Soy flour is a high-protein product made from ground, roasted soybeans. In addition to protein, it contains soy isoflavones, calcium, iron, and B vitamins. Its flavor ranges from mild to intense depending on the way it is processed. It can be used in place of wheat flour or whole grain flour in many recipes.
There are three different types of soy flour: natural, or full-fat; low-fat; and defatted. Full-fat soy flour retains the natural oils present in the soybeans. Low-fat soy flour has approximately 33% of the fat contained in natural soy flour. Defatted still contains some fat, but it is made from defatted soybeans.
In addition to adding protein and nutrients to recipes, soy flour also imparts flavor, texture, and moisture to the finished product. For maximum freshness and shelf-life, it should be kept inside airtight containers and placed in the refrigerator or freezer. It can generally be stored in this way for up to one year.
Cooking times may need to be reduced when using soy flour because of its tendency to brown more quickly than other types of flour. Baked goods should be watched to ensure they are not overcooked. Lowering the cooking temperature may also help prevent overcooking. It is also important to stir the flour before measuring it because it tends to pack down while stored. Lightly toasting the flour in a dry skillet before using it in recipes is an option for enhancing its nutty flavor.
Soy flour is typically available at natural food stores, health food markets, in the natural foods aisle of major supermarkets, and online. This type of flour is used in many prepared food items like cakes, doughnuts, and pies because it improves the taste while preventing some of the fat from being absorbed by the dough during the cooking process.
Soy concentrate is a product made by decreasing the amount of carbohydrates and sugars in soybeans which have already been dehulled and defatted. This process creates a high protein and high fiber soy protein concentrate which is commonly used in baked goods and cereals. It is also used as a filler in meat and poultry products to improve the nutritional values including protein. The soy product with the highest concentration of protein is called soy protein isolate. Most of the fats and carbohydrates in this product are removed resulting in a food item that is 90% protein.