Tofu: Yummy Protein from Plants!

We all know that the Protein Group includes steak, fish, chicken, and eggs; did you remember that there are also plants that belong in the Protein Group?

What plants do you know that have protein in them?

Beans, rice, and nuts all contain protein in the form of amino acids, which are like tiny building blocks we get from our food that we need to survive. Some of them our body can make from food, but there are nine that we have to eat because we can’t make it ourselves. These nine are called “essential amino acids”. We can use these amino acid building blocks to grow hair, fingernails, and muscles. Tofu is made from soy, which is in the bean family, and soybeans, soymilk, and tofu all have yummy protein for us to eat.

We are pretty sure that the Chinese made tofu first, almost 3,000 years ago, and completely by accident! What a yummy mistake. The story says that a cook accidentally curdled soy milk by stirring seaweed into it. They then took the curdled bits out, and let them rest in in a basket, the same way that their Mongolian neighbors did to their curdled milk to make cheese. The result was a delicious white block of tofu, so that cook shared the recipe with all of their friends and soon, everyone was enjoying tofu throughout China. Tofu is easy to digest and full of protein and antioxidants to keep us going.

Tofu can be pressed for a short amount of time to get soft, smooth silken tofu, or it can be pressed longer for a firmer block. Use the texture of tofu as a guide to help you decide what to cook. Add smooth silken tofu to smoothies, soups, puddings and dips. Bake nuggets from extra-firm tofu or cut it into cubes and sauté with stir-fry vegetables. Tofu doesn’t taste like much, and will soak up all the flavors around it, so you can make it taste any way you want! Its great in chocolate pudding, soaked in spices and baked, or served in curry sauce over rice!

Tofu low calorie, low fat, and is packed with vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, and Vitamin B-6, plus has all nine essential amino acids. Remember those building blocks we need? Yep. Tofu has all of them!

Have you ever tasted tofu? Will you try something new with Captain Create?

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