I'd like to start with a few words about the bean so many people love to hate - soy!
Tofu and soy products get a bad wrap. That's not to say it's completely undeserved, but some people avoid soy like the plague.
But soy is not the enemy! The blame lies with how big agricultural conglomerates like Monsanto (boo, hiss!) have genetically altered the soybean plant.
Soybeans have been a staple in Asian diets for literally thousands of years. Japanese, Korean and Chinese cultures use a wide variety of soy products - miso, edamame, silken tofu, firm tofu, soy milk, tamari - on a daily basis. Soy is high in protein, calcium, vitamin C and potassium, and the sheer variety of products on the market means we can easily incorporate it into our diets.
Unfortunately, the soybean originally cultivated in Asia has been mutated and genetically modified into a biotech crop, one of the many Monsanto 'Roundup Ready' products designed to resist the company's own pesticides. The huge influx of genetically modified soy into the North American agricultural market is absolutely mind-blowing. In 1997, 8% of soy was genetically modified, but by 2010 it had jumped to 93%. Ninety-three percent!
Before I get off on too much of a tangent, I'd like to boil this down to my essential point. Soy is not the devil. Minimally processed soy products like edamame are very healthy and can be consumed with abandon. Tofu is more heavily processed, but limited amounts can still be included without cause for concern.
But! There are two crucial rules when purchasing and eating soy.
One - it must be organic
Two - it must be labelled as "Non-GMO"
If the package does not include the "Non-GMO" label, it's safe to assume it is GMO and should be avoided at all costs. Personally, I'm not willing to be Monsanto's science experiment, so my tofu absolutely must be non-GMO.
The Non-GMO Project has a fantastic website designed to help consumers find and purchase verified products - check it out here!
Okay, so back to the recipe. I know some people aren't super keen about green smoothies. I love them, but they're not for everyone.
If you're looking to significantly bump up the nutritional value of a fruit smoothie without spinach, kale or the like, silken tofu makes a great alternative. It's very similar to custard - it's light and creamy, and gives a bit of a Greek yogurt-esque tang to a smoothie.
Here's a super simple silken tofu smoothie (say that three times fast!) that'll start your day off with a bang - this baby's got back!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes one large smoothie (16 oz) or two small smoothies (8 oz)
1/2 cup silken tofu (Morinaga Silken Soft Tofu)
2/3 cup almond milk (or non-GMO soy milk)
1 frozen banana
2/3 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries & raspberries)
1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
1 tsp. maple syrup
1. You know the drill. Blend, sip and love.