Tofu has become a staple ingredient in today’s raw vegan diet. Since the spread of veganism is on the rise, many vegan people ask, “Can you eat tofu raw straight from the package?” Yes, you indeed can!
Having said that, I must state that the raw tofu you see in packets is already cooked food. To prepare it, soybeans are soaked in water and then boiled to form tofu with the addition of coagulants.
When I started following a vegan diet, I kind of felt clueless regarding the way to fulfill my nutritional needs. Then, I came across Tofu and added it to my daily diet.
Since Tofu is vegan, it is a great source of protein and other micro-nutrients for all vegan people. Now, that you know that it is completely safe to consume raw tofu, you must not forget to follow some safety measures to avoid risks associated with eating it raw.
I will discuss it in detail later but before that, you must know the possible benefits of consuming tofu in raw form.
Multiple Health Benefits You Get for Eating Raw Tofu
As stated above, raw tofu brings many health benefits for people of all age groups. Here are the major points you need to know on this:
Easy Source of Protein and Micro-Nutrients
Raw tofu serves as an excellent source of plant-based protein and other essential micro-nutrients. So, vegans following a plant-based diet can include it in their diet to fulfill their nutritional requirements.
Just after draining excess water, you can consume tofu raw. It would nourish your body with nutrients such as calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and iron, to name a few.
Minimal Consumption of Calories or Fat
If you eat raw tofu, you also get a quick supply of nutrients without much calorie or fat intake. Since tofu has a low number of calories, it doesn’t increase calorie consumption. Also, it helps limit the intake of oils thus helping one avoid consuming fat in a daily routine.
Possibility to Make Multiple Food Items
Raw tofu is a vital ingredient as it helps prepare a number of food items. From homemade ice cream to smoothies, tofu can be a part of many dishes.
Possible Risks Associated with Eating Tofu Raw
Yes, it is true that eating raw tofu brings multiple advantages. But you also need to follow some tips (which I will discuss later) to counter the food-borne diseases associated with it.
It is your duty to make sure you avoid every risk of bacterial infection while consuming uncooked tofu. Here are the possible risks you must think of on this subject:
1. Contamination During Preparation
Admit it! you don’t know how well the manufacturing unit followed the hygiene measures while preparing tofu. It is possible that any sick or unhygienic worker may not have followed the guidelines while handling tofu during its preparation.
2. Contamination through Germs in Water
Another possible risk associated with it is the spread of germs through water. Since there is water in packed tofu, it could lead to bacterial infection due to germs present in the water.
3. Risk of Infection Due to Pathogens
Different sorts of pathogens could also cause severe infections in tofu. No matter whether it is fermented or soft tofu, pathogen infections could invite serious food-borne illness for eaters.
Especially, children, pregnant women, old people and people with poor immunity or auto-immune diseases must pay attention to these risks. And they must follow the safety tips mentioned below to combat it.
Tips to Follow While Eating Uncooked Tofu
Earlier in this post, I told you about the potential risks associated with eating raw tofu. Now, I am here presenting the possible solutions you could take to avoid those risks. Here are these:
1. Follow Hygiene Guidelines
It is your responsibility to follow the necessary personal hygiene while handling any food items. Similar is the case with the raw tofu.
You must wash your hands well before touching tofu. Also, you must keep the kitchen area clean to avoid germ growth.
2. Remove Excess Water and Wash it Well
Firstly, you need to remove the excess water present in its packaging. Then, you must wash it well with clean water before eating it. It is essential to get rid of germs present in it.
3. Store it in Cool Temperature
Storing raw tofu in cool temperatures is crucial to prevent the development of germs. Technically, you should store it in an air-tight container at a low temperature (below 4 degrees Celsius) to stop the growth of germs in it.
4. Use Clean and Washed Utensils
It is vital to use clean and washed utensils for the prevention of contaminants.
I hope you have got the right answer to the question, “Can you eat tofu raw?” Now, that you know that you can consume tofu raw, I advise you to choose a silken or soft form of tofu as it is a good option.
Honestly speaking, the tofu you find in stores is already in cooked form. That’s why there are fewer chances of food-borne diseases for consumers.
Still, you must follow some tips to benefit from tofu in a desired fashion. For people who are prone to illness or infection, it is mandatory to follow the necessary food hygiene guidelines to stay healthy and safe.