Soy Foods

By: Ron Lagerquist

“Here are some of the many products that have been made from the humble soybean.”

For thousands of years, soybeans have been providing the peoples of the orient with an excellent source of high protein food. Only recently has the western world embraced this wonderful yellow bean that is both economical and versatile.

The soybean, in all its different forms, contains more protein than any other vegetable food. Soybeans contain an almost perfect balance of all the essential amino acids, making them a valuable protein for all functions of the body. They are an excellent source of iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and B vitamins. Soybeans are the best source of lecithin which has been found to reduce cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. It is also a great source of the essential oil, linolenic acid and a good source of vitamin E.

Soy Sauce

In China, Soya Sauce is like wine-making in France. Whole soybeans are fermented up to two years in cedar vats, giving it that deep full flavor. Soy sauce is high in salt and should be purchased in health food stores to avoid coloring, additives and preservatives. It also can be used to marinate tofu. Try immersing firm tofu slices in soy sauce mixed with garlic powder for 20 minutes before serving. Excellent for seasoning soups, vegetables, salad dressings and rice.


This fermented soybean paste is famous for the presence of bacteria and enzymes which are excellent for digestion. It can be used for stews and can be mixed into dips. Miso, as with soy sauce, has the drawback of being very high in salt. Use sparingly.

Soy Milk

 Soy milk is as high in protein as cow’s milk but lower in fat and absent in cholesterol. Can be purchased in an instant, dried, or concentrated form. Bottle feeding infants soy milk is more preferable to cow’s milk which is difficult to digest, resulting in mucus and allergies.

Soy Flour

 Soy flour is made from ground, dried soybeans and is highly nutritious and filled with protein. In 1955, Dr. Clive M. McCay, a top nutritionist of the Department of Nutrition at Cornell University, was greatly concerned about the poor nutritional quality in the average bread being consumed in America. He went to work and devised a highly nutritious bread using full-fat soy flour and whole wheat flour. He printed a small leaflet instruction as to how to make this wondrous new bread that came to be known as Triple Rich. It became popular and was being adopted by bakeries, schools and even mental hospitals. Everything was going fine until the Food and Drug Administration stepped in and declared that McCay’s Triple Rich Bread could not be called or sold as bread. This resulted in the bread disappearing from bakers' counters across North America. Replacing a half cup of wheat flour with soy flour in any bread recipe will greatly increase its nutritious quality and give it a distinct delicious taste. Store soy flour in the refrigerator or freezer to keep the oils fresh.

Soybean Oil

 Soybeans are only 18% oil, making their oil yield very low. Cold-pressed unrefined soybean oil is of the highest quality and delicious in flavor. An excellent source of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids, omega 9, lecithin, phytosterols and many other natural properties that help fight against various cancers. As with all oil, only purchase cold-pressed that has been kept in the refrigerator and is packaged in a dark bottle.

TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)

 This product is designed to imitate meat. It is made from 100% soy flour with all oil extracted. In a 43 gram serving, containing 120 calories, there are 21 grams of protein. This makes TVP almost 50% protein. We recommend TVP only as a transition from meat products. Replace in stews and soups and your family will never know the difference. It can be marinated in the same sauces you would use for meat, taking on its flavors.

There is simply no need for massive concentrations of protein for health. Keep in mind that TVP is a processed food. If you are eating a healthy nutritious diet high in fruits and vegetables, with small amounts of concentrated foods, there is no need to supplement your diet with protein. A high protein diet will only increase aging.

Soy Sprouts 

This is by far the best way of eating soybeans. These little bundles of nutrition come alive with enzymes, converting carbohydrates into simple sugars, allowing them to be more digestible.

Related Article: Cooking With Tofu

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