SOY – The Super Versatile Ingredient You Want to Include

By Sylvia Klinger, MS, RD, DBA, LDN, CPT

Looking for easy ways to boost your nutritional intake and support a healthy lifestyle? Simple changes can make a big difference. Whether you are a rookie in the kitchen or an experienced cook, the following practical tips will help you incorporate soy foods, which – depending on the type – provide high-quality protein, fiber, iron, and a variety of nutrients to your meals.

In our family, we eat soy foods every day. When in high school, my daughter developed a Soy Green Smoothie recipe that is one of our favorites. We make this family-favorite recipe often, and I believe you are going to love it!

Soy Green Smoothie
Servings: 4 cups


2 1/2 cups fresh spinach

2 bananas, peeled

3 tablespoons peanut butter

1 1/2 cups soymilk

1/2 cup ice cubes


  1. In a large blender bowl, blend all ingredients for a few seconds or until smooth. Enjoy!

Soy protein can be an ingredient to a healthy lifestyle and has fiber, iron, vitamins A, C, and E, and a variety of nutrients. Easily incorporate this high-quality, complete plant protein into your meals for a nutritional boost.

First, let’s explore where you can find soy foods.

Some of the most popular soy foods you will find in your grocery store include:

  • Edamame
  • Soybean oil
  • Soybeans
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Soymilk
  • Soy burgers
  • Soy yogurt
  • Soy cheese
  • Miso
  • Soy sauce
  • Texturized vegetable protein (TVP)

Soy foods can be part of any meal, and there are many delicious, energy-filled ways to power your day with soy.

Tofu scramble, veggie or fruit smoothies with soymilk or soy yogurt, and pancakes made with soymilk and tofu

Tempeh, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, pasta-veggie salad with edamame, and miso soup with tofu and edamame

Spicy tempeh tacos, tofu stir-fry, pasta dishes with vegetables and edamame, and chili made with TVP and soybeans

Pound cake with silken tofu, tofu panna cotta, and my favorite, brownies with canned soybeans

Crispy wantons with tofu and veggies, edamame hummus, and tofu with salsa verde dip

Eating your way to good health can be fun and delicious with soy foods and an infusion of flavors. Balance your meals by incorporating foods from all the food groups such as vegetables, fruits, protein, dairy, and a variety of grains.

But what about cooking more nutritious authentic ethnic recipes? Eating a variety of foods with an infusion of ethnic flavors can take your meals to another level of deliciousness. Below is a chart that will help you season soy foods such as tofu and tempeh with fundamental ethnic flavors.

Mexican Cuisine Mexican salsa Green onions Ground cumin or taco seasoning mix
Asian Cuisine Teriyaki Pineapple Ground ginger
Mediterranean Cuisine Hummus Black olives Smoked paprika
Italian Cuisine Balsamic vinegar or Italian dressing Parmesan cheese Ground basil or ground oregano
American Cuisine Ketchup or BBQ sauce Pickles Ground mustard

Enjoy cooking nutritious soy foods and experimenting with delicious ways to enjoy them. Cheers to soy!

Sylvia Klinger, MS, RD, DBA, LDN, CPT is a global nutrition communicator, award-winning author, nutrition and culinary consultant, and the founder of Hispanic Food Communications. Sylvia is an internationally recognized nutrition expert who is relentlessly passionate about helping people fall in love with creating and enjoying delicious and nutritious foods. Her most recent global nutrition project in Africa is fulfilling one of her aspirations by developing a sustainable community nutrition program to help improve the nutritional health status of malnourished children. In October 2022, Loma Linda University awarded her Women of the Year award for her compassionate work with underserved communities.

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Author: Sylvia Klinger