If you're allergic to soybeans or avoiding soy for other reasons, it might seem like tofu is off the menu for you. But wait! There's a new tofu in town and it's made from hemp. I recently gave it a try and here's what I thought of it...
DIY hemp tofu recipes have been floating around for several years (here's one from Bay Area Bites). As far as I know there are only two brands of commercially sold hemp tofu: Living Harvest Tempt Hemp Tofu in the US and Hemp-Fu in Italy. In all cases the tofu or "hefu" is made from hemp seeds, which are a great source of easily digestible protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber.
I came across Living Harvest Tempt Hemp Tofu at my local Whole Foods. For my first experiment I sliced and pan-seared it like I often do with regular tofu. Although I enjoyed the nutty taste, hemp tofu is much crumblier than soy tofu. It ended up falling apart around the edges and the texture was a bit soggy. However, these drawbacks actually made me excited about hemp tofu's other possibilities. On subsequent occasions I worked with the crumble and used the hemp tofu like ricotta in a pasta dish and ground meat in tacos. I think crumbled hemp tofu could also work well in dishes like chili, stew, and spaghetti sauce.
If you're expecting hemp tofu to be just like soy tofu, then you might be disappointed. But it definitely has potential. In some ways it might be better to think of hemp tofu more like crumbled tempeh than a block of regular tofu.
Find it: According to a company representative, Tempt Hemp Tofu is currently available in Whole Foods with the exceptions of the following regions: Florida, North East, and the Mid Atlantic states (Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania). Nationwide expansion is in the works.
Have you tried hemp tofu, whether store-bought or homemade? What did you think?
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