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DIY Pumfu (High protein soy-free pumpkin seed tofu)

Pumpkin Seed Tofu is delicious, firm, high-protein, low-carb tofu that’s super luxurious. This DIY Pumfu) is the EASIEST keto-friendly tofu to make since you don’t need a coagulant. This is 1-ingredient tofu! Unlike other pumpkin seed or pepita tofu recipes, it’s also low carb with fiber and starches removed as much as possible.

Video Tutorial for DIY Pumfu (Pumpkin Seed Tofu)

What Does Pumpkin Seed Tofu Taste Like?

This soy-free tofu really has the mild nutty flavour of pumpkin seeds. The texture is firm but creamy thanks to its high fat content. Plus, it makes an excellent snack on its own and is marvelous seasoned and air-fried. Salt and crumble it on salads or cube and crisp it up for your favourite bowls.

cube of plain air fried pumpkin seed tofu, one plain and one seasoned and airfried

Why Make “Pumfu”?

Pumfu is a the brand name of FoodiesVegan’s pumpkin seed tofu product but we can make it at home too. Pumpkin seed tofu is super unique and delicious; well worth the small effort to try it at home. It is:

  • high in protein,
  • high in fat making it super satiating,
  • creamy and luxurious,
  • easy to make with only one ingredient,
  • and comes with a side of delicious pumpkin seed milk!

 

one cube of homemade pumfu

 

After posting my first high protein soy-free tofu, I’ve been inundated with requests for a version using pumpkin seeds. I’ve been aware of the brand “Pumfu” for ages but have never had a chance to try it. That’s because it seems to be only available in the US; not here in Canada. Viewers and reader have also told me that they find it expensive (to be fair, many tell me it’s well worth it too!)

 

pot of pumpkin seed tofu curds and whey stirred by wooden spatula

All those lovely positives said, making pumpkin seed tofu at home will probably not save you much money if you already have access to buy Pumfu. One batch of this recipe makes a firm 370g (13oz) block and about 3 cups of pumpkin seed whey (which can be used as milk) and cost me almost $10 Canadian using the most affordable pumpkin seed that I could find. Homemade regular soy tofu, my soy-free fava bean tofu, or red lentil tofu is much more affordable.

How this Pumpkin Seed Tofu was developed

Since I love to give you what you want, I got some raw, hulled pumpkin seeds and went to work right away! I followed my traditional tofu-making process:

  • soak raw, hulled pumpkin seeds in water overnight,2 containers of soaking raw hulled pumpkin seeds
  • rinsed and drained the hydrated pumpkin seeds,
  • blended the seeds with double the amount of water (in two batches),
  • strained the fiber from the pumpkin seed milk, thenpumpkin seed milk being strained in a bag
  • heated the pumpkin seed milk with a target temperature of 180°F.

The next step would’ve been to add a coagulant. But as the temperature rose between 150°F and 160°, I saw the milk begin to separate into curds and whey. This is a tofu that does not need a coagulant!

First, I wondered if it was the high magnesium content that was responsible for this phenomena. Also, I was remembered that in the comments of my original lemon + soymilk tofu tutorial, some people reported their soymilk would start to coagulate even before they added the lemon. I was sure that it must be to do with the particular pot they might be using or the mineral content of their tap water but I’ve never been able to replicate this effect.

I wondered if the pumpkin seed milk’s self-coagulation was due to my Rocky Mountain-sourced tap water here in Calgary, Alberta rather than something to do with the pumpkin seeds themselves.

So after I completed the process of this first batch of pumpkin seed tofu, I tested with distilled water next. Distilled water has had the minerals removed, taking this variable out of the test. Happily, this round progressed just like the first; the pumpkin seed milk started to curdle upon reaching 150°F! pumpkin seed tofu curds being ladled into cloth-lined mold

In subsequent tests, I also discovered that it’s best to heat the milk all the way to 180°F. If you don’t, the pumpkin whey leftover gets clumpy and separated rather than staying an rich emulsified liquid which can be used as plant-based milk. You can use this for drinking (it tastes wonderful) or use it in plant-based creamy sauces or soups. On the other hand, if you do end up with clump separated whey afterwards, you can incorporate it into a smoothie or soup and not all is lost.

What you Need to Make Pumpkin Seed Tofu

The only ingredient you need to make pumpkin seed tofu is pumpkin seed! Specifically for recipe, you’ll need one pound (454g) raw and hulled pumpkin seeds. 

You will also need a high speed blender, a good nut milk bag, large cooking pot, and a tofu making mold. I prefer using this inexpensive tofu press that doubles as a tofu mold which comes in a set with a lining cloth. Please note that these links are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you use them to make your purchases, I will receive a small commission but rest assured there is no extra cost to you.3 cubes of pumpkin seed tofu in seasoning

RELATED RECIPES

 

cubes of sunflower seed tofu stacked

Looking for a more affordable alternative? Try Sunflower Seed Tofu!

Troubleshooting

Having trouble? See if any of the tips below apply to you!

My pumpkin seed milk isn’t curdling or there are only very few curds!

If your pumpkin milk is not curdling at the target temperature, keep heating to a boil. Let it cook at a hard boil for a minute to get the maximum curdling effect. For this method, please make sure there is lots of extra room in your pot to account for the extra volume caused by the rolling boil. Also, watch the pot carefully and be ready to stir or remove from heat in case of boiling over.

Keep in mind, your whey will probably become completely clear if you choose this method so you won’t be able to use it as a plant-based milk afterwards. However, you can use it instead of water in your next vegetable soup!

My pumpkin milk isn’t curdling even when I boiled it for a minute

This is probably because you didn’t get enough protein out of your pumpkin seeds. Put the pulp back in your blender along with your cooled pumkin seed milk and blend again. You may need to break the seeds down farther. Then strain again until the pulp is quite dry. Your milk should be thicker now and you can try cooking it again.

Printable Recipe for Pumpkin Seed Tofu (DIY Pumfu)

Yield: 370g (13oz) block pumpkin seed tofu

DIY Pumfu (High protein soy-free pumpkin seed tofu)

stacked cubes of pale green pumpkin seed tofu

Pumpkin Seed Tofu is the easiest SOY-FREE high protein, low carb tofu recipe due to the fact that you only need ONE ingredient! No additional coagulant necessary.

Soak Time 8 hours
Active Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 8 hours
Total Time 16 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb raw hulled pumpkin seeds (454g)

Instructions

  1. Soak pumpkin seeds in plenty of water for 8 hours (up to 24 hours). The next day, rinse them well and drain completely.
  2. In high speed blender, combine HALF the seeds with about double their volume in water (about 600ml). Blend 30 seconds on high (until very fine, no chunks visible). Using nut milk bag, strain milk into a large bowl/jug. Be sure to squeeze pulp very dry; it should resemble play-doh. Pulp can be reserved for other uses; freeze to store for later. Repeat with the second half of the seeds.
  3. Let the milk sit for 15 minutes or more to let the starch settle to the bottom. Then gently pour the milk into your cooking pot. As you get to the end of the milk, pour even more slowly and hold back when you see the starchy sludge at the bottom.
  4. Heat the raw pumpkin seed milk with a target temperature of 180°F. Keep the milk from scorching by using a flat wooden spatula to keep it moving. The milk will start to curdle at 150-160°F. Continue to heat to 180°F.
  5. Dampen the liner of your tofu mold before placing it properly. Use a slotted spoon to ladle the curds in. Try to distribute them evenly. Use a mesh strainer to catch any smaller leftover curds. You may use the nut milk bag again when the milk is cooler to make sure no bits are left in the whey (save the whey! It makes delicious plant-based milk alternative).
  6. If using my preferred tofu mold, simply add the pressing plate and spring top. Twist the top knob to press the tofu further, then use the vents to pour off excess liquid (save it! It's delicious!). If using a traditional tofu mold, add 5lbs of weight (or as much as desired). Chill overnight then enjoy the next day!

Notes

For my Canadians: my preferred tofu mold.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

 

 

Showing 33 comments
  • Clay
    Reply

    Really appreciating all of these alternative tofu recipes lately! Thanks for doing all of the hard work experimenting with these.

    • Mary
      Reply

      You’re most welcome, Clay! I’m so happy they are helpful 🙂
      Cheers,
      Mary

    • Clay
      Reply

      Hey Mary, Made the pumpkin seed tofu yesterday. Wow it is amazing. When I airfryed it the tofu sizzled in the airfryer. I also used the pulp for nuttyparm using the recipe from the “how not to die cookbook” and subbing in the dried pulp. Yum. My whey is not milky maybe it got closer to 200, I’m planning to use it as veggie broth in an upcoming soup. I’m happy to report, I have the same tofu press you do, it is the best.

      • Katrina
        Reply

        You said this is high in protein and fat. Do you have a breakdown of the nutrition facts for this tofu?

  • Denise
    Reply

    I was so excited to try this recipe that I ordered myself a tofu press and have my first batch of pumpkin tofu in there right now. I can hardly wait to try it. If you’re looking for cheaper pumpkin seeds here in Canada, you can get 2 kilos at Costco for $21 (around $5 per pound), or 4 kilos of organic at $68 (around $8.50 per pound). Not exactly cheap, but totally worth it since we can’t get our hands on Pumpfu anyway.

    Thank you sooooo much for this.

    • Mary
      Reply

      Such a good tip, Denise! Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Mary

      • David
        Reply

        Any idea why mine never curdled? I did leave it in the fridge a couple days…

        • Mary
          Reply

          You left the pumpkin seeds in the fridge a few days? That should be fine. I’ve done the same.

          Provided that you’re using good quality raw pumpkin seeds that are still fresh (aka not rancid), the number one reason of not curdling is not getting the milk hot enough. When it doubt, just let it go to a full boil.

          The number two reason would be not extracting the milk well enough. This can be not blending the seeds fine enough or just not squeezing the pulp dry enough.

  • Dorothy
    Reply

    I couldn’t believe that it worked, the pumpkin seed milk looks thinner than yours. Love the tofu it makes. Great job.

    • Mary
      Reply

      Yay! I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Dorothy!
      Just FYI: a couple comments on YouTube reported that they heat their pumpkin seed milk all the way to 200°F and that fully coagulates the milk, leaving the whey clear. So I think the higher the temperatures, the more tofu is produced and less “milk”. I’ll have to try it myself and share 🙂

  • Dorothy
    Reply

    Thanks, Could you use sunflower seeds raw for tofu? Just wondering?

    • Mary
      Reply

      Please stay tuned 🙂 That experiment is coming very soon!
      Cheers,
      Mary

  • Rich
    Reply

    Could you use the pulp as flour to make pumpkin bread? Also using any liquid from pressing or cooking?

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hi Rich,
      That’s a good question but I haven’t tried. I’m sure you can add the pulp to an regular pumpkin bread recipe by switching out some of the flour for pulp. And I’m sure the leftover whey will be fine to replace the liquid too.
      Cheers,
      Mary

  • Kathryn Fourie
    Reply

    This is awesome, thank you. We’re in South Africa and the cheapest pumpkin seeds I can get are $7 a kilogram, but will certainly try it once. Wondering if this can be done with sunflower seeds as they are a third of the price of pumpkin seeds – may have to give it a whirl. Thank you for all the experimenting!

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hi Kathryn,
      Thanks for the comment. $7 a kilogram sounds pretty good to me! Please stay tuned…the sunflower seed experiment is coming soon 🙂
      Cheers,
      Mary

  • Michael
    Reply

    I made this and the tofu was delicious, but there was no starchy residue in the bottom of my bowl and the whey was clear…not milky like yours. Any idea why? Also, thank you SO MUCH for these recipes.

  • Elaine
    Reply

    New to your channel and loving your recipes and easy clear instructions! So excited to find recipes for no-soy tofu! What kind of recipes would use the leftover pulp? Is the tofu freezable? How long is it good for in the refrig? Thank you!!

  • Becky
    Reply

    I have just given this a go, and it was AMAZING! Thank you so much so bringing this recipe to us 🙂
    I have also dehydrated the left over pulp, and mixed with salt and nooch to make some delicious vegan parmesan. These pumpkin seeds just keep on giving!

    • Mary
      Reply

      Way to go, Becky! I love your idea for pumpkin seed pulp parm!
      Cheers,
      Mar

  • Jen
    Reply

    I ordered the tofu press you recommended and made Pumfu last night. The Pumfu is delicious! I ate some plain with a tiny bit of salt and it was very tasty with a surprisingly delicious aftertaste. I also lightly coated some in nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, kala namak, and pepper then pan-seared until golden/brown and that was super delicious! When I was letting the just blended seeds and water sit, very little starch accumulated on the bottom after 25 minutes, not at all the amount your video showed. I let the whey/milk chill and then tasted it but I didn’t care for the flavor, unfortunately. But the PumFu was delicious in fact I like it better than soy tofu! We used the pulp as playdough (I posted my pumpkin pulp snowman on your fb page) then off he went to the compost bin! This recipe was a lot of fun to make!

    • Mary
      Reply

      Yay! Thanks for trying my recipe, Jen. I’m so happy you enjoyed it and had fun with the “play-doh” too 😉 I appreciate you sharing the experience
      Cheers,
      Mary

  • Kerri
    Reply

    I tried this yesterday and it worked amazingly well. The only thing I changed was I did a quick soak with boiling water rather than an overnight soak and did a smaller batch but my goodness it was so good. I dare say it turned out better than the commercial one because once I brushed them with soy sauce and browned them in a pan the little strips of protein were a little chewy on the outside but rich and fatty on the inside, amazing.

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for doing this homemade for a while so I cannot tell you how happy I am that you offer this to us. Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Edna Gerrans
    Reply

    Mary,Thank-you for this recipe. I got organic pumpkin seeds here in New Hampshire, US, for $8.92 a pound. My pumfu is pressing right now so haven’t tasted it. I did taste the left over pulp. That is now “feta” I added 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 1/4 teasp salt, 1 Tbsp of garlic powder, and a tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs. It made just over a pound. I plan to have cucumber sandwiches with my “feta” for supper! So if I get a pound of tofu and one of “feta”, it’s not too expensive. Thanks again! I’ll have to try some of your other recipes.

  • Mandy
    Reply

    Oh man, this looks amazing! This is so much like how animal milks behave… I wonder if you could add cultures and flavoring and make it more cheese-like? Definitely going to try this, and also looking forward to seeing your sunflower seed experimentation! I do seed cycling and eat large amounts of both pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, and it can get tiring thinking of new ways to eat them, but this looks perfect! Thanks so much!

    • Mary
      Reply

      My thoughts exactly. We are 100% on the same page!! <3
      -Mary

  • Katrina
    Reply

    You said this tofu is high in protein and fat. Can you post the nutritional breakdown?

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hi Katrina,
      It’s impossible for me to tell you the exact composition of the pumpkin seed tofu. However, you can make an estimate of the total value of fat and protein in both the tofu and leftover milky whey by subtracting the fiber and perhaps the starch content from the nutritional value of one pound of raw, hulless pumpkin seeds.
      Hope that helps!
      Cheers,
      Mary

  • Christopher Scott
    Reply

    how long can it be stored, and do you need to keep it in water like other tofu says on the packaging?

    • Mary
      Reply

      A week in the fridge; do not submerge in water like regular tofu.

  • David
    Reply

    Any idea why mine didbt curdle? I did leave it in the fridge a couple days before heating it.

  • Nat
    Reply

    Hi Mary! I love your videos and ideas! Have you tried making this PumFu with pumpkin protein? I wonder if Sunflower seeds could be used,too…
    Thank you so much for testing things and sharing the results, that is such a huge gift for everyone who doesn’t have enough time or skills to experiment!
    Greetings from France!

  • Albertina
    Reply

    Hi Mary, I made the pumfu and just LOVE it! I put it in brine, then cubed it and air-fried it. Lovely salty crunchy cubes for on my salad – wow!

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