Celebrate National Dairy Alternative Month in June by making your own soy desserts featuring soymilk. Consumption of nondairy milks in the U.S. has increased as more consumers embrace plant-based proteins. According to MarketsAndMarkets research firm, the global dairy alternative market is expected to grow 15 percent from 2015 to 2020, with soymilk projected to be its largest segment. Soymilk and powdered soymilk are not only convenient ingredients, they are also part of a heart-healthy diet and may lower heart disease risk.

During National Dairy Alternative Month, discover how you can create simple, better-for-you summery desserts with the added nutrition benefits of soy. According to the Global Soy Desserts Market Professional Survey Report 2017, a research report from 360 Market Updates, a variety of factors, such as health awareness, are fueling the rapid growth trend of soy desserts. Soymilk-based summer dessert ideas from The Soyfoods Council demonstrate the possibilities. Consider the following facts.

Soymilk is a plant-based protein: Soy is a complete protein, cholesterol-free and low in saturated fats. One serving of soymilk provides an average of 7 to 8 grams of protein, approximately the same amount found in 2 percent reduced fat dairy milk. Some calcium-fortified brands of soymilk provide 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk.

Soymilk is a recognized dairy alternative: Not all plant-based milks are created equal. Some offer as little as 1 gram of protein per serving—or none at all. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “Soy beverages fortified with calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D are included as part of the dairy group because they are similar to milk, based on nutrient composition and in their use in meals.”

Soymilk and soymilk powder are dessert-worthy dairy alternative ingredients, along with soy yogurt, soy cream cheese, and silken tofu. The versatile, creamy texture of tofu lends itself to chilled mousse and frozen desserts. In addition to commercially available products such as soy-based ice creams, you can also create your own soy desserts at home this summer without having to turn on the oven.

The Soyfoods Council offers tips for making your own fruit pops in a blender. Simple versions include Fruit Pops, Silky Cranberry Cherry Freeze Pops and Cheesecake Pops. Fruit Pops, for example, are made in a blender, combining vanilla soymilk and frozen sweetened sliced strawberries.

Homemade soy yogurt serves as a base for other summery chilled desserts with fruit. No need to heat up the kitchen, either. You can use soymilk to make yogurt in an Instant Pot (an electric pressure cooker with multiple functions) or a yogurt maker.

Use your ice cream maker to create other dairy alternative frozen treats like chocolate or cheesecake-flavored desserts. The Soyfoods Council suggests cool ideas such as Chocolate Tofu Ice Cream. All you need is unflavored gelatin, chocolate soymilk, soft silken tofu, chocolate syrup, sugar and vanilla. Cheesecake-Flavored Vegan Ice Cream is made with firm silken tofu, soy cream cheese, soymilk, agave nectar and vanilla extract. The ice cream also forms a base for Vegan Frozen Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce, a dessert with a graham cracker crust and a raspberry sauce topping.           

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