Soy Delicious and Nutritious

December 5, 2014

How to Incorporate Soy into Your Favorite Recipe

Cherry on top. A la mode. BAM! A little something extra can really make a recipe special. Even better, a small substitution or blending of ingredients can add nutritional benefits as well as pizazz. 

Take soy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends 25 grams per day of soy protein as a way to help reduce risk of heart disease. Need some extra motivation for trying soy? The Kansas Soybean Commission has teamed up with the National Festival of Breads, sponsored by King Arthur Flour and Red Star Yeast, to award an additional prize for incorporating soy into an original recipe. 

“The Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC) is delighted to join the Kansas Wheat Commission to feature wheat and soy ingredients in the National Festival of Breads,” said KSC Chairman Jerry Jeschke.  

Charlene Patton, KSC consumer media specialist, shared her insights into the different types of soy products available for bakers.

“There is so much variety out there,” she said. “There are many options to help consumers get to 25 grams.”

Soy Flour

Soy flour is “best in baking bread when used in combination with Kansas wheat flour,” according to Patton, who also explained that soy flour cannot be a one-for-one substitute for all purpose flour since it does not contain the gluten needed for the structure of a baked good. However, she did explain that adding soy flour to a wheat flour blend adds rich color, fine texture and additional moisture that helps keep baked goods fresh longer. 

“The easiest way to do that is in your flour canister,” she said.  “You will not even know it is in there; you do not need new recipes.”

How? Just mix seven cups of all purpose flour with one cup of soy flour. 

“Sift together and you have a soy flour blend,” she said. “I use it in everything I bake; you do not even have to think about the measurement, when you have it blended in your flour canister. But, you can also increase the soy flour ratio by using a recipe developed to support the additional amount.”

Soy Milk

Consumers have many choices for using soy milk – plain, vanilla, chocolate and many more. While soy milk can be a one-for-one substitute for dairy milk, Patton suggested trying a half-and-half mix in recipes. She also cautioned to pay attention to unsweetened versus sweetened soy milk, as sweetened flavors will add additional sugar to a recipe, which may require an adjustment. 

Soy Cream Cheese, Soy Sour Cream

Bakers can also use a one-for-one substitute for dairy ingredients with a soy equivalent. Patton clarified that these products are not true dairy foods, but should not affect baking performance.  


Tofu also has “so many possibilities,” Patton said. “Consumers think it will taste like cheese, but it actually does not affect the recipe’s flavor. Tofu is a bland ingredient that takes on the flavors of other ingredients.” 

She further clarified that tofu can replace higher caloric ingredients but still provide creamy substance.

Soy Nuts

Soy nuts, which are soaked and baked, come in a variety of flavors and “could add a lot of crunch,” according to Patton. Plus, just ¼ cup of soy nuts provides half of the recommended daily allowance for soy protein. 

Soy Nut Butter  

Patton said that soynut butter is made from roasted whole soybeans, which are crushed and blended with soybean oil, and adds a slightly nutty taste and has less fat than peanut butter. 

Shortening, Vegetable Oil

Home bakers may not even realize that they are already likely using a 100 percent soy product when they use many brands of shortening and vegetable oil. Check the labels to be sure. Some margarine even includes the soybean logo on their products. 

Looking for inspiration? The Kansas Soybean Commission has a Virtual Recipe Book. Or check out the United Soybean Board Soyfoods Guide for additional nutritional information as well as answers to questions like – “how do they milk a soybean?” 

By Julia Debes