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What Is Soy-Free Tofu?

Soy is an important source of complete protein in the vegan diet, readily providing the body with all eight essential amino acids. Not only is soy rich in phytochemicals called isoflavones, but it may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and “bad” LDL cholesterol. However, despite its benefits, there has been controversy surrounding soy for many years. Some people fear that it may cause breast cancer, thyroid problems, and dementia, even though these claims have not been proved with scientific evidence.

But just as vegans have made meat without animals, it’s possible to create tofu without soy. Sometimes called Burmese tofu or Shan tofu (named after the region it originates from), soy-free tofu is simply made from chickpeas and water. While the traditional (and much more laborious) method involves soaking split chickpeas and mixing the beans and their liquid into a paste, the more modern method relies on chickpea flour to speed up the process.

Is Soy Bad For Your Health?

Source: Physicians Committee/Youtube

Is soy healthy or is it dangerous? You’ve probably heard rumors that soy can cause cancer or cause your hormones to go out of whack. Neal Barnard, MD examines the rumors, but most importantly the science around soy.

Some studies have suggested that soy may have positive effects on cholesterol levels, cancer risk, and menopause symptoms. Researchers found that an average soy consumption of 47 grams per day was linked to a 9.3% decrease in total cholesterol and a 13% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol.

However, other studies have shown that soy intake may negatively impact certain aspects of health, including digestion and ovarian function. Specifically, one study noted that soy could disrupt the health of the microbiome.

The majority of current studies suggest that consuming whole or fermented soy foods in moderation, as opposed to processed forms of soy, is likely safe and beneficial for most people.

2-Ingredient Soy-Free Tofu Recipe

Source: Cheap Lazy Vegan/Youtube

If you’re interested in preparing tofu from scratch but want to avoid eating soy, Cheap Lazy Vegan has the perfect recipe for you to try! It’s super simple and easy to make. And, of course, it is 100% plant-based! All you need is chickpea flour, salt, water, and cooking oil! This traditional Burmese dish pairs well with salads or curries, but you can eat it just like you would eat regular tofu and it’s a great soy-free substitute.

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