Saturday, May 28, 2011

Learn About Tofu

You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to experiment with tofu. Also known as “bean curd,” tofu is an excellent source of soy-based protein and iron and it lends itself to a variety of delicious, healthy dishes. Tofu can be found in a number of different forms: Silken tofu (or Japanese-style tofu) is softer, smoother, and generally better for creamier dishes, while regular tofu (or Chinese-style tofu) is firmer and more granular in texture, and it works especially well in stir-fries, stews, soups, salads, and more. You can enjoy a 1/2 cup serving of all varieties of tofu on all phases of a low glycemic diet.

Buying and Storing Tofu
Both silken and regular tofu can be purchased at an Asian market or health food store and many supermarkets now carry both types as well. Each type comes in varying degrees of firmness: soft, firm, and extra-firm. Light silken tofu is also available. There are also ready-to-eat baked and marinated versions of regular tofu available in a variety of flavors, from Italian to Asian. Regular tofu is always packed in water and sold refrigerated. Silken tofu is usually sold in vacuumed-packed containers that do not need to be refrigerated and can last for years on the shelf unopened.

Cooking With Tofu
Silken tofu is ideal for puddings, smoothies, dips, soups, salad dressings, sauces, pie fillings, and other creamy desserts (even cheesecake!). Regular tofu is an excellent meat replacement and delicious marinated for stir-frying, sautéing, or grilling. It’s also great in baked tofu dishes or in any dish in which you want the tofu to retain its shape. Try it crumbled and scrambled as well.

See more South Beach Diet Tips.

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