How to Prepare Tofu

Back in the 1970’s when someone mentioned tofu, that person was known as part of the “hippie culture.” Long hair, beads, wire rim glasses, counterculture college get my drift. Now that we’re in year 2006, there is much media hype about the health benefits of soy foods. It seems everywhere you turn you are either reading about it, hearing about it, or seeing it. How to prepare tofu has become a more popular topic.

Tofu is a soybean curd found in the refrigerator section of your supermarket. Or, if you are in a ‘natural foods’ market, you will sometimes find the white blocks in a large vat filled with water.

There is less chewing and less digestive tract stress when one chooses tofu as their main protein source. If one does not want to totally remove animal flesh from their diet, tofu is an excellent food extender. Being a food extender is one way to prepare tofu.

As a food extender, tofu can be added to cheese products, egg products, and meat products. For instance, in lasagna – replace the ricotta cheese with crumbled tofu for a dish with less dairy and fat in it.

Tofu’s versatility is truly impressive. It can be used in sweet dishes, main dishes, soups, sauces, and creams, to name a few. It absorbs the taste of whatever you cook/mix it with. This makes for a wonderfully easy way to increase your protein and calcium content. All the more reason you should learn how to prepare tofu.

Here are some easy ways to prepare tofu:
1) Puree some up with herbs for a ranch-style salad dressing. Here is a standard recipe to prepare tofu this way:
a. �½ cup tofu (silken variety preferred)
b. 1 T lemon juice or vinegar (adjust amount to your liking)
c. 2 T oil
d. �½ t fresh or dried herbs (marjoram, rosemary, oregano, basil, etc.)
e. 1/8 t salt (or 1t miso)

Place all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth. Store in airtight
Container in fridge.

2) Or, whip some up with fruit for a high protein fruit smoothie. Simply add some to the milk base.
3) Make a baked potato topping by blending some tofu with chives, lemon juice, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Just mash all the ingredients together in a bowl. Use this in place of sour cream. This is one way to prepare tofu.
4) Make tofu whipped cream. Use this instead of dairy whipped cream:
1 – 12 oz block of tofu
2 T honey
�½ t vanilla extract
Put all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth.
See how easy it is to prepare tofu?

After recently being approached by one of my students with a challenge of “masking tofu”, I developed the following recipe. It is a hit every time I prepare it. Tofu is used in its pureed form, very quick and easy. This is a perfect way to prepare tofu.

TROPICAL MOUSSE (serves 4-5)
1 block tofu, crumbled (about 12 ounces)
1 large mango, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons apple juice concentrate, frozen
2 tablespoons pineapple juice concentrate, frozen
3 tablespoons coconut
mandarin oranges, if desired
coconut for garnishment

a. Put the mango into a food processor/blender and puree until smooth.
b. Crumble tofu into the mango mixture.
c. Add remaining ingredients.
d. Puree mixture until smooth.
e. Adjust juice amounts to your liking, depending on taste and thickness desired.
f. Serve cup portions in bowl.
g. Top with mandarin oranges, if desired.
h. Sprinkle coconut on top for a pretty site.
i. Refrigerate unused portions in airtight container.

How easy is that? And�tasty!

This article on how to prepare tofu only touches upon the versatility of this remarkable food. Open up your world to the magnificent versatility and magic of tofu. Learn how to prepare tofu. Your health will likely benefit, as will your pocketbook.

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