Chef Caitlin’s Corner: Sensational Soy

SoyYou’ve probably heard of soy sauce and soy milk, but do you really know what soy is? It’s actually a legume! It’s native to southeastern Asia, which is why it’s commonly used in Asian cuisine. You may see soybeans as an appetizer on the menu at Asian restaurants called “edamame”. Soy can be bought in or out of the shell. Other products that contain the amazing soybean are: tofu, tempeh, miso, soy oil, tofu yogurt, soy hot dogs, soy nut butter, soy ice cream, seitan, soy cheese, soy noodles, veggie burgers, chicken-less nuggets, soy nuts, and energy bars. So much soy to enjoy!

Soy is an amazing source of protein for all you veg-heads out there. Unlike animal proteins (such as hamburgers), it has no cholesterol and its low in saturated fat and sodium. Many products have other good stuff for growing teens such as fiber (which can help you feel full), calcium (which is important for bone health), and iron (if you’re lacking it, you can feel very tired and sluggish). Here’s an interesting fact: adding citrus juice (lemon, lime, or orange juice) to vegetable sources of iron (ex. soybeans, spinach, and kale) helps your body absorb the iron!

Whether or not you’re a vegetarian, try this delicious recipe (listed below) that’s made with soybeans and is super easy to prepare. It’s a dip similar to hummus, but it has a soy twist. Experiment adding different herbs and spices, and enjoy with whole wheat crackers or fresh veggies such as fresh cut up carrots, celery, broccoli, and tomatoes. Use it as a healthy spread on sandwiches to give your lunch a kick. Notice the ingredients; the lemon juice will help your body absorb the iron from the soybeans! You can find “shelled” soybeans (also called edamame beans) in the freezer section at your local grocery store. Bon appetite!

Edamame (Soybean) Dip – 6 Servings


  • 1 ½ cups green shelled soybeans (edamame)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed with water
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder


  1. Thaw and microwave soybeans as listed on the package.
  2. Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

-Chef Caitlin