Tofu, commonly called bean curd, is a foodstuff made by emulsifying soy
milk and compressing the curds into solid white bricks of varied firmness.
Soft, firm, extra firm, super firm, or silken are the most readily and commercially available tofu, and you should be able to find them in your local supermarket.
Tofu comes in a variety of textures beyond these main categories. It is full of protein and contains numerous important nutrients, and is a perfect protein substitute for vegetarian or vegan meals. The unique texture and flavour of tofu isn’t for everyone, and it is common to pair the curd with a marinade or sauce.
Despite being rather notoriously flavourless, Slimming World member will have one less thing to worry about when it comes to tofu. Tofu, as a plant based meat alternative, is totally syn free! You can enjoy as much of it as you like without weighing or counting it out beforehand. All without a care in the world.
So, what’s stopping you? Time to enjoy the veggie or vegan experience. Tofu pairs well with different sauces and marinades as previously mentioned, but also goes well with different meal types. Being an East Asian invention, noodle or rice based cuisine is the natural pairing of tofu meals. Do keep in mind however, that your sauces for flavouring may not be syn free.
Beans, grains, potato, pasta, lentils, rice, and vegetables are also all Free Food that says you don't have to measure, weigh, or tally them. The Free Food list additionally includes a variety of organic protein, such as basic vegan Quorn, jackfruit, and of course our favourite tofu. This makes an exclusively vegetarian diet a good way to keep your syn count low.
Of course, not every is able or willing to commit to such a radical change in their dietary plan, even if it’s for the purpose of losing weight. Tofu and other meat alternatives lack the appeal real meat might, and even other faux meats from Quorn are only syn free if they are the vegan variety. This certainly complicates things.
Although low in syns, only the vegan Quorn products boast that illusive syn free rating. By comparison, vegetarian only Quorn chicken nuggets are 0.5 syns per nugget. Still a delicious and low syn snack you can enjoy, but if you’re looking to build up that roll over syn allowance for weekend drinks or perhaps a heavy treat, then explore some vegan options instead. Bare in mind that some tofu recipes may ask you to press your tofu.
Most tofu dishes do not necessitate pressing, however pressing is the
greatest technique for removing excess moisture when sautéing or shallow
frying tofu (particularly if you really want crispy tofu). Pressing tofu generally results in firmer tofu that keeps its shape better throughout frying and guarantees that your spices are not diluted.
Syn free or not, you’ll still find yourself spoilt for choice when you head to your local supermarket. Tofu brands are widely available, offering different firmness depending on how you’d like to enjoy your tofu. When purchasing tofu, you should keep in mind that you will likely have to press it at home to release some of that excess moisture we talked about, and make sure your meal remains delicious.
When it comes to plant meat alternatives, we find that Cauldron offers the greatest range of products. Smoked, pre-marinated and seasoned, anything you could possibly want in a tofu block or meal. All the above products are syn free, but keep an eye out for tofu products in different sauces, marinades, seasonings, or even full other meals like burritos or miso soup.
These larger or alternative preparations are unlikely to be as syn free as tofu is alone. So it is important to check and verify them prior to your purchase and enjoyment of them. Sauces can be especially bad, with unwanted oils added for texture that really pack on the caloric content.