The summer seems to be speeding by in a flash! August is here and it's time for back to school. Somewhere in between choosing classes, picking study groups and planning the perfect back to school outfit, is the important job of creating the school time boxed lunch. In this modern-day health conscious world, where do we begin?
When it comes to creating a positive routine with your kids, healthy eating is up there with strong studying after school and brushing your teeth before bed. Studies show that children with healthy, consistent diets stay focused throughout the day and score better grades. Keeping your child well fed at school is a job that extends far beyond the lunch table and the cafeteria lines these days.
It’s always a good idea to provide mid-morning and daytime snacks in addition to the standard balanced lunch. We recommend trail mix, sliced fruits and veggies, tofu and lots of water. Try swapping zip-locks and brown bags for glass or metal Tupperware and reusable lunchboxes this year. If you need to keep things cold, you can wrap an ice pack in a tea towel to absorb condensation. Try veggie spring rolls for a fresh and healthy boxed lunch treat. It beats the old peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
Sending your kids off to school with healthy and balanced choices should be a joy all year long. With a bit of planning ahead and collaboration with your children, you can utilize leftovers and bulk food products to create delicious and healthful options that won’t break the bank. One great thing you can do with your kids is to make Tofu House Chocolate Chip Cookies. Try this simple recipe and have a fun delicious project to do with your children. Let us know how bake night goes! We always love to hear from you. Happy cooking!
Did you know that tofu can make you more beautiful? That’s right! All of those B vitamins, isoflavones and antioxidants in tofu will do more than just keep you healthy and strong on the inside. Tofu has been a secret anti-aging weapon in Asia for centuries, and now the secret is out all over the world.
If you want to have stronger and healthier looking hair, then you should try introducing tofu into your diet. By adding healthy plant-based proteins you allow your body to create more keratin – that special protein that makes up your head of hair. Calcium and B vitamins in tofu are known to soothe nerves and fight stress, which can be a huge factor in hair loss for men and women.
Eating a small amount of tofu each week can improve elasticity in skin, tighten facial muscles, smooth pores, and give skin a polished and healthy looking glow. Just like hair, skin needs protein to regenerate, and a healthy plant-based protein such as tofu works well in creating a smooth and healthy looking complexion.
If you like what you see, but still want more, you can use silken tofu to create your own hair and skin mask. Simply mix with a bit of organic yogurt, fresh honey or avocado for a delicious anti-aging facial mask. Saponins in tofu act as a natural exfoliant, removing dead skin-cells, while plant-proteins renew and regenerate skin. This mask will moisturize, even skin tone and promote elasticity in the face. Now go out there and beautify!
2014 is the year of the green drink. Everywhere you turn folks are buying, selling, making and drinking something green. From chlorella (aka algae) based powder to heirloom kale and collard greens, it would seem that “super-foods” are more popular than ever and that green is most definitely still the new black. What is it about the green drink that’s got folks going crazy? Is it the allure of drinking something seemingly unbearable and surprisingly palatable in the name of health? Maybe in this fast-pace world it’s an easy way to get one’s daily allowance? Or maybe it’s just plain trend! Whatever the cause, we don’t mind a bit! Like we always say, the greener, the better!
If you feel lost in a sea of green, fear not! Getting going on a green regimen is simpler than you might think. You don’t need tons of cash and you don’t even need to splurge on a juicer. Your plain old blender (with the help of a sharp knife) should do just fine. All you need is a variety of leafy greens such as kale or collards, fresh herbs like parsley and mint and some crunchy seasonal veggies like cucumber and celery. (Um, YUM!) Throw in some liquid of your choice such as water, grapefruit juice or even pineapple juice, fruit to taste and blend away. A fresh squeeze of lemon should help to balance the flavors and mellow any sweetness as well.
Beefing up your morning shake with pure tofu will add a rich flavor and a smooth texture, not to mention hours of energy and focus. Don’t believe us? See for yourself! Add a bit of silken tofu to your morning routine, and let us know how it changes your day! We’d love to hear from you! Cheers!
If you enjoy green tea while it’s hot, you will absolutely love it when cold! July feels like the hottest month of the year with record heat waves, soaring electricity bills and long hot workdays that seem to never end. While we love the sweet summer BBQs of July, the working days can drag on forever in the heat leaving us drained and exhausted by day’s end. If you have been looking for a healthy and refreshing alternative to get you through the day, look no more. If you want to pack some extra protein in your green drink, throw in 3oz of silken tofu, and get ready to have an awesome day! Green tea will be your one stop shop!
Whether you drink a true green tea or a toasted one, the traditional Japanese Matcha or the Korean variation mixed with barley and brown rice, you are doing something good for your body every time you sip. Studies show that regular green tea drinkers have a lower risk of developing heart disease as well as certain types of cancer. It is also a proven weight loss tool! Much like tofu, green tea is rich in flavonoids – those healthful phytochemicals that bring our bodies so many benefits. While flavonoids are present in most plant products, they are prevalent in green tea, and hold anti-oxidative and ant carcinogenic functions. Are you thirsty yet?
If you remember the old adage, If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, then you might start brewing a cup right this second. Green tea consumption dates back 4,000 years! It has been used as a beverage as well as a medicine across Asia for centuries. Green tea was and still is believed to assist with so many health issues from regulating blood sugar and body temperature to promoting digestion. If there ever were a magic bullet, green tea just might be it. And the best part is, you can enjoy it hot and cold! If you are looking for a way to stay alert, stay healthy and stay cool this summer, try pouring that green tea over ice or making a cold brew in the fridge. We promise that it will revitalize and refresh through this hot summer and fall months! Next time we enjoy a cold glass of green-tea we will toast to you and your health! Bottoms up!
When people come across our site, they are amazed by what we can do without dairy and eggs. We make beautiful cakes, pies, puddings, cookies and more all with our secret ingredient – the Baking Blend! Our baking blend is a time-tested mixture that will work as a substitute for eggs, buttermilk, yoghurt, oil, mayonnaise and more.
The Baking Blend is simply:
1 (12.3oz) package Morinaga Silken Extra Firm Tofu
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar
Blend well. Refrigerate in a covered container. Keeps for one week. (1 cup baking blend is equal to 1 cup of liquid ingredients.)
The Baking Blend is our go-to for standard baking recipes such as cookies and cakes. For savory baked dishes like quiche, tarts or lasagna, we use mashed Morinaga Extra Firm Tofu. When you mash the extra firm variety it takes on a consistency similar to scrambled eggs or fresh ricotta cheese.
Whether you are making a quiche and scones for a breakfast party or key-lime pie for a summer BBQ, don’t let your dairy or gluten allergies get in the way of your enjoyment. With Morinaga’s Tips & Tricks you can stay healthy and enjoy all the flavors of summer! Happy eating!
The summer season is a great time for cooking and eating. The days are long and beautiful, school is out and the markets are full of delicious, seasonal produce. With the freshest ingredients, there is no limit to what you can create from fresh salads, to grilled veggies and desserts speckled with summer berries. Morinaga Silken Tofu makes the perfect addition to any summer meal. Whether you are grilling it with colorful zucchini and bell peppers or using it as a thickener for salad dressings, there are endless ways to sneak in the extra proteins and vitamins that tofu has to offer. Here’s a list of creative ways to incorporate Silken Tofu into your kitchen repertoire this summer.
GRILL IT: If you leave Silken Tofu in the freezer overnight, it will be ready for the grill by dinnertime! Marinate with your favorite mixture and throw it on the grill for salads, sliders or to accompany grilled veggies.
DRESS IT: Or dress with it! Did you know that Morinaga Silken Tofu is a great thickener and dairy substitute for salad dressings? Use it in place of dairy for those blue cheese and ranch variations or use it as a thickener for vinaigrette and citrus-based dressings.
BAKE IT: Not just like a casserole! Silken Tofu can be baked in pies and used as a dairy substitute for just about any baking recipe. Create fruit pies and parfaits with the sweetest summer fruits!
FRY IT: From fried tofu poppers to tofu fries to fried tofu sandwiches, fried tofu is a healthy and festive party trick that is sure to empty plates and many a summer BBQ!
DIP IT: Remember chips and dip? Now you can create beautiful spreads of veggies, chips and dips without worrying about added dairy. Check our site for a variety of tofu dip recipes from hummus to garlicky spinach & artichoke!
May is a great time to get healthy. The last chills of winter have finally melted, and spring brings with it a flood of blooming flowers, fresh produce and sunshine. Nice weather and longer days create space for outdoor activity, and fresh fruits and veggies make eating better a no-brainer. Nothing fosters creativity in the kitchen quite like fresh and local produce. If you haven’t explored your local farmer’s markets, now is the time! Go, explore and see what you can find!
There is an enormous range of produce available this month, from artichokes and broccoli to cauliflower and cucumber. We are still seeing endive and the first fava beans of the season are making their way to local stands. Strawberries are getting sweeter as the weather warms up, and stone fruit such as apricots and plums line tables wrapped in burlap. It is a great month to be out shopping, in cooking and out and about eating.
Eating well is a great way to get off to a healthy start this spring. If you are planning to exercise or get in shape this summer, what better way to start than at the kitchen table? An abundance of fresh fruits and veggies make work in the kitchen a labor of love more than anything else this May, and we look forward to being there with you every step along the way. From breakfast tofu stir-fries to fresh fruit tofu puddings and midnight tofu ice cream shakes, we have something to add to every meal.
We look forward to taking this journey with you and seeing what you create. Share your ideas and recipes on our Facebook page and show us what you’re made of! Nothing inspires us more than seeing all the creative ways you work with tofu in the kitchen. Happy cooking and happy spring!
We would like to celebrate National Soy Food Month by educating our community a bit more about the many uses of the soybean product from cultivation to harvest and how this high protein plant can be included into a diverse range of food products.
History: With the introduction of Soy Milk to the United States in the 1980’s, American food manufacturers started to develop soy food products that appealed to the unique tastes of the heartland. Throughout the 1990’s there were several advances in processing which has allowed for foods to be made from components of soybeans such as soy protein concentrates and isolates. The soybean has found its way into more products than we can start to list! Soymilk remains the most frequently consumed soyfood, followed by edamame and veggie burgers. Tofu sits in fourth place.
Production: The USDA report is now estimating total soybean production in 2013 at 3.15 billion bushels. The average U.S. soybean yield for 2013 is now estimated at 41.2 bushels per acre, which down from the August USDA estimate of 42.6 bushels per acre. From 1996 to 2011 soy food products have grown from $1 billion to $5.2 billion in annual sales. The farming methods for soybeans have evolved into new practices in sustainable farming techniques. Soy farmers are now taking a responsible stance on protecting the environment and producing a healthy food source.
Health: There are many healthy benefits associated with soy food products. One of the most popular is the correlation between soy consumption and lowering the risks of heart disease. Soy also helps positively impact and reduce the risks of diabetes, lowering cholesterol, and breast cancer. The other positive effect from the soy food is that it helps to manage weight problems that we currently face in the United States. There is an epidemic of unhealthy food products and eating habits. Introducing soy and replacing harmful foods for health rich soy foods can have an immediate positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
Pressing is a great technique to know when cooking tofu. Silken tofu in particular has a high water content, making it delicate and easily crumbled. However, pressing helps remove some of the excess water so the tofu is firmer and sturdier, and better suited for stir-frying, grilling, and other applications in which the tofu takes a little abuse.
You may think you need a fancy gadget to press tofu, but actually it can be done easily at home with common household items! All you need is some paper towels and a flat, heavy object.
We are thrilled to introduce our new featured blogger, Terry Hope Romero of Vegan Latina! Be sure to check out her recipes featured on our website and Facebook page.
A complaint we sometimes hear about Morinaga Silken Tofu is “It’s so soft! I can’t stir-fry with it, it falls right apart!”
It’s true all Morinaga tofu is silken tofu, which is especially soft and delicate and more likely to crumble than its pressed counterpart. However, don’t think for one minute that silken tofu is off-limits for your stir-fry! All it takes is a little know-how.
One way to make silken tofu suitable for stir-fry is pressing and pan-frying. In addition to deep-frying, silken tofu can be pan-fried in a small amount of oil to create a beautiful golden crust. This crust creates a lovely complementary texture to the soft silken tofu within—and it also makes silken tofu sturdier! Pan-fried silken tofu can be gently tossed in stir-fries and salads without crumbling.
There are countless variations to pan-fried tofu that can include seasonings, spices, or cornstarch for an especially crispy crust, but this basic technique is a surefire place to start:
We are very proud to introduce our new featured blogger, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen! Please visit her amazing blog and look out for her recipes featured on our website and Facebook page.
By those who don’t know her well, tofu often gets stereotyped as a healthy, “boring” food: flavorless, mushy, blah. But her friends know tofu can be plenty exciting—and even a little naughty! And this Cajun Fried Tofu really shows off her wild side.
A note about deep-frying: Of course deep-frying isn’t the healthiest, but if you deep-fry properly at a high enough temperature, less of the oil will seep into the food, which is healthier and makes for a crispier, more delicious result! We recommend frying in oil heated to at least 325F. Ideally fried silken tofu will be firm and crispy on the outside and warm, soft, and delicate on the inside.
If you’re looking for a meatless alternative to Cajun fried chicken or craving a zesty spin on silken tofu, you'll want to check out this Cajun Fried Tofu:
Thanks to everyone who submitted a recipe to our Lunchbox Tofu Recipe Contest! We received many delicious and creative submissions. (But is anyone surprised Morinaga fans have such great taste?).To pick our winner, we took into account taste, visual appeal, ease and convenience of recipe, and suitability for a lunchbox. So without further ado, our winning recipe!
1) Create your original lunchbox-appropriate tofu recipe using Morinaga tofu. Be sure to specify which variety of tofu to use: Soft, Firm, Lite Firm, Organic Firm, Extra Firm, or Nigari. Recipe can be for a main course, side dish, dip, or dessert-- anything so long as it is portable for carrying in a lunchbox.2) Write your recipe into the body of an email titled “Lunchbox Tofu Recipe Contest.” Include your name, mailing address, and phone number in the email.
3) Send the email to [email removed at end of contest].