Your Gluten Friendly Guide to Tofu

Tofu is a popular protein-rich bean curd made by coagulating soy milk. It is made from a few simple ingredients including soybeans, water and a coagulant, like salts or enzymes. To make tofu, soybeans are soaked, the soy solids are separated from the milk, the milk is eventually coagulated, and then the tofu curds are pressed together to form a block.

It is worth mentioning that there are different types of tofu, varying in texture and consistency. You can come across extra firm, firm, soft, and silken tofu, each used for different purposes. Extra firm and firm tofu tend to have textures similar to cooked meat. For this reason, they can work well in stir fry and soups, and grilled as steaks.

Things tend to be different with soft and silken tofu considering they have more delicate textures that can be blended into sauces or smoothies or uses in desserts like mouse or pudding. Ensure you research more about the different types of tofu available.

But does tofu have gluten? When made plain, tofu is completely gluten-free unless it becomes contaminated in growing or processing. Cross contamination can take place to soybeans if the ingredients are grown or harvested in the same field as gluten containing grains. The same applies if they are processed in the same facility as gluten containing products.

Aside from cross contamination, tofu can also be prepared to contain gluten, either in a packaged prepared product, like tofu marinated in a gluten containing soy sauce. For this reason, it is essential that you carefully check the packages and inquire with manufactures and those who are preparing your food when buying tofu from a store or at a restaurant to ensure your tofu is gluten free.

If following a strict vegan or vegetarian diet, tofu can be the perfect plant-based alternative to meat. And this can be attributed to the sheer fact that it contains essential vitamins and nutrients, including the 9 amino acids your body needs, not to mention copper, phosphorous, and magnesium. No wonder it is a healthy food to include in your vegan diet.

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