Health benefits of tofu

Try including nutrient-rich tofu in your diet with these delicious recipes.

Tofu, also called bean curd, is a soya-derived product and a signature ingredient in Chinese and Thai cuisine. Similar to the making of cheese, Tofu is made by pressing curdling soymilk to form a cohesive bond. Its neutral taste and various consistency have made it easily compatible with almost every dish. In addition, Tofu has excellent nutritional and health benefits.

Tofu is not only a good source of protein but also contains all eight essential amino acids. By consuming Tofu, you will also intake some beneficial minerals including iron, calcium, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1. It is believed to lower the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body. Tofu also contains phytoestrogen that has a similar structure to the female hormone estrogen, as a result it can potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.

If you want to substitute meat with Tofu or want to try including more tofu in your diet, Michigan State University Extension recommends the following recipes.

Breakfast: Rainbow fruit smoothie

Ingredients: 1 cup of frozen mango, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, ½ cup of silken Tofu, 1½ cup of 100% orange juice

Instruction: Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Soup: Tofu vegetable miso soup

Ingredients: 6 oz. soft or firm cubed Tofu, 4 oz. fresh sliced mushroom, handful of chopped leafy greens, 1 whisked egg, 2 tbsp of chopped green onion and 4 cups of water or vegetable broth

Condiments: 1) salt to taste (if you don’t want to add miso); or 2) 4 tbsp miso paste.

Instructions: 1) In a pot, bring water to boil; 2) add in Tofu, mushroom, and vegetable; 3) add in the whisked egg; 4) stir in miso paste or add in salt; 5) remove pot from heat; 6) add in green onion.  

Main dish: Tofu pizza

Ingredients: 16 oz. store bought or homemade pizza crust, 1 cup cubed Tofu, 1 cup sliced red onion, ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Condiments: 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce, salt, pepper

Instructions: 1) Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit; 2) quickly pan fry cubed Tofu and season with salt and pepper; 3) lay the pizza crust on a cookie sheet; 4) spread tomato sauce on the crust; 5) add Tofu, sliced red onion, and shredded cheese on top; 6) bake for 10-15 minutes.

When cooking, be mindful of the amount of salt and sugar that you add into your meal. Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating and food safety. For more health and nutrition tips, visit Michigan State University Extension.

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