Tofu: A Healthy Summertime Food Everyone Can Enjoy
The number of plant-based products hitting the shelves has grown over 200% between 2012 and 2018 according to Mintel consumer research. (1) However, less than 10% of Americans self-identify as vegetarian or vegan.(2) When consumers were asked why they selected plant-based alternatives or animal-based products, 49% said because they’re healthier, 31% wanted to try something new, and 22% were trying to eat less meat or dairy.(3) Memorial Day and summer holidays are a great opportunity for retail dietitians to highlight the versatility of tofu as a healthy, plant-based ingredient that everyone can enjoy.
Well-known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades, tofu is an ideal choice for grilling and summertime salads. As a “meaty” vegetarian alternative to animal protein, tofu is a heart-healthy option that works well as a one-stop-shop ingredient for barbeques, picnics and beach parties. Cubed tofu is quick and easy to cook on the grill (as a kebab or skewers) and can be seasoned just like chicken or beef. And if you’re trying to feed the masses on a budget, consider adding tofu as an affordable method to extend chicken, beef and fish dishes.
For pregnant moms, The Registered Dietitians and “Mealtime Mentors” at Festival Foods didn’t want them to miss out on the opportunity to enjoy ceviche this summer in Wisconsin, so they created their very own, “tofu ceviche made with all of the traditional ingredients without the raw (marinated) fish! Tofu to the rescue!” Check out this delicious recipe and video. (Photo credit: Festival Foods)
Tofu Ceviche with Chili Lime Tortilla Chips
Typically made with seafood, this ceviche features tofu instead for a plant-based spin. Serve with homemade tortilla chips for an extra kick.
Retail dietitians can promote the following popular summertime recipe favorites during in-store demos and on their social media channels to excite customers about the versatility of plant-based tofu products. House Foods tofu recipes include nutrition facts and appeal to a wide-variety of audiences seeking delicious-tasting heart-healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free and low-carb options.
- Citrus-Chili Marinated Grilled Tofu
- Tofu Caprese Salad. On hot summer days, tofu is a great non-dairy alternative for salads, offering a good source of calcium (10% of the Daily Value) that won’t spoil as quickly at the beach or poolside.
- Tasty Tofu Spinach Dip. Another savvy way to boost protein and reduce saturated fat is to use tofu as a creamy ingredient to make delicious dip to serve with veggie sticks, pretzels or chips.
- Grilled Pineapple and Avocado Shirataki Noodles. By using gluten-free, low-carb shirataki noodles made from tofu, there’s no need to worry about friends or guests that may be following gluten-free or low-carb diets. Make all of your summertime noodle dishes or pasta salads with shirataki and everyone can enjoy them.
Just in case your customers need a quick go-to guide on choosing the right tofu, download a copy of “How to choose the right tofu” from House Foods: https://www.house-foods.com/eat-happy/so-what-is-tofu-anyway.
- Ramanathan, L. How ‘plant-based’ rebranded vegan eating for the mainstream. Washington Post. February 15, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2019/02/15/how-plant-based-rebranded-vegan-eating-for-the-mainstream/?utm_term=.bef90bbdf401.
- Reinhart, RJ. Snapshot: Few Americans Vegetarian or Vegan. Gallup Well Being. https://news.gallup.com/poll/238328/snapshot-few-americans-vegetarian-vegan.aspx. August 1, 2018.
- Datassential. Foodbytes: Plant-Based Eating SNAP! Keynote Sneak Peek. https://datassential.com/Home/FoodBytes. March 2018 issue.