Also known as soya powder, soy powder is a thin protein powder that is made from soybeans. Used in many Asian cultures for centuries, the powder is often utilized today as a dietary supplement to ensure the body receives enough protein. The powder is found in many commercial vegetarian products as well as a number of weight loss protein shakes and food supplements intended for use while engaging in body building.
Along with being a significant source of protein, the powder is also rich in various amino acids. Many of these amino acids work with the protein to help the body produce energy. There is also some evidence that soy can help the body deal with stress, effectively helping the individual to maintain an equitable mental and emotional balance.
While vegetarians have long known the value of including soybeans in the daily diet, it was not until the latter part of the 20th century that products containing soy powder became wildly popular. Part of the reason for this upswing in use was due to findings that indicated soy could effectively help lower bad cholesterol and minimize the chance of developing heart disease. In addition, soy powder could be added to liquids and in other products to create nutritious substitutes for various types of meats, making it easier for people to cut back on their consumption of red meat as a source of protein.
In addition to use in producing commercial foods, soy powder can also be used at home in a number of recipes. It is possible to use the powder to make a dip that is somewhat similar to other types of bean dip, but without the fat and other additives found in many brands. As a thickening agent in soups and stews the powder works in a manner similar to white flour or cornstarch. It is even possible create desserts using the soy powder mixed with other ingredients.
Soy powder, along with many soy products, can be purchased in a number of supermarkets. There are also many frozen dishes made with the powder available in health food stores and vitamin shops. Some of the products are intended for mixing in some type of juice or milk product and can be used as a quick snack or a substitute for an evening meal. As soy protein supplements and frozen foods have become more popular, the cost per unit has become more competitive with prices charged for other types of food products.