Center offers soy foods starter kit
for healthier eating
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URBANA -- Many consumers
have been hesitant to try soy foods because of unfamiliarity with
how to use the ingredients in everyday cooking or where to purchase
them. The decision to give them a try, however, has become much
easier with a new starter kit developed by the Illinois Center for
Soy Foods at the University of Illinois.
The soy foods starter kit contains all
the essential ingredients for using soy in the average American
diet, as well as an instruction book filled with easy recipes and
tips on how to purchase and use soy products.
"Some items in the kit, such as soy
flour, textured soy protein and tofu, are used specifically in
cooking," said Keith Cadwallader, co-director of the center and
associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Human
Nutrition at the U of I. "Several other items, such as soy nuts and
soy milk, are included so that consumers can try them as snack
Cadwallader notes that all the products
in the kit are shelf stable and can be stored for several months
"The kit contains enough of each
ingredient so that consumers can try one or two recipes containing
each product," he said. "We have tried to make it as easy as
possible to avoid the anxiety many consumers feel in cooking with
soy foods for the first time. The idea is for people to try them
without making a huge commitment by purchasing larger quantities of
He points out that the recipes included
in the kit are for the kind of foods that most American consumers
eat on a regular basis.
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"We wanted to include recipes for foods
that most people are familiar with," Cadwallader said. "These
include chili, corn muffins and casseroles. We have tried to
emphasize that soy can be easily used in everyday cooking."
The recipes in the kit are specifically
designed for anyone who has even basic skills in preparing a meal.
"Anybody with an average ability to
cook and follow a recipe will have no trouble using the kit,"
Cadwallader said. "The main benefit from cooking with soy comes from
improved cardiovascular health. These recipes make it quite simple
to use soy as a replacement for foods that are high in saturated
fat. Although many soy products are readily available in the
supermarket, most people will not seek them out unless they find out
that soy foods can taste good."
In addition to the starter kit, the
center also has published three cookbooks in its "Soy in the
American Kitchen" series. The books provide detailed recipes on
cooking with tofu, cooking with textured vegetable protein and
baking with soy.
The kit is
available at a cost of $18, including shipping and handling.
Additional information and an order form for the starter kit and the
cookbooks are available on the Internet at
www.soyfoodsillinois.uiuc.edu. The kit and all three cookbooks
can also be ordered by calling (217) 244-1706.
[University of Illinois news release]