Glossary of Terms
Fresh from the farm to our kitchen, we use only the finest ingredients available. Below is an abbreviated list of some of the unique and nutrient dense ingredients that make our food so tasty!
Tempeh: has been a staple in Indonesia for over 2,000 years. It is typically made by cooking and dehulling soybeans, inoculating them with a culturing agent (like Rhizopus oligosporus), and then incubating the inoculated product overnight until it forms a solid cake. It is a highly nutritious fermented food traditionally made from soybeans, and its high protein content makes it a wonderful substitute for meat. Tempeh is one of the most nutritionally dense foods, and its benefits are many and varied. Vegetarians and vegans find tempeh an interesting food because of its structure and high protein content.
Tempeh is a versatile product. It has a firm texture and a nutty mushroom flavor. Tempeh can be used in different ways. Normally tempeh is sliced and fried until the surface is crisp and golden brown, or tempeh can be used as an ingredient in soups, spreads, salads and sandwiches.
Quinoa: (pronounced "KEEN-wa" or "KEE-noo-ah") is an amino acid-rich (high-protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Aztecs".
Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well-balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Textured vegetable protein, TVP: is made from soy flour that has had the fat removed, and then it is compressed and processed into granules or chunks. TVP is sold as a dried product that can be stored in a tightly closed container at room temperature for several months. TVP has a texture similar to ground beef after it is rehydrated with boiling water. At Evolution, we use TVP in our Chili Non Carne and our "Sloppy Jane" mix.
TVP has a more complete composite of amino acids compared to real meat, which allows your body to assimilate a higher percentage of protein. Another advantage is that TVP does not have the high fat and cholesterol content of real meats.
Tofu: A staple in Asia for 2,000 years, tofu is known for its extraordinary nutritional benefits, as well as its versatility. Tofu, also known as soy curd, is a soft, cheese-like food made by curdling soy milk with a coagulant called nigari.
There are many recipes that use tofu. The flavor of tofu is very mild and is ideal for absorbing the flavor of other ingredients. Tofu can be an excellent substitute for meat in recipes, and it can be cooked in a variety of forms. It can also be baked, boiled, frozen and thawed (for a chewier texture), and stir-fried. Firm tofu can be used in soups, stir-fries, and casseroles. Silken tofu can be used for dips and dressings, as a dairyless substitute for sour cream and ice creams, and even in cake icing!
Tofu is rich in both high-quality protein and B-vitamins. Tofu is, therefore, an excellent substitute for meat in many vegetarian recipes. As opposed to soy milk, tofu contains a lot of calcium. This calcium originates from the nigari used to coagulate the soy milk. When making tofu, the soy proteins are precipitated with calcium, providing tofu with a ready source of calcium. Calcium in tofu helps to prevent osteoporosis.
Tofu is extremely easy to digest because the soybean's fiber is removed during the manufacturing process. As do most other soy foods, tofu also reduces heart disease by lowering the level of the "bad" LDL cholesterol, and as the result maintaining the level of "good" HDL cholesterol.
Tofu is rich in isoflavones. When making tofu, the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein remain bound to the soy protein. Firm tofu contains about 35 mg. of isoflavones per 100g. Isoflavones will reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a disease associated with reduced bone density and increased bone fractures. Isoflavones have also been shown to lower rates of breast cancer and prostate cancer, and reduce menopausal symptoms including mood swings and hot flushes.
Seitan: ("SAY-tan") has been used in Asia as a protein source and meat substitute for hundreds of years. It is made from flour and water, which is rinsed to remove the starch components. What is left behind is a high-protein gluten, sometimes called "wheat meat". Seitan is a high-protein, low-fat food that is often used as a meat substitute. It is brown in color and comes in strips or chunks. Seitan does not need to be cooked before consumption, but some consumers find it easier to digest when it is cooked. Seitan can be used in sandwiches or in meat substitute dishes.
Miso: (pronounced "MEE-so") is a delicious all-purpose, high-protein seasoning that has played a major role in Japanese culture and cuisine for centuries. It is most often made from a combination of soybeans, cultured grain, and sea salt by a unique fermentation process that was elevated to a state of fine craftsmanship in traditional Japan. Miso is best known as a seasoning for soup; it is used for flavoring a wide variety of other dishes as well. Miso offers a nutritious balance of natural carbohydrates, essential oils, minerals, vitamins, and protein of the highest quality, containing all of the essential amino acids. Today miso is gaining popularity as a healthful ingredient in many kitchens where awareness is growing that natural food itself can be our best medicine.
Raw Foods: (or "Live" Foods): Foods that are not cooked above 116 degrees, in order to preserve their natural enzymes.
Edamame: Soybeans. Soybeans are a source of complete protein. A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that the human body requires, due to the body's inability to synthesize them.
Soy Milk: A milk-like beverage made from soybeans. Soy milk is promoted as a healthy alternative to cow's milk because it contains no antibiotics, hormones, or cholesterol, nor links to cancer, diabetes, and other diseases associated with regular milk. The polyunsaturated and mono- unsaturated fats in soy milk are good for the heart; the soy protein it contains reduces the levels of cholesterol and lessens the incidence of atherosclerosis. Because soy milk is not a dairy product, it is suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant.
Soy "Chicken": A GMO-free chicken alternative made from soybeans.
Soy "Cheese": Tofu-based and dairy-free cheese alternative.
Sprouted Flours: Flours that are produced from whole grains that have been sprouted back into a live plant, then dried prior to milling. Because of the sprouting, these flours may be easier to digest.
Spelt Flour: A wheat-free flour that is very low in gluten.
Shoyu: Soy sauce; the salty, reserved liquid from fermented soybeans.
Tamari: A naturally fermented, wheat-free soy sauce.
"Liquid Aminos": A gluten-free alternative to soy sauce that contains 16 amino acids, and a small amount of naturally occurring sodium (no table salt added).
Tahini: A paste made from ground sesame seeds.
Vegenaise, Nayonnaise: Eggless and dairy-free mayonnaise substitutes.
Rapadura: Portuguese term for evaporated sugar cane juice, usually made on site at sugar plantations in very warm tropical climates. Rapadura is a healthier alternative to refined sugar. While both sweeteners are made from sugar cane, evaporated cane juice does not undergo the same degree of processing that refined sugar does. Therefore, unlike refined sugar, it retains more of the nutrients found in sugar cane.
Agave Nectar: A healthful, natural sugar substitute made from the Agave Americana plant (also called Century Plant).
Arame: A type of seaweed rich in iron, calcium, zinc, and iodine. Arame is a good introduction to seaweed due to its mild taste. It is also a good source of lignans, which help fight cancer. Because it comes from the sea, it does contain sodium and should be avoided by anyone on a sodium-restricted diet.
Wakame: A type of edible kelp rich in protein, calcium, iodine, magnesium, iron and folate.
Nori: A green sea vegetable primarily used in sushi (Nori rolls).
Kombu: A thick, dark-green sea algae used to flavor slow-cooking soups, stews, and bean dishes.
Dulse: A red sea algae grown in the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. A handful of dulse provides more than 100% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B6, 66% of vitamin B12, and a day's supply of iron and fluoride. It is relatively low in sodium and high in potassium as well.
Agar Agar: A vegan gelatin substitute made from the cell walls of some red algae and seaweed. Excellent for making scrumptious vegan parfaits and other desserts.
Sea Salt: A salt obtained by evaporating seawater and considered to be a healthier alternative to table salt, since it lacks the artificial chemicals used in processing.
Himalayan Sea Salt: Holistic, wholesome, unaltered, natural salt.
Nutritional Yeast: Yeast grown in a molasses solution. Used as a cheesy flavoring.
Corn Plastics: Completely biodegradable plastics made entirely of corn starch.