ANKENY, Iowa — The Soyfoods Council shares ideas to help you observe National Soyfoods Month in April. Soyfoods create craveable meals and satisfying snacks, but there are even more reasons to choose them:
- Health benefits. Aim for incorporating one or two servings of soyfoods into your daily menu to derive the health benefits of soy. Both soybean oil (the most widely used edible oil in the U.S.) and soy protein carry heart health claims from the FDA, confirming they may be able to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. For more details about soyfoods and health, visit the Soyfoods Council website.
- Sustainability. Verified sustainably grown U.S. soy is not only good for you, it’s good for the planet, too. Growing soybeans is an environmentally advantageous way to produce high-quality protein. Additionally, 95% of U.S. soy farmers are committed to sustainable farming practices and adhere to national sustainability and conservation standards.
- Preferred plant protein. Among plant-based proteins, soy is a star because it’s a cholesterol-free complete protein that provides all the essential amino acids necessary for human nutrition. When compared to other plant-based milks, soymilk typically has more protein, offering approximately 7 grams per one-cup serving. Soyfoods such as tofu have a long history. In Asia, foods such as tofu have been enjoyed for more than a thousand years. Also, while tofu may seem new to some American consumers, it has been made in the U.S. for more than 100 years.
- Clean eating. Minimal processing, recognizable ingredients and simple ingredients meet most people’s definition of food transparency. Read food labels when choosing plant-based milks. Many brands of soymilk, for instance, have just two ingredients—organic soybeans and water.
- Convenience. Add soyfoods to your grocery list and your meals. Soyfoods like frozen shelled edamame and soymilk are readily available in grocery stores. You also have the option of buying shelf-stable tofu, canned black soybeans and soymilk online. Adding soyfoods to your diet is easy, too. You don’t have to change the way you eat. Try some simple swaps, like using soymilk as an alternative to dairy milk in recipes or replace part of the mayonnaise in a dip with silken tofu.
5 Ways to Celebrate National Soyfoods Month
- Visit a restaurant and order a menu item that lists soy ingredients such as edamame, tofu or tempeh. At Laishley Crab House in Punta Gorda, FL, for example, the menu combines seafood and soyfoods in its Mahi Edamame Salad. The grilled mahi mahi comes with a teriyaki sauce, and the salad is a mix of edamame served on spring greens, with strawberries, walnuts and house vinaigrette dressing.
- Buy soynuts online and start making your own better-for-you trail mix, filled with satisfying flavors and textures. The Soyfoods Council offers recipes like Asian Style Chex Party Mix and Tempting Trail Mix to get you started. The latter is a take-along snack, featuring soynuts (roasted mature soybeans), TSP (textured soy protein, also called TVP, or textured vegetable protein), dried cherries and chocolate.
- Start your day with soyfoods. Add a cup of soymilk to your cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, smoothie or latte. You also can easily add soy to familiar foods throughout the day. Add steamed shelled edamame (fresh green soybeans) to a salad of corn and chopped red bell pepper with balsamic dressing.
- Find ways to introduce young girls to soyfoods. Young girls who eat one or two servings of soyfoods per day may reduce by 50% their risk of breast cancer later in life. Consider fun-to-eat soyfoods such as edamame in the pod. One serving offers approximately 8-9 grams of protein. Other craveable snacks include chocolate-covered dried edamame and chocolate-covered soynuts.
- Soy-ize your favorite recipe Adapt a family favorite by adding plant protein in the form of canned black soybeans, soy yogurt, soymilk, tofu or TSP. The Soyfoods Council suggests recipes such as Slow Cooker Bean Ranch Dip made with canned black soybeans, and spins on pasta classics like Easy Stuffed Shells filled with silken tofu, shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan.
Visit The Soyfoods Council website at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com to download the free digital cookbooks, Really Fast, Really Easy, Really Good and Easy Snackable Soy, with recipes to incorporate more soy into your meals. You’ll also find the latest soy-related research and cooking tips.
About the Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice markets about the many benefits of Soyfoods.
–The Soyfoods Council