Memorial Day marks the beginning of picnic season and summer fun that includes food-on-the-go. This year, discover how easy it is to save money and make treats you can take along on outings with family and friends. Simply pack fresh vegetables and tofu-based dip into a container, and prepare to snack in style. The Soyfoods Council offers convenient recipes like Tofu Ranch Dressing that allow you to indulge while eating healthfully. Here are tips for creating versatile take-along snacks made with tofu.
• Before you buy tofu, consider what you need it to do. Firm water-packed tofu will keep its shape, whether it’s sliced, diced or placed on the grill. Silken tofu is ideal for blending smoothies, making fruit and vegetable dips, and for any recipe that requires a smooth consistency.
• Remember that tofu adds protein to your vegetables, with less fat and no cholesterol. That makes tofu dip an ideal choice for picnics, backyard barbecues and all-around summer fun.
• Discover how easy and economical homemade salad dressings can be. All you need are a food processor and a few ingredients.
For Tofu Ranch Dressing, start with a package of silken tofu. Drain it, and add it to a food processor with 5 Tbsp. soybean oil, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. parsley, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. black pepper and 2 tsp. salt (or to taste). Blend, and add a little water if the dip consistency is too thick. Your vegetable dip is ready!
For other tofu dip ideas, add salad dressing flavor packets. Visit The Soyfoods Council website for additional tofu recipes. You’ll find Basil Lime Dressing, Sesame Tofu Dressing, Creamy Italian Dressing and more. For a complement to fresh summer fruits, try Spiced Fruit Dip, made with 1½ cups soft tofu, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar and ½ tsp. cinnamon.
In addition to being versatile ingredients that provide plant-based protein, soyfoods such as tofu are also part of a heart-healthy diet and may lower heart disease risk. The Soyfoods Council provides nutrition information and a wealth of soy-rich recipes as well as resource material, studies about diet and health, and cooking tips. For more information about soyfoods, visit The Soyfoods Council website at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.
About the Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.
About the Role of Soyfoods in a Healthful Diet: Soyfoods have played an important role in Asian cuisines for centuries. In recent years they have become popular in Western countries because of their nutrition and health properties. Soyfoods are excellent sources of high-quality protein and provide a healthy mix of polyunsaturated fat. In addition, independent of their nutrient content, there is very intriguing evidence indicating soyfoods reduce risk of several chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. All individuals are well advised to eat a couple of servings of soyfoods every day.