What Does Tofu Taste Like in Your Mouth? 10 Best Substitutes for It

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In Western culture, tofu only started to become popular in the 1960s. This might be the reason behind the misconception that it’s a food for hippies. And lots of us still consider this as relatively new. But in fact, tofu has been around for over 2000 years.

Legend says the Chinese discovered tofu when their soy milk accidentally curdled after they added nigari seaweed. Some say it was when boiled ground soybeans were accidentally mixed with sea salt. But rather than being an accident, the early Chinese may have learned the technique from The Mongolians or East Indians.

There are lots of wonderful recipes that require tofu. As with so many food groups, there are those with soybean allergies and most likely need alternatives.

So if you can’t have tofu, Then our 10 substitutes for tofu can help you adjust lots of recipes. But first, let’s have a quick overview about tofu:

Best Tofu Substitutes

How Does Tofu Taste Like in Your Mouth?

While it’s true that tofu doesn’t have a lot of taste, you’re likely to notice a hint of sweetness and possibly some nutty flavors if you eat fresh tofu. But if you buy processed tofu, then you’re unlikely to detect much flavor, especially when eaten raw.

Now the primary reason why tofu works so well in food is that it absorbs any flavor it comes in contact. Tofu is sometimes called the “chameleon of cooking.” That’s because it has the ability to take on the flavors of a range of dishes you make, sort of like a sponge.

For example, imagine making a dessert with vanilla and cinnamon. Tofu will absorb the flavors of these 2 ingredients and can also add texture to the dish. And if you soak tofu in soy sauce, then small cubes add a lovely extra dimension to a crisp salad.

So here’s a short answer to the question of how tofu tastes like in your mouth — Tofu will taste however you want it to taste.

What is Tofu?

Tofu is soy milk that is coagulated and pressed into shapes. Soybeans are initially cleaned, soaked and ground. They then go through a filtering process, and finally boiled.

For tofu to coagulate, a coagulant must be added. The most common are salts and acids. This is the most important step and also a complex one. There are many factors like the percentage of protein and the temperatures used. These factors play an important role in the type of tofu that’s produced.

Common Types of Tofu

Tofu Types Pressed, Unpressed

Here are some of the most popular types of tofu:

Unpressed

  • Fresh — This is made out of gelled soy milk. It isn’t pressed, so it retains its liquid. As its main component suggests, it’s gel-like or spongy in texture;
  • Extra Soft — Soy milk is mixed with seawater or saline water. The curds are soft and stay loose; and
  • Soft — Has high moisture content. It’s gelled with gypsum. Also, this is a delicate version of firm tofu.

Pressed

  • Firm — This has a similar texture to raw meat. It’s drained and pressed, but still holds is moisture; and
  • Extra Firm — A large amount of the moisture has been pressed out. It’s similar in texture to cooked meat.

To preserve tofu, it can be pickled or frozen. There are also egg tofu, chickpea tofu and almond tofu.

Tofu is a great source of protein. It has 9 essential amino acids and high amounts of iron and calcium. You can also get a good dose of magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamin B1.

So now for the top 10 tofu substitutes this year:

Top 10 Tofu Substitutes

1. Seitan

Seitan is also found in Asian cuisine. It first appeared in the 6th century. It was traditionally made by rinsing and cooking wheat dough. The starch was removed, which leaves a protein-dense product.

Seitan

High amounts of gluten are necessary if you want to make a dish that resembles meat. It provides a very similar protein structure to real meat.

The key to using seitan is in the preparation. It doesn’t have much taste, so you need to mix it with strong spices and flavors to appreciate it.

Today, it’s quick and easy to buy ready-made seitan from most local supermarkets. It’s also cheap. And like tofu, it’s high in protein, 60 grams per cup.

Also, it’s a good alternative for those on a strict diet. It’s low in carbs and cholesterol-free.

Meanwhile, ready-made seitan is processed food. So it tends to have high sodium content. This is mainly because during production, soy sauce is added, which is high in sodium. But there are other alternatives if you’re on a low sodium diet.

As it’s a wheat-based product, it isn’t suitable for gluten-free diets, again, there are many other alternatives.

Seitan is extremely simple to use. You can cut it up into the shape you want (cubes or stripes), and add it straight to the pan with some oil. Make sure to add plenty of herbs and spices. Seitan will absorb flavors faster than tofu.

So here’s an idea for Tofu BBQ ribs that we replaced with seitan:

Seitan BBQ Ribs

  • 1 cup of seitan
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika (smoked if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • A pinch of pepper
  • ¾ cup of chicken stock (use vegetable stock for a vegan option)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of maple syrup

Mix all ingredients, apart from the seitan. Pour the liquid over the seitan and stir as it thickens. Spread the mixture on a greaseproof baking tray. Then, bake it in the oven for around 25 minutes at 175°C.

This cooked mixture now has a rich flavor and a meaty texture. It can be cut into strips and covered in your favorite BBQ sauce. Put them under the grill for a few minutes on each side.

This recipe takes more work than just cutting and frying. But the results are the closest thing to barbecued meat, in terms of flavor, appearance and taste.

2. Tempeh

Tempeh, like tofu, comes from soybeans. It originated from Indonesia, probably thousands of years ago. However, it was first mentioned in historical documents around the 12th to the 13th century. It may have been discovered by accident, but Chinese immigrants were the first to introduce the tofu industry to the world.

Tempeh

To make tempeh, whole soybeans are soaked to soften and de-hull. Then, they’re semi-cooked. Traditionally, boiled soybeans are wrapped in banana leaves and left to ferment.

The beans will ferment at around 30°C, from 24 to 36 hours. As they cool, large amounts of mycelium begin to grow. This binds the soybeans into a solid mass.

Good quality tempeh should be firm and dense. Also, it should smell fresh, possibly with a hint of sweetness or a subtle mushroom smell. And if the right aroma and consistency isn’t achieved, then it can be incubated for much longer periods. But if it doesn’t improve, then it is usually thrown away.

The main difference between tempeh and seitan is that tempeh doesn’t have soy sauce. So for most tempeh recipes, you need to add salt. Many often prepare it by leaving it in brine, or a sauce with salt, before frying.

One of the most popular traditional Indonesian recipes that uses Tempeh is Tempeh Goreng. Slice the tempeh and season it with garlic, coriander and salt. It’s deep-fried in palm oil. But since palm oil is now an unpopular choice, you are advised to choose a different kind of oil.

You can also cover tempeh in batter before frying. Tempeh can be grilled or cooked on the barbecue. Once seasoned, you can shape it into burger patties for a veggie burger.

Also, a great recipe to substitute tofu for tempeh is Chicken satay. Press the tempeh between 2 plates to remove any excess liquid. Then, marinade tempeh strips in soy sauce, peanut butter, brown sugar, basil and garlic powder.

At this point, place it on a baking tray, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes at around 180°C. You need to turn the tofu over halfway through cooking. The overall result should be golden brown and slightly crispy. If you squeeze on a bit of lime juice before putting it on satay sticks, then you’ll have an almost identical Asian satay chicken.

Tempeh is high in Manganese — 62% of the daily recommended intake. This is good for the digestive system, and also for regulating cholesterol and carbohydrates. It’s also rich in Vitamin B2 (30% DRI) and phosphorus (38%(DRI).

3. Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese makes a fine substitute for tofu, primarily because it’s similar in texture. It’s a soft, white Italian whey cheese. Also, it has a very subtle sweetness to it, which is another thing that it has in common with tofu.

Ricotta Cheese

After the caseins have been removed to make cheese, you are left with proteins. These proteins are coagulated and then left to ferment. Once acidified, the whey is heated, cooled and separated through a fine cloth. Now the curd left behind is ricotta.

We began making ricotta cheese in the Bronze age. The early Italians used ceramic vessels that were unlike any other in that period of time. Meanwhile, Apennie Shepards used ceramic milk boilers up until the 19th century. Not much has changed in the way ricotta cheese is made today, except that metal boilers are used.

There are many different types of ricotta. But they all begin with fresh ricotta. It can be smoked, salted, baked and then fermented for much longer. This increases the shelf life of the cheese.

The Italians use ricotta in sweet traditional sweet and savory dishes. Some desserts like cheesecake, cannoli and even cookies use ricotta. As one would imagine, lasagna, ravioli and pizza have ricotta.

Asian cuisines have cheese that’s quite similar to ricotta. In India, chhena or paneer is a soft white cheese used in sweet dishes. It’s made from buffalo milk instead of cow’s milk.

Now a lot of vegan curries require tofu. But ricotta is the perfect substitute because you can use it in 2 ways. A couple of chunks of ricotta dissolved into the sauce give it a nice creamy flavor.

You can also shape the ricotta and gently coat it with olive oil and salt. And if you bake it, then you’ll get cubes that will hold their shape in the curry. They’ll also provide additional texture to the dish.

For example, you can fry some onions and garlic cloves for a few minutes. Then, add green curry paste and cumin, and keep stirring for another minute or so. Next, add cauliflower, a couple of chunks of ricotta and coconut milk. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Finally, add your baked ricotta with a sprinkle of coriander and a handful of baby spinach leaves. Cumin and coriander can add a nice amount of heat to a curry. Ricotta provides a nice creaminess, complimenting the coconut milk.

Ricotta is rich in protein. When eaten regularly, it can promote muscle growth, and could possibly reduce blood pressure. Half a cup of ricotta has 20% of calcium RDI (recommended daily intake). The same amount has 13% RDI of sodium, so be careful not to add too much salt.

4. Mushrooms

Mushrooms have a deep history in age-old rituals, dating back to Roman times. Nevertheless, they were probably consumed for thousands of years before this.

Mushrooms

They were first cultivated by a French melon grower. He found them growing on his fertilizer and decided to introduce them to elegant Parisian restaurants.

It took another 200 years for them to be accepted by the neighboring country of the Netherlands. Ironically, the Netherlands now produces more mushrooms than any other European country.

Substituting tofu for mushrooms primarily depends on the recipe because of their distinct flavors. Many like to use mushrooms as an alternative because of its texture. They’re naturally quite firm, and most types have a meaty or chewy texture.

The mushroom you select as an alternative may depend on the season and what your local stores have in stock. The most popular edible mushrooms are White button, Shiitake, Oyster, Portobello and Cremini. Here are more details about these common types of edible mushrooms:

  • White Button — Mild tasting, less intense;
  • Shiitake — Slight woody flavor and aroma;
  • Oyster — Delicate flavor;
  • Portobello — Rich flavor, very large head that can be used for burgers; and
  • Cremini — Similar to white button, but darker and has a stronger flavor.

For example, we chose Portobello mushrooms to substitute tofu in meatballs. Here you go:

Mushroom & Black Bean Meatballs

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 60 grams of oats
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes.

First, soften the onions, garlic and mushrooms in a frying pan with a splash of oil. Leave it to cool, enough for you to be able to handle it with ease. Second, mix them together with all other ingredients, and then shape into meatballs.

Third, drain the can of beans and rinse them off with water. Put them in a food processor until they become similar to a paste. Add them to the onions, garlic and mushrooms.

Finally, you can add the meatballs to tomato sauce. The same recipe will make burger patties. Your meatballs or burgers will have a firm texture. Also, its flavor will be rich with a bit of a spicy kick.

Meanwhile, mushrooms are packed with Vitamin D, B vitamins, calcium and essential minerals. They’re also low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. You can choose this alternative over nuts and seeds if you’re on a diet.

5. Quorn

In 1985, Quorn began selling ready-made vegetarian meals from a meat substitute called Quorn. Today, you can buy Quorn in 19 different countries, either as a meat substitute, or a cooking ingredient.

Quorn

It’s made from a fungus that grows through fermentation. It’s dried and mixed with egg whites. The egg white binds the mixture together, so it can be shaped.

Quorn is suitable for vegetarians. Vegans have the option of potato protein instead of the egg binder.

Since 2004, McDonald’s has been selling vegetarian burgers made from Quorn. They aren’t available in all countries.

Many of those who actively participate in safeguarding the environment greatly appreciate Quorn. The UK claims that the carbon footprint of Quorn is 80% less than that of beef.

Also, Quorn won’t absorb flavors as well as tofu. There’s little sense in marinating or baking it with spices. But it does go well in stir-fries, casseroles, soups and stews. Also, it’s a good substitute for tofu in recipes that already have strong flavors.

This is the best substitute for tofu, especially if you want to create meat-like recipes. You can buy Quorn in “chicken” slices or stripes, ham slices, minced “beef,” fillets and pieces. Plus, it’s a frozen food bag, so it’s really handy. You can just take out what you need to avoid any waste.

With such a variety of products, you can use Quorn in any meat recipe. For example, a packet of Quorn minced beef can be made into Bolognese, lasagna, Shepard’s pie, meatballs and burgers. Also, it’s easier to prepare than tofu and has some added health benefits.

Quorn is high in fiber and protein. It has twice the amount of protein as tofu. It’s also low in carbohydrates and fat content. Plus, quorn might have a positive effect on reducing cholesterol and Low Density Lipoprotein.

6. Nuts & Seeds

If you’re planning to replace tofu with nuts and seeds, then you’ll need to take the time to prepare them. While it may sound like a lot of effort, you’re likely to benefit from the wide varieties you can use to mix and match a larger range of recipes.

Nuts & Seeds

For example, you can make burgers from nuts. Replace ½ cup of tofu with ½ of your preferred seeds and nuts. Walnuts are a good choice for burgers. You can blend them in a food processor to get the right consistency. Add flavors like onion, garlic, parsley or smoked paprika. Then, use a beaten egg to bind the ingredients.

Other ways you can replace tofu with nuts and seeds include tofu tacos, green bean salads and tofu scramble. For these recipes, you don’t need to first process the nuts. Instead, they can be added whole to provide a nice crunch, in contrast to other softer flavors.

Tofu scramble includes leafy greens, red peppers, green onions, salt and pepper. Instead of frying tofu with these ingredients, fry a handful of nuts. Finally, add beaten eggs. This recipe will look like an omelet with more volume, aroma and color.

Generally speaking, nuts and seeds are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin E and Vitamin B6. And here are some of the best nuts and seeds you can use:

  • Almonds — Contains healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and Vitamin E;
  • Buckwheat — Rich in fiber, may protect against cancer, high in protein and could reduce blood sugar;
  • Hazelnut — Unsaturated fats, magnesium, calcium, Vitamins B and E, good for the skin, muscle and bones;
  • Oats — Rich in anti-oxidants and fiber, may lower cholesterol and could improve blood sugar control;
  • Peanuts — Low in carbohydrates, high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, potassium and phosphorus;
  • Pumpkin Seeds — High in anti-oxidants, magnesium, may improve cardiovascular health and might reduce the risk of some cancers; and
  • Sunflower Seeds — Rich in B vitamins, iron, calcium, protein and Vitamin E.

These nuts and seeds among other variants can be bought from almost anywhere. In some cases, you can buy seeds that have already been prepared. And if you can’t decide on which nuts to use, then you can opt to buy a bag of ready-mixed nuts.

Another advantage to this tofu substitute is that nuts and seeds have a long shelf life. As long as you store the nuts in a cool, dry place, they will last for at least a month.

But keep in mind, while there are many health benefits, nuts and seeds aren’t the best substitute for tofu if you want a meat-like alternative.

7. Beans

Beans are a type of seed. For example, green beans, coffee beans, and cocoa beans are all seeds. Also, peas are beans, and so are chickpeas, even if they’re quite different from actual peas.

Beans

There are approximately 40,000 types of beans. And the oldest bean we know of was found in a cave at an archeological site in Peru. It dated back to the second millennium BC. But some believe the first beans grew in Thailand as early as the seventh millennium BC.

However, not all beans are edible. Those that are edible are classified as pulses, which can then be categorized under these classes:

  • Beans — Some examples are pinto, fava and so on;
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) — These include desi and kabuli among others;
  • Dry peas — Popular ones are whole green, split green and whole yellow; and
  • Lentils — Some are red, green, brown and black.

Like nuts and seeds, beans are incredibly versatile. Also, these provide numerous health benefits as they have high levels of protein and fiber. And they’re a little bit more substantial than nuts and seeds, so you might feel a tad bit fuller when using them for your recipes. Plus, they have higher caloric content. Beans are also rich in antioxidants, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and calcium.

At the moment, we’re going to focus on how chickpeas can be used to substitute tofu. Chickpeas are normally dried and canned. The latter’s easier to use because they’ve been pre-soaked. But unlike other canned foods, chickpeas don’t lose their nutritional value.

If you have dried chickpeas, then you can soak them in water, preferably overnight. Or you can cook them with stock or water. 1 cup of dried chickpeas will need 3 cups of liquid and approximately 90 minutes of cooking time.

You can use chickpeas the same way you would tofu in salads, soups and stews. It works well by first using a food processor before mixing them in hummus or veggie burgers.

So instead of Tasty Tofu bites, we’re going to use chickpeas. These bite-sized snacks are an ideal starter. We’re going to use 2 different flavors to show the diversity of chickpeas. And here are the preparation steps for this recipe:

First, take 2 handfuls of dry chickpeas. Leave them to soak for a minimum of 3 hours.

Second, drain them well. Put them into a food processor with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Third, once they’re blended into a paste, separate the paste into two bowls. In one bowl, add 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika. Also, add teaspoons of flour until it resembles dough.

Fourth, in the other bowl, add two teaspoons of freshly chopped dill and one teaspoon of lemon juice. You may need to add a little more flour to compensate for the lemon juice.

Finally, roll the chickpea dough into small balls, roughly 1.5 inches in diameter. Then, fry the balls in olive oil, and serve with various dips.

Remember, chickpeas may not absorb flavors as well as tofu. But they’ll provide the same texture.

8. Texturized Vegetable Protein

This is another tofu substitute that’s derived from soy. It’s a very young substitute, compared to others in this roundup. Again, due to the popularity of vegan meals today, more alternatives come in the market.

Texturized Vegetable Protein

Texturized vegetable protein (TVP) is made from 50% soy protein. After it’s extruded, it’s shaped into chunks, flakes, nuggets or strips. Proteins in the TVP are defatted as they are heated to between 150 and 200°C.

The heated product becomes fibrous, like meat. By then, it’s dried and ready to use. Keep in mind, you’ll always need to soak TVP before using it for cooking. The ratio is usually 2:1.

It’s sold as a meat substitute. So if you’re looking for alternative vegetarian meals that are quite similar to meat, it’s an ideal option. Plus, it’s sold at about a third of the price of ground beef.

The best way to use TVP is with meat. TVP absorbs liquid that’s released by meat, which helps to retain nutrients. It can also be made from cotton seeds, wheat and oats.

There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing this alternative for health reasons. It’s high in protein (approximately 50%) and calcium. 100 grams has 81% of your daily recommended iron intake. Also, it has no sodium, so it’s ideal if your sodium intake is restricted.

As for TVP’s disadvantages, there are no other vitamins. And it contains very few other minerals.

As with tofu, TVP has a little flavor to add to a dish. So the success of your TVP dish primarily depends on the other ingredients of your recipes.

But its texture is firm enough to hold its shape, which makes it perfect for many meat dishes. For example, if you want to make chicken fajitas, then you’ll need TVP stripes, and if you want chili con carne, then it’ll be ground TVP.

If you’re making soup or stew, then you don’t have to first rehydrate TVP. Instead, you can directly add it. Cooking like this ads a great deal of protein to liquid dishes.

Due to the fact that TVP is processed food, each brand may vary. Soybeans are naturally gluten-free. But it’s worth reading the label to check, and to also determine its nutritional value.

9. Jackfruit

Jackfruit belongs to the fig family. It’s a tree that grows well in tropical lowlands. Its origin is unknown, but it’s generally believed to be from southern India.

Jackfruit

This fruit is used in many cuisines. But its wood also plays an important role in Hindu and Vietnamese culture.

The wood from a jackfruit tree is used to make the seat of the priest during Hindu ceremonies. Also, it’s used to make Buddha statues in Vietnam. It’s the national fruit of Bangladesh. And it’s the sate fruit of two Indian states.

If you haven’t heard of jackfruit before, then it isn’t nowhere near apples and pears. Rather, jackfruits can weigh up to 55 kilograms with a length of 90 centimeters. Also, each jack tree can produce between 100 and 200 fruits per year. Plus, each jackfruit is made up of thousands of individual flowers.

To substitute tofu with jackfruit, it’s best to look for young fruit. Ripe jackfruit is sweeter and is better used in desserts. Young jackfruit has a milder taste and a texture more like meat.

Because of the fibrous texture, it’s an excellent alternative to tofu in meat dishes. In fact, in some recipes like pulled pork, jackfruit is better as you can’t pull tofu. Also, this is a lovely alternative to tofu, especially if you want to deep fry it.

Jackfruit is very popular in Asian cuisine, both with meat or as a substitute. Young jackfruit is boiled and added in cubes to salads, which balances out the bitter taste of leafy greens. Meanwhile in a spicy curry, this fruit provides an alternative flavor to the heat.

As with most fruits, it contains a high number of vitamins, in particular, Vitamin B6. Also, its flesh is full of fiber, while its pulp is 74% water. But you won’t find the same amount of protein as soy-based products in a jackfruit.

So when making a pulled tofu recipe, you’re likely to find jackfruit much easier to use. And here are the steps to prepare this recipe with this tofu substitute:

First, you need to boil the jackfruit. This often takes around 45 minutes, or 10 minutes in a pressure cooker. Once it’s boiled, you will be able to pull it apart with two forks, similar to how you do it with pork or chicken.

Second, once you pull the jackfruit, you can add ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, onion, tomato paste or BBQ sauce. Now this makes great sandwich fillers.

10. Lentils

Lentils have always been known for their high levels of protein. Before companies started making processed meat substitutes, lentils were the go-to vegetarian food.

Lentils

They’re native to Western and Central Asia. Also, they’re the oldest pulse crop in the world. Carbonized remains have been found in Greece from 11,000 BC.

Lentils are round, lens shaped seeds that come from a bushy plant. Seeds normally grow in pairs inside a pod. They come in various colors and are usually classified this way:

  • Red-cotyledon;
  • Small green or brown-seed coat;
  • Medium green or brown-seed coat; and
  • Large green or brown-seed coat.

On the other hand, rarer types include:

  • Beluga, which is black, bead-like and lens-shaped;
  • Macachiados, a big, yellow Mexican lentil; and
  • Puy lentils, which has a fascinating speckled blue-green color.

Once harvested, lentils are cleaned by airflow and then sorted into size and color by gravity and screens before packaged. Red lentils tend to be put through another process where they are de-hulled.

Most recipes require lentils to be boiled. This can take anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes. If the husk has been removed (during de-hulling), then cooking it becomes much faster. Plus, cooking methods and the variety of lentils will affect how you use them.

For example, if you want to replace tofu with lentils in salads, or to eat it as a snack, then you can use any size green or brown lentil. Because they still have the husk on, they will hold their shape. Like tofu, you can fry whole lentils with the ingredients that you want.

On the other hand, red lentils are better if you want to create a paste to add to soups, stews and curries. Its lack of skin makes it easier for the lentil to disintegrate.

In the Indian subcontinent (the south of Asia and the peninsula), lentils are often made into a stock, which can then be used to thicken vegetarian curries. Many make lentil flour for bread, including the famous papadum. And across Europe and the Americas, lentils are normally used in white meat dishes, typically chicken and pork.

Lentils generally have an earthy flavor, but not enough to overpower a dish. Most varieties are inexpensive, and you don’t need to use a lot in recipes.

You can use lentils in any tofu recipe. If you want to make cubes or stripes, then it’s better to boil red lentils, season them and bake the “paste,” so you can cut it into shapes.

If you’re looking for a tofu alternative that can be much better for your health, then we strongly recommend using lentils. They’re incredibly rich in essential nutrients, which help the body grow and reproduce. 100 grams of lentils have just 1 gram of fat, 10.7 grams of fiber and 25 grams of protein.

What’s the Best Tofu Substitute?

We advise to group these tofu substitutes. This is to clearly understand their benefits. So here goes:

First, there are processed tofu substitutes. Quorn and TVP have been specially developed in a way to replicate meat, so they’re good options to replace tofu, especially if your recipes mainly contain meat.

Also, both can be added to meat dishes to retain the juice from meats when cooking. And if you’re working on a tight family budget, then consider adding either of these to make the meat in a recipe to go much further.

Meanwhile, TVP is a complete protein. This means it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that our bodies need to function efficiently. On the other hand, Quorn contains mycoprotein, which also has all of the essential amino acids.

Second, let’s talk about plant-based tofu substitutes. These are nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, mushrooms, and jackfruit.

Now jackfruit isn’t as common as the others mentioned above. So this makes it more interesting to experiment with, but you’re advised to first check to see how ripe the fruit is before you decide on your recipe.

Also, plant-based tofu substitutes are easy to find and relatively cheap. And even if they don’t have as much protein, they do contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals.

But in many cases with these tofu alternatives, you’ll have to put a little more work into the dish to properly prepare it. You can’t just open a pack and cut it into the desired shape like you can with tofu. On the other hand, they can provide a nutty, earthy taste that tofu won’t.

Third, traditional substitutes like seitan and tempeh are going to provide the most authentic alternative to tofu. Tempeh is soy-based and just as easy to use as tofu. It also has a hint of nuttiness.

Seitan is gluten-based, while unfortunately not an option for celiacs. But the gluten does provide a denser, chewier texture. This makes it better for grilling or BBQs. Plus, both seitan and tempeh are rich in protein and other minerals.

Fourth, ricotta is a simple and versatile tofu substitute. It’s our preferred alternative to tofu because it has a very similar texture, a very subtle flavor and can be used in a wide range of dishes. This is from sweet to savory and Italian to Indian.

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