How Can I Get More Soy in My Diet?

Ask Peggy

Peggy Woodward, RD


DEAR PEGGY: The doctor recommended that my husband eat more soy products. Other than soy milk, what else should I do in regards to recipes, etc.? — S.S., Stillwater, Minnesota

There are a lot of soy-based foods on the market, but you have to know where to look.

A couple of great snack ideas that use the whole soy bean would be soy nuts (most often found in the produce department or the snack aisle) and edamame, which are soy beans that are still in the pod. You can find edamame with the frozen vegetables. Japanese restaurants serve edamame that's been cooked in boiling water, drained then salted. You can pop the soybeans right from the pod into your mouth. You can also shell the soybeans from the pod and serve them in cold salads, pasta dishes or as a simple side dish.

There are also a lot of foods that contain soy protein. Many vegetarian foods, like frozen vegetarian meat crumbles, are made from textured vegetable protein, which is a soy-based food product. You might try Boca brand Soy Protein Burgers or products from the Morningstar Farms line (both found in the frozen foods section). Be sure to read the ingredient list to find either soy protein as an ingredient or textured vegetable protein.

You might also try tofu, which is made from soy. You can use soft tofu in smoothies. It blends up wonderfully, adds body and doesn't add a lot of flavor. Try using firm tofu in stir-fry recipes. It's great if you can marinate the tofu first to add a bit of flavor because it doesn't have a lot of flavor on its own. Tofu can be found in the grocery store's produce section.