, and is a powerful cholesterol fighter.

Tofu is one of the most versatile protein rich foods and is often used as a meat substitute in vegan or vegetarian diets. It contains all the essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own. Eating tofu has long been known for its benefit in alleviating the symptoms associated with menopause; and since many types are fortified with calcium, it can help fight bone loss.

Tofu provides 14.4% of the daily value for Omega-3 fats in just 4 ounces. Omega-3 fats have been the subject of intensive study by researchers and have a broad array of health benefits. Omega-3s help prevent erratic heart rhythms, make blood less likely to clot inside arteries (which is the ultimate cause of most heart attacks), and improve the ratio of good HDL to bad LDL cholesterol.
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Tofu Nutrition

Tofu Nutrition: Four ounces of tofu provides 10 grams of protein, 5 grams fat (less than 1 gram saturated), 15 mg of sodium, and 2 grams of carbohydrates at a cost of only 86 calories.

How to Buy and Store Tofu

You can buy tofu almost anywhere these days, even discount super centers. It will take some time to find a type, or brand that works for you. Avoid buying the type sold in bulk in large vats, as it can easily be contaminated. Look for the Chinese-style tofu in tubs of water, or in boxes, usually right below the bagged greens at your grocers.
If you use tofu in stews, stir-fries, grilled dishes, or sautés, buy firm or extra-firm tofu.

If you are using tofu in sauces and desserts, buy silken tofu.

Keep your tofu submerged in fresh water in the refrigerator, change the water daily, and eat it within a week.

A popular way to use tofu is to bake a batch. Cut a pound of tofu into 8 slices, season, or rub with spices or flavor with teriyaki, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F until tofu buckles slightly and browns, then flip to other side. You can store this for a week (no water) in the refrigerator and add to sandwiches, soups, stir-fries, or salads.

More ways to add Tofu to your diet

  • Add tofu to fruit soups this summer. I’m thinking a chilled mango ginger sounds really good.
  • Tofu smoothies. Blend 6 ounces of silken tofu, 1 medium banana, 2/3 cup of soy milk, and one cup of fresh or frozen blueberries or strawberries. Add honey to taste.
  • Egg-less Tofu salad sandwich. Press until very dry, crumble into small bowl. Add cooked veggies, (peppers, carrots, onions), and about 2 tsp of mixed spices to taste. Hit it with some flavorful Dijon, or Southwest-style mustard, and you won’t miss the egg.
  • Grill it. You can do this in slices to get the pretty grill marks, or use it cubed as part of a kebab with your favorite vegetables.

Tofu Press

I recommend this tofu press if you’re tired of the paper towels and plate press. It can be used for spinach or eggplant as well.

tofu nutrition

Tofu Recipes

Enjoy the benefits of tofu nutrition with this week’s recipe for a quick Tofu-Spinach Scramble that’s great any time of day.

Now that you know tofu’s nutrition information, don’t you “like” tofu?

To buy tofu, check out our online health food store. To help get you started, I’ve shared my Top 25 Shopping List.

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