Tofu - what is this cheese and what is it eaten with?
Any real vegetarian can tell you exactly what kind of product it is and why it is needed at all, but for people who eat meat, tofu should be an interesting and very useful discovery.
In fact, it is a curd mass, which according to the rules is obtained from soybeans, however, today, soy powder is most often used for these purposes. Soy milk is obtained from it, which, in fact, goes through all the stages of preparation, like ordinary cheese: it is curried with the help of a coagulant (most often, with the help of magnesium chloride or calcium sulphate).
The result is a mass that resembles ordinary cottage cheese by all external signs, which is sealed under a press in special sealed packages with water.
The story of the emergence of such an interesting product has several possible options: the most common of them originates in ancient China, even a few centuries BC. According to legend, one Chinese cook decided to experiment and in the usual bean puree he added a little nigari (coagulant), so to speak, for flavor.
As a result, mashed potatoes quickly curtailed, and turned out cottage cheese, which, as a result, the population liked, and it was called tofu. In Japan, he was brought a little later, along with Buddhist monks who used it in their rites, over time, tofu spread to ordinary people.
In Europe, such cheese appeared relatively recently, approximately in the middle of the 20th century, when the active establishment of relations with Asian countries began. From those early years to this day, tofu is one of the most common foods in Thailand, Korea and Vietnam.
Composition and useful properties
Many housewives are interested in how to prepare such a useful and amazing soybean tofu, because due to its unique composition, it is very popular among vegetarians, people with stomach diseases, and also those who adhere to the rules of healthy nutrition, athletes and those who want to gain muscle mass.
What is so unique about this product? The fact is that the composition of soy cheese includes a record amount of vegetable protein, which is rich in essential amino acids.
This makes it a product that is capable of the amount of protein, replace meat, it is successfully consumed during fasting, as well as people who are prone or struggling with obesity.
In addition to vegetable protein, it contains important micro- and macro elements: magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, calcium, folic acid, which can have a positive effect on many areas of human life.
A large number of B and C vitamins are useful for people who have heart problems, tofu is useful for those who suffer from diabetes, gastritis, it protects the human body and promotes the active withdrawal of dioxin that causes cancers.
At home, soy cheese is called "meat without bones," because it is not only rich in protein, but also carbohydrates, which are well absorbed, so it is recommended for use by children and adults.
In total there are several varieties of soy cheese, among which are hard and soft varieties. Hard tofu, or, as it is also called, "momen", is most often used for cooking fried and smoked dishes, and it is also used for deep-frying.
According to its consistency, it is also divided into two types: Western and Asian, the latter will be more watery. Soft soy cheese, or "kinugosi," is characterized by a high water content,in appearance, it rather resembles a soft pudding, so it is most often used to make various sauces, salads, and sweet desserts.
There are also savory types of tofu, which, to a greater extent, are common in China, their specific taste is achieved through the use of a variety of seasonings and spices.
Due to its low calorie content (only 73 kcal per 100 g of the product), tofu has become a favorite product among people who watch their weight, it can easily replace meat or rice in the usual diet.
What is nice, using such a product, rather quickly a feeling of fullness, but the extra calories are not added, there are even special techniques that explain how to lose weight with the help of the "tofu diet."
True, you should pay attention to the product you are buying. Nowadays, tofu with various additives, such as nuts or butter, spices, is quite common, naturally, its caloric content instantly takes off.
What can you cook?
As it is known, such cheese is truly unique, despite the fact that it practically does not have its own taste and smell, it is successfully used in various fields of cooking.
The thing is that it has a special property to absorb other tastes and smells, as a result, it turns out to be a very fragrant and tasty dish, and how this taste will be depends entirely on what you fill it with - sweet, salty, savory. or sour.
The most important thing is to skillfully use a variety of seasonings, because, in many respects, the final taste of tofu will depend on them. At home it can be baked, stewed, pickled, stuffed vareniki and pancakes with them, smoked so that it acquired the taste of ham or mixed with raisins and jam, baked cheese cakes or cooked pasta.
Tofu and Crab Stick Salad Recipe
To prepare you will need:
- tofu - 300 g;
- crab sticks - 6 pcs .;
- krill meat - 1 jar;
- onion green, dill, mayonnaise.
Preparing such a tasty and healthy salad is easier than ever. To do this, it is enough to cut tofu into small cubes, crumble the crab sticks there and chop a couple of sprigs of green onion with dill into ringlets.
From the jar of krill meat, pour out the water, knead it with a fork and mix with the rest of the products, add mayonnaise.
Despite the fact that the use of soy cheese for the human body is indisputable, there are also a number of contraindications in which it should not be eaten anyway, otherwise you can cause serious harm.
For example, it should be restricted to pregnant and lactating women, small children, and people who suffer from urolithiasis.
It is also established that the memory of a person may start to suffer from overeating with such a product, especially if the soybeans from which the product was made grew in some unfavorable region. In order not to stumble upon such cheese, it is necessary to pay attention to its marking.
It should be remembered that tofu is not stored for too long, usually its shelf life does not exceed several weeks, long-term storage can be carried out only by freezing it.
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