what are these ingredients? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-25-2009, 09:33 AM
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I've been veggie for 12 years but now I'm giving up eggs, which means I'm having to re-evaluate lots of aspects of my diet. First of all, I'm a tofu virgin. What is it? Is it a plant? Is it processed? Does it come fresh? What does it taste like? Is it expensive? Where can I buy it? (I'm in the UK.)



My other questions aren't to do with eggs, but since I've started looking at labels in detail again I've realised there are some other things I don't know about. What is gluten? I'm suspicious of it because I know some people have a gluten free diet and it looks like the word gelatin. Lastly, what is humectant? am I right in thinking it's crushed up bugs like cochineal? I always avoid it any way.



Thanks!



Oh yeah, and I've heard of a thing that you can use in baking insead of eggs, what's that? I'm gonna get a vegan book but I haven't got one yet.



Ta.
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#2 Old 01-25-2009, 10:12 AM
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Tofu is made from soy beans. It is processed, yes. The raw form would be raw soy beans, but I've never had those so I couldn't tell you whether they were tasty or not I actually prefer TVP in cooking, unless you're blending it up into a sauce like alfredo sauce or using it for a base in a cream soup... I don't use it often, in any case.



Gluten comes from wheat. A lot of people (including my sister- and niece-in-law, actually) are discovering they have allergies to gluten, which is where the gluten-free craze is coming from... it's like the nut-free thing.



Humectants aren't exactly a specific ingredient. It's more like a fancy word for "moisturizer" or "humidifier". You'd have to check with the companies about individual products and ask whether the humectants used were animal-derived or not. Good luck!



And there are many things you can use in place of eggs!



Mostly they depend on what role the egg is playing in your food. If you're making scrambled eggs, scramble some tofu instead! (I can actually vouch for this use of tofu, and it's delicious!!!)



If you're baking, are the eggs being used to bind the food or to make it rise? In cookies or the like, try using mashed banana and/or apple sauce to bind the ingredients rather than eggs. If it's helping the food to rise, like bread, you can use Ener-G Egg Replacer, Kingsmill Egg Replacer, or a similar powdered egg-replacement product.



And yippee!! Look what I found when I was looking up how to make your own powdered egg replacer! http://www.vegcooking.com/vegcooking-eggreplace.asp



So happy cooking, MaryToulouse.



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#3 Old 01-25-2009, 11:12 AM
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What a lovely concise answer. Thank you very much.
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#4 Old 01-25-2009, 02:16 PM
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You can buy tofu in health food shops, Holland & Barrett and Tesco. Maybe other supermarkets. Pricewise it is similar to Quorn products.
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#5 Old 01-25-2009, 02:32 PM
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tofu isn't that processed. its about as processed as home made strawberry jam, really. cauldron is a brand that you can find just about everywhere. they have a tofu section on their site: http://www.cauldronfoods.co.uk/index.php/about/tofu/
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#6 Old 01-25-2009, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyDuck View Post

Tofu is made from soy beans. It is processed, yes. The raw form would be raw soy beans, but I've never had those so I couldn't tell you whether they were tasty or not



just for the record (in case anyone hasn't had them), soy beans are muy delicioso. though I, too, have never eaten them raw... I generally try to cook my beans
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#7 Old 01-25-2009, 06:34 PM
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Tofu isn't really considered a processed food, I'd say. It's very healthy and the extra-firm variety is DELICIOUS in stir-frys and the like. If you like butter chicken, for instance, or curry, tear up a block of tofu and add butter chicken sauce and rice. YUM. Think of it more as an ingredient than its own food, though. It's all in how you cook it.



Gluten is part of whole wheat, but I think it's also found in small amounts in oats and spelt (like modern wheat's grand-daddy). It's not necessarily a bad thing, but trying to incorporate other grains, or bake with other types of flour is a good way to mix up your diet.



Yes, a humectant is a moisturizer of sorts.



Eggless baking is easy. I use 1 tbsp ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp water per egg. Mix it up and let it sit a minute so it can gel. Then add it to your baking just like you would the egg.



Also, butter-less baking is REALLY easy. Use 1/3 cup oil per 1/2 cup butter. Not that you mentioned eliminating dairy, but I figure anything that's EASY to make vegan you might as well, right?



More info on vegan baking here:

http://www.theppk.com/veganbaking.html



Good luck on your tofu journey!
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#8 Old 01-26-2009, 06:53 AM
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Silken tofu, flax seed meal, pureed fruits, vinegar and baking soda, dairy yogurt/soy yogurt, EnerG egg replacer are very good egg substitutes. I've tried all these and have got very good results.
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#9 Old 01-26-2009, 06:58 AM
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You can get The Joy of Vegan Baking. It's very good, the recipes work too. You can go to your local library, go through a couple of vegan baking books and then decide which one you want to buy.
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#10 Old 01-26-2009, 09:13 AM
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You need to marinate it before you cook it, but if you can find taifun brand smoked tofu with almond and sesame seeds you can eat it straight out of the pack in all it's delicious glory. I get this at my local health food shop.



Taifun also makes a plain tofu that we use (I think it tastes better than caldren brand.) I buy it at waitrose.

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#11 Old 01-26-2009, 09:14 AM
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i love the taifun sausages. i miss them so much.
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#12 Old 01-26-2009, 01:04 PM
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Taifun is my favourite brand for tofu. I also love their sausages, and usually get their basil tofu - so good! Extra firm and full of flavour. Can't recommend it enough.
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#13 Old 01-27-2009, 02:07 PM
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Firstly, my supermarket doesn't sell tofu.



Second, the more I read about it the more confused I am. There is too much information online, and it all seems to contradict each other. For example, I don't understand how tofu can be used in custard, I thought it was solid? Does it melt? Perhaps if I could get my hands on some then I could work it out for myself!



And another thing - I'm really really crap at cooking. With the baking thing, I don't know if it's binding or rising! How do I know that?



Sorry to rant.
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#14 Old 01-27-2009, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryToulouse View Post

Firstly, my supermarket doesn't sell tofu.



Second, the more I read about it the more confused I am. There is too much information online, and it all seems to contradict each other. For example, I don't understand how tofu can be used in custard, I thought it was solid? Does it melt? Perhaps if I could get my hands on some then I could work it out for myself!



And another thing - I'm really really crap at cooking. With the baking thing, I don't know if it's binding or rising! How do I know that?



Sorry to rant.



First of all, there are different kinds of tofu: there is firm, extra firm and silken. The later has a more creamy-like consistency and is fabulous in puddings and creamy sauces. Firm tofu is the kind usually used in stir-fries.



My advice for baking would be to not fret about substitutions. Just use a vegan recipe. There are tons of recipes online, and quite a few on here. What are you trying to make? I'm making vegan chocolate cupcakes tomorrow (with easy vegan icing) and I've made this vegan chocolate cake before. No funny ingredients in it, at all!



This blog has an interesting post about how the binding, rising and structuring abilities of eggs. But seriously, just use a vegan recipe!
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#15 Old 01-27-2009, 02:18 PM
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ok. one thing at a time.



you could ask your supermarket to stock it for you. especially if they are part of a chain like tesco or sainsburys- and they might already have other cauldron lines, or an asian section, for example. do you have a holland and barrett nearby?



there are 2 different types of tofu. for savoury things, you need the refridgerated firm kind of tofu. like the cauldron one. its got a bit of texture and kinda resembles feta or cottage cheese, but solid. if you put this stuff in the freezer it changes texture again and is more spongy and chewy for savoury chunks.



if you want to bake and make things like smoothies and custards, you need silken tofu, which is different- its shelf stable, and probably kept with the asian things. its more like solid custard- no texture, just a creamy blob. it doesn't melt, you whack it into the blender and add more liquid to it and it thins out.



with the baking thing, you should start by using already vegan recipes that specify what you're supposed to be replacing an egg with. its much easier than guessing, and much more foolproof than working it out from trial and error, at least until you understand how different things affect the cookery process.



if you want to start with recipes that use applesauce, or baking powder, and not tofu, thats fine.
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#16 Old 01-27-2009, 04:01 PM
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I agree with the whole concept of using vegan recipes!!! I found the whole concept of replacing eggs too difficult so when I feel like making something thats not in my vegan cookbooks then I just google vegan [insert desired recipe] and I always find a wonderful recipe. Makes life easier as then I don't have to worry about what to replace the egg with.



As for tofu.... did you ask if you supermarket stocks it? It took me a few trips to the shop before I actually found it, it had been there all along, I just wasn't looking in the right place. As for cooking it, I find it very easy to deal with, the only problem I have had is making it taste nice (normally its very bland and tasteless).... but every time I cook it it taste a bit better than the previous time.... so I"m getting there!
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#17 Old 01-27-2009, 10:25 PM
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I've eaten them mildly steamed...and they are the yum.
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#18 Old 01-28-2009, 04:31 AM
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Thank you. I'll let you know how it goes.
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#19 Old 01-28-2009, 12:13 PM
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do NOT be dejected and offput if it goes horribly horribly badly. cos it often does the first time. just like many other things in life which go on to get much much MUCH better and become exceptionally enjoyable given a little practice and learning.



also, read this: https://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...11&postcount=2
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#20 Old 01-29-2009, 06:18 AM
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I never use tofu in a baked good as sub for eggs. i use soya yogurt. I find it easier. But silken tofu in a shelf stable box (found in the world foods aisle in the asian food section) is fantastic whizzed in your food processer with a melted chocolate bar and a bit of nut butter. It makes a mousse like pudding.



As for regular firm tofu, where do you shop and where did you look? My waitrose and sainsbury have a vegetarian chiller section that sells quorn, cauldron and the plain taifun.



Do you have a health food store or a holland and barrett?



Good luck with your baking and cooking!

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#21 Old 02-02-2009, 07:13 AM
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I don't like tofu in and of itself, but I think it can be tasty when made into a dessert. Like someone else said, there are different types. I have made this tofu cheesecake:

http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6291.0



And it turned out to be super tasty - it's one of the few things I like tofu in
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#22 Old 02-02-2009, 02:08 PM
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hurrah! hurrah! I found tofu and I ate tofu and I liked tofu!



Once I did it and it was all sloppy, but I tried again and drained it for longer and it came out fine.



I could only get one sort though, the cauldron organic plain one, so I'll have to ask the shop to get some more stuff. I also have soya 'butter' and milk, and I made the vegan cake. hurrah hurrah! I nearly died from malnutrition on Saturday though, when I couldn't find anything to eat for ages!



Hurrah!
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#23 Old 02-02-2009, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryToulouse View Post

hurrah! hurrah! I found tofu and I ate tofu and I liked tofu!



Once I did it and it was all sloppy, but I tried again and drained it for longer and it came out fine.



I could only get one sort though, the cauldron organic plain one, so I'll have to ask the shop to get some more stuff. I also have soya 'butter' and milk, and I made the vegan cake. hurrah hurrah! I nearly died from malnutrition on Saturday though, when I couldn't find anything to eat for ages!



Hurrah!



Yay! well done you! good work! if you haven't tried pressing or freezing and marinading it, give that a go next. its quite easy to make it taste really different in quite a few ways... tofu scramble, quiche, chickn type breaded fingers, etc.
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#24 Old 02-03-2009, 05:51 AM
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Yay! Glad you found some. try this recipe: http://shmooedfood.blogspot.com/2006...sh-sticks.html these are delish!!! I skip the kelp powder as I can't find it and use 2 tsp herbed sea salt called Herbamare. These are amazing and so easy to make.

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