I don't know why we stopped eating soy in the first place, but we did -- picking up a negative vibe some articles we skimmed and reports we caught the tail ends of. What I'm saying is: We didn't form a super strong opinion either way because we were lazy. Then when I learned I was pregnant, I read in several places to avoid soy. I tend to be an extremist, so -- naturally -- I decided to take it out of my diet almost entirely.
After a while, we didn't miss it anymore.
Slowly soy has been making a comeback into our weekly food routine. Once a week, we eat a tofu-based meal. And we have several bags of edamame in the freezer from our CSA share. So, I guess I have some mixed feelings about it. When I became a vegetarian at age 12, I learned to love tofu and soy milk. I gobbled and guzzled a ton of the stuff because, at the time, there were few other substitutions for dairy/etc.
Since then, I've learned a lot. And I'm sure this information is nothing new to most of you.
"The quality of soy protein is rated as high as milk protein and egg, and higher than beef protein. As with all plant foods, soy has no cholesterol." ( iVillage.com )
"Soy's greatest advantage may lie in it being a rich source of isoflavones - plant hormones that have been linked to several health benefits. For example, researchers believe a soy-based diet could account for Asia's low rate of heart disease." ( About.com )
However, "Soy protein inhibits absorption of iron, making soy foods a poor source of available iron even though they contain this nutrient." ( Savvy Vegetarian -- great article!)
"Too much soy is harmful to infants, interferes with thyroid function, and may cause cancer." ( The Globe and Mail )
Like with most things, I imagine the real answer is that anything in moderation is OK. I think that's how we'll treat it. We have switched to almond milk and soy-free Earth Balance, etc.
Regardless, here's a tasty new baked tofu recipe that we're chowing on tonight (steamed asparagus and brown rice on the side).
BAKED SESAME GARLIC TOFU WITH LEMON
What you'll need . . .
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
Black pepper to taste
1 cake of tofu, pressed and cut into cubes or triangles
Method . . .
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spritz a baking pan with olive oil. Set your tofu slices inside.
Whisk all ingredients together. Pour over tofu.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Mixing around every 20 or so minutes until the flavors are absorbed.
Eat right away or chill -- works great on salads, too.
We'd love to know your thoughts on the matter. Do you avoid soy? Do you love it and eat it often? Have you ever even thought about it? Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com .