High in protein and used as a vegetarian and lactose alternative for many foods, soya has transcended its Asian origins to become the most widely cultivated legume across the globe. Nutritionist Jo Lewin shares the nutritional highlights, recent research findings and a host of recipes to help you understand and utilise the many forms of soya.
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 texture is so adaptable that soya beans are frequently processed into a variety of foods. Soya beans – also known as edamame beans when eaten fresh from the pod – are consumed as an alternative to meat. They are the basis of soya milk, tofu, miso, tempeh and soya protein.