What the f*ck is tofu? How is it made? What is it made from? I’m sooooo confused.
So to make tofu, you need soy milk and a coagulant – a substance that causes liquid to change into a solid or semisolid state. After coagulating the soy milk, the resulting curds are pressed into soft white blocks. Ta-daaaa, tofu.
Here are some important facts that every tofu lover or tofu newbie should know.
1. Tofu is to soy milk as cheese is to dairy milk.
Cheese is made when milk separates into curds and whey, and tofu is made when soy milk separates into curds and whey. So, tofu is the curd of soy milk – and as a result, it is sometimes called bean curd.
2. The United States grows half of the soybeans produced in the world.
That’s a shit ton of soybeans.
3. 12,672 blocks of tofu lined up end-to-end lengthwise equals one mile.
That’s about 13,000 pounds of tofu. Heavy.
4. There are five main kinds of tofu.
Silken tofu is the most popular – it isn’t pressed or drained and has a custardy texture. Other forms include extra soft, medium, firm and extra firm.
5. Tofu is one of the oldest foods in the world.
It is believed that over 2,000 years ago, a Chinese cook accidentally discovered it by curdling soy milk using nigari seaweed. Woah.
6. Tofu may reduce the risk of cancer.
Tofu contains isoflavones, which reduces the risk of cancer. Tofu is regularly consumed in Japan – a country where the risk of breast cancer is the lowest, compared to western countries.
7. You can eat tofu for dessert.
Because of the bland nature of tofu, you can use in a variety of desserts. Silken tofu is perfect for custards and pie, and it makes for a moist chocolate cake.
8. When you hit menopause, you should definitely start eating tofu.
During menopause, a woman’s natural production of oestrogen, the primary female sex hormone, stops. Phytoestrogens, which are found in tofu, act as a weak oestrogen and may relieve menopausal symptoms. So, many women decide to start eating tofu as they enter the menopause.
9. Tofu helps you shed pounds.
Tofu helps you shed excessive water, which prevents water bloating and weight gain. Tofu also improves digestion and helps flush out toxins.
10. When you freeze tofu it turns yellow.
As tofu freezes, it takes on a yellowish hue. But as you thaw it, the tofu returns to its original color. Thank the lawd.
11. Tofu is one of the most nutritious foods in the world.
Tofu is low in fat and high in nutritious elements, and studies show that regular tofu eaters are better protected against different kinds of heart diseases.
12. Frozen tofu is referred to as “thousand layer tofu.”
When tofu freezes, large ice crystals develop within the pores, which results in the creation of large cavities that look layered, similar to a sponge.
13. Soybean is the only vegetable that contains complete protein.
The protein in soybean is “complete,” like the protein found in meat. Basically, all of the eight essentially amino acids are present.
14. A plastic was developed made from soybeans.
Henry Ford believed that soybeans were the future, so he had his engineers develop a plastic made from soybeans. And in 1935, he used the soybean plastic for the frames of Ford cars.
15. You can eat tofu skin.
Tofu skin is the film that is produced from boiling soy milk. The films are then dried into yellowish sheets also known as soy milk skin. It is used in a variety of Chinese and Japanese dishes.
16. Tofu has inspired the creation of non-tofu tofus.
17. Tofu takes on whatever flavor you are cooking with.
This makes tofu one of the most versatile foods. It can be sweet, savory or even both.
18. Tofu has a consistency that’s very similar to brain tissue.
Sorry, that fact might actually turn you off of tofu. But, fun fact.