The Origins & Health Benefits of Tofu

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
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tofu and brussel sprouts recipe in panTofu was discovered in China by accident when a cook added soy milk to nigari seaweed and the soy milk then curdled. Legend has it that this discovery was made about 2000 years ago. In the eighth century, “Okabe”,  as tofu was called until 1400, was introduced to Japan. Many years later, in the 1960s tofu gained interest throughout western nations.

Tofu is derived from soya. The technique used to make tofu is similar to that uses to make traditional dairy cheese. Fresh soya milk is curdled and pressed into a solid block, then it is cooled. After the liquid, called whey, is discarded, the curds are pressed to form a tight bond.

Recently, I have tried some amazing foods made from tofu everything from crispy hot buffalo wings to vegan lasagna. It is really amazing how delicious the foods are and how similar the taste is to the “meat” product. Typically, these items can be found in your grocer’s vegetable department and the frozen foods section.

Tofu is considered both a vegetable and a protein. Even though it is derived from a plant (soybeans), it is processed into a protein food. Tofu is also a great source of all nine amino acids. It is a plant source of iron and calcium, as well as, the minerals manganese and phosphorous. Additionally, tofu contains magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamin B1.