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Soy Foods & Miso Soup Recipe

by in Kitchen Sink January 16, 2008

Numerous reports indicate that, because soy is high in isoflavones, it can prevent illness and promote good health. Isoflavones are a class of phytochemicals, which are compounds found only in plants (phyto means plant).
Isoflavones:
• Help prevent the buildup of arterial plaque, which reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
• Have antioxidant properties that protect the cardiovascular system from oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
• May help reduce breast cancer by blocking the cancer-causing effects of human estrogen.
• May prevent prostate cancer by hindering cell growth.
• Can fight osteoporosis by stimulating bone formation and inhibiting bone resorption.
• May even relieve some menopausal symptoms as well.
The highest amounts of isoflavones are found in tempeh, whole soybeans (like edamame), textured soy protein, soynuts, tofu and soymilk. Researchers recommend consuming one to two servings a day. A serving is equal to 1 ounce of soynuts; 4 ounces of tempeh, textured soy protein (cooked), or edamame; or 8 ounces of soymilk.
Soy Flour
Replace up to 20% or 1/5 of regular flour with soy flour. It is found as ‘full fat’ or ‘defatted. ½ cup of full fat has 16 grams of protein; while ½ cup defatted has 25 grams of protein.
Soy Protein Beverage Powder
Use it in shakes and smoothies or add the unflavored powders to yogurt or regular recipes. Look for it in cans or bulk bins in health food stores. 1 scoop of powder has approximately 10-25 grams of protein per scoop- check the nutrition facts label.
Soy Milk
Can be substituted for cow’s milk in most cases. It is available in whole, low fat, no fat, flavored and enriched varieties in aseptically sealed containers. 8 ounces of whole soy milk has 10 grams of protein, 8 ounces of light soy milk has 4 grams of protein.
Soybeans
Canned soybeans are available ready to use in soups, chili and stews. Fresh and frozen beans should be steamed or boiled and can be served hot or cold. Dry-roasted beans (soy nuts) soy
nuts are great for snacks. Dried whole beans must be soaked for at least 8 hours and then simmered for at least 3 hours. Soybeans can be found dried, precooked in cans, frozen and dry roasted. ½ cup cooked soybeans have 14 grams of protein; edamame has 10 grams.
Tofu (soybean curd)
Firm and extra-firm can be cubed and added to a stir-fry or marinated and then baked or grilled. Soft and silken tofu is great for recipes that need to be blended such as shakes, dips and dressings. Tofu is available as extra-firm, firm, soft and silken. It is found in watertight plastic tubs and vacuum packed containers in the refrigerator section, or aseptically sealed containers that do not require refrigeration. Look for “calcium-processed” for added dietary calcium. ½ cup of firm tofu has 10 grams of protein and 1/2 cup of soft tofu has 8 grams of protein.
Tempeh (fermented soybeans)
Tempeh can be used as a meat substitute for hamburgers, shish kebobs, and chili or simply marinated and then grilled or baked. Look for it in the refrigerator or freezer section at the local health food store. ½ cup of tempeh has 16 grams of protein.
Miso (fermented soybean paste)
Miso is a fermented soybean paste made from soybeans combined with barley or rice and sea salt and allowed to age. It contains an abundance of natural digestive enzymes and bacteria beneficial to the digestive tract. Miso paste has a salty taste, which can be used in soup broths and stews, marinades and sauces. It is found in tubs or plastic bags at health food stores and Asian markets. There are numerous varieties of miso to try: salty, sweet, and mellow. 2 tablespoons of regular or mellow brown miso has approximately 4-6 grams of protein.
Miso Soup RecipePhotobucket
Miso is a “live food” and can be damaged by excess heat. Boiling miso or simmering too long can destroy its digestive enzymes and bacteria. Purchase unpasturized miso found in the refrigerated section at natural foods stores.
6 cups vegetable or Kombu (a sea vegetable) stock or water
1 onion, sliced (or green onions or leeks)
1-2 carrots, sliced thin
1 ½ cups chopped greens (such as kale, cabbage or bok choy)
5-6 level tsps Miso paste
Bring stock to a boil, add onions, then add carrots and simmer for 10 minutes. Add greens and simmer uncovered for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn off the heat. Dilute the miso paste in a little broth and then add to soup. Allow the soup to rest before serving. Garnish with minced green onion.
Many combinations of vegetables can be used. Winter squash and other root vegetables are particularly tasty- experiment. Tofu can be added for extra protein. Sea-vegetables such as, wakame and nori combine well and add calcium, minerals and trace elements.
References: The Complete Soy Cookbook by Paulette Mitchell, The Natural Kitchen: Soy! by Dana Jacobi, Soy of Cooking by Marie Oser, The Whole Soy Cookbook by Patricia Greenberg & ESHA Food Processor
www.talksoy.com and the US Soyfoods Directory at www.soyfoods.com & http://www.fwhc.org/health/soy.htm
For more information and recipes call 1-800-Talk-soy

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