Baking Soy-Free 101

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!

We are in the middle of several weeks of posts covering the basics of cooking, baking, eating, and buying soy-free food. Last week we gave some starter advice for cooking soy-free food in Cooking Soy-Free 101. This week we are talking about baking.

When we first started cooking soy-free food, Ashley and I had many struggles, false starts, and unintentional learning opportunities. We knew that we wanted to eat soy-free food, and we knew that meant that we had to cook a lot of it ourselves (at least initially). 

We've learned a lot over the past few years and want to share that information with you! We know it can feel complex and complicated when first trying to bake soy-free meals. But the good news is that anyone can do it! With a little practice you can bake soy-free for yourself or others!

 Image Via Pixabay

Image Via Pixabay

The five places to watch out for soy are: oils, butter, soy products, breads, and emulsifiers (chocolate, powders, non-stick spray, etc). The tips below are centered around these five areas.

Oils:

  • Use canola oil or olive oil.
  • Don't use vegetable oil--it almost always consists of soybean oil!
  • Crisco or other shortenings contain soybean oil. It is possible to get soy-free shortening!

Butter:

  • Use real butter!
  • Margarine is often made from soybean oil.

Soy Products:

  • This isn't usually a concern in baking as soy products are rarely used.

Breads:

  • Avoid pre-baked goods. Almost all baked goods in a wrapper contain soy flour or soybean oil, including most brands of graham crackers. Annie's graham crackers are soy-free!
  • Carefully check boxed cake and cookie mixes! Many of them contain soy.
  • When in doubt, read ingredient labels! Soy isn't necessarily required to be called out as an allergen, so be sure to read the entire ingredient list.

Emulsifiers:

  • Be careful with chocolate! Almost all chocolate has soy lecithin in it. Use Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels for chocolate chips as they are soy-free.
  • Most non-stick spray has soy lecithin in it. Use butter or canola oil instead!
 image via pixabay

image via pixabay

Using the rules above, baking soy-free food shouldn’t be challenging. It just takes a little more awareness of what is in each ingredient. Baking at home is already a step in the right direction because you avoid the soy present in almost all pre-baked goods.

For more Soy-Free 101 information see our Cooking Soy-Free 101 page and check back soon for our upcoming posts!