The United States soybean market is continually growing with the production in the country. In 2021, the production value of soybeans ranged at $57.5 billion, indicating that there is wide consumption and productivity if you factor in the exports for the product. The beauty of soybeans for many consumers is the variety of products you can choose from and get the same value. Additionally, the protein content is quite high when compared to other products. The range of products available for consumption in the soybean market is quite diverse, as illustrated by the list of 10 options below.
1. Natural Soybean
Natural and unprocessed soybeans are at the top of the versatile soy products available in the market. Natural and unprocessed soybeans are one of the most flavorful options you can go for in terms of consumption for a regular soup or casserole. Soybeans are a good substitute for regular cereals such as lentils, beans, and green grams.
2. Soy Milk
Coming at a close second in the list of soy products to use is soy milk. Soy milk is a ground form of soybeans mixed with water to create a white liquid. This kind of milk benefits people who do not take dairy milk due to health reasons such as lactose intolerance or dietary choices such as a strict vegan diet. As with regular milk, you can use soy milk with breakfast cereal or a snack.
3. Soy Sauce
Anyone that is a regular in the kitchen is aware of soy sauce and the wonders it does as a condiment in food preparation. Soy sauce is a dark brown liquid that varies in contents and ingredients. One of the most common differences is the iodine content. However, the flavor and the benefits are the same, regardless. Ranging from its use in dressings and as an additive for noodles, soy sauce is a must-have for any kitchen.
Tofu is one of the most popular meat alternatives that are healthy and nutritious, and very tasty. While tofu does not have its unique taste, it absorbs the taste from seasonings and flavorings well to create a tasty meal. Tofu is manufactured by curdling soy with a coagulant, creating a firm product you can use as an alternative for meat in soups and stews.
Edamame is a soybean harvested when the plant is still green and unripe. Unlike regular brown hard soybeans, edamame is sweet tasting. This soybean is good for use in stews and soups when boiled for roughly 20 minutes. You can eat it as a snack or vegetable soup, depending on how you fancy it. Many vendors sell edamame after it has been removed from the pod, but you can get the shelled option in the frozen foods section of any retail stall.
Miso is a type of Japanese cooking paste made of soy. Like soy sauce, this paste is used in stews, soups, dressings, and marinades as a condiment. To avoid using miso that is encompassed of preservatives, you will need to ensure that it is well refrigerated at any given time.
Tempeh is a chunky soy protein mixed with millet or rice and fermented over time. After fermentation, tempeh is shaped into a bar or a cake and flavored to create a smoky or nutty taste. Although it is common in stores that sell Asian products, it has slowly permeated the market. You can now easily find it in various stores that sell fresh produce. Tempeh is popular in soups and casseroles as an alternative to meat.
8. Soy Flour
Many people are accustomed to using ordinary wheat-based all-purpose flour in their regular baking. If you have been looking for an alternative to your gluten-rich flour, soy flour is a good option. Soy flour is the ground form of the plant manufactured by crushing soybeans in a processing factor. In other instances, manufacturers crush the soybeans after roasting them under moderate heat to create the flour. Notably, flour can also be a byproduct of soybean oil. The flour works well in baking pastries, pizza cooking, and making dough when baking bread.
9. Textured Soy Protein
TSP is a byproduct of soybean oil processing. It is made by grinding soybeans and then cooking them in water. The resulting mixture is heated until it becomes pasteurizable and then processed further to create textured vegetable protein. The popularity of TSP comes from its ability to mimic the texture and flavor of ground beef or pork—which means it is used in processed foods like burgers, tacos, chili, and sloppy joes. You can also find it in meatless chicken nuggets and veggie burgers containing no meat.
10. Soybean Yogurt and Cheese
Soy yogurt is a healthy alternative to dairy yogurt. It’s made from soy milk, a healthy alternative to dairy milk. Soy yogurt has less sugar than most other types of yogurt and is high in protein. You can buy soy yogurts at the grocery store or online, but if you want something fresh made right away, try making your own.
As seen above, the soybean product market is saturated with various options. Considering how many products are in the market, the options to go for depends on your tastes and preferences. However, it will be good to try out as many as possible to see which ones strike your fancy.