Soy Free Diet? 9 Foods to Embrace!

soy free foods

soy free foods

As a vegan food blogger, one popular comment I get from my readers is that they are trying to cut back on soy products. Some of them are even giving their diets “soy free” status. If you are taking a more soy-free approach to your diet there are a few foods out there that can fill the void of soy, like mushrooms, coconut, nuts and more. Today, I’m sharing nine soy-alternative ingredients for you to embrace.

Yes, soy is plentiful nowadays you can get soy milk at almost any coffee joint in place of dairy; tofu is a common vegan option at restaurants; and soy is found in some dairy-free buttery spread and “fake meat” products. But recently, soy alternatives are gaining in popularity. Some coffee shops now have almond milk options. Pea and hemp protein powders are a popular alternative to ‘soy protein’ powders in smoothie mixes, and more. So all you soy-free curious eaters out there, here are 9 foods to embrace if you are moving away from too much soy in your diet.

These nine ingredients offer alternatives to soy-based foods, all while staying plant-based and vegan.

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  • Mushrooms 1 of 9
    Mushrooms
    Mushrooms offer up a meaty alternative to soy products like tofu. Mushrooms can be used in mushroom veggie burgers and even used as simple meaty slices in place of tofu for stir-frys or other entree dishes. Try these mushroom bites with some TVP - texturized veggie protein.
    Make Sunny Mushroom Bites
  • Walnuts 2 of 9
    Walnuts
    Walnuts can be used to make a variety of soy-free recipes. From walnut veggie burgers to walnut milk and even walnut-based pumpkin pie. (Try it with rice whip on top!) photo: Kathy Patalsky, HHL
    Make a Walnut Pumpkin Pie, recipe on Healthy. Happy. Life.
  • Peas and Lentils 3 of 9
    Peas and Lentils
    Peas and Lentils are two foods that offer up an excellent source of plant-based protein, while staying clear of soy. Pea protein is popular in smoothie drink mixes in place of more traditional 'soy protein' powder. Peas and lentils are healthy legumes to try as an alternative to beans in general. Try a pea soup or a lentil-based veggie burger. photo: Kathy Patalsky, HHL
    Make , Fresh Minted Pea Almond Soup, recipe on Healthy. Happy. Life.
  • Cashews 4 of 9
    Cashews
    Creamy cashews are an amazing sub for soy. Use soaked cashews to create soy-free recipes like cashew cheese, cashew cream and cashew milk. Or make a creamy pot pie with a cashew base. photo: Kathy Patalsky, HHL
    Make Cashew Pot Pie, recipe on Healthy. Happy. Life.
  • Seitan 5 of 9
    Seitan
    Seitan is a soy-free alternative to meat. It is made from vital wheat gluten and very high in protein. However, gluten-free eaters should stay away from this high-gluten food, since seitan is made from vital wheat gluten. photo: Kathy Patalsky, HHL
    Make a Seitan Philly Cheese Sandwich, recipe on Healthy. Happy. Life.
  • Whole Beans 6 of 9
    Whole Beans
    Even if you are avoiding soy bean products, you may want to still enjoy other types of beans like pinto, black, navy, cannellini and garbanzo! Try whole bean-based burgers as a delicious dinner entree. photo: Kathy Patalsky, HHL
    Make , a Chili Bean Burger recipe on Healthy. Happy. Life.
  • Potatoes 7 of 9
    Potatoes
    Creamy white and sweet potatoes offer a soy-free way to add thick, creamy texture to your recipes. Potatoes also provide a hearty quality to any meal. photo: Kathy Patalsky, HHL
    Make Baked Potato Soup, recipe on Healthy. Happy. Life.
  • Rice 8 of 9
    Rice
    Soy-free and filling, rice is a perfect staple ingredient for your soy-free meal. Rice, like soy, is a very versatile ingredient. You can serve rice at breakfast, lunch or dinner! Rice can be served as a whole food or as rice milk, rice-based cereals and more. photo: Kathy Patalsky, HHL
    Make rice breakfast risotto, recipe on Healthy. Happy. Life.
  • Coconut 9 of 9
    Coconut
    Coconut has a wide array of uses in a soy-free diet. You can use coconut-based milk, coconut oil in place of soy-based butters and coconut milk for rich desserts or creams. Coconut is a diverse ingredient that if a great addition to a soy-free diet. photo: Kathy Patalsky, HHL
    Make coconut spread, recipe on Healthy. Happy. Life.

*note: These slideshow recipes are soy-free or low in soy. Some contain small amounts of optional soy ingredients (like soy cheese for the Philly Cheese Sandwich and soy whip on the Walnut Pumpkin Pie.) Make modifications, or omit ingredients where needed to make these recipes suit your soy free preferences. Example: Choose rice whip instead of soy whip and rice cashew cheese instead of soy cheese.

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Read more from Kathy on her blog, Healthy. Happy. Life. Get Kathy’s book, 365 Vegan Smoothies: Boost Your Health With a Rainbow of Fruits and Veggies, available on Amazon.

Follow Kathy on Facebook and Twitter for updates!

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