Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a great, substitute for meat, it helps you add some protein to your diet if you choose to go vegan or vegetarian. But let’s say that you easily get sick of the same old and you want to explore other options for some healthy protein source?
Don’t worry, going full vegetarian or vegan isn’t that complicated nor scary if you know what you’re doing and how to take care of your body. Here, we prepared some alternatives for Tofu for when you want to change things up or you’re just not a Tofu fan.
- Black Beans
- Cannellini Beans
- Dry Beans
- Pinto Beans
If you are still unable to find the substitutes mentioned above, read on to find out more about the full list of Tofu alternatives, keep on reading this article.
The Best Tofu Substitutes
Lately, I’ve been loving chickpeas or so-called Garbanzo beans. I’ve been adding them to almost every salad recipe I make, making homemade hummus, and simply just baking them with a little bit of salt and turning them into a healthy and crunchy snack.
For all of you who follow a plant-based diet, this is an excellent plant-based protein addition with a nutty flavor. Quinoa seeds provide about 9 grams of protein per 200 grams of serving.
Quinoa seeds also contain high doses of amino acids that are very good for your immune system. Compared to other grains, Quinoa goes all the way to the top with its high fiber percentage. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 5 grams of fiber.
These types of seeds are getting very popular in the modern world. You can incorporate it into most salads, it makes a nice substitute for pasta, and helps make one hell of a veggie burger.
Black beans are a part of the legume family along with chickpeas, lentils, and peas. They are also known as turtle beans because of their hard shells. Black beans are also used in plant-based diets and many diets.
They are a healthy source of protein, fats, and fiber. In one serving(one cup) of black beans you get about 10 grams of healthy protein.
Don’t get me wrong, you can pick your own bean of choice. It does not have to be typically black beans only. If you don’t have them in your home already check if you have Cannellini beans, dry beans, Pinto beans,
Cannelini bean is the most famous type of bean with its recognizable kidney shape, getting its nickname ” The Kidney Bean” or ”White Kidney Beans”.
Cannellini beans have a nutty and kind of an earthy flavor which is great for making stews and salads, and they deserve a title for being an amazing side dish.
You can find Cannellini beans in your local supermarket. They are usually sold canned, so check out the can section of the market.
I know most of the people are scared of cooking dry beans because of the reason, well, because they’re dry, how the heck do you prepare something like that. Let me tell ya, even though it takes some time, it is actually pretty easy.
- Put your beans in a pot and cover them with cold water.
- Leave the beans overnight to soak in a room temperature. You can also leave them in the fridge if that’s better for you.
- When it’s time to actually cook them, drain the beans off the cold water, and put them in another batch of water(the amount isn’t important just make sure to cover the beans)
- Bring the beans and water to a simmer, not boil, simmer. So, this involves cooking on low heat to avoid boiling as well as making the beans overly mushy and soft.
- Cook them like this for about an hour to an hour and a half, until they get tender. Again, not mushy but tender.
- The seasoning of this dish is totally up to you. Make sure to add some salt and pepper for flavor. I also add a little bit of chopped garlic, shallots or onions, and dried red pepper.
Pinto beans are the best beans for making delicious Mexican food like chili. You can also re-fry them and use them as a side dish, and combine them into your favorite salad recipes.
You can find these beans in either dried state or canned. Either way, they help make delicious recipes that are protein-rich and with high nutritional content.
Dry Pinto beans are also the type of beans that must be soaked overnight. The process is similar to the dry beans, cover them in cool water and leave them overnight.
Everyone knows that a handful of nuts can increase your daily protein intake. I specifically recommend walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and of course, Macadamia nuts.
For 100 grams of mixed nuts, you get about 22 grams of protein and 60 grams of fat.
Seitan is a good tofu and meat substitute for people who don’t mind gluten in their diet. If you’re on a gluten-free diet or have a gluten intolerance, please do not use this product. Here’s why.
Seitan is made from wheat gluten, and it’s a white, spongy product that looks similar to Tofu. Its mild flavor basically fits into everything Tofu would fit in, salads, soups, Asian food, and of course, you can grill it just like meat. Seitan has a meatier and firmer texture than Tofu and it is a little bit more stringy and chewier.
Tempeh is also a decent substitute for Tofu and it tastes pretty similar to both Tofu and Seitan. It definitely needs to be added a little bit of flavor to this product because of its bland taste. You can season it with garlic, paprika, some honey, lemon, and a little bit of olive oil.
Other Tofu Alternatives
Like we all know, the main ingredient that the real Tofu is made of is, of course, soybeans which have a high protein content. So, it’s only logical that we would recommend using soy as a substitute for Tofu. Soy is one of the best options for vegan protein.
Just like all legumes, lentils are also a great source of protein and fiber as well. You can make all types of dishes with legumes, soups, stews, vegan burgers, etc. My all-time favorite dish from my childhood is lentil soup mixed with just a little bit of apple cider vinegar.
Even though it’s much higher in fiber, broccoli is one of the vegan options that can be a replacement for meat and tofu every now and then. This is because of the meaty texture that broccoli has. For some extra protein, you can make a nice broccoli salad with some Greek yogurt.
Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, ayran, and kefir are great sources of animal protein. Not only they’re high in protein, but they have large doses of Calcium as well.
If you’re vegan and don’t consume animal products, you can seek out some other milk options like almond milk, Soy milk(to collect all that Soybean protein), coconut milk, or rice milk.
[Related Article: Difference between Buttermilk, Sour Cream, or Milk for Baking]
The egg is one of the most popular ways to get your dose of protein. That is if you’re actually not on a vegan diet of course. But, eggs make great substitutes for vegetarians. One single egg has a whopping 7 grams of protein, which is pretty good!
Products or foods that are soy-based can definitely be a good replacement for tofu in your dishes. You can use Edamame, Miso, some soy milk, meat alternatives made from soy, etc.
You know we had to mention the most delicious type of protein for all of you meat lovers. Meat consumption is the best way to keep a healthy lifestyle and get the right protein intake without having to worry about much. You can pick any type of meat, it’s your choice really.
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