CHARACTERISTICS OF TOFU
Tofu and surroundings, let’s find out what tofu is, what are its characteristics and its properties.
Tofu is a cholesterol-free and vitamin-rich food obtained from the transformation and processing of soy milk. What are the properties? How many calories are in tofu and what are its nutritional values?
WHAT IS TOFU
Tofu is also commonly called soy cheese as it is a product obtained from the transformation and processing of yellow soybeans. The preparation allows to distinguish two types of tofu: the fresh one and the preserved one, more seasoned and therefore with longer conservation.
The origin of tofu is oriental, it seems that it was invented by a Taoist monk in 160 BC and from that moment it has become a typical ingredient of Chinese and Japanese cuisine, until it reaches our tables.
It is used and substituted in place of cheese as the texture, preparation and appearance are very similar to cheese of animal origin.
How Tofu is made
The preparation of tofutakes place by soaking the soybeans for 24 hours which are then ground and made into a pulp by adding water. This whitish milky liquid is curdled with nigari (calcium or magnesium chloride) and left to drain into molds.
The tofu is ready the day after and for the following days if you want to eat it more seasoned, with a more pronounced flavour. The flavour of fresh tofu, on the other hand, is delicate and light; the shape is usually rectangular with white loaves similar to fresh animal cheeses.
Characteristics of tofu
In the preparation in the kitchen it is very adaptable for both savoury and sweet dishes, as it absorbs the flavours and aromas of the other ingredients that accompany it very well, blending together. In specialized shops for vegetarian or oriental products we find types of tofu with herbs or spices that enhance its flavour and make it even more pleasant to cook and savour.
It is also possible to find a spreadable version suitable for croutons, sauces and savoury or sweet pies where the cook can experiment with the replacement of animal derivatives such as milk and egg while maintaining a good consistency and a delicate flavour.
Properties and characteristics of tofu
The advantage of tofu is that it does not contain cholesterol and the percentage of fat is very low compared to common cheese. In this way it is possible to prevent hypercholesterolemia and the consequences it entails, as well as rebalancing the lipid concentrations of the blood thanks to the polyunsaturated fats.
Tofu is light, low in calories, even if it is rich in many vitamins (D, B1, B2, B3 and it seems even B12) and mineral salts such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and the precious omega 3s.
It does not contain lactose and plant proteins include the 10 essential amino acids. In addition there are flavonoids, plant substances useful as antioxidants in the body that serve to fight free radicals.
100 g of tofu contains only 145 kcal / 607 kj and of course it is one of the favourite foods for those with a purely vegan diet.
The use of tofu is recommended in one or 2 portions (100gr) per week especially in vegetarian and vegan diets: in fact, being a derivative of yellow soy, too high a consumption is not recommended.
Even in China and Japan its use is limited, despite being a traditional food; without exceeding the anti-nutritional substances present in the seed, all the benefits of its properties can be obtained.
To avoid the risk of buying GMO products, just check the labels and maybe experiment with DIY at home.
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