We know that when you’re baking pumpkin pies, creating rich cakes or rolling out the dough for your favorite holiday cookies you’re thinking about seasonal indulgences rather than good nutrition. But what if you could do both? In fact, you can.
The Soyfoods Council offers baking tips and recipe tweaks that focus on healthier holiday fare as well as celebration-worthy recipe ideas. After all, this is the season to treat yourself, too—by simplifying your life and minimizing your time in the kitchen. Ingredients such as tofu, soynuts, soy flour and TSP (Textured Soy Protein, also called TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein) are complete plant proteins that contain all the essential amino acids in amounts needed by the body.
Add a little plant protein to the party. Keep protein ingredients such as silken tofu and soynuts in mind as you look for recipes can also reduce the amount of saturated fat by replacing some of the rich ingredients like heavy cream with plant-based foods like silken tofu.
Consider Tofu Pumpkin Pie (See Below) for a cholesterol-free version of the classic. Filling for a 9-inch unbaked pie crust combines the following: One 12-ounce box of extra firm silken tofu, a 15-ounce can of pumpkin, 2 Tablespoons of soybean oil (vegetable oil), 2 Tablespoons dark molasses, ¾ cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon each of ground ginger, salt and vanilla extract. Finally, add ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg and a dash of ground cloves. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Tofu Fudge Drop Cookies are a quick and easy holiday cookie recipe made with silken tofu, soybean oil, cocoa powder, soymilk, vanilla extract and all-purpose flour. Form the dough into small balls, and roll them in granulated sugar before baking—and then watch them disappear.
Put soy flour to work in your kitchen. Did you know that you can replace up to 40 percent of the wheat flour with soy flour to add protein to your favorite cookie recipes? Soy flour, made from defatted and lightly toasted soy flakes, contains an average of 50 percent protein. High protein wheat flour, by contrast, contains 15 percent protein. When wheat flour is fortified with defatted soy flour, it boosts the protein content of the finished product. For decades the professional baking industry has taken advantage of other attributes of soy flour as well. For instance, when 2 percent up to 5 percent soy flour is added to a bread dough formula, the texture, crust color and crumb structure are improved. Soy flour also serves to increase water absorption so that breads don’t get stale as quickly.
Soyfood based recipes such as Guilt-Free Brownies take a classic favorite to the next level by incorporating canned black soybeans for added protein and fiber. The recipe combines soy flour, eggs, sugar, soybean oil, cocoa powder, brewed coffee, baking powder and vanilla. The result is everything you love about brownies, with a plant protein boost.
Soy flour does not contain gluten, which makes it a good choice for gluten-free recipes. You can find baking ideas and gluten-free baking tips on The Soyfoods Council website at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com. For conventional baking, gluten is necessary for dough elasticity. To achieve the texture you’re used to in cookies and other baked goods, remember to combine soy flour with wheat flour.
You’ll find recipes like Gluten-Free Refrigerator Cookies that incorporate soy flour, baking powder, soybean oil, lemon or almond extract, sugar, water and a pinch of salt.
Introduce Textured Soy Protein (TSP) to oatmeal. Also known as Textured Vegetable Protein, it is made from soy flour formed into small pieces about the size and shape of browned ground beef. Its texture and protein content make it an ideal complement to oatmeal in cookie and baked good recipes. TSP is a fiber-rich, zero fat food that offers approximately 11 grams of protein per ¼ cup serving. It comes in a dry form and can be stored on a cupboard shelf. In cookie recipes calling for oatmeal, use half oatmeal and half TSP to add a burst of plant protein. For baking, simply use TSP as is, without rehydrating it. It’s ideal for recipes such as fruit cobbler. For a crunch topping to keep on hand for sprinkling on fresh fruit or ice cream, combine TSP with honey and bake it for a short time.
Holiday Apricot Oatmeal Cookies combine TSP and oatmeal with dried cranberries, coconut, chopped dried apricots and slivered almonds. The cookie recipe is made with a half-cup of soy flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Tofu Pumpkin Pie
12 ounce container extra firm silken tofu
15 ounce can pumpkin
2 tablespoons soy oil
2 tablespoons dark molasses
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
9-inch unbaked piecrust
Non-dairy whipped topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a blender or food processor, blend tofu, pumpkin, oil, and molasses until smooth. Place in a large bowl.
- Stir in sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves until blended.
- Pour into unbaked crust. Bake in a 350° oven 50 to 60 minutes or until filling is puffed around the edges. Chill 2 to 3 hours.
- Serve topped with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers.
Yield: 8 servings
For more information from The Soyfoods Council, as well as holiday recipes for cookies, breads, muffins, pies and cakes visit www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com. You’ll also find nutrition information, cooking tips, and recent research concerning soyfoods and your health.
About the Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.
About the Role of Soyfoods in a Healthful Diet: Soyfoods have played an important role in Asian cuisines for centuries. In recent years they have become popular in Western countries because of their nutrition and health properties. Soyfoods are excellent sources of high-quality protein and provide a healthy mix of polyunsaturated fat. In addition, independent of their nutrient content, there is very intriguing evidence indicating soyfoods reduce risk of several chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. All individuals are well advised to eat a couple of servings of soyfoods every day.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. This is in collaboration with Soyfoods Council. This post may contain affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are from Soyfoods Council.