In poorer countries, soy foods have been used as cheaper alternatives to popular protein sources, especially milk and meat. In other instances, vegetarians turn to soy as their primary source of protein.
But soy is more than just a cheap alternative or a vegetarian’s delight. Soy is known to provide lots of health benefits, including a reduction in the risk of health problems. Moreover, soy is no longer seen as an alternative but as a significant protein source.
Adding more soy to meals is smart, regardless of your favorite protein source. We’ll highlight the top ten ways of doing this, and your body will thank you for doing it. But before we do that, let’s look at soy and why it is an essential addition to the diet.
Joys of Soy
Soy has many health benefits that many people would rather term healthy food than just food. Its uniqueness is due to the high concentration of a substance known as isoflavones.
Isoflavones are estrogens found in plants that function similarly to human estrogens. This allows soy to affect hormones in the body positively. When used effectively, soy can reduce the risk of specific health problems, including heart problems. Also, soy is also known to improve bone health and reduce the risk of cancers.
The substance is a high-quality protein containing highly digestible essential amino acids. Besides isoflavone content, soy foods are also exceptionally rich in fiber, vitamins (especially B vitamins), folate, copper, manganese, omega 3s, potassium, and magnesium. Moreover, soy is also known to help reduce cholesterol levels.
While the isoflavones may reduce thyroid function, there’s no harm in enjoying the goodness of soy every day. It doesn’t have to be boring.
This article outlines ten ways you can creatively incorporate soy into your meals.
Replace Cow Milk with Soy milk
If you haven’t tried soy milk in your diet, then you should. It is a cheaper yet nutritious alternative to dairy milk and goes well with all kinds of beverages. As soy milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D, it is perfect for lactose-intolerant people.
It is also quite delicious. If you want to enjoy soy milk alone, you can go for flavored types, which often contain more calories.
Play with Tofu as a Meat Alternative
Similar to cheese in appearance and texture, Tofu can be a perfect way to do away with meat. Tofu, as it is called, is simply soybean curd that comes in different types of firmness.
When prepared, Tofu is shaped like bars and, although weak in flavor, can be fried, baked, or even grilled with specific ingredients to boost its taste.
Add Soy to your Vegetable Burger
When you want to go vegetarian in your diet, one of the essential foods you’ll turn to is soybeans. You can add soy in any form or texture, but you’ll gain a healthier body by making it a lifestyle. Add soy to your legumes and other ingredients to enjoy a veggie salad.
Enjoy Soy Yogurt
Soy yogurt is prepared almost the same way as regular yogurt. But you can also add soy milk and fruits to your regular yogurt to make it more exciting. Moreover, adding other ingredients makes soy smoothies and enjoy the creamy, healthy goodness.
Use Miso Paste
Miso is a paste made with soybeans and is used in miso soup. It combines soybeans with wheat, rice, barley, and others. Rich in flavor, Miso can serve multiple functions on the table. It can be a paste used as a spread for bread and can be used in soups as well.
Enjoy Soy Snacks and Bars
Several snacks can be made from soy. For example, ripe soybeans can be roasted to produce soy nuts. They are also made into energy bars, a snack high in calories.
When you add soy yot wheat and other ingredients, you make soy sauce, which adds flavors to different dishes.
Soy Butter? Why not!
Soy butter is an excellent alternative to peanut butter, and the production process is similar. Use soy butter as a perfect spread for wholegrain bread, and it can also be added to meals when cooking.
Tempeh as a Meat Alternative
Tempeh is just like Tofu, except that it is slightly fermented. Unlike Tofu, tempeh isn’t rich in calcium but richer in flavor. To enjoy tempeh, you can either have it while, just like meat, or scramble it and add it to your soups and stews.
Tempeh is also shaped into cakes and can effectively replace meat as well.
Enjoy a Chilled Soy Drink
You can also enjoy a chilled soy drink. While soy milk may be thicker, soy drink contains more flavor and is higher in calories. Nothing more soothes you on a hot afternoon than a cold soy drink.
Treat Yourself to Edamame
Edamame is a special dish made from green soybeans that haven’t yet matured. It is not a meal but is mainly used as an appetizer or a complement to salads and other vegetables. To make Edamame, you boil the unripe soybeans and add salt.
One of the advantages of soy is that it is straightforward to prepare and has wide varieties. There are only a few substances with many options like drink or food. If you’ve been looking for how to make your table more soy-friendly, you know how.
These are ten exciting opportunities to add soy to your everyday meals.