Nutritional Value of Tofu
As I mentioned, tofu is a condensed block of soy beans that have been pulverized into a smooth paste like texture and mixed with water. It is typically in water when purchased and therefore must be adequately drained prior to cooking. Soy beans are considered to be one of the few plant-based products that are considered a complete protein. Simply meaning that it contains all of the 9 essential amino acids that our body needs to acquire from the food we eat in order to make proteins. For a more detailed explanation on the differences between protein, check out my post all about protein here. Back to tofu, tofu is not only a great source of protein, but also has no saturated fat, cholesterol, or sodium as is. In addition, tofu also contains calcium, as well as manganese and selenium to name a few. Numerous studies have often shown that soy-based products such a tofu are also beneficial to preventing heart disease and is also useful in lowering cholesterol and more specifically LDL cholesterol (aka the dangerous cholesterol).
Is soy bad for you?
Word on the street is that soy-derived products can have harmful effects on the body and most of this comes from the belief that the phytoestrogen found in soy products acts as estrogen found in the human body. Being that phytoestrogen is a plant-derived form of estrogen, it is much weaker than estrogen in our own body and there are many factors that can influence its effects on the body. This topic much like many within the field of nutrition and dietetics is very complex so instead of trying to explain it, I will link for you what I feel is a very comprehensive article written by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The article explains all the different factors to take into account based on the article you read to research the effects of soy. To keep with the integrity of this blog, I urge you to do your own research and to keep in mind where you obtain your information from. I myself consume organic unsweetened soy milk once a day in place of cow’s milk and occasionally consume tofu when I am in the mood. Like with any other food, soy should not be eaten in excessive amounts (like 1 carton a day sort of thing) to avoid adverse health effects. All you need to know is that a varied and nutrient dense diet will help to keep you in the best health possible so my advice is to vary your food sources often enough to keep both your taste buds and body satisfied.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into the recipe.
- 1 block firm or extra-firm organic tofu
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (tamari or liquid aminos for gluten-free)
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Preheat your oven to 425F. Begin by removing the tofu from the water and press out as much water as possible.
To remove as much water as possible place the tofu block on a clean kitchen towel and cover. Place a heavy item or a plate with several cans on top to act as a tofu press to get the tofu as dry as possible.
Allow the tofu to press for about 15-20 minutes.
Cut the tofu in half and continue to cut into bite sized pieces.
Place the bite sized tofu pieces into a clean bowl and add in the soy sauce or Tamari, sesame oil, garlic powder, and sriracha.
Use a rubber spatula and mix to evenly coat the tofu.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the tofu far enough apart so they do not touch.
Remove the tofu from the oven once the edges are golden brown and crispy to the touch.
Allow to slightly cool and toss the tofu into a sauce of your choice (ex. peanut, teriyaki, orange sauce, etc.) Serve with a side of rice and some veggies for a balanced and delicious dish!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and that it gives you an idea of how to make something so bland taste delicious. If you give this recipe a try tag @lifeatthemesa on Instagram so we can see how it turns out for you! As always, I will be back soon with another delicious and nutritious recipe.Do Not Sell My Personal Information