Doesn’t the phrase “Healthy Snacks” sound like an oxymoron to many of you? Especially if you are a busy mom looking to sneak in loads of nutrients, foremost among them proteins, into your child’s evening meals, rather than the oily, junk food that the little ones prefer? The problem just seems to become more complicated if you are a family that follows a purely vegetarian diet, consuming foods obtained solely from plant and dairy sources, right?
Stop worrying, for there is indeed a highly nutritious food derived entirely from plants which can be made into appetising snacks, that not only offers a plethora of vitamins and minerals but is also chock-full of proteins. Any guesses? Well, it is none other than Tofu – which you might have relished as those chunky white wedges served in noodles and curries in Asian restaurants.
Tofu Nutrition Content And Health Benefits:
Tofu, which is otherwise called bean curd, is basically the condensed form of soy milk, wherein the thick curd is eventually pressed, processed and solidified into hard white blocks with differing thickness – silken, soft, firm and extra firm. Tofu provides ample amounts of proteins comprising all nine essential amino acids, in addition to vast quantities of calcium, magnesium for strong bones, iron for optimal blood circulation, vitamin A for enhanced eyesight and B vitamins for better metabolism.
Being organically gluten-free, tofu is an ideal addition to the diet for those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Also, it is very low in calorie content to aid in weight loss and contains zero cholesterol to promote heart wellness. Tofu possesses a treasure trove of crucial trace minerals including zinc, copper, selenium, as well as phytonutrients known as soy isoflavones. These compounds hold potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, to shield skin from UV damage, dryness, infections, rectify hormonal imbalance, prevent the onset of cancer and mitigate joint pain.
Protein-Rich Scrumptious Snack-Time Recipes With Tofu:
No doubt that tofu is truly a salubrious ingredient, which supplies all the essential nutrients and is a wholly plant-based source of protein, perfectly complementing both the vegetarian and vegan diet. Moreover, it has a subtle flavour and can be easily cooked, baked, grilled, fried, steamed, plus marinated with spices or simply incorporated into various dishes such as rice, curries, soups, salads, noodles. Tofu can even be used to prepare sweet dishes and vegan desserts such as pudding, cake, mousse and pie.
So put on your chef’s hats, rustle up these lip-smacking tofu recipes – Crispy Garlic Tofu and Mixed Veg Tofu Noodles and serve them to your children, alongside a tangy sauce or tomato ketchup, as a healthy evening snack. These delicious, wholesome dishes will guarantee your kids get all the protein they need, uplift their overall health, besides satisfying their taste buds and appetites.
Crispy Garlic Tofu
1 medium block of soft tofu
5 garlic cloves, cut into tiny bits
2 small pieces of ginger, minced
2 pearl onions, finely chopped
Salt, as required
2 tbsp sesame oil
A bunch of mint leaves
In a pan, heat the sesame oil, sauté the onions for 2 minutes until they become translucent and the raw smell fades.
Add the garlic and ginger pieces along with the needed amount of salt and cook for 3 minutes on medium flame.
Cut the tofu block into even-sized cubes and transfer them to the pan.
Shallow fry the tofu chunks for 5 minutes so they become slightly crisp and all the flavours get absorbed.
Turn off the stovetop, garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve the delectable crispy garlic tofu hot, with spicy sriracha sauce or sweet tomato ketchup, which is sure to entice the taste buds of the little ones.
A storehouse of protein, tofu is an excellent plant-based food to attain all nine essential amino acids, to develop fortified muscles and ensure healthy growth in children. Garlic abounds in vitamin C, for improved immunity and ginger is laden with dietary fibers to facilitate smooth digestion. Imbued with quercetin, a powerful antioxidant, pearl onions assist in averting the risk of cancer and keep chronic illnesses like diabetes at bay.
Mixed Veg Tofu Noodles
1 large block of soft tofu, cut into cubes
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 small packs of whole wheat noodles
2 medium carrots, cut
½ cup green peas, boiled
½ cup cauliflower, cut into florets
A bunch of spinach leaves
Salt, as per taste
In a large pan, boil the whole wheat noodles in water with a bit of salt, along with the carrots, green peas, cauliflower and spinach.
In another smaller pan, heat the sesame oil on medium flame, sauté the soy sauce and fry the tofu cubes until they turn golden-brown.
Switch off the flame with the smaller pan, transfer the fried tofu cubes into the large pan with the boiled noodles and vegetables.
Cook for 10 minutes on low flame until all the flavours blend in, then turn off the stove and serve a warm bowl of this mouth-watering mixed veg tofu noodles to children in the evenings.
Comprising great quantities of protein, as well as calcium and B vitamins, tofu helps in the proper development of key organs in the body in kids, namely the brain, lungs, heart, liver, stomach, kidneys. Wheat noodles offer ample calories, carbohydrates for instant energy, besides fibers for regulating appetite and curbing untimely cravings. Carrots contain copious volumes of vitamin A, for augmenting eyesight, while spinach provides significant amounts of iron, a key trace mineral for healthy red blood cell synthesis, preventing anaemia and smooth blood circulation.