There are two very different types of tofu. In the previous month’s article, Tofu Salad was featured. The main ingredient consisted of the most common form of regular tofu. This month we will discuss the other variety of tofu which is called “silken” tofu. The difference is in the processing of the soybeans, which produces a texture which is softer and creamier than regular tofu. This type of silken tofu lends itself to custardy puddings, dressings and sauces.
One of the benefits of this silken tofu is that it is packaged in aseptic boxes that do not require refrigeration until opened. After opening, I am careful to squeeze out the small amount of liquid that comes in the package. Silken tofu travels well, can be stored for over a year (you still need to check the date on the box), and may be found in the Japanese section of many grocery stores right on the shelf. The texture is such that it is not easy to slice since it falls apart easily so it is perfect for blending. It turns into a thick paste and since it is rather devoid of flavor it takes on any variety of various flavors and spices. It can also be tasty in small chunks to garnish miso soup.
The two forms of tofu are not easily exchanged in recipes because of their varying textures but both pack a load of protein, calcium and are available in low fat forms. To store either form of tofu, submerge the unused portion in water and refrigerate for up to a week. There is not much difference between firm or extra firm silken tofu as each will produce similar consistencies once blended.
Soy French Toast
1 cup silken tofu (low-fat if possible) organic
3/4 cup vanilla or plain soymilk
1 teas. Vanilla extract
1/2 teas. Maple syrup
1/4 teas. Cinnamon
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
6-8 slices whole grain bread or rolls (sliced thin)
Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and well combined. I use my mini-Cuisinart which I find invaluable in these types of recipes. Pour the mixture into a large, shallow bowl. If making only 3-4 pieces of French toast, reserve half the mixture in a glass jar and store for a few days in the refrigerator.
Dip the bread into the mixture coating both sides and fry in a medium hot skillet that has been lightly sprayed with oil. Sprinkle more cinnamon on the softened bread when frying. Cook until browned on both sides about 5 minutes or until done. Serve with real maple sugar and fresh berries. Use gluten-free bread if desired.
In the picture accompanying this recipe I have also included a photo of a delectable dessert which can also be made with the silken tofu. It is very simple to prepare and happens to be a big hit with my husband. It is chocolate soy pudding, which can be served with soy whipped cream. YES, really! You won’t believe this creamy, sweet delight.
Purchase a packet of “Mori-Nu” Chocolate Pudding mix. Follow the directions leaving out the added water (this makes it even creamier) and add 1 tbs. of vanilla extract instead. I use my standard size Cuisinart processor with the larger bowl for this recipe. It needs overnight refrigeration once prepared to create the proper consistency. Several brands of soy whipped cream topping can be purchased. It is made from soy milk which is extraordinary and contains a fraction of the fatty cream of the old-fashioned, unhealthy ancestor. Remember it is a treat food but one that delivers satisfaction without clogging the arteries.
Tofu can deliver nutrition and flavor if you make the right choice!