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What are soybeans?

soybeansSoybeans belong to the legume family and are native to East Asia. They have been an important protein source in the Orient for over five thousand years. Soybeans have only been introduced to the Western world since the 20th century. Soybeans grow on a variety of soils and a wide range of climates, ranging form tropical Brazil to the snowy island Hokkaido in the north of Japan. As soybeans mature in the pod, they ripen into hard, dry beans. Although most soybeans are yellow,
there are also rare varieties which are black, brown or green coloured. A given area of land planted with soybeans can produce much more protein than land planted with other crops, or if the land were used to raise cattle.

Storing soybeans

Fresh soybeans, or edamame, should be refrigerated and used within two days. Frozen edamame can be stored in the freezer for several months. Dried soybeans can be kept in an airtight container for a very long period.

Cooking soybeans

Soybeans are most often transformed in other foods such as tempeh, tofu, miso, shoyu, soy milk or other food ingredients. However, cooked soybeans can also be used as an ingredient in soups, sauces and stews. To prepare two cups of soybeans for cooking, soak them in about six cups of water for about eight hours. This soaking shortens the cooking time, improves the texture and appearance of the beans and removes some of the indigestible sugars. Drain, rinse and cook the soaked soybeans in about six cups of fresh water. Do not add salt at this point or it will delay the softening of the soybeans. Pressure-cook the soaked soybeans for about 40 min. When you cook soybeans, make it worth your while by cooking two or three times what you need and freezing the rest for later use.

Protein source

Whole soybeans are an excellent source of protein and dietary fibre. Soy protein is the only vegetable with a complete protein. Soy protein has recently attracted a lot of attention because of its ability to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Results from research have prompted health professionals to request the government to officially give a stamp of approval for soy's cholesterol-lowering effects. The Food and Drug Administration approved the cholesterol-lowering health claim for soy, indicating that daily consumption of 25 grams of soy protein (6.5 grams of soy protein per serving) may lower LDL cholesterol.

Comments

Can soya beans be consumed raw?

Does soya beans contain a substance that retards growth if given to animals unprocessed?

sheutijjany - 27 November 2013

Can soybeans be consumed raw?

Soybeans, but also other legumes such as peanuts, peas and garden beans, contain anti-nutritional factors, which are reduced by heat treatment or fermentation. That's why most animal feeds contain roasted soybean meal.



Rob - 27 November 2013

Disadvantages to the environment

What are the disadvantages to the environment for using soy??? I am doing this for a project in my skool.

melissa - 19 December 2013

Disadvantages to the environment

You mean environmental disadvantages of soy products compared to meat and dairy products? Soy has a bad sustainability image because it is linked to deforestation of the Amazons. But most of this soy is used as cattle feed to produce eventually meat and milk. Consuming soy products, such as soy milk, is actually a better alternative for the environment. The more people eat a vegetarian diet the less soy is needed to feed livestock, resulting in less deforestation and a reduced impact of our food consumption on the environment.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN recently published a report entitled "Livestock's long shadow: environmental issues and options", showing that 18% of green house gas emissions originated from the livestock sector. This emission is as high as that from the transport sector.

Rob - 19 December 2013

AM POST MENOPAUSAL SO DO APPRECIATE ALL THESE BENEFITS.
ANY CALCIUM?

GRACE MUKOYOGO - 21 November 2014

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