100 Foods: Soybeans

While decluttering my bookcase I discovered a hidden gem: Parragon Books’ “100 Best Health Foods.”

This book takes an interesting, in-depth look at 100 amazing foods and discusses their healthy properties. That said, Parragon does not bother to go into any sort of detail as to which seasons the foods are from or where they are from, which is great… as the publisher is in the UK and I am not.

Also the recipes in this book are not necessarily for the busy on-the-go people or they don’t really make the healthy food the stand out in the completed dish.

My plan… I’m going to tackle these 100 health foods relative to their seasonality in my area (some are never seasonable here… but I will follow their seasons in the location in which they are grown) and find simple easy recipes that showcase the foods. Which could be great for amazing foods like plums… but not so great for anchovies…

Soybeans

Soybeans are a type of legume that originated in Asia. You might also know them as edamame.

Raw soybeans are toxic to humans, pigs, chicken and all other animals with one stomach. They must be cooked in a wet bath to remove the trypsin inhibitors. Once cooked they are a source of complete protein… meaning it contains not only protein, but also all the amino acids that are required to break them down. They also contain Vitamin B6, Choline, Vitamin K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

Eating soy can reduce the risk of colon cancer, though it can force the body to produce extra estrogen which could increase the risk of some estrogen related cancers.

How to eat soy: as a cooked bean, tofu, soy sauce, boiled, soybean paste, miso soup, soy meal, soy flour, soy milk and as vegetable protein in simulated meats.

While I am at high risk for estrogen related cancer, I still consume soybeans. My absolute favorite way to have it? Boiled as a whole bean and then sprinkled with a little kosher salt. I’m not a big fan of the texture of soy milk and many simulated meats and soy sauces contain gluten so I usually only consume soy as a whole or an additive (soy flour). I do not go out of my way to consume soy products and given the option will still sway towards animal protein instead of soy; although, I do make sure to only buy animal products that have not been given hormones or antibiotics. Yes, it is more expensive and yes it is still the consumption of animals; however, we mainly eat veggies around here so adding in some healthy lean meats is a good substitute for a different type of protein that could potentially be bad for me.

~Emme

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