April is National Soyfoods Month, a time to keep in mind that soyfoods offer nutrition, culinary, and wellness benefits. Soy meets plant protein needs, and researchers also have been motivated to study its effect on brain health. Ingredients such as tofu and soy milk are budget-friendly sources of high-quality protein. They provide healthy fat and a variety of vitamins and minerals. One cup of soy milk, an ounce of soy nuts, or a half cup of tofu are each considered one serving of soyfoods. Soy milk provides 7-8 grams of protein per serving, while silken tofu offers 8.5 grams. The culinary attributes of soyfoods offer a way to add a plant protein twist to everything from appetizers and snacks to simply elegant desserts. The Soyfoods Council shares the following dessert ideas to help celebrate National Soyfoods Month in style.
Additionally, soyfoods keep pace with current trends as attitudes about wellness continue to evolve. According to the International Food Information Council’s 2022 Food and Health Survey, energy is the most sought-after food benefit for adults. Emotional/mental health also is among the top three benefits being sought by Gen Z consumers. Mintel’s 2023 Global Food and Drink Trends include the growing demand for foods and beverages that optimize brain function, influence cognitive capacity and manage stress levels. In 2020, an analysis of 16 clinical studies published in Nutrition Reviews concluded that soy isoflavones may improve cognitive function in adults. Scientists also have been motivated to study the effects of soyfoods on depression because soybeans are a rich source of isoflavones.
Check out these sweet—but not too sweet— recipes from the National Soyfoods Council.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Tart
Recipe courtesy Sammy Mila, Crème Cupcakes (Des Moines, IA)
- In a medium bowl, combine crushed Oreos and melted butter.
- Transfer Oreo mixture to a 14x4-inch rectangular tart pan or a 9-inch round tart pan. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides. Chill until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, in a blender combine tofu, peanut butter, melted chocolate, and milk. Blend for 4-5 minutes, or until smooth, scraping as needed.
- Spread the tofu mixture over the chilled crust; chill for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, covering if chilling more than 4 hours.
- Slice and serve. Garnish with an additional drizzle of melted chocolate, if desired.
To make this gluten-free: use gluten-free oreos
To make this vegan: use vegan butter, vegan chocolate chips
To make this vegan AND gluten-free: make all changes as listed above
Orange Panna Cotta with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Orange Supremes
Yield: 4-6, 4 oz ramekins
1 T sugar
1 box 12 ½ oz silken tofu, drained
Pinch of salt
Zest of ½ orange
- Stir the powdered gelatin and sugar together. Place the soy milk in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar and gelatin, adding in a thin stream. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes.
- In a blender, combine the tofu, honey, salt and orange zest. Blend on high until smooth. Add in the gelatin soy milk mixture and blend again until homogenous.
- Transfer the tofu mixture to a saucepan. Bring the tofu to a simmer while stirring constantly, but not to a boil, just until the mixture begins to bubble. Whisk once more and remove from the heat. Pour the tofu into 4 ounce ramekins lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.