Traditional soyfoods, such as tempeh, tofu, edamame, soynuts, and soymilk are good tasting, nutrient dense foods that may offer health benefits, plus, they are budget-friendly, easy to use, and versatile. With so many reasons to love soy, why not put it into practice by including a taste of soy in your meals every single week? In addition to health bonuses, turning to this healthful, sustainable plant protein more often can help cut your environmental footprint.1 Get started with these top 5 tips.
Top 5 Tips for Boosting Soyfoods in Your Diet
Pour on the Soymilk. Whether it’s topping your morning cereal, stirring up a nutritious shake, or mixing up a favorite recipe, turn to soymilk as a nutrient-rich option. Try steel cut oats with berries, walnuts, and soymilk for a fiber-rich start to your day. Mix soymilk into your morning nutrition shake or smoothie for a nutritious supplement to your healthy eating plan. Stir soymilk into recipes such as muffins, pancakes, mashed potatoes, or creamy soups.
Try a Tofu Protein Swap. Extra-firm tofu can replace just about any protein choice in your favorite meals. Plus, it’s completely ready to go; just open the package, drain off the liquid, and cube it into recipes. Since tofu has a clean, neutral flavor, use it in recipes that have a flavorful sauce. Here are a few starter ideas: make tofu the star in Asian stir-fry, cacciatore, mushroom stroganoff, masala curry, veggie lasagna, and shepherd’s pie. Use cubed extra firm tofu as your sole protein source in these classic recipes for a healthy delicious meal in no time.
Turn to Baked Tofu. This pre-seasoned tofu is available in most supermarkets, or you can make it easily yourself by marinating tofu with a flavorful sauce (i.e., soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, herbs, seasonings), then baking it in the oven until it’s golden brown. Now you’re ready to add baked tofu to a number of ready-to-go meals, such as chef’s salad, sandwiches, burritos, wraps, and grain bowls. It’s even great as a snack with whole grain crackers and pear slices. Keep baked tofu on hand in your fridge and you’ll find a multitude of new ways to include it in your favorite recipes.
Crunch on Edamame. You might have tried edamame out of the shell (essentially, fresh green soybeans) at a Japanese restaurant, and thoroughly enjoyed the crunchy green beans. You can enjoy this meal easily at home too! Many supermarkets carry fresh edamame. All you have to do is boil the whole edamame in the shell for a few minutes (don’t overcook it, as you want those beans to be bright green), and then drizzle with a bit of sesame oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. You can also try other toppings, such as chopped seaweed, sesame seeds, and minced garlic. Then just remove the plump green soybeans from the edamame shells and savor the flavors.
Chop up Tempeh. Increasingly available at many supermarkets, tempeh—an Indonesian fermented soy and grain block— can be chopped up and featured in your next meal as a protein-rich superstar. Just like tofu, tempeh is ready to be chopped into meals—no cooking, trimming, or preparation required. Try tempeh in your next Thai curry dish, veggie pot pie, stuffed peppers, vegetable stew, or noodle soup. It’s also delicious sliced into thin strips, drizzled with a flavorful sauce, and grilled until golden and crispy as a faux “bacon” for sandwiches and breakfast dishes.
- Sabaté J, Soret S, Sustainability of plant-based diets: back to the future. Am J Clin Nutr 2014;100(1): 476S–482S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071522