Saturday, March 27, 2010

Try Some Tantalizing Tofu!

If you're looking to increase your protein intake, boost your heart health, and cut your food budget, try tofu! Tofu is soymilk curd, pressed and packed into a spongy food that's bursting with protein, heart-healthy fiber, and unsaturated fat, as well as vitamins and minerals. And tofu is affordable, especially compared with animal proteins like beef, chicken, and fish. Tofu is so versatile, it's a cinch to incorporate it into your diet! Substitute firm tofu for chicken, fish, or meat in your favorite stir-fry recipes; because tofu has little taste on its own but is very absorbent, it soaks up the flavors of all the foods and spices it's cooked with, leading to a delicious, savory dish! Try blending soft or silken tofu in smoothies, dressings, dips, or desserts like mousse. You can even scramble it for egg-free "scrambled eggs." You can also buy preseasoned or marinated tofu at the supermarket — it's great with rice and veggies for a balanced, healthy, and delicious meal!

If you haven't tried tofu yet, challenge yourself to switch one of your animal-protein meals in the week ahead to tofu. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it!

A heads-up about soy products in general: Because of the estrogenlike properties of soy, the jury is still out on whether soy products are safe for women who have a high risk of breast cancer to consume in large amounts. If you are at increased risk for breast cancer because of your personal or family history, choose soy products only in moderation, avoid soy supplements, and speak with your health care provider for specific recommendations.

Morning Stretch with Denise Austin

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