scones with soy and the one with all the links

Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw, vegetarian–while I’ve found truly spectacular recipes in all of these categories on other blogs, foodforfun has never gone down these roads. Sure, I’ve whipped up a kale shake (need a better recipe as I could barely choke it down), stirred beets into my brownies,  and even gone the distance by whipping up an amazingly addictive batch of Scarlet Rosita’s Utterly Delicious Date Slices. But most often, foodforfun brings you recipes containing gluten, dairy, animal products, and even alcohol. That said, I’m a huge fan of vegetables and healthy eating–when not enjoying ice cream, cake, marshmallows, and the like–and occasionally post downright healthy fare.

Today I feature a somewhat controversial health food, though one I’ve long enjoyed. My role as sometimes-spokesperson and  longtime food consultant for Minnesota Soybean has given me great opportunity to hear experts speak and keep up with the latest research on soyfoods and their effect on health. It was my conclusion in the beginning and still is nearly 15 years later that soyfoods, when consumed as whole foods and in moderation, can be a good addition to a healthy diet. (Excepting folks with soy allergies and thyroid issues.)

As blogger for Minnesota Soybean’s The Real Story, I have the opportunity to play with soyfoods as I develop recipes for monthly posts. I’ve pureed silken tofu into pudding, crumbled firm tofu into “egg” salad, baked banana bread with soynuts, made ice cream with edamame. The latest recipe took inspiration from green onions as I was anxious to cook with one of the first spring veggies to come into season. (True, green onions are available year-round, but Minnesotans–tiring of snow–celebrate the green onions, asparagus, and rhubarb that first peek through the ground in April.) Stirring sliced green onions into a scone dough that contained soy flour and soymilk resulted in a winning recipe that featured two soyfoods. Even better, plain soymilk and vinegar are mixed and used in place of buttermilk, highlighting soymilk’s versatility and ability to sub in for dairy milk in nearly any form. (One exception: Instant pudding mixes take twice the amount of soymilk than they would dairy milk per package instructions.)

You can read my Real Story blog post here, though you’ll find the recipe below as well. These savory scones are elegant enough to be passed in a bread basket when company comes and comforting and homespun enough to make a satisfying snack when solo. They accompany soups, salads, cheese, fruit, and anything else you think to serve them with. Gluten- and dairy- and animal product-free they are not, but these soy scones offer heart-healthy protein and antioxidants as well as great texture and taste.

But before we get to the food, I have one more link to add to the alarmingly long list already shared. A few days back, I hung out over at Blog of Funny Names for another funny names in food post and would love it if you’d click over for a read. You’ll be sweetly rewarded as it’s all about a man who rocked the chocolate world!

Back to those scones…

doubling down on the soy with pretty spring scones

doubling down on the soy with pretty spring scones

Savory Spring Scones

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar plus enough soymilk to measure 1 cup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup soy flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • Dash cracked black pepper

Heat oven to 500°F. In measuring cup, combine vinegar and soymilk; let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir in soured soymilk until dough forms. Stir in onions and pepper.

Turn dough out onto well-floured surface; knead dough gently 8 to 10 times, sprinkling with flour as needed. Pat dough into 8-inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut circle into 8 pie-shape wedges, pressing down with knife without sawing. Sprinkle baking sheet with flour. Gently transfer wedges to baking sheet.

Reduce oven to 450°F. Bake scones 20 minutes or just until golden. Makes 8 scones.

banana bread and the soybean

Back in the late-’90s, I was swimming in soy. Minnesota Soybean, a commodity organization, hired me to help educate folks about the health benefits of soyfoods. I knew very little going in, but after studying the research on soyfood consumption, I was convinced that enjoying whole soyfoods (NOT taking soy pills) in moderation can be healthy. Fast forward to 2012 and soyfoods are found in mainstream grocery stores. Soymilk is frequently sold alongside dairy milk. Tofu hasn’t replaced steak (and I hope it does not), but in part thanks to the emphasis on enjoying the occasional meatless meal, soyfoods have found their way into many kitchens.

Minnesota Soybean came to mind when I was cleaning out my files recently and came across a recipe brochure I had helped put together. The photos were dated, but the card for banana bread caught my eye. I’ve had a large bag of overripe bananas in the freezer for a while and this seemed a good use for them. Other draws included the whole wheat flour and ground flax in the recipe–this banana bread would be whole-grain and healthy. Crushed soynuts were also stirred into the batter, upping the nutrition and adding taste and texture.

I made the banana bread a few days later and it was indeed delicious. Sweet, rich, and nutty, it’s great toasted and spread with butter for breakfast. A slice makes a filling late-morning snack. Tonight, I spread it with cream cheese and date jam and called it dessert. My girls are iffy on it, but my husband thinks it’s grand. Anyone looking to add whole grains or soy to their diet–or anyone who likes banana bread–should give this recipe a spin.

Banana bread with soynuts

Flax Banana Bread

This recipes makes two loaves–I cut ingredient amounts in half and made one.

  • 1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar plus enough milk to make 1/3 cup–let it stand 5 minutes before using)
  • 6 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup crushed soynuts + extra for sprinkling

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 (9-inch) loaf pans.

In large bowl, stir together flours, flax, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, beat together butter, applesauce, sugars, eggs and buttermilk with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in bananas. Add mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just enough to blend. Stir in 2/3 cup soynuts. Divide batter between pans. Sprinkle tops of each loaf with additional crushed soynuts. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until knife inserted into center of each loaf comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.