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Is Tofu Gluten-Free?

As we all know, tofu is made of three basic ingredients: soy, water, and a coagulant. All of these ingredients are not known to contain gluten. Consequentially, tofu can be considered gluten-free. However, not all types of tofu are considered to be free from gluten. Let us take a closer look at the relationship between tofu and gluten.

Defining Gluten

According to celiac.org, “Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together.”

A gluten-free diet, which is probably one of the most common diets in today’s world, simply requires the removal of a certain type of gluten. This specific gluten is the Pooideae subfamily of the Poaceae family of grasses, which includes wheat, barley, rye, and oats.

These types of grains contain two proteins, which are the gliadin and glutenin that helps in holding food together. Interestingly, soy does not contain this type of gluten. As a result, tofu is considered to be gluten-free.

Gluten in Tofu

As we have stated earlier, tofu is made using three basic ingredients. Basic tofu is made using soybeans, water, and a binding ingredient called a coagulant. However, since tofu is pretty bland, several manufacturers often add flavoring to the tofu. These flavoring may contain gluten, which is why it is important to pay close attention to the packaging as this will indicate if the tofu is gluten-free or not.

Do you have to worry that your tofu is gluten-free?

For as long as you get the basic tofu, you do not have to worry about consuming tofu even if you have a gluten intolerance. This is because the basic ingredients that comprise tofu are considered to be gluten-free.

However, another important thing to note is that tofu relies heavily on the sauce for its flavor. This is why it is essential to check the ingredients used for tofu dishes when eating out. Many sauces used to flavor tofu can be considered as the culprit or trigger for one’s gluten intolerance.

Gluten-Free Tofu Recipes

If you are planning to prepare gluten-free tofu dishes, we have compiled a list of recipes that you can make.

Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

One of my go-to tofu recipes is this tofu stir fry dish. Apart from being filling and hearty, it is also easy to prepare and most of the ingredients can be found in a well-stocked pantry. If you wish to use other types of grains, feel free to substitute some of the ingredients found below.
Ingredients
• 200 grams tofu, pressed and cut into ½ inch cubes
• 1 cup cooked quinoa
• 1 large broccoli, cut
• 1 large carrot, julienned
• Yellow, red, and green bell pepper, chopped
• 2 tsp vegetable oil
• 1 tsp garlic, minced
• 1 white onion, chopped
Stir Fry Sauce
• 1 tbsp white vinegar
• 1 cup tamari
• 1 tbsp sesame oil
• 2 tsp coconut sugar
• 1 tsp ginger, grated
• 2 tsp garlic, minced
• ¼ tsp red chili flakes (Note: You can add more to make it spicier.)
Instructions
1. Cook quinoa according to the instruction on the packaging.
2. Prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients. Whisk the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.
3. Marinate the tofu in the sauce and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Heat up a pan and put in vegetable oil. Saute garlic and onion until fragrant.
5. Add the marinated tofu and save some of the sauce for later.
6. Once the tofu is cooked, you can now add the vegetables. Turn off the heat after 5 minutes.
7. Serve the tofu stir-fry with quinoa and drizzle with the remaining sauce. You can choose to top it with some green onion, nuts, and sesame seeds.

Crispy Baked Tofu

Nothing is easier and simpler than this recipe. However, it will allow you to enjoy tofu in its simplest form. All you need are 3 ingredients and you are all set. No need to worry about your gluten intolerance or your diet.
Ingredients
• 400 grams of Tofu
• 2 tbsp oil
• Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 175-degree Celsius.
2. Press the moisture out of the tofu by using a tofu press. If you do not have a tofu press, you can line the tofu with a paper towel and top it off with something heavy like a plate or a pot. It is important to remove the water on the tofu to ensure that the tofu will really become crispy.
3. Slice the pressed tofu into 1-inch cubes and line them up on a baking tray.
4. Drizzle the tofu with some oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper to taste.
5. Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes or until the tofu is golden brown.

Vegan Tofu Cocoa Pudding

Who says tofu can’t make for a good vegan dessert? We have whipped up one vegan chocolate dessert that is gluten-free. It is surely a treat for people that are trying to lose weight or people that are trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
Ingredients:
• 12 oz silken tofu
• ¾ cup cocoa powder
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup soy milk
Instructions:
1. Combine tofu, cocoa powder, sugar, and soy milk. Mix them using a blender and ensure that the mixture is smooth and folded neatly.
2. Prepare ramekin bowl for the mixture. Pour the pudding into the bowl and allow to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
3. Serve with whipped cream or nuts.

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