Hey guys! Today I have an awesome guest post for you with a recipe from dietitian Nikki Nies, MS,RD, LD. She’s sharing a recipe that’s perfect for Meatless Monday. Take it away, Nikki!
With the 2014 Consumer Attitudes About Nutrition Health and Soyfoods reporting 45% of consumers actively seeking out products that contain soy we found it fitting to share how you can add more soy into your meals while slashing the calories and fat without compromising flavor.
While tempeh, natto, seitan and yuba are versatile soy based products, we’re highlighting the ubiquitous use of tofu today. The generation of tofu comes from curdling soy with a coagulant, such as magnesium chloride, calcium chloride or calcium sulfate. In the past, tofu was designated for only Asian dishes and found solely ethnic grocery stores, but with consumer’s demand for more plant based protein options we’ve seen it more readily available in mainstream grocery stores.
Nutrient composition of tofu can of course vary, but in general the firmer it is, the more calories, protein and fat it will have. Protein content can range from 4 grams in 3 ounces of soft silken tofu to 10 grams in the same quantity of extra firm.
Additionally, many types can be considered calcium rich due to the calcium sulfate used as a coagulant. Some brands are fortified with vitamin B12 and vitamin D so it’s recommend to compare nutrition fact labels.
With a range of consistencies—from extra soft to extra firm—tofu can be a chameleon ingredient and cater towards desired taste and use. Yet, silken tofu is best for obtaining desired velvety smooth texture of baked goods, soups and creamy dishes. It’s an exciting time to experiment with this soy based protein too as fermented, flavored and frozen varieties continue to be unveiled.
Using tofu as areplacement for eggs or other liquid ingredients can be done. Keep these suggested equivalents and ratios in mind when creating your recipe:
- 5 tablespoons of pureed tofu equals 1 egg
- 1:1 ratio of liquid ingredients
Ingredient Subs for Tofu:
As more consumers strive to not only cut food waste, using preexisting ingredients keeping pureed tofu on hand can be a great way to do so. Gone are the days of needing 4 ounces of cream cheese for a recipe and stuck with the rest and not sure what to do with it. By keeping pureed tofu on hand you can use it to substitute for the following ingredients.
- Cream cheese
- Heavy whipping cream
- Sour Cream
When blended, pureed tofu can be used in more than just smoothies. Are you using it to it’s maximum capacity? We share some of our favorite ways to add and perhaps spark so more creativity.
How to Maximize Tofu:
Tofu can be used as an substitute or when pureeing baby food. Like meat, egg yolks and other foods with more complex proteins, most pediatricians recommend introducing pureed tofu to babies that are 8 months of age and older.
Prior to pureeing, blending or mashing it can be helpful to cut into cubes. It is recommended that it be stored in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container that contains water. Water should be changed at least every two days.
Did you know it’s a great addition to preexisting recipes as well?
- Salad Dressings
- Mashed Potatoes
- Cookie Dough
Tofu can and should be a great addition to any meal. What’s your favorite way to use this ubiquitous plant based protein? Share with us on Twitter @JessCording and @simpleeatsRD.
Disclaimer: As a soy product, all forms of tofu should not be offered to individuals with a soy allergy.
Thank you, Nikki!
Nikki is a Dallas based rehab/skilled nursing facility dietitian, providing telehealth counseling to EduPlated clients and is the current Texas Academy Northeast Region Director. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @simpleeatsRD and at [email protected]