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Soy Good for You
By Kay Daly

Intro | Soy | Tofu | Tempeh | Quick Soy | Snacking | Frying | Peppers

The world of soy
Besides the easy-access, prefab soy products, such as soy burgers, soy ice cream, and soy cheese, there are a wide array of products that are just perfect for cooking. They can provide a welcome relief when you've had one Boca burger too many.

Soy beans
Yep, you can eat 'em straight. Soybeans make for a delightfully munchable snack, bursting to the brim with fiber and protein. Buy them dried and salted at your local health food store as "soy nuts," a tasty lower-fat alternative to peanuts. Or make like the Japanese and serve boiled beans as a side dish or appetizer. Boiled soybeans are vaguely reminiscent of the more familiar (and often decried) lima bean, but soy has a much firmer texture. Served whole in the pod at Japanese restaurants, they appear under the name "edamame" (the Japanese term for soy bean), and they're temptingly addictive.

Soy milk
Processed from soybeans that are soaked, ground, and strained, soy milk makes a great substitute for the old dairy standby, milk. Its texture and viscosity mimics regular milk, and because it contains no lactose or casein (a milk derivative), it's safe for anyone who can't tolerate dairy products because of lactose intolerance, food allergies, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Like cow's milk, you can find soy milk in a number of varieties, including regular, low-fat, and chocolate- and vanilla-flavored "drinks." The flavored varieties are more palatable for drinking straight, and vanilla-flavored is good for pouring over your morning cereal. Brands vary in terms of flavor, color, and texture, so shop around until you find one you like.

As an extra-special added bonus, soy milk has a much longer shelf life than dairy milk. Some brands are sold in aseptic containers (i.e., no refrigeration needed) that can live in your pantry for months until opened. Once opened, you'll need to store it in the fridge, but even then, the shelf life is much longer than the measly few weeks you get with cow juice.

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