April is National Soy Month
April is National Soy Month. Many people have their own beliefs about soy, so regardless of what you believe about soy food and soy protein, this is the month designated to celebrate it. What is soy? Soy is from the soybean plant, and unlike other plants, it is high in protein. Soy is even considered equivalent to animal protein, in terms of the protein quality. Soy can be found in almost anything, including a variety of food, cleaning supplies, animal feed, candles and soap, writing products, fuel – the list goes on!
Soy food has roots dated back for thousands of years, first used in eastern cultures then expanding to western cuisine. It can be found in its more traditional form in recipes such as soy sauce, miso, tempeh, natto, tofu and soy milk. A more modern form of soy may include ice-cream, drinks, yogurt, cheese and meat alternatives. Soy is also in many everyday food products like bread, burgers, fast food and other prepared foods. Iowa State University has an exhaustive list of its production and uses. If you are interested in getting more low-fat protein in your diet, here are a few ways that Michigan State University Extension suggests:
- Make a shake consisting of soy milk.
- Add tofu to your regular stir-fry, salad or dessert.
- Substitute soy cheese, in dishes requiring cheese.
- Add soy to chili, soups or sauces.
- Try soynuts as a snack food.
Easy eggless salad/spread
- 1 - 14oz block of extra firm tofu
- 2 - 3 Tbsp. of light or non-fat mayonnaise
- ¼ tsp. of turmeric, or 2 - 3 drops of natural yellow food coloring
- ¼ cup of diced onions
- Celery to garnish (optional)
In a bowl, crumble the tofu. Add the mayonnaise; adjust quantity for salad or spread. Add turmeric or food coloring and onions. Mix until mixture resembles egg salad. Spread or dip with your favorite cracker, chip, salad or sandwich.
Tip: Food coloring works best when serving to individuals less familiar with soy products. For more recipes, visit The Soy Connection.