I’ll admit, I’m a cliché. I’m a vegan who loves tofu.
When I decided to adopt the lifestyle a few years back, I had dabbled with tofu a bit, maybe ordering it for Chinese takeout occasionally.
But it wasn’t until I recently started experimenting with it that I realized how awesome and addicting it is.
Here are 7 reasons why I’m addicted to tofu…
You Can Make It Take on Almost Any Texture
Tofu is really the only ingredient that I know that can not only take on almost any flavor (which I’ll touch on next) but can also take on a bunch of different textures.
Here are a few examples of what I mean…
- By baking tofu in a convection oven, it can get extremely crispy. Cut it thin and salt it to make it almost like a potato chip.
- If you bake it halfway, it gets crispy on the outside and spongy on the inside. This is how you’ll usually find it at Chinese restaurants.
- If you’re in the mood for a real treat, then breading and deep-frying tofu can make it take on a fried chicken-esque flavor profile.
- It can also be creamy and refreshing in the case of silken tofu which is commonly eaten as a dessert.
- Let’s not forget dehydrating, which transform tofu into a delicious and chewy jerky.
It Absorbs any Flavor You Want
The thing about tofu is that it’s pretty bland on its own. Many people say it’s flavorless, but that’s the wrong way of looking at it.
You should really think of it as a blank canvas.
The best way to maximize the flavor that a block of tofu absorbs is to use a pressing device to get out the water.
Once all the water is out, you can marinade it with whatever you want. Many naysayers tend to skip this step.
You can use things like soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil to prep it for stir fry. Or you can use BBQ sauce if you want to throw it on the grill or dehydrate it into jerky.
This characteristic makes tofu the perfect protein for almost any cuisine you can think of.
You Can Make “Scrambled Eggs” With It
When I first heard about the fact that you can crumble up a block of tofu into a pan and create a “tofu scramble”, I’ll admit that I was sceptical.
But once I tried it, I was hooked.
With some salt, pepper and a little turmeric for yellow color, you’d be surprised how much tofu can eat like scrambled eggs. The texture is strikingly similar once it gets slightly brown, but not too overdone.
Some people even use black salt to add a bit of a “sulfur-like” flavor to it, but I haven’t got the chance to try that yet. My favorite is to serve it with roasted and cubed sweet potatoes with smokey black beans, Tex-Mex style.
You Can Thicken Smoothies with It
I like my smoothies as thick as possible. Like a milkshake that you can barely get through the straw.
Silken tofu (the style commonly used for dessert) is a great way to make a smoothie thicker without adding additional ice to your blender. Many people don’t have blenders suited for thick and frozen ingredients, but using silken tofu can give you a super thick smoothie even without ice cubes or frozen fruit.
It’s Cheap with a Long Shelf Life
Unlike many other packaged vegan foods (like mock meats), tofu is really inexpensive. If it’s on sale, I can usually get a 14 oz block of tofu for less than $2.
Most blocks you find in the store also have an expiration date of around 1-2 months past when you buy it.
Since it doesn’t burn through my weekly grocery budget, I find that it’s convenient to keep an ample amount in the fridge for whenever I need it.
You Can Make “Cheese” With It
Tofu ricotta cheese is so easy that it’s almost a joke. All you need to do is crumble up some tofu with lemon juice and salt, but you can also add other spices and things to take it to the next level. It makes the perfect addition to a veggie lasagna.
Making feta blocks out of tofu is also something you can do by marinating it for an extended period. It’s delicious on a sandwich or crumbled over a salad.
The Myths Aren’t True – Tofu Has Been Around for a Long Time
Many folks on the internet will comment or postulate that tofu causes Gynecomastia or growth of breast tissue in males. But the fact is that this happened in one studied case, to one person who was drinking 3 quarts of soy milk per day which is obscene amount to consume
The effects also reversed once he stopped.
Even drinking too much water has harmful consequences!
Tofu isn’t some new sort of experiment or fad that people just starting eating. Some of the longest living people, including the Okinawans, have been eating tofu for a long time.
In fact, it’s thought to have been first discovered over 2000 years ago in China.
The Wrap Up
Well, I hope I’ve convinced you to get out there and try cooking with some tofu!
I’m confident that after you get to know how to use it, you’ll become as addicted to it as I am.