EN Presents a Buyers Guide to Selected Soy Foods

(See 2ndFeature Story for a related story on soy.)

Experts may be calling for people to eat more soy, butthat doesn’t mean everyone knows the difference between edamam? and natto. ENsorts it all out.

WholeSoy Foods

Edamam? (Green Soybeans)?Naturalsoybeans in the pod or shelled, often sold frozen. To eat, boil in slightlysalted water for 5 minutes. Contains isoflavones+ 8 grams protein per ? cup.

Natto?Madeof fermented, cooked whole soybeans. It has a sticky coating with a cheese-liketexture. Traditionally served as a topping for rice, in soups and withvegetables. Contains isoflavones + 18 gramsprotein per ? cup.

Soy Nuts?Wholesoybeans soaked in water and baked until brown. High in protein and isoflavones,soy nuts are similar in texture and flavor to peanuts. They are one of theeasiest and most concentrated ways to get soy protein. Containisoflavones + 12 grams protein per ? cup.

Tempeh?Atender soybean cake. Whole soybeans, sometimes mixed with another grain, such asrice or millet, are fermented to achieve a smoky or nutty flavor. Can bemarinated and grilled and added to soups, casseroles or chili. Containsisoflavones + 19 grams protein per ? cup.

Tofu?Asoft cheese-like food made by curdling soymilk. It is revered for taking on theflavors of whatever it is cooked with. Firm tofu is dense enough to be cubed forsoups, stir fries and grilling. Soft tofu is good for recipes that call forblending tofu. Silken tofu can be used as a substitute for sour cream, such asin dips. Contains isoflavones + 8.5 gramsprotein per 3 ounces (6 grams for silken).

Dairy-AisleFoods

Soymilk?Soybeans,when soaked, ground fine and strained, produce a fluid called soymilk. Anexcellent source of high-quality protein and B vitamins. Does not containcalcium unless fortified. Contains isoflavones +8 grams protein per 8 ounces (6 grams for flavored soymilks).

Soy Cheese?Madefrom soymilk. Sold in blocks like cream cheese or in slices like Americancheese. May or may not contain appreciablelevels of isoflavones + 2 to 4 grams protein per slice.

Soy Yogurt?Madefrom soymilk. Can be substituted for yogurt or sour cream. Containsisoflavones + 5 grams protein per 8 ounces.

Nondairy Soy Frozen Dessert?Madefrom soymilk. May or may not contain appreciablelevels of isoflavones; contains protein (amount varies).

Condiments/Spreads/Oils

Miso?Arich, salty condiment that characterizes Japanese cooking. A smooth paste madefrom soybeans and a grain such as rice, plus salt and a culture. Use miso toflavor soups, sauces, dressings and marinades. Containsisoflavones + 8 grams protein per ? cup.

Soynut Butter?Madefrom roasted whole soy nuts, crushed and blended with soy oil and otheringredients. Has a slightly nutty taste and less fat than peanut butter. Containsisoflavones + 8 grams protein per 2 tablespoons.

Soy Sauce?Madefrom fermented soybeans. Though soy sauce tastes extremely salty, it’sactually lower in sodium than table salt. Soy sauces include shoyu, tamari andteriyaki. Does not contain isoflavones + 1-2grams protein per tablespoon.

Soybean Oil?Thenatural oil extracted from whole soybeans. It is the most widely used oil in theU.S., often listed as “vegetable oil.” Doesnot contain isoflavones or protein.

Soyas Ingredients

Soy Protein Isolates (Isolated Soy Protein)?Whenprotein is removed from defatted flakes, the result is soy protein isolates, themost concentrated source of soy protein (about 92% protein). Containsisoflavones + 23 grams protein per 1 ounce.

Soy Protein Concentrate?Fromdefatted soy flakes. It is about 70% protein and retains most of the bean’sfiber. Contains few isoflavones + 16 gramsprotein per 1 ounce.

Textured Soy Protein (Textured Vegetable Protein)?Usuallyrefers to products made from textured soy flour, although can also be applied totextured soy protein concentrates and spun soy fiber. Widely used as a meatextender. Textured soy flour contains about 70% protein and retains the bean’sfiber. Contains isoflavones + 12 grams proteinper ? cup.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein?Aflavor enhancer used in soups, broths, sauces vegetables, meats and poultry.Made from any vegetable, but often from soybeans. May or may not containisoflavones; contains protein (amount varies).

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