Soy Flour

Soy flour is made from roasted soybeans that have been ground into a fine powder. Rich in high-quality protein and other nutrients, soy flour also adds a pleasant texture and flavor to a variety of products. Two kinds of soy flour are available: Natural or full-fat soy flour contains the natural oils that are found in the soybean. Defatted soy flour has the oils removed during processing. Both kinds of soy flour will give a protein boost to recipes; however, defatted soy flour is even more concentrated in protein than full-fat soy flour. Like whole grain flours, both defatted and full-fat soy flour should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Tips for Using Soy Flour

Always stir soy flour before measuring since it can become packed in its container.

Soy flour can be used just as it is, or it can be lightly “toasted” first to enhance its nutty flavor. Put the soy flour in a dry skillet and cook it, stirring occasionally, over moderate heat.

Baked products containing soy flour tend to brown more quickly, so it may be necessary to shorten baking time or lower the temperature just slightly.

Using Soy Flour

Although soy flour has not yet found its way into many family kitchens, it is used extensively by the food industry. Soy flour turns up in an amazing array of food products, including fudge and other candies, pies, doughnuts, cakes and rolls, pasta, pancake mixes and frozen desserts. Some meat loaves and other prepared meat products use soy flour.

In your own kitchen, use soy flour to thicken gravies and cream sauces, to make homemade soymilk, or add it to a variety of baked foods. Soy flour gives homebaked goods a protein boost. It also keeps baked goods from becoming stale. In fried foods, like doughnuts, soy flour reduces the amount of fat that is absorbed by the dough. It adds a rich color, fine texture, tenderness and moistness to baked goods. Since soy flour is free of gluten, which gives structure to yeast-raised breads, soy flour cannot replace all of the wheat or rye flour in a bread recipe. However, using about 15 percent soy flour in a recipe produces a dense bread with a nutty flavor and a wonderful moist quality. Just place two tablespoons of soy flour in your measuring cup before measuring all-purpose or other flour called for in the recipe.

In baked products that are not yeast-raised, up to 1/4 the total amount of flour called for in the recipe can be replaced with soy flour. Recipes that are developed to use soy flour specifically can often use it in even higher amounts.

Because it adds moisture to baked products, soy flour can also be used as an inexpensive and cholesterol-free egg substitute in these foods. Replace one egg with 1 tablespoon soy flour and 1 tablespoon water.

Soy flour can also be used to make a quick, homemade soymilk. Try this recipe.

Nutritional Value of Soy Flour

Soy flour is extremely rich in high quality protein and is an excellent source of iron, calcium and B-vitamins.

Nutrients per 3 1/2 ounces (by weight)

 Soy Flour  Full-fat, roasted  Defatted
 Calories  441  329
 Protein (gm)  34.80  47.00
 Fat (gm)  21.90  1.20
 Carbohydrate (gm)  33.70  38.40
 Fiber (gm)  2.20  4.30
 Calcium (mg)  188.00  241.00
 Iron (mg)  5.80  9.20
 Zinc (mg)  3.50  2.40
 Thiamine (B1) (mg)  41.00  7.00
 Riboflavin (mg)  94.00  25.00
 Niacin (mg)  3.29  2.61

Source: Composition of Foods: Legume and Legume Products. United States Department of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Information Service, Agriculture Handbook, Number 8-16. Revised December 1986.