Tofu is made from coagulated soy milk. The curds from the milk are pressed into blocks just like they make cheese. It is an ideal food or occasional treat for hamsters'. All hamsters' just love Tofu I've never come across one that doesn't. Tofu is a good source of protein and calcium and is essential for the normal growth and maintenance of bones. Calcium requirements must be met throughout life and calcium requirements are greatest during pregnancy and periods of growth when the pups are suckling. Tofu is very beneficial to pregnant and nursing mum hamsters as it is high in iron and low in calories, it is full of calcium and protein, it also contains no cholesterol. Tofu is also an excellent substitute for meat.
Tofu is extremely beneficial to baby hamsters as the rich calcium content is important for bone development and maintenance. The calcium in the tofu originates from the coagulant used when making it. If calcium Sulphate is used as the coagulant then the tofu will be a rich source, and the calcium in tofu also contributes to the prevention of Osteoporosis in humans.
Tofu is known for its extraordinary nutritional benefits as well as its versatility. It is also known as "Soy Curd". It is a rather bland tasting product that easily absorbs the flavors of other ingredients; this enables the tofu to be prepared in savory or sweet dishes and acts as a canvas for presenting the flavors of the other ingredients used. Tofu is sold in water filled packs or aseptic cartons. Fresh tofu is usually packaged in water and should be refrigerated and kept in water until it is used. If the water is drained and changed daily it should last for about a week. Although it can be frozen for up to three months but freezing changes the texture of the tofu and makes it chewier.
There is a wide variety of tofu available in the both western and eastern markets. Tofu products can be split into two main categories, fresh tofu which is produced directly from the soy milk, and processed tofu which is produced from fresh tofu.
There are three main types of tofu, soft, firm, and dried, each depending on the amount of water pressed out of the curds. Tofu has very little flavor or smell of its own. Flavoring can be added at the processing stage of curdling producing a sweet or a savory tofu.
The traditional and most widely used coagulant to produce Chinese style tofu is calcium sulphate this produces a brittle but tender tofu.
Tofu can be easily spoiled if not refrigerated properly and care should be exercised when storing it any trace of a sour taste or odor is a tell tale sign of spoilage.