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Nutritional Comparison of Edamame, Soy Milk, Tofu, and Tempeh

Soy by Any Other Name: A Nutritional Comparison

Soy is one of the most versatile ingredients; it can be eaten whole or ground, fermented, and formed into various ingredients for nutritious and healthy cooking. Not only that, but it's also high in protein and fiber and contains less fat than its animal counterparts, so it's a no-brainer for people who want to eat less meat. Want to know how different forms of soy compare in both taste and nutrition? Read on for four forms of soy and how they work in your diet!

  • Edamame: Edamame are baby soy beans that are harvested when ripe and sold either frozen, cooked, or shelled. The nutty-flavored beans are great for snacking or in anything from stir fries to soups. A 1/2 cup of edamame has 95 calories, 4 grams of fat, 8.5 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. Try shelled edamame in a super easy side like this brown rice and edamame dish.
  • Soy milk: Soy milk is the liquid extracted from ground cooked soybeans. It also has a mild nutty flavor but can be sweetened with other flavors like vanilla as well as made into other dairy-like products like soy yogurt. A cup of plain soy milk has 100 calories, 4 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. Substitute soy milk for regular milk in anything from cereal to smoothies to pancakes (like these vegan pineapple pancakes with citrus cream).
  • Tofu: Tofu is made by curdling soy milk with a coagulant to form thick white blocks. There are four types of tofu to use in various dishes: silken, soft, firm, and extra firm. Since tofu has little flavor, it works with many different kinds of dishes (it'll just take on the flavor of your ingredients). A 1/2 cup of tofu has 97 calories, 5.3 grams of fat, 10.1 grams of protein, and 0.5 grams of fiber. Firm and extra firm tofus are great in stir fries, or even healthier baked, like in this spicy mango veggie rice bowl.
  • Tempeh: This form of soy is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a mold. It is sold in dry, brown blocks and has a firm and chewy texture. A 1/2 cup of tempeh has 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, 15.4 grams of protein, and 3.5 grams of fiber. Many people think tempeh makes the perfect meat substitute, so try it out instead of bacon in a TLT — tempeh, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.


Source: Flickr User adactio

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