Whole Soy

Final Soy Product Post

For the final post of my soy series, rather than focusing on soy meat substitutes, which tend to be fairly processed, I wanted to focus on whole soy products.  Meat substitutes are good sources of protein, but the amount of processing involved in creating them makes it controversial as to how often they should be eaten.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I would stick to using meat substitutes only once a week.  While this too can be debated, I feel that whole sources of soy can be utilized much more often.  Some studies show that it’s safe and even healthy to consume whole soy products 1-2 times per day.  (For more info., check out the following two sites recommended by two of my favorite bloggers: Women With Breast Cancer Who Consume Soy Food Have Lower Risk of Cancer Recurrence–  Recommended by Tracey @ I’m Not Superhuman, and Soy Foods Could Help Breast Cancer Survivors– Recommended by The Candid RD).

Soy Milk

There’s nothing like eating a combination of cereal and ice cold soymilk for breakfast.  Soymilk is particularly beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant, but many claim that milk really isn’t good for anyone.  According to Dr. Andrew Weil, the protein in cow’s milk is an irritant to our body’s immune system.  Some claim that for many people, reducing consumption of milk will also reduce the symptoms of allergies and stuffy noses.

While I’m not vegan, I try to keep my dairy intake to a minimum.  I rarely use milk, and instead frequently utilize soymilk.  If you choose the right brand, there isn’t a huge difference taste-wise between milk and soymilk, particularly when soymilk is simply acting as a replacement for cow’s milk in a baked good or recipe.   However, many milk-drinker’s have trouble switching from milk to soymilk on cereal.  Choosing the right brand is key.

I particularly enjoy Silk milk because of its relatively neutral taste.  Whereas many brands of soymilk can be overly sweet, Silk contains just the right amount of sweetness.  Per 1 cup, silk has 100 calories and 7 grams of protein.  It also has 30% DV calcium, 25% DV vitamin D, 25% of vitamin B12 and an assortment of other vitamins and minerals.

I also am a fan of Edensoy Soymilk, particularly their “Extra” variety which is enhanced with all sorts of added vitamins and minerals.  Edensoy has a bit more of a “soy taste”, but unlike Silk, it doesn’t contain cane juice (a less refined version of regular sugar).  It also has an additional 4 grams of protein compared to Silk, containing 11 grams per cup.

Try simply switching out regular milk for soymilk in some of your recipes, such as muffins, or enhancing your oatmeal with protein by making it with soymilk rather than water.  If you are a regular milk-drinker, try slowly integrating soymilk into your diet.  The taste definitely grows on you.  I am at the point where I definitely prefer the taste of soymilk over cow’s milk.

Edamame

Edamame are soybeans in their natural state and are a popular appetizer among Japanese restaurants.  However, they are super easy to make at home, for all they need is a few minutes of boiling time and a simple sprinkle of salt.  Edamame’s taste resembles something between a regular pea and a kidney bean.

One serving (1/2 cup) contains 100 calories, 8 grams of protein, and a hefty 4 grams of fiber.

I also enjoy dried roasted edamame.  Per serving, dried edamame contain 11 grams of protein and make a perfect, minimally processed snack.  Try replacing your fiberless white flour pretzels with dry roasted edameme of which contain 7 grams of fiber per serving!

Tofu

Tofu is derived simply from soybeans and water.  It has a relatively bland flavor, which allows it to absorb the flavors and spices that it is cooked in.  For more info. and ideas on how to use tofu, check out two of my previous posts.

What To Do With Tofu

More On Tofu

Some other good sources of minimally processed soy include tempeh, made from fermented soybeans, and soybean-based miso, a paste also derived from fermented soybeans.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Melinda
    December 16, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Great review of some meat free protein options. There is so much you can do with soy. I have some edamame in the freezer, so maybe I should make it soon. I do tofu a lot here.

  • Reply
    Steven
    December 16, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Have you mentioned Textured Soy Protein(TSP), aka Textured Vegetable Protein(TVP)? Health food stores usually have one or two types, and a wide variety of sizes is available online.

    Just add seasoning and rehydrate with hot water.

  • Reply
    Mari
    December 16, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I HEART EDAMAME!

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    December 16, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I love edamame, but I’ve never tried the dry-roasted version. Sounds interesting. Where do you find that … Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

    • Reply
      Food-Fitness-FreshAir
      December 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm

      Yes, but it can even be found at most regular grocery stores in the snack or healthy/organic foods aisle..

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    December 16, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    i’ve never actually bought soy milk because my husband prefers skim milk, but sometimes I’ll get a soy latte and always enjoy it!

  • Reply
    preventionrd
    December 16, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I love that you include research, thank you!

    I love edamame — get that same brand, actually! Mmm! I make a tuna salad with it — delicious! If you eat meat : ) Tofu and Silk are also loves of mine. Great review!

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    December 16, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Great post. I’m a meat eater, but can easily eat meat substitutes more than once a week!! oops. Love the ‘furkey’. Also I do eat tofu…andthat’s probably processed too – soy protein isolate and some other things going on…oh well. I also drink regular milk, but like almond and soy’s okay too…what can I say…hmmm I really had nothing useful to add here did I ? haha! 😉

  • Reply
    kbwood
    December 16, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    good post! i do use meat substitutes-but i eat meat too. I LOVE EDAMAME!! this makes me want some!

  • Reply
    Naomi(onefitfoodie)
    December 16, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    LOVE soy milk! also unsweetened almond breeze is great too and dairy free! thanks for the great info 🙂

  • Reply
    Bekah
    December 16, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    I love this post! I rareely drink any kind of milk on its own- but I have a few memories drinking Vanilla Silk with fresh baked cookies- OMG. Soo yummy. And silk+cereal- yeah yummy too.

  • Reply
    Oraphan
    December 18, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Thanks for such a great review! I’m a biggest fan of Silk Soymilk but I’ve never tried Edensoy, that sounds wonderful.

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