Ambler resident turns inventor with TofuXpress
By Katie Kohler
Meatless Monday isn’t just for vegetarians. The global movement to go plant-based once a week is catching on with carnivores and especially those with health issues.
Tofu is a staple of a plant-based diet and although it’s an excellent source of protein and amino acids, it’s difficult to prepare since it is packed in water. Draining and pressing tofu can be messy but it is necessary to make the tofu firm and improve taste.
Ambler resident Marie Kraft experienced the struggle.
After she was diagnosed as hypoglycemic, she transitioned from complex carbohydrates to more protein and plant-based foods.
“Tofu and soy food have a lot to offer us to improve our health. It also improves our carbon footprint,” said Kraft
She admits, when she first started cooking with tofu, she didn’t like the taste and had issues preparing it. She began to experiment in her home kitchen with various, cumbersome contraptions in attempt to press tofu.
Although her background is in management consulting, Kraft’s tinkering with finding a solution to her tofu trouble led her to invent the TofuXpress.
The TofuXpress is made of FDA approved thermoplastic and stainless steel and most often used to use remove water from one standard size brick of commercially made tofu. The compact, easy-to-use kitchen gadget firms the texture of the tofu, which makes it easier to prepare. Then Kraft suggests adding marinade or flavoring.
She usually presses the tofu for a few hours or overnight, cubes it, tosses it with salt and pepper along with a favorite seasoning and enjoys as a snack. Kraft also suggested pan-frying it with fresh garlic and olive oil.
“I am passionate about my product and want trying to fill a need I had. I’ve always been into home crafts. When I couldn’t find anything, I realized I had to make it,” commented Kraft.
Kraft began to wonder if other people would find the product as useful as she did. When she launched the TofuXpress, it was a niche market, but now the awareness of plant-based diets has exploded.
“It was a process. My management consulting does come into play in terms of what does it take to go from idea to making it available to other people,” said Kraft
She says she developed a “quick and dirty” PhD in all aspects of inventing and now lends her expertise to other inventors.
A Montgomery County resident for most of her life, Kraft realizes the irony that a product like TofuXpress was born in an area which has “won” dubious honors for its unhealthy eating.
TofuXpress is sold nationally and Kraft sees a shift in the area known more for their cheesesteaks and scrapple than tofu.
“The local palate is changing rapidly. It is not as hard to talk to people about eating healthy,” commented Kraft.
TofuXpress is available for purchase at http://www.tofuxpress.com, Sur La Table, Amazon, and other kitchen specialty stores.
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