Soybeans are proteinous legumes that can be made into a lot of things including soya chunks. Before now, soya chunk wasn’t so mentioned as one of the many soy products. However, with the rise of more vegans and the high demand for protein, it has become very popular.
Soya chunk has joined the list of plant-based meat substitutes which is why is also referred to as the meal maker. I believe you have a lot of questions about this formerly uncommon soy product. What exactly are soya chunks? How are they made? Are they healthy?
Continue reading this article to see detailed answers to all your questions.
What is soya chunk?
Soya chunks are byproducts of the process of extracting soy oil from soybeans. After removing the oil from the beans, what is left behind – soy flour – goes through a defatting process to yield soya chunks. Soya chunk has a high protein content which is even higher than that of meat.
Adding soya chunks or the meal maker to your meals is a cost-effective way of adding plant-based meat to your meals. In the raw form, they are hard and dry. But when you add them to meals, they become soft and spongy just like meats.
Furthermore, soya chunks are healthy. Asides from being a good meat alternative for vegans, they are rich in nutrients. A 100g serving of this meal maker contains 345 calories, 52g protein, 33g carbohydrates, 13g fiber, 0.5g fats, 350mg calcium, and 20mg iron.
How are soya chunks made?
As mentioned earlier, soya chunk is a byproduct of defatted soy flour. Follow these instructions to make homemade soya chunk:
What you need
- 2 cups of soybeans
- 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons of coriander powder
- A pinch of hing
- 3 to 4 cups of water
- Soak the soybeans in water overnight to get them soft enough for processing
- In the morning, blend the soybeans in ½ cup of water to give you a coarse texture
- Afterward, add all other ingredients and blend once more
- When you have a smooth mixture, pour it into a bowl
- Spread out a plastic sheet on a table and use to hands to cut and drop chunks of the mixture on the sheet
- Don’t bother about getting the chunks smooth and even
- When you’re done, allow the soya chunk to dry in the sun
- Make sure they are very dry with no moisture remaining in them
- Thereafter, you can store them in an airtight container
How to eat soya chunk
- Soak soya chunk and add it to salad, noodles, or fried rice
- Make soya chunk curry
- Use soya chunk as a meat substitute in soups
- You can also fry them in oil to make a crispy snack
- Add soya chunk to stir-fries
- In addition, make soya chunk powder and serve with milk
Are soya chunks the same as soybeans?
Soya chunk is a product of soybeans. Soybeans are the raw seeds of leguminous plants while soya chunks are chewy, non-vegan meat made from soybeans.
What are the benefits of eating soya chunks?
1. Soya chunk is rich in protein
Soya chunk is rich in protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and iron. It’s a good option for people who need to increase their protein intake or people who are likely to have a protein deficiency.
Soya chunks also contain iron which helps to prevent anemia by increasing myoglobin and hemoglobin levels in the body.
In addition, this meal maker also contains other vitamins like B vitamins and folic acid which are good for pregnant women. Minerals like magnesium in soya chunks can help provide relief for insomnia and improve the quality of sleep.
2. Good for vegans
If you’re following a vegan diet, soya chunk is a good meat alternative for you. Moreover, they contain more protein than any type of meat.
3. Promotes bone and teeth health
The amounts of calcium and iron in soya chunks contribute to your body’s daily needs for these compounds. They also help to promote healthy bone and teeth growth.
4. Improves digestive health
Eating soya chunk supplies your body with enough fiber to improve digestive health. The fiber keeps you feeling full for longer because it does not allow food to leave your system quickly.
Additionally, this meal maker increases the number of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the intestines. These microorganisms can aid proper digestion.
5. Aids in weight loss
The fiber content of soya chunks aids weight loss and can help in weight management. By keeping you full for longer, reduces your appetite and keeps you from eating too much and too frequently.
Moreover, the energy your body spends digesting soya chunk is enough to burn off excess fat and lose weight.
6. Anti-inflammatory properties
Soya chunk helps to protect the body against inflammatory diseases that can predispose you to cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
7. Good for heart health
Soya chunk is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for heart health. In addition, it helps to reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase that of good cholesterol (HDL). As a result, it reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack, and other heart diseases.
8. Good for blood sugar
Soya chunk is low in sugar. The isoflavones in soybeans can help increase the sensitivity of insulin receptors, drop high blood sugar levels and help in diabetes management. Moreover, it can help prevent the onset of diabetes, especially if you have a genetic history of diabetes.
9. Helps to maintain hormonal balance
Soybeans contain phytoestrogens which are isoflavones. These compounds mimic estrogen and help to maintain hormonal balance. Eating soya chunks helps to regulate irregular menstrual cycles and ease menopausal symptoms.
10. Improves skin and hair appearance
Soya chunk is rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for skin and hair health. It makes the hair strands stronger, improves hair texture, repairs damaged hair, and may foster hair growth.
Can you eat soya chunks every day?
Yes, you can. As long as you do not have a soy allergy, you can eat soya chunks every day. However, because of the high-calorie content, you should limit your daily intake to 25 to 30 grams.
Side effects of eating soya chunk
If you have a soy allergy and you didn’t know, you may experience an allergic reaction after eating it. Symptoms of a soy allergy include abdominal pain, itching, hives, swelling on the lips and tongue, eczema, diarrhea, and difficulty in breathing.
If you notice any of these symptoms, stop eating soya chunks and address the situation.
Too much soy content
Eating soya chunks without moderation could result in too much soy content in your body. And this is not always good. It could lead to water retention, acne, and an increase in uric acid which causes joint pain & liver problems.
It’s a processed food
Store-bought soya chunk is a processed food that may not be very nutritious. It may contain additives like preservatives and stabilizers that are harmful to health. Therefore, you should eat it in proportion.
Eating soya chunks without moderation may spike estrogen levels. It manifests with symptoms like mood swings, excessive weight gain, water retention, bloating, and acne.
Can you make soya chunks from maida flour?
No, they are not. Soya chunks are made from defatted soy flour and not maida or all-purpose flour.
Are soya chunks gluten-free?
Soya chunks are made from soybeans which are a gluten-free source of protein. Therefore, soya chunks are gluten-free. However, some soya chunks (Textured Vegetable Protein) may contain oats and wheat which no longer makes them gluten-free.
Are soya chunks dairy-free?
Yes, they are. Soya chunks are 100% vegan and do not contain any dairy products.
Soya chunk, the meal maker, is now one of the sought-after plant-based meat substitutes. Moreover, as you read in the article, it makes a good addition to any protein diet, except for people with a soy allergy.
You can choose to buy soya chunks from the stores or preferably make yours and be sure they are 100% vegan.
Thanks for reading.
Become an expert with your recipes when you read informational articles on Cheffist.