Food Tips

Tofu quiz: How well do you know soy?

Tofu quiz: How well do you know soy?

Roasted Tofu with Pepper Sauce
Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden
Image by: Roasted Tofu with Pepper Sauce<br>Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden Author: Canadian Living

Food Tips

Tofu quiz: How well do you know soy?

Accidentally discovered by a Chinese chef over 2,500 years ago, tofu has come a long way from its fortuitous beginnings. While packaged white cubes of tofu may not look appetizing on our grocery store shelves, tofu has become increasingly popular as a healthy alternative to meat, and new cookbooks offer ways to convert even the most ardent tofu hater to one who speaks the language of soy.

Test your own tofu know-how to find out whether you’re up to snuff on this sensational super-food.

1. Tofu's taken the nutrition world by storm – everywhere you look, there’s a new health reason to try tofu. These health reasons include all but which of the following:

a) Firm tofu is a good source of calcium
b) Eating tofu has been shown to lower cholesterol levels
c) The enzymes in tofu shrink human fat cells – hello, bikini body!
d) Population studies in Asia link the isoflavones in tofu to breast cancer prevention

2. Sure, tofu's made from soy beans, but how do they take those innocent little beans and transform them into quivering hunks of gelatinous nutrition?

a) By curdling fresh soy milk – how appetizing!
b) Soy beans are refined and bleached, then mashed and packaged. No wonder tofu looks so tasty!  
c) A dash of pixie dust, an incantation to the health gods – ta da!

3. Soy beans have a lot going for them. Among their legume counterparts, these beans are the only ones that can boast about being:

a) A source of complete protein
b) Entirely fat-free
c) Delicious when served raw on a bed of spinach
d) Capable of aligning your chakras

4. It looks like white sludge – but what does tofu taste like?

a) Not much – when you cook with it, tofu takes on any flavor.
b) Cheese-like and slightly pungent
c) It depends on the variety: soft tofu has a sweet flavor, while firm is salty.
d) White sludge

5. You take your doctor’s advice and decide to incorporate tofu into your diet – but what the heck should you do with the soft tofu you pick up at the store?

a) Make a smoothie! Soft tofu adds protein to a blended beverage.
b) Swap sour cream or mayo for soft tofu in homemade dips.   
c) Use 1/4-cup of soft tofu to replace one egg in a baking recipe.
d) All of the above – you knew it was versatile, but this is impressive!

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Top image: Roasted Tofu with Red Pepper Sauce by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen6. Tofu is rich in phytoestrogens, natural compounds that help alleviate which symptom of menopause:

a) That “extra cushion” making a home for itself around your abdomen
b) A newfound paranoia about global warming – or are those hot flashes?
c) Your unsupportive husband and thankless children. Oh  - and your mood swings.
d) Symptoms? What symptoms?

7. If you think you’ve never tried tofu, you may be mistaken. Which restaurant is most likely to have sneaked a little soy into your meal?

a) The sushi spot. Those white blobs in your miso soup? They aren’t chicken.
b) The Mediterranean bistro. Tofu is a common ingredient in hummus.
c) Burger King. The “beef” patties are half cardboard, half tofu.

8. Many tofu converts use it to replace meat in their favorite recipes. Unlike beef, pork and chicken, tofu:

a) Is entirely cholesterol-free
b) Can’t be fully digested by the human body
c) Is most nutritious when eaten un-cooked
d) Can only be purchased and used by vegetarians

9. Four ounces of lean steak contains 8 grams of fat, 3 of that saturated. How does a 4-ounce serving of firm tofu compare?

a) Tofu is fat-free
b) Around 5 grams of fat, less than 1 gram saturated
c) Close to 10 grams of fat, mostly saturated
d) Who cares about fat? Get me that sirloin!

10. Can tofu do no wrong? We’ve all got our flaws, and this miracle food is no exception. What’s one downside to tofu that’s been in the news?

a) Overdoing it on soy products may worsen a pre-existing thyroid condition
b) Regularly consuming tofu has been linked to taste bud disintegration
c) Parents who serve tofu report a decreased presence of their children at family meals

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Top image: Tofu Vegetable Stir-Fry by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen11. Tofu is one of dozens of foods made from soy beans. Other soy products include all but which of the following:

a) Tempeh: This soy patty is made from fermenting the beans into a cake-like product.
b) TVP: It stands for texturized vegetable protein, and it’s made from defatted soy flour.
c) Miso: A paste made from fermented soybeans combined with salt and fungus.
d) Halvah: A sweet, dense dessert made from soy beans, honey and nuts.


1.C; 2. A; 3. A; 4. A; 5. D; 6. B; 7. A; 8. A; 9. B; 10. A; 11. D

Between 1 - 3 questions correct: In the dietery dark ages

Based on your lack of soy savvy, you’ve clearly got some work to do when it comes to joining us in the culinary 21st century. Tofu isn’t just for hippies and tree-huggers, you know. Branch out by barbecuing some soy-based veggie burgers to further your education in meatless cuisine.

Between 4 - 7 correct: Soy Far, Soy Good

You aren’t quite a bean curd brainiac, but you can hold your own with a block of tofu in the kitchen. Why not broaden your horizons even further? Pick up a new vegetarian cookbook for some inspiration on incorporating even  more tofu into your culinary creations.

Between 8 - 10 correct: A Savant of Soy

Very impressive! You’ve clearly embraced the tantalizing tastes that tofu can offer, and you know all about its nutritional benefits as well. Your next mission? Whip up a favorite tofu dish and share it with a friend who still hasn’t seen the light.

Top image:
Soy-Braised Tofu by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

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Read more:
We reviewed the latest vegetarian and vegan cookbooks on the market, plus provided links for easy online shopping >>


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Food Tips

Tofu quiz: How well do you know soy?