Can you eat tofu raw? Is tofu as nutritious as dairy products? Is tofu beneficial to your health?
There are so many questions regarding tofu. Mostly because of the ongoing popularity of vegan diets, tofu is attracting massive attention.
Here we are going to describe the details about tofu, their calorie count and nutrition facts, their uses, benefits, probable side effects, and the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding tofu.
What is tofu?
Tofu is widely known as vegan cheese, some people call it bean curd as well. They make tofu from soy milk. You’ll need to coagulate soy milk to turn that into curd, and later pressing that vegan curd into blocks will turn into tofu.
The texture of tofu blocks can vary from super soft to hard, from silken to rough. Yes, tofu also has some variety just like cheese!
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Calorie count and nutrition values of raw tofu
As a vegan protein, tofu does not provide any massive amount of calories.
Every 100 grams of raw tofu can provide you with 76 calories.
But, the nutritional value of tofu is great on the other hand.
Let’s take a look-
- Tofu is low in carbs. Every 100 grams of tofu contains only 1.2 grams of carbohydrates. This low carb count is somewhat good for low carb diet plans, to be honest!
- Tofu being low carb doesn’t mean they are not energy providing enough. Tofu is quite rich in protein on the other hand. Every 100 grams of tofu contains 10 grams of protein. The number might seem small, but if you compare it with the daily needs, you will see that the amount is actually satisfactory enough.
- As tofu is the vegan substitute for dairy products, it is no wonder that their values are similar to the dairy ones. For example, like most dairy products, tofu is rich in calcium. Every 100 grams of tofu can provide you with 22% of your daily value of calcium! Was that a surprise because tofu is not real cheese?
- Calcium is not the only mineral that tofu has to offer. This plant-based dairy substitute is rich in iron as well. Every 100 grams of tofu can offer you 11% of your daily value of iron. And we all know that iron is really important to have good blood inside as iron deficiency causes anemia! Well, consuming iron-enriched foods can be the solution!
- There is yet another important mineral that tofu is rich with. That is potassium. This mineral is important to keep your muscle health fine and your body fluid balanced. Every 100 grams of tofu contains 130 mg of potassium.
- A small amount of sodium is important to make your daily diet impactful. Because sodium is responsible for your kidney health as well as some nervous systems. Tofu contains a small amount of sodium, 4 mg per 100 grams. Small, yet useful.
- Tofu has a small number of fats as well. Every 100 grams of tofu can provide you with 8% of your daily value of fats. A well-balanced item, right?
But then the question remains. Can you eat this bean curd raw or not? Let’s figure it out.
Can you eat tofu raw?
In South Korea, they even have a traditional custom to eat raw tofu on some occasions.
The answer to can you eat tofu raw is yes for sure. Tofu is compressed soy milk. In other words, they are the same as cheese with high calcium.
Hence, eating this raw is not a big problem at all!
But, if you are seriously considering eating it raw, make sure to drain off the liquids (if there are any) from the packaging of tofu blocks. This is to ensure that you are not consuming anything harmful.
Can you eat tofu raw in a salad?
The answer is yes.
Eating tofu raw in a salad is not something problematic. But, you need to keep some important things in mind before that.
First, while cutting the tofu block, make sure that the utensils are clean.
Second, always make sure that the tofu block is fresh. The prime reason people cook tofu is to make sure that they don’t get exposed to any bacteria. As we all know that dairy-type ingredients are sensitive to bacteria. So, using fresh tofu is a must.
Third, while getting the tofu blocks out of the package, drain off the liquids real good. Also, clean the blocks properly too.
If you follow these instructions, you can enjoy your raw tofu salad without worrying much!
Can you eat tofu raw with no marinade?
You surely can raw tofu with no marinade as long as it fits your taste buds.
The only reason people eat raw tofu with marinade is that the essences and/or sauces they use as marinade enhance the taste of tofu even when it is raw.
But, if you find the raw tofu good even without the marinade- why to bother!
In fact, if you are sensitive to spice ingredients, you’d better eat tofu without marinade to excuse yourself from the essences. That is no big deal!
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Uses of tofu
The use of tofu is limited to the kitchen. But that has a huge variety, considering the fact that tofu is a substitute for milk, cheese, and curd for the vegetarian and vegan community.
- Firm tofu is great for grilled tofu items. You can stir fry them too! Ever heard of the popular Indian dish “Ponir vaji”? You can use tofu in the same recipe and it will taste almost the same!
- You can use soft tofu to cook soup. Tofu soups are not only great in taste, but they are high in nutrition as well!
- Silken tofu is a great substitute for milk. Blending and using them to make cake or pudding is an old practice. Guess what? They taste amazing too!
At this point, you might be wondering as to why you should go for all these varieties of tofu?
In the next section, we’ll explain the benefits of tofu. You will see it for yourself.
Benefits of raw tofu
Like most plant-based foods, tofu has a big number of beneficial sides in them. And as they are plant based, their food value remains the best while raw.
Let’s take a good look at the benefits of raw tofu-
- As tofu is low in carbs and high in plant-based proteins, they are great to deal with cardiovascular diseases. The fact that tofu does not have any bad cholesterol is another reason for that.
- The low carb and high protein thing is the reason tofu is great for weight loss diet plans.
- Tofu is not only a good option for diabetic diet plans, they are in fact, effective to deal with type 2 diabetes due to their dietary fibers, and plant proteins. This is because plant proteins are not as risky as animal proteins.
- Plant proteins are helpful to enhance renal function. As a result, tofu is helpful for kidney health as a whole.
- Calcium is helpful to treat osteoporosis. Most dairy goods are hence useful in this arena. Tofu, although not a real dairy product, is still a substitute for dairy. They are just as good as real milk, cheese, and curd to help with osteoporosis.
- Some research shows that plant sources of proteins have some anti-aging factors. This means that tofu can somewhat help you stay younger for longer!
Probable side effects of tofu
Although tofu is good in a lot of aspects, there still are some risks. Let’s look at them to stay more cautious for a while.
- Some people out there are allergic to soy. Naturally, they would be allergic to tofu as well. So be sure that you don’t have an allergy, otherwise, the allergic reaction could lead to asthma attacks as well.
- Some research shows that there is a possibility that overconsumption of soya can be one of the causes of breast cancer. Hence, we’d like to tell you, don’t over-consume tofu, please!
- Tofu is just like dairy products. Hence, they are sensitive to bacteria. Please be sure before eating tofu that the block was fresh. Getting exposed to bacteria is not a good thing!
And then, we’ll be answering some of the frequently asked questions regarding tofu.
Frequently asked questions
People have a lot of questions regarding tofu these days. We’ll try to provide answers to some of the questions here.
- Can you eat tofu every day?
Yes. Tofu helps you meet your daily need for protein, plus it is a plant source. Hence, eating tofu every day is safe. Just, don’t over-consume that’s it.
- Is tofu good for losing weight?
Yes, it is. Tofu is low in cholesterol and low in carbs. These two characteristics make tofu a great option for weight loss diets.
- Is tofu keto?
Yes. Keto is a zero or small-carb type diet plan. As tofu has a really low amount of carbohydrates, they are good for keto.
- How long can I store tofu?
Tofu stays good in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. And if you want to store it outside of the refrigerator, it will stay good for 24 hours at max in a moderate temperature.
So, here was all about tofu.
Let us know if you have any further questions regarding tofu and just drop them in our comment box below.
And, as we told you that tofu might trigger allergic reactions in some people, stay cautious. If anything happens, contact a doctor first hand.