If you follow this blog, you know what a big fan I am of tofu. Perfect in appetizers, desserts, fancy dinners, sandwiches and more, tofu is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. Most people I work with, don’t get tofu. They either don’t know what to do with it or are unsure how to work with the flavor, or lack of flavor. Don’t fear. The beauty of tofu is that it can be pretty much anything you would like it to be: pudding, sauces, ricotta, steaks, think of tofu as the new “chicken”. Besides being less expensive than meat protein, tofu is also lower in calories, cholesterol and saturated fat free.
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I think it’s appropriate to address the discussion on soy foods and breast cancer. Soyfoods contain large amounts of isoflavones, also referred to as plant estrogens or phytoestrogens. You can find them in a variety of foods, but soy is a very rich source. It’s important to note that isoflavones are not estrogen, though their chemical structure is similar to the hormone estrogen. Both isoflavones in soy and estrogen bind and activate estrogen receptors on cells. Estrogen, the hormone, will bind to any receptor in the body, while isoflavones are more particular and tend to bind to only one type of receptor. The difference in receptors demonstrates how isflavones and estrogen behave differently in the body. This is also why isoflavones are called SERMs, selective estrogen receptor modulators.
There a a multitude of studies that demonstrate the safety of soyfoods, in particular their benefit for those who have breast cancer. A recently published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that among Chinese breast cancer patients, those who consumed the most soyfoods were about 30% less likely to die from breast cancer or to experience breast cancer recurrence over a four year period compared to patients with the lowest intake of soy. Personally, I favor natural soy foods, those that have been minimally processed: tofu, tempeh, soymilk, edamame, over textured soy protein and the like.
This milkshake is super creamy, thanks to the addition of silken tofu and a frozen banana. I call it a milkshake, but I tend to drink this as a after-run morning smoothie. I usually dislike the chalky taste of protein powder, this milkshake tastes delicious and has the same protein as those other “shakes”.
Chocolate Tofu Milkshake
Ingredients: (makes two milkshakes)
1 cup silken tofu (I like mori-nu brand)
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp. liquid sweetener of choice
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 cup ice
Place all ingredients in blender. Blend baby blend until you get a silky, creamy milkshake. About 90 seconds using a high powered blender. Feel free to adjust liquid to make it thicker/thinner to your liking.
Want to win this awesome cookbook, packed with tofu recipes? To enter: follow DK on facebook/twitter. In the comment section below, what is your favorite tofu dish? If you have never tried it before, what dish would you like to try? Contest ends October 20th!
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Soyfoods Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.