Soy protein comes from soy beans, which are a small, hard bean typically farmed in the Midwest. While working with soy may take some time to get used to, in time it will become second nature. Here are 3 ways to cook with soy protein:
1. Use It as a Meat Replacement
One of the most common ways that soy protein is used in cooking is as a meat replacement. Unlike red meats, which are typically loaded with high amounts of saturated fat and calories, soy protein is a great, low-fat source of protein that is relatively low in calories. When cooking soy protein as an alternative to meat, consider how you would traditionally cook with meat in the dish you are preparing. For example, say you are cooking spaghetti with meat sauce. Traditionally, you would use ground beef, seasoned with Italian herbs and spices.
In order to use soy protein in this recipe, find a relatively firm soy protein, and cut it into small pieces. Saute the soy protein until it has browned slightly, and season with the same herbs and spices as you would traditionally use. Complete the spaghetti sauce, and serve over cooked pasta. Your guests will never be able to tell the difference!
2. Use It as a Sauce
Another great way that soy protein can be used is as an alternative to cream sauces. As with red meats, cream sauces are high in fat, calories and sodium. In order to get a healthier version that still tastes great, try substituting the cream or whole milk in your recipe with soy protein. For these types of recipes, you will need to find soy protein that is as soft as possible.
Place the protein in a food processor or blender, and include the rest of the herbs, spices and other ingredients that are required for the recipe. If the sauce is too thick, you may need to add a small amount of sodium-free chicken or beef stock to help thin it out a bit. Heat the sauce through, and serve over meat, fish, chicken, or pasta.
3. Use It in Desserts
Finally, soy protein can be actually used in the creation of a variety of different desserts. Most cakes, pies and cookies contain butter, cream or another fat source that contains high amounts of fat and calories, which are not only dangerous for good health, but can actually lead to the development of cardiovascular disease and even death. The next time you are making a tasty dessert, why not try substituting soy protein in place of the butter, cream or oil?
For best results, use a soy protein that is of the same consistency as the item you are substituting. For example, if you are replacing cream, use a very soft soy protein (or even soy milk). If you are making a cobbler, however, and are instructed to cut in cold butter, replace it with a very firm type of soy protein in order to achieve optimal results.