Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Live Long (and well)!

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As we greet 2012, it's natural to think about the well-being of the planet and all living things--peace, happiness, and longevity. According to an article that appeared recently in Martha Stewart publication's whole living, the Okinawans seem to have tapped into some secrets for health and longevity. Apparently the number of islanders from this small Japanese island who reach 100 is as much as five times higher than that of Americans. And scientific markers of biological age indicate that Okinawan bodies are younger than their actual calendar years. Go figure.

If we apply the statement 'You are what you eat" to Okinawans, we observe several interesting ingredients in their diet. You guessed it. Soy is definitely in there--in the form of tofu, miso, edamame. They don't just use it in stir-frys. They use it in cheesecake, salad dressing, and more. The thing to do is just start experimenting. (Remember we recently used it in pumpkin pie!)

Bitter melon is another ingredient (a relative of cucumber and very high in vitamin C). This one--you've no doubt been eating for years--carrots. But don't toss the tops! That's right. Before you head to the compost pile, chop up those tops and add to vegetable soup or scrambled eggs (or tofu scramble!)

Hechima, a gourd that can be found at Asian markets, is great with tofu. Use it like you would zucchini. In fact, if you can't find any hechima--use zucchini! Okinawans are free with the herbs--turmeric (which fights inflmmation), chili (good for the heart), fennel (nice for the digestion). . . get creative. Herbs are your friends.

Seaweed--so full of folate, iron, and magnesium, is also full of lignan, a cancer-fighting phytoestrogen. Try them in salads, soups. Make your own pseudo sushi by wrapping small balls of rice (or tofu) in strips of seaweed.

Sweet potatoes are sweet. Very sweet for your health. Antioxidant as all get-out and so delicious. Make sweet potato fries by slicing sweet potatoes julienne style, put on a cookie sheet, douse with olive oil, and sprinkle with as much cayenne as you dare and pepper. Put in a 300-350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Just 'til you see them start to brown. If you're watching your sodium, know that the bite of the cayenne pretty much replaces the salt and you can eat to your heart's content. . . (literally and figuratively).

Okinawans know the riches of whole grains--millet, rice, barley.

Now it's not just what you put in your bodies, it's how you treat daily life. Slow down, be kind, do something to make someone happy. You're doing everyone a favor, because studies show that strong social ties are linked to low rates of just about everything you don't want. . .

A toast to good heath! And let's bring in the new year with good intentions, understanding, and being good to the planet and ourselves.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas, Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, and all the holidays around the world!

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In this season of lights, we at Tofu Yu want to extend our sincerest wishes for a safe and happy holiday.

The best gift of all is love. And love is free. It doesn't need to be wrapped. It can be given without the worry of "Is it the right color, the right size, the right style?"

Although there are different kinds of love to fit all shapes and sizes, love is all around us. So breathe it in, breathe it out, and share it with everyone you touch this season and for all the seasons to come.

Peace and joy!
-The Tofu Yu Team

Friday, December 16, 2011

Did you know that certain foods are antibiotic?

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We've all had doctors prescribe antibiotics to combat various ailments from a skin infection to bronchial conditions. Antibiotics are powerful drugs that are designed to kill harmful bacteria in our bodies. The downside to these drugs, however, is that in the process of doing what they were meant to do, they also do something else: they kill off some good bacteria, leaving our bodies depleted of living microflora that support our immune system. The interesting thing about foods with natural antibiotic properties, is that do not function in the same way. They seem to target specific types of bacteria, leaving the good ones alone. . .

Thanks in large part to Delia Quigley's article that appeared in 

Garlic and onions
In addition to fighting off colds and flu (which both garlic and onion are know for), onion’s high phytonutrient content are known to “mop up” free radicals that can lead to cancer in the body. Garlic help prevent yeast infections and combat viral conditions. In addition, it is attributed with freeing the arteries from plaque, thereby helping to lower cholesterol and maintaining a healthy heart.

So delicious a treat, honey has been used to treat wounds (probably because of an  it contains that releases hydrogen peroxide and prohibits the growth of certain bacteria). In addition, Chinese medicine tells us that honey "harmonizes" with the liver, neutralizes toxins, and relieves pain.

The sulfur compounds in cabbage fight cancer and believe it or not--a mere cup of cabbage provides you with 75% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. In addition, the article tells us that raw cabbage leaves applied to tender breasts can relieve inflammation from mastitis, fibro cysts and menstrual breast tenderness.

Fermented Foods
That means foods that replace valuable microflora that are destroyed in our digestive systems. Try some sauerkraut (unpasteurized). And by the way, cabbage is only one of the powerful group of foods we call cruciferous vegetables (others are broccoli, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts).

Cinnamon, cloves, oregano, cumin, thyme, mint, basil, dill parsley. . . so many. Chances are good that whatever herb you add to your food, you're doing yourself a health as well as taste favor!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Leftover Tofu

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I discovered some tofu in my refrigerator recently (beautifully hidden behind a large carton of juice) and saw that the small piece in a small bowl of water was yellowing, smelly, and entirely unappetizing. Reluctantly (because I hate to waste food) I threw it away. Which is precisely what you should do if this ever happens to you. Although packaged tofu can have a shelf life of up to 10 months, once the package is opened, the tofu does not remain safe to eat for very long. When living in your refrigerator (which should only be a few days), it is important that the tofu is kept cold enough and in clean fresh water, changed daily. We don't usually think of tofu as something that can cause food poisoning, but it can.

This is from an article that appeared in


Tofu should be stored in the refrigerator below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in order to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. Aseptically packaged tofu has a shelf life of 10 months, but once it has been opened it should be refrigerated and used within two days. For tofu packaged in water, open the package, drain off the water, and replace the water with fresh water daily. This type of tofu should be used within a week of opening the package.

Tofu can also be stored in the freezer. If you choose to store tofu this way, it should be thawed in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Once tofu has been cooked, any leftovers should promptly be refrigerated.


Cooking and Serving

Most packaged tofu sold in stores has been pasteurized, packaged and refrigerated. Therefore, packaged tofu should be safe to use without cooking, as long as food safety precautions have been followed. Raw tofu sold in bulk bins poses a higher food safety concern. Since this product has not been pasteurized, it should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit prior to consumption, according to Colorado State University Extension. This can be accomplished by cutting tofu into chunks and steaming or boiling it for five to ten minutes.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What's In There, Anyway?

Tofu--white, bland, weird, fabulous. . . the chameleon, the wonder, the blob. You name it. I was looking around for an article that discussed all the nutritional aspects of tofu and came up with something you may find interesting via

Protein content in tofu:

One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 10.1 grams of protein. The recommended daily intake is 56 grams for most men and 46 for most women. A half-cup of tofu is approximately 4 oz by weight, or just under 1/3 of the average sized 14 oz package of tofu. By comparison, 1/2 cup dairy milk contains 5.1 grams of protein, one 3 oz egg contains 6 grams and 4 oz ground beef contains about 26 grams of protein. Tofu is an excellent source of vegetarian protein.

Calories in tofu:

One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 94 calories. By comparison, 4 oz ground beef contains 331 calories, 1/2 cup of 2% milk has 60 calories and 4 oz of cheese packs 320 calories.

Protein versus calories in tofu:

Tofu is low in calories for the vegetarian protein it packs in. Here's how it compares to a few other foods. For each 100 calorie serving, tofu contains 11 grams of protein. By comparison, 100 calories of ground beef provides 8.9 grams of protein, and a 100 calorie serving of cheese contains 6.2 grams.

Fat and cholesterol content in tofu:

One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 5 grams of fat. Low fat tofu is also commercially available, and contains 1.5 grams of fat perserving. 4 oz of beef packs a whopping 15 grams of fat, and one egg contains 5.5 grams of fat. Tofu is a cholesterol-free food , as are all plant-based foods. By comparison, a half-cup of 2% milk contains 9 mg of cholesterol, 4 oz of fish contains 75-100 mg of cholesterol and 4 oz ground beef contains about 113 mg cholesterol.


One half-cup serving of firm tofu contains about 227 mg of calcium or about 22% of the RDA. Tofu may contain a little bit less calcium depending on the brand and the way it was made so be sure to read the label if you're concerned. Silken tofu contains approximately 133 mg, again depending on the brand.


One half-cup serving of firm tofu contains about 1.82 mg of iron, though this can vary greatly, depending on the brand. The RDA for women is 18 mg, and 8 mg for men.