April is National Soy Foods Month, and accordingly, we're celebrating one of the most popular soy foods: tofu. Known by some as "bean curd," tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into blocks. Soft, white tofu has the texture of cheese and a very subtle soybean flavor that makes it suitable for both savory and sweet dishes. In order to impart more flavor into tofu, it may be marinated or seasoned according to the recipe in which it is being used.
Tofu is sold with varying moisture content, which results in blocks of varying firmness. It is typically sold immersed in water to maintain its moisture. Soft tofu is commonly referred to as "silken"; firmer tofu may be labeled "firm" or "extra firm." Soft tofu is often blended into desserts, puddings, pie and pastry fillings or smoothies. Firm tofu may have the firmness of raw meat and is used in place of meat in many dishes, especially in stir fries and soups.
It is low in calories and because it is a soy product, tofu contains a significant amount of protein per serving, with little fat. It is high in iron and, depending on the brand, may also be high in calcium.