Soybeans have become so wildly important and popular in recent decades because of the rise of soy food’s popularity, including soy milk and textured vegetable protein. Soybeans, also known as soya beans, are a species of legume. Like other beans, the soya bean (Glycine max) grows in pods enclosing edible seeds. They are usually green but can be yellow, brown or black.
The soya bean plant is native to China, where it has been cultivated for well over 13,000 years. It was an essential crop for the ancient Chinese who regarded it a necessity for life. Soya beans were introduced into other regions of Asia centuries later and it wasn’t until the early 20th century that people in the West. The soya bean is now the most widely grown and utilised legume worldwide.
The high levels of protein make it an ideal protein source for vegetarians, and the wide variety of soy products has created a massive new market.
The key benefits of soya are its high protein content, vitamins, minerals and insoluble fibre. The soya bean has been transformed into a number of popular soya-based foods including:
- Miso – a fermented soya bean paste that is used as a flavouring, popular in Asian cuisine. It is a good source of many minerals.
- Tempeh – is an Indonesian specialty typically made by cooking and dehulling soya beans and forming a textured, solid ‘cake’. It is a very good source of protein, B vitamins and minerals.
- Tofu – also known as bean curd is made from soya milk by coagulating the soya proteins with calcium or magnesium salts. The whey is discarded and the curds are processed. It is an excellent source of iron and calcium and a very good source of protein.
At Gorima’s we stock some of the tastiest soya based products available! Get down to your nearest store and try our Tommy’s and JHD ranges for the best flavours and highest quality products.