Nutrition Articles

So Many Ways to Enjoy Soy!

How to Incorporate Soy Foods into Your Diet


Tofu can be found in both refrigerated and shelf-stable packages. Firm tofu is best for stir-fries, or for replacing meat in a recipe. Soft or silken tofu is good for making smoothies, pudding, mock egg salad, or any other creamy dish. Tofu will take on the flavor of whatever you cook it with, but you can buy flavored tofu that has already been marinated as well. After opening a package, keep leftovers tightly sealed and use within 4-5 days or according to package instructions.

Using that cheese analogy again, blue cheese is to cheddar what tempeh is to tofu. It’s an aged, fermented food that can be used in many of the same ways as regular tofu. Tempeh has a nuttier, chewier texture that many people prefer to tofu. Because it’s fermented, you should not eat it raw. Cook thoroughly, according to package directions, and use within a couple of days.

Tempeh has a tender chewy consistency that makes it an excellent addition to a variety of foods. It is delicious on the grill. First steam cubes of tempeh and marinate them in a lemon marinade or a zesty barbeque sauce. Then grill until browned. Add chunks of tempeh to spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes or chili mix, or to favorite soups and casseroles. Steam and grate tempeh and mix with chopped onions and celery and mayonnaise for a sandwich spread. Pan fry it with mushrooms, onions and bread crumbs for a delightful mushroom stuffing. Get more tempeh recipes here.

Meat Analogs
These include items like soy dogs, soy burgers, textured vegetable protein (TVP), soy sausage, soy bacon—the list goes on and on. Nowadays, you can find a soy replacement for just about any meat, including barbecue ribs, chicken nuggets, and even fish, mostly in the frozen foods section. These foods are perhaps the easiest to incorporate into your diet, albeit the most processed. We all know that Mother Nature usually knows best, meaning that the least processed foods are the healthiest, but these analogs may be a much healthier way to satisfy your craving for, say, a greasy burger.

Roasted soynuts are whole soybeans that have been soaked in water and then baked until browned. Soynuts can be found in a variety of flavors and they come in small packages, usually in the snack foods or nuts section of the grocery store. High in protein and isoflavones, soynuts are similar in texture and flavor to peanuts.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

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