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Soy glossary


Edamame
Edamame, or green vegetable soybeans, are whole large soybeans which are harvested when the soybeans are still green and sweet tasting. Edamame is high in protein and fiber. Edamame is sold in Asian and natural food stores, shelled or still in the pod.
Isoflavones
Isoflavones can be found in many plants but soybeans are extremely rich in isoflavones. Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, or plant hormone, that resembles human estrogen in chemical structure yet are weaker. By mimicking human estrogen at certain sites in the body, isoflavones provide many health benefits.
Miso
To make miso, soybeans and sometimes other grains such as rice, are combined with salt and a mould culture, and then aged for one to three years. The addition of different ingredients and variations in length of aging produce different types of miso that vary greatly in flavour, texture, colour and aroma. Miso is used to to flavor soups, dressings, marinades and gravies. Miso is available in health food stores.
Natto
Natto is similar to tempeh but it's fermented by bacteria. This fermenation process breaks down the complex proteins into a more readily digested components. The soybeans are coated with a sticky substance and have a cheesy texture. Natto is a great favorite in Asian countries where it is used as a topping for rice and vegetables.
Okara
This is the solid material what remains when the soymilk is strained. Okara still contains a lot of high quality soy protein. It is used as ingredient in various food products. It can also be turned into tempeh.
Shoyu
Shoyu is a dark brown liquid made from soya beans and other cereals that have undergone a fermentation process. Natural shoyu employs the use of a centuries-old method of fermentation involving a special koji (Aspergillus oryzae), which converts hard-to-digest soy proteins, starches and fats into easily absorbed amino acids, simple sugars and fatty acids.
Soybean oil
Soybean oil is a vegetable oil which is extracted from whole soybeans. Soybean oil is free from cholesterol and is high in healthy polyunsaturated fat. Soybean oil can be found in the supermarket.
Soy candles
Soy candles are made from hydrogenated soybean oil. Soy candles burn cleaner than paraffin candles and are better for the environment. Soy candles are mainly sold in the US and can be ordered from many online shops.
Soy cheese
Soy cheese is made from soymilk. Sometimes it contains caseinate (protein from cow milk) to help it taste and melt more like dairy cheese. Soy cheese can be found in natural health food stores and some supermarkets.
Soymilk
Soymilk is made from soaked, grinded and strained soybeans. Soymilk is an excellent source of high quality protein and B-vitamins. Soymilk is mostly packed in aseptic cartons and can be found at most supermarkets.
Soynuts
Roasted soynuts are whole soybeans that have been soaked in water and then roasted until browned. Roasted soynuts can be found in a variety of flavors but most popular are curry and salt. Roasted soynuts are high in protein and isoflavones. Soynuts can be found in natural food stores.
Soynut butter
Soynut butter is made by grounding roasted soybeans and mixing with soy oil and salt. It can be used as replacement for nut butters. It may be tolerated by people with nut allergies.
Soy sauce
See Tamari and Shoyu.
Soy sprouts
These are sprouted whole soybeans. They are not the same as mung beans sprouts, which are more popular. Soy sprouts are an excellent source of proteins, vitamins and isoflavones. During sprouting most of the undesirable carbohydrates are metabolized, the protein digestibility improves and the trypsin inhibitors are inactivated. Unique is the formation of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) during sprouting. Soy sprouts are available in health food stores and even supermarkets.
Tamari
Tamari is a dark brown liquid made from only soya beans that have undergone a fermentation process. Natural shoyu employs the use of a centuries-old method of fermentation involving a special koji (Aspergillus oryzae), which converts hard-to-digest soy proteins, starches and fats into easily absorbed amino acids, simple sugars and fatty acids.
Tempeh
Tempeh is cake of soya beans that is made by removing the hull of cooked, soya beans, mixing with a rhizopus culture, and incubating for a day or two. The culture helps hold the soya beans together in a cake form. It is common to find tempeh made with added ingredients such as vegetables or grains.
Tofu
Tofu is a soft cheese-like food made by curdling soya milk with a coagulant. Tofu is a rather bland tasting product that easily absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients. Tofu is sold in water-filled packs or in aseptic cartons. It can be found in supermarkets and natural health food stores.
Yuba
Yuba, also called soy bean curd, is made from the thin layer formed on the surface of hot soymilk. Yuba has a high protein content and is sold fresh, half-dried and dried. Yuba is available as dried sheets and u-shaped rolls and can be found in Asian food stores.
 
     

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