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Iowa Soybean Research Center

in collaboration with the Iowa Soybean Association

Happy National Soy Foods Month!

Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Pie
Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Pie

April is Soy Foods Month and the ISRC is celebrating by trying some of the recipes from the Soyfoods Council website.

Linda Funk, executive director of the Soyfoods Council says, “Soy is a great source of plant-based protein and contains essential nutrients like iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat, incorporating soy foods into your diet can have numerous health benefits, from improving heart health to reducing the risk of certain cancers. A good source of calcium and vitamin K, soy is also good for bone health.” 

As an ingredient, soy can be incorporated into a diet in many different forms: tofu, soymilk, soy flour, tempeh, edamame, soy nuts, and miso. 

"Soy foods are so versatile and so easy to incorporate into everyday foods. Try adding Textured Soy Protein to oatmeal or some silken tofu to puddings or salad dressings,” says Funk.

So, in honor of Soy Foods Month, try adding soy to your diet by following some easy tips from the Soyfoods Council below.


Easy Ways to Add Soy to Everyday Foods

Provided by the Soyfoods Councilsoy foods

Slipping a little soy into everyday meals is a simple way to add protein or reduce cholesterol in your favorite recipes. The following tips demonstrate how soy foods can complement your own style of eating.

With its versatile texture and mild nutty flavor, tofu is the ultimate fusion food. It works equally well for tofu tacos, Mediterranean inspirations like tofu wraps and tofu paella. Tofu complements cheeses in recipes. For baked goods or lasagna, use tofu in combination with cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta. Tofu is also a go-to ingredient for dips, dressings, sauces and custards. Blend silken tofu into your favorite cream soups like butternut squash or cream of broccoli. Add tiny cubes of extra firm tofu to chicken noodle or turkey soup. Try serving bite-sized chunks of extra-firm tofu with familiar dips. Catsup, mild barbecue sauce, sweet and sour sauce or ranch salad dressing all work well. 

Explore the possibilities of tofu-based desserts. Create memorable mousses by blending tofu with lemon curd, melted chocolate, sweetened frozen berries or canned pumpkin pie mix. Build parfaits with tofu-based pudding and sweet layers of fruit. Silken and water-packed tofu varieties are available in extra firm, firm and soft. No need to be confused about the forms. Start by thinking about what you want the tofu to do in your recipe. Choose the firmness that will work best. Blend or purée soft forms (silken and soft water-packed tofu). For cubes or slices, use firm or extra firm types of tofu.

Miso is a fermented product that just might become your secret flavoring ingredient for almost anything. It adds a savory flavor to pasta dishes, rice, sauces and even mayonnaise. For caramel sauce, stir in a little miso at the end of cooking for a flavor twist. It’s a little salty in taste so reduce the salt in recipes when using miso.

EDAMAME (sweet green soybeans) 

Edamame is practically the perfect vegetable. It’s available in the freezer case of your grocery store. Add edamame to your favorite vegetable soup. Toss some into green salads, or stir 12 edamame into a combination bean salad. Buzz it in the blender to make a surprising spread or dip. Add edamame into stir-fry blends, or simply set out edamame in pods for snacking.

Fix a frittata with edamame, along with any leftovers you might have in the fridge. Or, add edamame to pasta primavera. Beans and rice are a traditional pairing, but you can shake up tradition a bit by serving edamame with almost any type of rice. Try edamame with brown, white, red, jasmine or basmati rice. Create a fresh, colorful version of risotto by adding edamame.


How many of your everyday recipes call for ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken? Now think about how many of those recipes you would like to “thin up” by reducing calories and saturated fat. Frozen soy crumbles are a super-convenient form of textured soy protein. In addition to providing the nutrition benefits of soy, crumbles are real time-savers. They’re already browned, crumbled and ready to add to spaghetti sauce, stuffed peppers, casseroles, Sloppy Joes and more. TSP/TVP also comes in a dry form that is usually found in the natural foods section of a supermarket. TSP/TVP is like meat you can keep on the shelf—always handy, ready to add to recipes with no worries about refrigeration or food safety. Add dry TSP/TVP to liquid mixtures such as soup, chili or spaghetti sauce. Consider blending TSP/TVP into most recipes that use ground meat. Think about adding TSP/TVP to cookies. The formula is simple: If the recipe calls for 3 cups of oatmeal, use 1½ cups dry TSP/TVP and 1½ cups of oatmeal.

Canned soybeans have what it takes to be the star staple on your pantry shelf. Use them anywhere you’d use any other beans. For a start, think three bean salad and chili. Purée black soybeans in the blender for bean dip or refried beans. Blend with lots of Mexican or Mediterranean seasonings and spread refried beans on tortillas or wraps. In addition to adding flavor, refried beans help hold other wrap ingredients in place.

Soy nuts come roasted and in a multitude of flavors. Stir soy nuts into chocolate chip, oatmeal or almost any other type of cookie dough. Sprinkle them over salads. When you add soy nuts to Thai dishes, steamed vegetables or pasta, you’re adding a surprising crunch and a nutrition punch. For a party snack, make your own flavored soy nuts by toasting them in a skillet for three minutes with a Tablespoon of soybean oil and a Tablespoon of ranch seasoning mix. Use soy nut butter as you would use peanut butter, for sandwiches, dips and desserts.