Holiday Time with Soy Foods

Kim Galeaz, RDN, LD

Kim Galeaz, RDN, LD

Galeaz Food & Nutrition Communications

Great taste. Good nutrition. Blend and balance both this holiday season by adding soy foods to meals, snacks and parties. Soy foods complement beef, pork, poultry, seafood and egg dishes and it’s protein may provide numerous health-supportive benefits.

Breakfast and Brunch

Add soy-based sausage links and patties to brunch and breakfast menus. Refrigerated or frozen, they’re a breeze to prepare (stove-top skillet or microwave) – along with scrambled eggs and bacon. Soy-based sausages provide essential dietary fiber and protein .1 Reducing saturated fat supports heart health, and protein supports bone and muscle health.2 Eating fiber and protein provides satiety, or fullness, which may help with weight loss and maintenance efforts.

The best “no cooking required” option for holiday breakfast or brunch is a do-it-yourself cereal and yogurt bar. Offer soy yogurt alongside dairy yogurts. Whether 24 ounce cartons or 5.3 ounce containers, soy yogurt provides bone and muscle building calcium and protein and may be fortified with live and active cultures for gut health and vitamin D. Complete your yogurt bar with whole-grain cereals, granola, dried, canned or fresh fruits and nuts, including soy nuts. Since soy nuts are roasted soybeans, they provide more protein and fiber and less fat than traditional nuts.1

Weeknight Meals

Ground beef taco meat is a fast solution for hectic holiday weeknights. Make a double batch that’ll last several days by mixing a one pound equivalent package of soy-based crumbles with one pound ground beef. These convenient frozen or refrigerated soy-based options add a boost of dietary fiber and protein with less saturated fat.

Let’s talk about chili, spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, and nachos. Soy-based crumbles work in any recipe calling for ground beef, pork, turkey and even chorizo. Soy-based chorizo features less fat than traditional chorizo.1.

Add tofu chunks and edamame to chicken, beef, pork or shrimp stir fry dishes. Both soy foods provide additional protein and isoflavones (powerful plant nutrients naturally found in soybeans) that may help reduce breast and prostate cancer risk and lower cholesterol. 2 Stir fry with vegetable oil, which is actually soybean oil, and get a dose of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids for heart health.


Up the protein in party dips, like spinach, artichoke and onion, by replacing some of the sour cream and mayonnaise with an equal amount of silken tofu. A 12 ounce carton of silken tofu is roughly 1 ½ cups.

Include plain or flavored soy nuts in homemade savory party snack mixes. Set out bowls of chocolate covered soy nuts to satisfy chocolate cravings.

Soy nuts and soy nut butter are an acceptable choice for people with a peanut allergy, so bake holiday soy nut butter cookies

Eats for Errand Running

Keep portable soy snacks on hand while running holiday errands to stay fueled, energized and avoid sabotaging healthy eating goals. Best grab ‘n go soy foods for car, purse or pocket include plain or flavored soy nuts, soy protein snack bars and shelf-stable soymilk.


  1. FDA FoodData Central,