Tofu might be gluten-free.
What Is Tofu?
Tofu is a plant based food that is made by curdling soy milk. It comes in solid cakes, but it is part of a family of foods. It includes silken tofu, deep-fried tofu burgers, cutlets, pouches, pressed tofu, grilled tofu, smoked tofu, and frozen tofu. It is the most widely used soyfood. In Asia, it is a staple the way that meat, cheese, and milk are staples in the Western countries.
History of Tofu
Although the origin of tofu is unclear, it is believed that it began in China. There is a document that references it from 950 AD. However, the Liu An Theory says that it was developed by Liu An, who was kind of Huainan, in the southeast part of north China between 179 and 122 BC.
Another theory is the Accidental Coagulation Theory, which states that it was created by accident before 600 AD. This theory believes that someone seasoned a pureed soybean soup with unrefined sea salt and noticed that curds formed. The Indian Import Theory says that tofu came from the Buddhist monks of India.
The Mongolian Import theory says that the Chinese adapted the process from the cheese making process of the Mongolian tribes that lived on China’s northern border. It is difficult to know which theory is the right one, but tofu has been around for a long time.
After it was created, during the rule of the Sung Dynasty in China, tofu became a common food for the lower classes. Later, during the Ming Dynasty from 1368 to 1662, tofu became popular among the rich and the poor. In fact, the emperor ate tofu from time to time. The Ching ruled China from 1662 to 1912, and tofu became a staple in China, as well as the most popular soyfood.
The first person from the West to mention tofu was Navarrete, in 1665, and the first detailed instructions for preparing tofu appeared in 1866. Tofu has a long history, and it is an alternative to meat for many people.
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Why Isn’t Tofu Always Gluten-Free?
Above, it says that tofu might be gluten-free. The problem is that there are different types of tofu, and the ingredients determine whether or not they are gluten-free. You should always check the ingredients, and if it contains wheat, barley, rye, or other ingredients that contain gluten, it will not be gluten-free.
You may find tofu that says, “May contain gluten.” This tells you that it is not gluten-free. This is especially important for celiacs and others who can’t eat gluten. Even if a brand makes a gluten-free tofu, check any other flavors to make sure that they are gluten-free as well. Look for packaging that says “Gluten-free certified” to buy tofu with confidence.
Interesting Facts About Tofu
There are many interesting facts about tofu, including the following:
1. Tofu is made using the same process as cheese. They take dried soybeans, soak them in water, crush them, and boil them. Then, the mixture is separated into soy milk and pulp. They add sodium to the milk to separate the curds and whey. The curds are then pressed into blocks of tofu.
2. Although tofu comes from China, it has a Japanese name.
3. Benjamin Franklin was the first person to bring tofu to the United States in 1770.
4. Tofu has no flavor when you eat it plain, so you can add seasoning to choose how it tastes.
5. There are different types of tofu. The texture differs based on how much water is pressed out of the soy curds when it is processed. Firm tofu contains more fat and protein than soft tofu.
6. Some people say that tofu has health benefits, including the following:
- Boosts energy
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Lowers risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
- Improved Kidney function
- Reduces bone loss and symptoms of osteoporosis after menopause
- Relieves symptoms of menopause
- Helps you maintain a healthy weight, BMI, and cholesterol levels
- And more
There are studies that show that tofu can help reduce the risk of developing some cancers, so there are potentially many medical benefits to including tofu in your diet.
7. There are several theories about who invented tofu, but nobody knows the actual answer.
8. Tofu didn’t become popular in the United States until after 1971. Francis Moore Lappe wrote a book called Diet for a Small Planet, where he advocated for a meatless diet as being better for the planet and for the health of people.
9. You need to squeeze out tofu before using it. Otherwise, it won’t be able to absorb seasoning and flavors, and it will just break apart when you are cooking with it.
10. Tofu is one of the best sources of vegan-friendly protein. It is also low in calories and fat by nature, and plain tofu is often gluten-free. It contains iron and calcium.
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What to Add to Tofu
Since tofu is naturally flavorless, you can add many different seasonings before you eat it. It will take on the flavor of the meal you prepare. You can use dried herbs, such as basil, ginger, lemongrass, or oregano. Some people also use mushrooms, sesame oil, seeds, and lemon juice. If you prefer something spicy, you can use cayenne, curry, garlic, onion, or chili.
You can also flavor tofu by marinating it for 30 minutes. Mix vinegar, olive oil, and any herbs you would like. The tofu will take on whatever flavors you add, so you will be sure to enjoy it.
- Coagulant, such as magnesium chloride or calcium sulfate
|Serving size: ⅕ block|
|Amount Per Serving|
|Calories 102||Calories from Fat 51|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 5.8g||9%|
|Saturated Fat 0.9g||5%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carbohydrate 2.9g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.2g||5%|
|Vitamin A 2%||Vitamin C 0%|
|Calcium 26%||Iron 9%|
|Thiamin 7%||Riboflavin 4%|
|Vitamin B6 3%||Niacin 1%|
|Magnesium 9%||Phosphorus 12%|
|Zinc 7%||Copper 12%|
|Pantothenic Acid 1%|