Editor's note: This article was written by guest columnist Krista Patton. Krista Patton is the K-State Research & Extension summer intern in the Douglas County Extension Office. Krista will be a senior this fall at Kansas State University, majoring in elementary education.
Q: Is soy really good for me?
A: The Food and Drug Administration reports that eating foods that contain soy protein and having a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Soybeans also contain all of the amino acids that are essential to human nutrition. Soy protein is the only plant protein equivalent to animal protein.
Q: How much soy protein should I eat a day?
A: It is recommended that you eat 25 grams of soy protein each day. Here are some ways you can meet this goal:
¢ 6 oz. of soy yogurt = 4 grams of soy protein
¢ 8 oz. of soymilk = 7 grams of soy protein
¢ 1 bowl of soy cereal or 1 scoop of powdered soy protein = 13 grams of soy protein
¢ 1/2 cup of roasted soy nuts = 19 grams of soy protein
Q: What is tofu?
A: Tofu is a soft, cheeselike food product that is made by curdling fresh, hot soymilk. Tofu has no flavor itself; instead, it soaks up any flavor that is added to it. Because of this, it is probably the most versatile soy product used in cooking.
Q: Can I use soy flour when baking?
A: Yes. Soy flour is an easy way to add protein and moisture to baked goods. However, when baking products such as breads, you must also use wheat flour; soy flour does not contain gluten, which is required for bread to rise. Because soy flour does not contain gluten, gluten allergy sufferers can use this product as a substitute in certain recipes.
Soy Flour Blend
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup soy flour
Combine both flours and keep in canister to use for any recipe using all-purpose flour as an ingredient. Makes 8 cups blended flour.
Here are some of my favorite recipes that include soy protein; they are great summer recipes and an easy way to incorporate part of the 25 grams of recommended soy protein that you need every day in your diet.
Yummy oatmeal cookies
1 cup margarine
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup soy milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut
In large bowl, cream margarine, granulated and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, egg and soy milk; mix. Add flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt; blend well. Stir in oatmeal, chocolate chips and coconut; mix thoroughly. Drop by tablespoon on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Purple cow smoothie
3 cups vanilla nonfat frozen yogurt
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup frozen grape juice concentrate
Place yogurt, soy milk and grape juice concentrate in blender and process until smooth.
Makes four 1-cup servings.
Summer trail mix
1 cup roasted soy nuts, plain or flavored
1/2 cup sunflower meats
1 cup whole-wheat crackers
1 cup animal crackers
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup yogurt covered raisins
Thoroughly combine all ingredients. Store in airtight container. Makes about 22 servings (1/4 cup per serving).
For more recipes and information about the nutritional benefits of soy, contact the Kansas Soybean Commission at (785) 271-1040 or visit their Web site at www.kansassoybeans.com. Douglas County Agriculture data comes from www.nass.usda.gov.