Ankeny, Iowa, March 26, 2019—The Soyfoods Council provides reasons why soyfoods are the plant protein of choice for foodservice operators, but here’s our short version: Tofu, tempeh, TSP, edamame, soymilk and soy flour. Foodservice operators can choose from numerous soyfoods, but these are perhaps the most popular ingredients for industry professionals because they are readily available, economical, versatile and simple to add to recipes.
- Tofu adds protein to your signature recipes and easily takes on the flavor of sauces, marinades and seasonings. Quite simply, tofu is made of pressed soymilk curds with nigari (seawater minerals that thicken soy curds to create tofu’s custardy texture).
- Tempeh, a traditional ingredient in Indonesian cuisine, is gathering momentum on American menus, too. Several commercially available brands of tempeh (fermented soybean cake) have just three ingredients: organic soybeans, water and organic rice. Add tempeh to rice bowls, pasta sauce or curry sauces. Marinated tempeh, with its nutty flavor, can be grilled or sautéed for entrees and sandwiches.
- Textured Soy Protein (TSP) granules—also called Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)— are a fiber-rich, zero-fat food. TSP offers approximately 11 g of soy protein per ¼ cup serving. TSP granules are inexpensive, shelf-stable and widely available. Sprinkle TSP into pasta sauces in place of sausage, make chili or tacos with it, or season and add it to baked fruit desserts as a crumb topping.
- Soy flour is made from defatted and lightly toasted soy flakes, containing an average of 50 percent protein (compared to the 15 percent protein in high protein wheat flour). To bake with soy flour, replace up to 40 percent of the wheat flour in a recipe with soy flour. Add plant protein to your standard recipes for muffins, quick breads, cookies or brownies.
- Edamame (fresh green soybeans) in the pod are ideal for snacks and bar food, while shelled edamame add plant protein to salads and stir fry dishes. Appetizers such as Edamame Hummus are an ideal choice for all-day snack menus, too.
- Soymilk provides an average of 7 to 8 grams of protein per serving, about the same amount found in 2% reduced fat milk. Soymilk is cholesterol free, and available in flavors.
Consider these details about the advantages of soyfoods for your menu.
Food Cost Friendly: Soy is an economical plant protein choice, offering minimally processed whole bean ingredients such as tofu, edamame and tempeh, as well as a variety of products ranging from veggie burgers to pasta. Soyfoods are unique among legumes because they are low in carbohydrates and higher in protein and fat, offering nutrition benefits that customers want. For example, the fat provided by soybeans is especially heart-healthy. Tofu offers approximately 10 grams of protein per serving, while tempeh can contain more than 16 grams of protein and 7 grams of dietary fiber.
Don’t just take our word for it: Do a food cost comparison to see how budget-friendly soyfoods such as tempeh, TSP and soy flour stack up against the alternatives.
Recipe Friendly: Without altering the flavor, texture or appearance of your signature menu items, you can easily adapt them for vegetarian, vegan or other diets with versatile soyfoods. Depending on the texture you want, tofu varieties make it easy to tweak everything from vegetable dips to soups, salad dressings and mashed potatoes. Choose from silken tofu, ideal for dessert applications, or firm water-packed varieties for stir-fry or stuffed pasta dishes like Easy Stuffed Shells filled with a mixture of silken tofu and cheese.
Don’t just take our word for it: Compare the available soyfoods choices to other plant protein options. Evaluate the simplicity of tweaking your recipes with soy to appeal to patrons who are looking for plant-based menu items.
Authentic: Soyfoods have been a plant-based dietary staple in much of the world for thousands of years. Today, tempeh and tofu are ideal for adding to rice bowls, fajitas or sandwiches. Edamame is easy to incorporate into fresh vegetable offerings or spring rolls. Or, create your own specialties, such as Tempeh and Edamame Pizza.
Don’t just take our word for it: Draw inspiration for new plant protein entrees for your menu from traditional Indonesian, Chinese and Japanese recipes. Then, add your own spin.
A Viable Dairy Alternative: Among plant-based milks, soymilk is the nutrition star, specifically mentioned in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: “Soy beverages fortified with calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D, are included as part of the dairy group because they are similar to milk, based on nutrient composition and in their use in meals.” Not all plant-based or nondairy milk products contain the same amount of protein as dairy milk, and some have as little as 1 gram of protein per serving, or none at all. Soymilk is a handy food and beverage ingredient. It adds a burst of protein to coffee specialty drinks, dairy-free hot chocolate, and smoothies. It also creates customer-pleasing sauces and soups.
Don’t just take our word for it: To see how soymilk stacks up nutritionally when compared with other nondairy milks, just read the nutrition information on the label.
Supported by Research: The science is there to support soy as the preferred plant protein of choice. Soy ingredients such as tempeh are high-fiber, minimally processed and cholesterol-free, adding heart-healthy fats to the diet. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally recognized the cholesterol-lowering properties of soybean oil in 2017. Soybeans are also one of the few good sources of both essential fatty acids — omega-6 and omega-3. Nearly all of the fats in soy are a mix of polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat that can lower blood cholesterol levels. There is also evidence indicating that soyfoods reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.
Don’t just take our word for it: To verify the research-based health and nutrition benefits of soyfoods, visit the Soyfoods Council website: www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.
For detailed cooking and baking tips as well as foodservice recipe ideas featuring 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.