Is tofu a vegetable?

Is tofu a vegetable?

Vegetarians eat tofu, so does that mean it's a vegetable? If you're wondering about whether or not tofu is a vegetable, read on to find out.

Is tofu a vegetable?

If you need to know whether or not tofu is a vegetable, the quick answer is no, tofu is not a vegetable, but hold on, wait up, that's not really the answer you were looking for. Most people who are wondering whether or not tofu is a vegetable are really wanting to know something else, for example: Can vegetarians eat tofu? What exactly, is tofu? Keep reading to find out.


If tofu is not a vegetable, then what, exactly is it?

Tofu is actually made from soy beans, which are, well, beans! So tofu isn't a vegetable, in that it doesn't grow in the ground but rather comes from beans, which grow in pods. Some people consider beans to be a type of vegetable, so if you believe that beans are a vegetable, than you might consider that tofu is made from vegetables, but really, it's made from beans - soy beans, to be more specific. 

If tofu is not a vegetable, can vegetarians eat it? Why do I see vegetarians eating tofu if its not a vegetable?

Vegetarians eat plenty of foods which are not vegetables! Bread, for example, is not a vegetable, and neither is rice, pasta, noodles, or sugar, for that matter, but these are all vegetarian foods. Vegetarians don't eat meat, that is, the flesh and muscle of dead animals, but by definition, everything else is fair game, including fruits, grains, beans, milk and dairy products, and yes, vegetables and also tofu!

See also: What is a vegetarian?

Whether or not tofu is a vegetable, it certainly isn't a food that vegetarians would avoid, because it isn't an animal, and, because it doesn't contain anything in it that even came from an animal (such as milk, dairy or eggs), it's also safe for vegans to eat. 

Still confused? You might want to check out this detailed definition of a vegetarian, or read up about what, exactly the word "vegan" means and what vegans eat.

Here's a few more links which might help you out:

So, if I'm a vegetarian, do I have to eat tofu?

Nope, not unless you want to! Although there's lots of good reasons to include tofu in your diet (if you want to), since it's a great source of low-fat protein for vegetarians and vegans, it's very cheap and readily available, and, you can do lots of different things with it from baking to frying to turning into a sweet pudding desserts. Here's a more detailed answer: If I'm a vegetarian, do I have to eat tofu?

What do I do with tofu?

Bake it, fry it, blend it, grill it, turn it into a pie, stir-fry it, scramble it, or eat it for dessert! Usually, you'll also want to press your tofu first. Here's everything you need to know about tofu: