Dr. John Hal Johnson, a food scientist at Brigham Young University, experiments with different soybean recipes to increase both the protein content and protein quality.
Soybeans can be used in many forms, add these nutritious soybean recipes to your weekly meal plan.
Photo by Fotolia/jedi-master
These soybean recipes increase the protein content of food, making meals nutritious and delicious.
Soy Waffles Recipe
Corn Soy Squares Recipe
Salted Soybean Snack Recipe
Soy-Enriched Meatloaf Recipe
Soy Pudding Recipe
Soy Dip Recipe
Rice-Soybean Casserole Recipe
Cake Mix With Soy Substitute Recipe
Soy-Enriched Bread Recipe
There's no disputing the fact that the soybean has a lot going for it!  It contains 35 to 40 percent protein (as opposed to only 20 percent in hamburger),  it's an extremely inexpensive and plentiful source of protein and other nutrients and  it can form the basis for a seemingly limitless variety of delicious soybean recipes, ranging from soup — through appetizers, salads and desserts — to nuts (have you ever tasted roasted soybeans?).
Dr. John Hal Johnson, a food scientist at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, has been aware of these soybean benefits for a long time. And he's spent the last nine years researching new uses for the Asian legume. During that time, he's come up with recipes for such foods as a sandwich spread, a creamy dip, a crunchy granola, a kind of cheese and a brownie-like dessert . . . all composed chiefly of soybeans.
Unless you're already a soybean aficionado, Dr. Johnson says, the taste of these dishes may surprise you. (They're darned good!) The professor's official tasters — his own children, other youngsters in the neighborhood and students in his classes — all agree.
And the fact that soybeans are so nourishing just enhances their value. "They have a much higher protein content than other beans," explains the Utah food expert. "They're also 20 percent oil, and that oil can be used for cooking and to make salad dressing and margarine. Furthermore — after the oil has been pressed from the beans — the meal which remains can be ground into a flour which is 50 percent protein."
One tablespoon of that defatted flour, Dr. Johnson adds — when combined with four tablespoons of corn flour — will increase the protein content of the corn product by 150 percent. The protein quality of the mixture will also be better than that of the corn flour alone. And if 1/2 cup of the soy flour is added to the wheat dough in a loaf of bread, the baked loaf's protein content can be increased by 50 percent.
The cost of soybean protein is another point in the beans' favor. For example, a whole pound of pure soy protein (two pounds of 50 percent protein flour) costs only 50 cents; whereas, a pound of pure hamburger protein (the meat costs about 70 cents a pound and contains only 20 percent protein) runs $3.50.
Other sources of high-quality protein, such as milk and eggs, are also relatively expensive when compared to the beans. In fact, even pinto and navy beans cost more and provide less protein than do soybeans.
Dr. Johnson — like many other scientists — believes that soybeans can be the answer to the world's food shortage. The legumes can be grown all over the world and can be combined with less nutritious grains (such as corn, wheat, rye and rice) to produce a great many palatable foods.
Among the professor's test creations is a snack food called "snoiks," which comes out of an extruder looking like cheese puffs but containing twice the protein (and none of the less healthful ingredients) of ordinary "junk foods." Snoiks — which hold great possibilities for dieters because of their low fat and carbohydrate content — are made of a combination of soy and corn flours and can be flavored in a variety of ways. Dr. Johnson hopes they'll eventually be distributed through vending machines in all parts of the nation.
John Hal Johnson offers novices the following tips on soybean use:
 Dried soybeans can be soaked and cooked whole like pinto beans. (But — because their protein content is so high — they take longer to cook.)
 The dried beans can also be ground in a flour mill, in a two-stage process: first coarse, then fine. (Because of their high fat content, soybeans will plug up a grinder if you try to pulverize them too fine the first time through.)
 When you use ground soy flour in a recipe, mix it first with boiling water to prevent it from developing a "painty" taste. (Don't add extra water to the recipe, just boil whatever liquid the recipe calls for.)
 As an alternative to soy flour, you can make soy milk. Soak 1/3 cup dried beans, covered, for at least three hours (or — better yet — overnight). Then add enough water to bring the total volume up to two cups and cook the beans for 15 minutes, adding one teaspoon of oil to reduce foaming. Preheat a blender with hot tap water, add the steaming soybeans, and blend them at high speed for three minutes. (Soy milk will keep about the same length of time as cow's milk.)
 You can add soy flour or soy milk to all kinds of recipes . . . just make sure not to use more than 10 percent soy flour in any flour mixture. (The results would be nutritious, but almost inedible.)
For those who have never yet cooked with soybeans, Dr. Johnson recommends the recipes listed at the top of this article.
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