All About Soy
Soy Flour (50% protein)
Soy flour is made form roasted soybeans ground into a fine powder. All soy flour gives a protein boost to recipes. Soy flour is 50% protein. However, defatted soy flour is an even more concentrated source of protein than is full-fat soy flour. Soy flour is gluten-free, so yeast-raised breads made with soy flour are more dense in texture. There are three kinds of soy flour available: Natural or full-fat, which contains the natural oils found in the soybean; defatted, which has the oils removed during processing; and lecithinated, which has had lecithin added to it.
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is a protein obtained from any vegetable, including soybeans. HVP is a flavor enhancer that can be used in soups, broths, sauces, gravies, flavoring, and spice blends, canned and frozen vegetables, meats, and poultry.
Extracted from soybean oil, lecithin is used in food manufacturing as an emulsifier in products high in fats and oils. It also promotes stabilization, antioxidation, crystallization, and spattering control.
Soy Protein, Textured (Flour or Concentrate)
Textured soy protein usually refers to products made from textured soy flour and textured soy protein concentrates. Textured soy flour is made by running defatted soy flour through an extrusion cook, which allows for many different forms and sizes. It contains 50% protein as well as the dietary fiber and soluble carbohydrates from the soybean. When hydrated, it has a chewy texture. It is widely used as a meat extender. Often referred to simply as textured soy protein, textured soy flour is sold dried in granular and chunk style and is bland in flavor. Textured soy protein concentrates are made by extrusion and are found in many different forms and sizes. Textured soy protein concentrates contain 70% protein as well as the dietary fiber from the soybean. When hydrated, they have a chewy texture and contribute to the texture of meat products.
Soy grits are similar to soy flour except that the soybeans have been toasted and cracked into coarse pieces rather than the fine powder of soy flour. Soy grits can be used as a substitute for flour in some recipes. High in protein, soy grits can be added to rice and other grains and cooked together.
Soy Fiber (Okara, Soy Bran, Soy Isolate Fiber)
There are three basic types of soy fiber: okara, soy bran, and soy isolate fiber. All of these products are high-quality, inexpensive sources of dietary fiber. Soy bran is made from hulls (the outer covering of the soybean), which are removed during the initial processing. The hulls contain a fibrous material that can be extracted and then refined for use as a food ingredient. Soy isolate fiber, also known as structured protein fiber (SPF), is soy protein isolate in a fibrous form.
Soybean Oil & Products
Soybean oil, also referred to as soyoil, is the natural oil extracted from whole soybeans. It is the most widely used oil in the
Green Vegetable Soybeans (Edamame)
These large soybeans are harvested when the beans are still green and sweet tasting and can be served as a snack or a main vegetable dish after boiling in slightly salted water for 15-20 minutes. They are high in protein and fiber and contain no cholesterol. Green soybeans are sold frozen in the pod and shelled.
Natto is made of fermented, cooked whole soybeans. Because the fermentation process breaks down the beans’ complex proteins, natto is more easily digested than whole soybeans. It has a sticky, viscous coating with a cheesy texture. In Asian countries, natto traditionally is served as a topping for rice, in miso soups, and is used with vegetables. Natto can be found in Asian and natural food stores.
Okara is a pulp fiber by-product of soymilk. It has less protein than whole soybeans, but the protein remaining is of high quality. Okara tastes similar to coconut and can be baked or added as fiber to granola and cookies. Okara also has been made into sausage.
Miso is a rich, salty condiment that characterizes the essence of Japanese cooking. The Japanese make miso soup and use it to flavor a variety of foods. A smooth paste, miso is made from soybeans and a grain such as rice, plus salt and a mold culture, and then aged in cedar vats for one to three years. Miso should be refrigerated. Use miso to flavor soups, sauces, dressings, marinades, and pâtés.
As soybeans mature in the pod, they ripen into a hard, dry bean. Although most soybeans are yellow, there are also brown and black varieties. Whole soybeans (an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber) can be cooked and used in sauces, stews, and soups. Whole soybeans that have been soaked can be roasted for snacks. Dry whole soybeans should be cooked before eaten.
Roasted soynuts are whole soybeans that have been soaked in water and then baked until browned. Soynuts can be found in a variety of flavors, including chocolate covered. High in protein and isoflavones, soynuts are similar in texture and flavor to peanuts.
Soybeans soaked, ground fine, and strained produce a fluid called soybean milk. Plain, unfortified soymilk is an excellent source of high-quality protein and B vitamins. Soymilk is most commonly found in aseptic containers (nonrefrigerated, shelf stable), but also can be found in quart and half-gallon containers in the dairy case at the supermarket. Soymilk is also sold as a powder that must be mixed with water.
Soy Sauce (Tamari, Shoyu, Teriyaki)
Soy sauce is a dark-brown liquid made from soybeans that has undergone a fermenting process. Soy sauces have a salty taste, but are lower in sodium than traditional table salt. Specific types of soy sauce are shoyu, tamari, and teriyaki. Shoyu is a blend of soybeans and wheat. Tamari is made only from soybeans and is a by-product of making miso. Teriyaki sauce can be thicker than other types of soy sauce and includes other ingredients such as sugar, vinegar, and spices.
Tofu & Tofu Products
Tofu, also known as soybean curd, is a soft, cheese-like food made by curdling fresh, hot soymilk with a coagulant. Tofu is a bland product that easily absorbs the flavors of other ingredients with which it is cooked. Tofu is rich in both high-quality protein and B vitamins and is low in sodium. Firm tofu is dense and solid and can be cubed and served in soups, stir fried, or grilled. Firm tofu is higher in protein, fat, and calcium than other forms of tofu. Soft tofu is good for recipes that call for blended tofu. Silken tofu is a creamy product and can be used as a replacement for sour cream in many dip recipes.
Tempeh, a traditional Indonesian food, is a chunky, tender soybean cake. Whole soybeans, sometimes mixed with another grain such as rice or millet, are fermented into a rich cake of soybeans with a smoky or nutty flavor. Tempeh can be marinated and grilled and added to soups, casseroles, or chili.
Yuba is made by lifting and drying the thin layer formed on the surface of cooling hot soymilk. It has a high-protein content and is commonly sold fresh, half-dried, and as dried bean curd sheets. Found in Asian food stores.
Soy Protein Products (Meat Analogs)
Protein products made from soybeans contain soy protein or tofu and other ingredients mixed together to make a protein product. These protein products are sold as frozen, canned, or dried foods. Usually, they can be used the same way as the foods they replace. With so many different protein products available to consumers, the nutritional value of these foods varies considerably. Generally, they are lower in fat, but read the label to be certain. Protein products made from soybeans are excellent sources of protein, iron, and B vitamins.
Soy beverages can be made with soymilk or isolated soy protein. Flavorings or fruit juices may be added. They can be purchased ready to drink or in a dry-powder form to which liquid is added.
Soy cheese is made from soymilk. Its creamy texture makes it an easy substitute for most cheeses, sour cream, or cream cheese and can be found in a variety of flavors. Products made with soy cheese include soy pizza.
Whipped Toppings, Soy-Based
Soy-based whipped toppings are similar to other nondairy whipped toppings, except that hydrogenated soybean oil is used instead of other vegetable oils.
Infant Formulas, Soy-Based
Soy-based infant formulas are similar to other infant formulas except that a soy protein isolate powder is used as a base. Carbohydrates and fats are added to achieve a fluid similar to breast milk. The
Made form roasted, whole soynuts, which are then crushed and blended with soybean oil and other ingredients, soynut butter has a slightly nutty taste, significantly less fat than peanut butter, and provides many other nutritional benefits as well.
Soy yogurt is made form soymilk. Its creamy texture makes it an easy substitute for sour cream and cream cheese. Soy yogurt can be found in a variety of flavors in natural food stores.
Nondairy Soy Frozen Desserts
Nondairy frozen desserts are made from soymilk or soy yogurt. Soy ice cream is one of the most popular desserts made from soybeans.