NDSU Extension - Benson County


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Consider more Soy in Your Diet

By Kimberly Braulick, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

Did you know that 50% of newspapers are printed with soybean oil?  Interestingly, an acre of soybeans can also produce about 82,000 crayons, but as you may well know, soybeans are used for much more than newspaper and crayon production. 

Soybeans are an excellent source of a variety of nutrients, and are fairly low in calories.  Soy also fits in three different food groups including protein, vegetable, and dairy.  Especially for those who are lactose intolerant, or have dairy sensitivities, replacing dairy milk with soy milk is an excellent option. 

For those who do have dietary restrictions, soy foods are also gluten free and are perfect for regulating a diabetic, vegetarian, or weight management type diets.  Additionally, soybeans are known reducing the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.  It is also known for lowering LDL cholesterol, reducing menopause symptoms, and lowering blood pressure. 

There are a wide variety of soy food products including soy milk, soy pasta, edamame, soy flour, tofu, and countless more.  These foods are rich in fiber, B vitamins, iron, phosphorous, and protein.  They are also low fat and cholesterol free. 

Here is a recipe for cranberry edamame salad.  It combines the increasingly popular edamame, which is a soybean harvested while still green and sweet, with the interesting flavor combination of feta cheese, dried cranberries, and basil.  Enjoy!


Cranberry Edamame Salad


  • 1 (16 ounce) package of frozen, shelled edamame
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup reduced fate feta crumbles
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Bring a small pan of water to a boil and remove it from heat.  Put the cranberries in the water and let it sit for about 5 minutes to rehydrate.  Drain well and pat it dry with a paper towel; set it aside.  Then, cook the edamame in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.  Pat dry.  Toss edamame, cranberries, basil, olive oil, and pepper together.  Add salt if desired.  Gently stir in feta cheese.  Serve the salad chilled or at room temperature.


Makes: 4 servings. Each serving has 270 calories, 10 grams fat, 26 g carbohydrate, 240 mg sodium, 17 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber.



  • Simply Soy, NDSU Extension Service, January 2016
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