Though there are many different high-protein plant-based foods that store easily in the pantry, vegan preppers don’t always want to give up their perishable tofu in an emergency. So they ask, is there any way to store tofu for the long term? I know that I cook with tofu all the time and consider is an important part of my vegan food preps.
In the Fridge
I know that the fridge isn’t the best place for any long-term food storage but can be nice to have a few extra blocks of tofu on hand in case there is a short disruption in food availability. Refrigerated tofu usually has a lifespan of a few months as long as you don’t open the package, which isn’t too bad.
In the Freezer
Here is where it usually surprises people, that you can store your tofu for a longer time-frame in the freezer. Yes, tofu can be frozen. It does change the texture slightly, often making it a little more firm. There isn’t much preparation required except that you shouldn’t freeze your tofu in its original container. The water inside will expand and almost certainly burst the package.
Instead, you can prep your tofu for better freezer storage with minimal effort. Open up the package, and drain off as much water as you can. Pressing it wouldn’t hurt but isn’t necessary. Cut into cubes, and spread out on a cookie sheet. Put the whole thing in the freezer until frozen solid (at least 2 hours). Then you can bag up the cubes in a freezer bag, and take out what you need for defrosting.
When frozen, tofu will last you 5 to 6 months.
On the Shelf
And then there is the tofu that is packaged to be shelf-stable in the first place. That can be a more practical way to store tofu for an emergency, though it doesn’t have the same type of shelf life as some other non-perishable foods. At least you know your tofu will be safe even if the power is out for an extended time. Check the package for dates, usually 2 or 3 months.
No matter which method you use to store your tofu, remember that you need to rotate your stock and use the oldest blocks first when you are cooking. It’s not the type of food you can push to the back of the shelf and forget about for a year. If you are relying on the fridge or freezer (for tofu or any other food products), you should consider getting a generator for any disaster with power interruptions.