I'm not sure how long this product has been around and why I never noticed it before, but I feel that I have just stumbled upon the greatest gift to vegans since nutritional yeast and Tofurky. I'm talking about hemp tofu. Brilliant. We all love hemp, and we all love tofu. Hemp tofu? Mind. Blown.
What Is Hemp Tofu?
Hemp tofu is also sometimes called "Hemp-fu" and I've even seen it called "hefu". Eventually, as this product becomes more popular, I imagine one of these three names, hemp tofu, hempfu or hefu, will stick (or a new one entirely will be invented) while the others will fall out of common usage.
What exactly is, hemp tofu? Well, it's tofu, made from hemp. Tofu is, by definition, actually made from soybeans, but hemp tofu is made with the same processing techniques, just with hemp seeds instead of soybeans!
Hemp tofu is denser than tofu and is slightly textured (like a cross between tempeh and tofu), so it's really not quite the same as tofu.
Why Is Hemp Tofu So Amazing?
In case you aren't as completely thrilled by the discovery of hemp tofu as I was, here are four reasons why hemp tofu is so amazing:
- It's high in protein
- It's high in Omega-3s which can boost both brain function and your mood
- It's organic and non-GMO, and hemp, in general, is a great product if you're concerned about sustainability (compared to say, palm oil products and even almonds!)
- Hemp tofu is a great alternative to folks with soy allergies or just looking to limit their soy intake
How to Cook with Hemp Tofu
Hemp tofu comes in several flavors, but just like regular tofu, I usually just like the plain or original flavor, since I'm always adding my own flavors and never really cooking it plain.
Hemp tofu is not exactly the same as soybean tofu. It's very crumbly, for starters, and doesn't quite soak up flavors as well, so plan on cooking and serving it with extra sauce. That being said, the taste on its own is similar but not the same as plain tofu, which is to say, not that great but not that bad, in my opinion, but it tastes fine to me just fried up in oil.
Straight out of the bag, I'll admit that it smells a little bit funny but the smell goes away once you start to cook it up a bit.
Because hemp tofu is so crumbly, it's perfect for things like tofu scramble but don't count on dicing it up in perfect tiny cubes. It does, however, slice up nicely for things like baked tofu. Slice it thicker than you would regular tofu, to avoid having it fall apart, and you'll also want to treat it fairly gently in the pan - it can't be tossed around the same way as tofu.
Unlike tofu, hemp tofu shouldn't be frozen - this will actually make it more crumbly, which is the opposite of regular tofu.