Thinking of incorporating Soy into your daily diet but don’t know of any soy products? We’ve drawn up a list with 9 readily available soy products that will help you get started:
1. Processed, ready-to-consume Soy powder and Energy Bars
At the top of our soy products list is the pure Soy powder or Soy bar. Look for Soy powder (e.g. Revival Soy). Just 1 Soy energy bar or powder packet contains the equivalent of 6 cups of soymilk.
2. Soymilk and Soy Beverages
One of the most readily available soy products is soymilk. Soymilk is produced by soaking soybeans overnight and then grinding it in a blender. Be sure to strain the fluid before consumption. You can also buy readymade soymilk that is available in quart and half gallon containers at most supermarkets. Check out this soy protein smoothie recipe with soy milk.
3. Tofu and Tofu Products
Soybean curd or tofu is a soft cheese-like food made by curdling fresh hot soymilk. Being naturally bland, tofu easily absorbs the flavors of any ingredients that are mixed with it. If the moisture is drained from tofu, it turns into a more nutritive cheese like substance that can be cubed and served in soups. It can even be stir fried or grilled making tofu a very versatile soy product.
4. Green Soybeans (Edamamé)
Green Soybeans are the natural (and original) form of Soy. Green Soybeans can be boiled with a pinch of salt and served as a snack or used in a vegetable dish or salad. We however do not recommend you eat it this way (except in very small quantities) as it can cause flatulence (gas).
5. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
This is available in a powder form as is the end result of processing soybeans. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is mostly used in restaurants as a flavor enhancer and thickening agent for broths, soups, gravies, sauces, etc.
6. Soy based infant formulas
Used for infants who are lacto-sensitive, soy-based infant formulas use soy protein instead of cow’s milk. Carbohydrates and fats are added to the soy protein. When this mixture is mixed with water, you create a fluid that is similar to breast milk.
Lecithin is another soy product used exclusively by restaurateurs and food processors. Extracted from soybean oil, lecithin is used as an emulsifier in high-fat (deep fried) products as a stabilizer and antioxidant. It also helps prevent crystallization and in spatter control. If you want to increase the shelf-life of any deep friend food item, you would want to use Lecithin in the mixture.
8. Meat Alternatives
Due to its pure protein component, soy is also used as a meat alternative for people who cannot digest meat. These meat alternatives are sold as frozen, canned or dried foods.
Miso is a fermented and refrigerated product made from soybeans and rice. It is aged in cedar vats for one to three years. If you have been to Japanese restaurants and love Japanese food especially the soups, then you would love Miso. The Japanese make Miso soup and use it to flavour a variety of foods.
Soy is one of the grains you should add to your menu for better health. See a list if 10 foods we recommend you add to your daily meals.