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Tofu Is Good Substitute for High-Fat Dairy Products in Dessert Recipes

NUTRITIONALLY SPEAKING

December 21, 1989|TONI TIPTON

Low-fat desserts at Christmastime, who would consider them? They lack that familiar rich, creamy texture and taste, right?

Wrong.

When tofu is added to the recipe, desserts that have the fat reduced can still provide the same silky satisfaction. Its mild flavor makes it easy to incorporate in recipes as a replacement for higher fat dairy products such as eggs, milk and cheese. And, it is high in protein and calcium, which gives a nutritional boost, as well.

Here's how tofu fares, nutritionally speaking: A 2 1/2x2 3/4x1-inch piece contains 85 calories, nine grams protein, five grams fat, 109 milligrams calcium, compared to 150 calories, eight grams protein, eight grams fat and 291 milligrams calcium in a one-cup serving of whole milk or, 230 calories, 21 grams protein, 16 grams fat and nine milligrams calcium in a three-ounce serving of lean ground beef, according to "USDA's Home and Garden Bulletin Number 72, Nutritive Value of Foods."

A new variety, silken-firm, has been added to the traditional forms found in the dairy case. Silken-firm, however, is sold in an aseptic package so it needs no refrigeration. But like its refrigerated counterparts, it can be molded into tofu burgers and used as a meat substitute in pasta dishes, tacos and other meatless dishes. It is sold in 10 1/2-ounce packages.

PUMPKIN PIE

2 (10 1/2-ounce) packages tofu, drained

2 egg whites

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

Combine tofu, egg whites, pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger. Beat until thoroughly blended. Pour into pie shell and bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 50 to 55 minutes longer. Cool, slice and serve. Makes 8 servings.

CREAMY CRAN-RASPBERRY PUDDING

1 (10 1/2-ounce) package tofu, drained

1 cup jellied cran-raspberry sauce

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine tofu, cran-raspberry sauce, lemon zest and juice in blender or food processor until smooth. Chill and serve. Makes 3 servings.

HOT RAISIN SPICE PUDDING

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup unsalted margarine, softened

1/2 cup honey

1 (10 1/2-ounce) package tofu, drained

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 egg whites

1 3/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Dash brandy

Place raisins in small saucepan with 1 cup water. Simmer until softened.

Cream together margarine, honey, tofu, vanilla and egg whites in food processor or mixer set on high 30 seconds. Add flour, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cinnamon. Blend thoroughly. Stir in raisins and nuts. Pour into lightly greased 8-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes. Spoon hot pudding into serving dishes. Sprinkle lightly with brandy. Makes 8 servings.

CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup margarine, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons oil

1 (10 1/2-ounce) package tofu, drained

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Sift together flour and soda. Set aside.

Combine margarine, sugar and oil in food processor and process 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add tofu and process 2 minutes longer. Add cocoa powder and process 1 minute. Add vanilla, then half of flour mixture and process until well blended. Add remaining flour mixture, process again, then stir in nuts. Pour batter in lightly greased 8-inch baking pan. Bake at 450 degrees 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 16 servings.

SUPER MOIST CARROT CAKE

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 (10 1/2-ounce) package tofu, drained

1/2 cup oil

2/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/4 cups finely shredded carrots

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained

Tangy Orange Topping

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and cloves in medium bowl. Set aside.

In food processor, combine tofu, oil, honey and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Pour into flour mixture and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Add carrots and pineapple and stir until blended.

Pour into ungreased 8-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees 40 to 45 minutes or until wood pick inserted in center comes out clean. Top with Tangy Orange Topping. Makes 16 servings.

Tangy Orange Topping

1 (10-ounce) package tofu, drained

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Combine tofu, orange juice and honey in food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add orange zest and blend few seconds. Chill 1 hour before using.

HONEY-LEMON UN-CHEESECAKE

2 (10 1/2-ounce) packages tofu, drained

1/2 cup honey

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

3 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 (8-inch) graham cracker crust

Raspberry Sauce

Combine tofu, honey, lemon juice, vanilla and oil in food processor or blender. Process 1 minute. Add lemon zest and blend 30 seconds.

Pour into crust and bake at 350 degrees 1 hour. Cool, chill and serve, topped with Raspberry Sauce. Makes 8 servings.

Raspberry Sauce

2 cups raspberries

2 tablespoons sugar

Pure raspberries. Strain and discard seeds. Combine raspberry puree and sugar in small saucepan. Simmer 5 minutes. Cool before use.

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