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    Archive for the ‘soybeans’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Edamame vs. Canned Soybeans

    edamame_1955[The other day you tweeted that the healthiest forms of soy are edamame and tempeh.]

    How does edamame compare to canned or dried soybeans?

    — Robert Portinga
    (Location unknown)

    Since edamame is an immature soybean, it — just like the fermented soybeans that make up tempeh — contains lower amounts of compounds in soy that interfere with mineral absorption.

    Consequently, the iron, zinc, and calcium in edamame is more available than it is in matured soybeans, whether they are canned or dried.

    That said, whole soybeans are still a much better way to consume soy than in its highly processed forms (i.e.: soy protein isolate or soybean oil).

    In the soy podium, tempeh gets the gold medal, edamame gets silver, and mature soybeans get bronze.

    While miso is also fermented soy, and healthy in its own right, it is consumed in such small quantities (i.e.: one teaspoon added to a recipe that serves four) that I didn’t consider it for the podium.

    PS: Homemade edamame hummus is delicious!

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    You Ask, I Answer: Tempeh vs. Tofu

    Sliced_tempehIn some of your posts, you have mentioned that tempeh (pictured, left) is more nutritious than tofu.

    Is that just because tempeh is fermented, or are there more reasons?

    — Sarah Bertanke
    (Location withheld)

    While tempeh’s fermentation process certainly gives it a nutritional (and probiotic!) boost, there is more to this tale.

    FYI: Fermentation reduces soybeans’ phytate content, thereby making their zinc and iron much more bioavailable.

    Whereas tofu is made by coagulating soy milk with a precipitating agent (in most cases calcium sulfate, thus the high amounts of calcium in tofu), tempeh is made from whole soybeans.

    The presence of said soybeans — in some cases along with wild rice or flax — makes tempeh a high-fiber food.

    While four ounces of tofu provides 1.5 grams of fiber, that same amount of tempeh adds up to 11 grams!

    Due to its “whole food” status, tempeh is also an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

    Tempeh is also significantly higher in protein and omega-3 Alpha-Linolenic fatty acids than tofu.

    Although I enjoy the taste of both, I am partial to tempeh’s nutty flavors and unique mouth-feel.

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