TOFU & Flavourful Lemony Silken Tofu Cream with Roasted Pineapple

Dear all,

I am always interested of creating and finding delicious healthy foods that can be prepared quickly and with minimum effort. Different types of tofu can make a perfect addition to a whole range of meals.

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Following a whole food plant- based diet that excludes processed foods raises the question whether tofu is a processed food which should be avoided or whether it is a healthy addition to our diet.

So is tofu a processed food? I would say yes and no. Yes, it’s different from whole soybeans,  but it’s not processed to within an inch of its life. It is even possible to make tofu at home, all you need is time,  soybeans and a curdling agent like nigari or calcium sulfate. The ingredients are all natural. The coagulants are just salts, and you don’t need to do anything special when handling them.

The health benefits of tofu are enormous

Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. It is also an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. In addition, tofu is a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1. Tofu is an excellent food from a nutritional and health perspective. It is thought to provide the same sort of protection against cancer and heart disease as soya beans.

What is the difference between regular tofu and silken tofu?

Firstly, the appearance is difference. Tofu is more firm and usually sits in a bed of liquid. Silken tofu ist soft and smooth and fills up the entire package.

19449-004-FCCB66A0Silken tofu is differently made: Making regular tofu entails pressing the soy curds and separating them from the whey. For silken tofu, there is no separation or pressure exerted, and it’s often solidified right in the container. The name silken tofu reflects the traditional Japanese process of molding the tofu in silk-lined fabric. I found this great website on how to make different types of tofu http://lemonsandanchovies.com/2013/03/tofu-making-class-at-cavallo-point-cooking-school/

I also wanted to touch upon the association between soy and cancer, especially breast cancer. The link between soy and cancer risk has been a controversial topic for some time and has confused many people. In a newsletter of “The magazine for nutrition professionals” I found a great in depths article summarising the largest study outcomes. Here is a short abstract:

“But we now have five population studies and one pooled analysis of several studies involving breast cancer survivors that consistently show moderate amounts of soyfood consumption doesn’t increase a woman’s risk of death or recurrence, including women with ER+ breast cancer,” she says. “Some of the studies, in fact, show improved outcomes with regular soyfood consumption.” Read more on 

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/040113p30.shtml

images (6)Finally, there is a taste and texture difference. Silken tofu is more pudding like and light in texture. It also has a more fatty flavor to it that comes from making it with denser, richer soy milk.

Silken tofu can be pureed and is a great ingredient for creamy dips and dressings. Silken tofu is also a great addition to soups- delicate silken tofu cut in cubes is wonderful in miso soup. And last but not least it is wonderful to make creamy desserts like the one featured below.

On the other hand, silken tofu is definitely not my choice when it comes too stir fries because it falls apart. You want tofu to absorb the flavor, and silken tofu is non-porous so it doesn’t take up the taste as well.

Last but not least, here is the wonderfully simple but delicous

lemony silken tofu cream with roasted pineapple

The taste of the different ingredients in this recipe pairs extremely well with the vibrant tropical flavor of a pineapple that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. Needless to say, pineapples contain an incredible amount of different vitamins, minerals and other nutrients (they are especially rich in vitamins C, B’s and the enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein, copper and manganese).

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You can definitely brown the pineapple pieces more by roasting them longer than I did in the above picture- as often, I was under slight time pressure and had to get afternoon snack ready for the kids asap…nevertheless, the warm gently caramelized pineapple version was VERY much liked by both children.

Here you can find the complete recipe for lemony silken tofu cream http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4321 and pan roasted pineapple http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4325.

Cheers,

Ursula

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