Soya the Stealth Food!
Like chick peas and lentils, soybeans are legumes but with an exceptional nutritional profile. Soybeans are made up of many constituents, including high-quality vegetable protein, essential fatty acids (omega 3) and iron as well as non-nutrients like phytoestrogen (ex: isoflavones). Soya may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels and relieve menopausal symptoms. Other claims made for soya are that it helps fight some cancers (breast, prostate, ovarian, uterine) and prevent osteoporosis, although studies on these two claims are inconclusive. One thing is certain however-regular consumption of soya products is the only way to get soya’s benefits!
Supermarket shelves carry an increasing number of food products containing soya. Adding soya to your diet is easy now and doesn’t mean living on tofu! The following are some examples of soya products available at Metro.
- Plain or flavoured soy beverages
So Nice, Vita Soy, So Good, YÜ, Belsoy, Sensational Soy (Mixed Berries, Orange-Peach-Mango, Orange Sherbet).
- For maximum nutrition, it’s best to choose fortified soy beverages (with calcium, zinc, vitamins B2 and B12) and calcium fortified tofu (with calcium sulphate).
- Ready-to-eat foods Fresh foods: Tofu
Fricassée and Greek Stir-fry (Le Petit Chef,
Frozen Dishes: Greek Casserole, Veggie Macaroni and Vegetable Couscous (Le Petit Chef, Commensal).
Side Dishes: Creton végé et terrine (Le Commensal).
- Simulated cheese Good Slice cheddar-, Canadian- or Italian-flavoured slices (Yves Veggie cuisine)
- Simulated meat Veggie Dogs, Veggie Salami Slices and Veggie Ground Round (Yves Veggie cuisine)
- Plain or flavoured tofu Unisoy, Nutrisoy, Pete’sTofu 2 go (ex: Thai Tango, Lemon Pepper, Sesame Ginger) and Sunrise (Tofu dessert: almond, peach and mango).
- Snacks Organic Dry Roasted Soy Nuts (So Soya)
- Dessert Soya mousses (SoYummi), puddings
(Belsoy), Organic Soy Delicious (non-dairy frozen dessert) and
fruit-flavoured desserts (Pete’s Tofu).
Other Soya sauce, soybean oil, soy flour.
Tofu has been used for centuries in Asia, yet many people still ignore or reject it despite its incredible culinary versatility and nutritional value. But tofu is definitely making inroads, winning converts and becoming increasingly popular.
Tofu is made from cooked soybeans, soaked in water then mashed. A coagulant is added to curdle the liquid. The curds are then pressed into a block and the result is tofu! The more the curds are pressed the firmer the tofu. Another type of tofu known as soft or silken tofu is made by a different process. The two types of tofu vary enormously in taste and texture so it is very important to use the right type for the right purpose.
Whip up a health shake. Just combine silken tofu (plain or flavoured), fresh fruit and a little honey or maple syrup in the blender. Add yogurt, orange or lemon zest, powdered nuts, etc. to taste. What a glorious start to the day or finish to the evening meal! For a spaghetti sauce or chili that’s less fatty, substitute crumbled firm tofu for part or all of the ground beef. For a stunning stir-fry, marinate cubed firm tofu in a mixture of sesame oil, tamari sauce, rice vinegar and fresh gingerroot, then fry them up with vegetables in a wok or skillet.
- the firmer the tofu, the greater the level of soya protein’
- opened medium or firm tofu will keep 2 to 4 days if covered with water (water must be changed daily). But soft and dessert tofu have to be kept in the original container, covered with plastic wrap. If tofu smells off, throw it out immediately!