Tofu, one of the mostversatile products available is also known as "soya curd". It is the closest non-dairy product resembling cheese. It comes in 2 broad categories, firm tofu and silken tofu and of these two firm tofu is the more versatile.
In a nutshell this is how tofu is made :
1- Tofu grade soy beans are first soaked in water overnight and then drained.
2- Then the beans are pulverised as a little water is poured over them. the result will have the consistency of mashed potatoes.
3- The mash is ladled into boiling water and alloweed to boil gently for about ten minutes. This is a very important part as certain enzyme is broken down in this part. If the enzyme, is not broken down the Soy protein will not be humanly digestable.
4- The result of this is filtered and this liquid is called soy milk, the pulp is called okara. Okara can be mixed with flour, fed to pigs or used as a fertiliser.
5- Calsium Sulfate or Magnesium Chloride (both small amounts) is introduced to coagulate the soy milk. The milk will separate into Cords and Whey. Curds will rise to the top and the Whey should be clear.
6- The Curds are taken off the top and put into a forming container which is lined with cheese cloth. The left-over Whey drains away through holes in the container.
7- A weight is placed on the container and left for an hour. Then the block of curd is removed from the form and placed in clear water for an hour.
8- Now eat the tofu and feed the Whey to the pigs.
Soya ( and thus tofu ) contains isoflavones which act like human hormones. These isoflavones regulate cholestorol levels and it is found that regular taking soy isoflavones reduces total cholestorol by up to 10 percent.
Research has also shown that by taking 2 ounces of soya daily you help fight breast and prostate cancer, coronary artery disease and also ease menopause symptoms as well as give your immune system a boost.
As well as Isoflavones soybeans also contain Genistein, Protease Inhibitors and Phytic Acids which all help to increase your health and vitality.