How to Prepare Tofu Safely

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Nutrition Facts

Apart from protein, Tofu contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and selenium, not to mention calcium and manganese.

One-half cup (126g) of tofu contain 1g of dietary fibre, 10g of protein, 2,53mg of calcium, 48.6g of magnesium and 228mg of Omega-3 fatty acids, and provides 88 calories.

Research has shown that tofu may be beneficial for your cardiovascular health and also for the relief of menopause.

Selection

Tofu comes in two forms – refrigerated and non-refrigerated. The first thing you should do when buying tofu is examine the expiration date. To ensure freshness, avoid buying tofu which that is close to the date. Once you have bought the tofu, make sure you use it well before the expiration date has passed.

Tofu comes in three different varieties–soft, firm and extra-firm. Choose the variety which will suit the type of food you are cooking. The soft variety is more suited for sauces, desserts and salad dressings. The firm and extra-firm are fine for grilling, stir-frying and baking.

Storage

Non-refrigerated, aseptically sealed tofu need not be refrigerated until you open the package. All other types of tofu should be refrigerated as soon after purchase as possible.

After opening the packages, cover all types of tofu with water and keep them refrigerated. By changing the water daily, you can keep the tofu fresh in the refrigerator for up to one week.

If you would like to freeze tofu, keep it in its original packaging. Although it can last up to five months in the freezer, be prepared for a change of texture and color. The tofu turns spongy and the color becomes a deeper yellow. If fresh tofu is available freely in the neighborhood, there is no reason for you to have to freeze it. Buy a small quantity and use as soon as possible to maintain freshness.

Food Safety

As nutritious as tofu is, you must exercise care in its preparation. If you have a choice, buy cooked or baked tofu that is vacuum sealed. Alternatively, you could choose the variety that comes in aseptic packaging. Such tofu is safe to be consumed immediately.

Avoid purchasing tofu that is packed in water. There is always the risk of bacteria breeding in the tofu as a result of temperature changes that occur when they are transported from the factory to the warehouse/supermarket and then to your home.

If you buy tofu of this variety, it is not worth taking the risk by consuming them raw. Tofu packed in water must be boiled or steamed from five to ten minutes to kill harmful bacteria before it’s used for cooking.

Cooking Tofu

Tofu can be cooked quickly and easily. Here are a few cooking tips.

  • Marinated tofu that has been baked can be included in salads and sandwiches. Olive oil is recommended as the main marinating ingredient, with seasonings like garlic or ginger thrown in for additional flavor.

  • Scrambled tofu can be prepared by mixing tofu with your preferred vegetables. To give it the appearance of scrambled eggs, add a dash of turmeric powder to the tofu.

There are numerous tofu recipes available over the Internet which has healthy eating in mind. A website worth visiting for healthy tofu recipes is Eating Well.

References

https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4393/2 - tofu nutrition facts

https://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=whfkitqa&dbid=11 - selection and storage of tofu

https://www.savvyvegetarian.com/articles/tofu-food-safety.php - tofu food safety