Sofrito is considered essential in Hispanic cooking. Spanish, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republican, and Cuban families use sofrito in their cooking. However, if you are starting a vegan diet, you might think, is Goya sofrito vegan?
The pure sofrito offered by Goya is entirely vegan. It does not contain any dairy or animal products. This cooking base combines green peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, and tomatoes.
Keep on reading to learn more about the vegan status of Goya sofrito.
What Is a Sofrito?
When it comes to flavor, the sofrito can range from spicy to mild. It comes from the Catalan word “sofrier,” which means “to fry gently.” Many believe this staple was initiated in Medieval Catalan cuisine and was adopted by other countries over time.
Sofrito is an aromatic blend of spices, herbs, and vegetable flavor stews, rice, meats, fish, and beans. According to your recipe, you can use this product as a base, a stew, or a sauce.
The color of sofrito depends on your food preference and the region where this staple is made. Sofrito is generally popular in three colors, deep green, sunburnt orange, and vibrant red.
Importance of Sofrito in the Mediterranean Cuisine
Sofrito is considered an indispensable element in the Mediterranean diet. Thanks to its several health benefits, this cooking base is quite famous in Spain and other Mediterranean countries.
According to a study conducted by PREDIMED, cooking herbs, oil, and vegetables over low heat has several nutritional benefits and enhanced taste. For instance, the classical sofrito is an excellent way to extract several phytochemicals from vegetables, including carotenoids and polyphenols.
The oil in sofrito acts as a vehicle for phytochemicals and helps your body absorb them. Sofrito is pretty essential in the Mediterranean diet because it offers medical properties and an aromatic and delicious taste.
Thanks to its delicious taste, sofrito is quite popular worldwide. However, when it comes to delicious and mouth-watering sofrito, no other product can beat Goya sofrito. This item is probably the most positively reviewed sofrito available in the market, so it’s not just one individual who likes it.
If you are a vegan, Goya Sofrito Tomato Cooking Base is the best pick for you. It is made from all-natural ingredients, including garlic, cilantro, green peppers, onion, and tomato. This kitchen staple offers an “indescribable” flavor that sets your Latin dishes apart from the rest.
Goya sautées all vegan ingredients in olive oil to produce a thick and rich cooking base that enhances the taste of your rice, stews, soups, and bean dishes. Its aromatic and bold flavor combines with your dishes to save you precious prep time in the kitchen.
Vegan Status of Goya Sofrito
Fortunately, Goya sofrito is suitable for vegans. According to their website, this sofrito contains all vegan ingredients.
Ingredients: Black Pepper, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Paprika Natural Flavoring, Monosodium Glutamate, Olive Oil, Onion Powder, Sweet Peppers, Coriander, Salt, Textured Vegetable Protein, Dehydrated Onions, Modified Food Starch, Soybean Oil, Green Peppers, Tomato Paste, and Water
As you can see, except for “Natural Flavoring,” all other ingredients are 100% plant-based and vegan. Natural flavoring can be derived from animals, fungi, or plants. However, Goya uses organic and plant-based natural spices that won’t affect your vegan diet.
In addition, you don’t have to worry about monosodium glutamate or MSG. This substance is also vegan and contains no animal products. Plus, monosodium glutamate is one of the best vegan sources of umami – the fifth taste.
How Long Does Goya Sofrito Last?
If properly stored, Goya sofrito can last for three months and longer in the freezer. However, we recommend consuming your product within two weeks to enjoy a full-bodied flavor and all health benefits.
Health Benefits of Goya Sofrito
Did you know that spices, vegetables, and herbs found in Goya sofrito not only enhance the taste of your cuisine but also act as “food for medicine”?
The essential ingredients of Goya sofrito are garlic, onions, and pepper. This cooking base is available in different variations containing additional components, including red bell peppers, tomatoes, oregano, and more.
Here are some of the most common health benefits of these ingredients:
Bell peppers can offer several healthy nutrients such as potassium, iron, and more. Plus, these spices are rich in vitamins. They contain vitamins A, B1, B6, B9, C, E, and K. Due to the high content of vitamin C, bell peppers can help your body absorb iron effectively and reduce the risks of iron deficiency.
Sweet Chili Pepper
Another ingredient that is quite common in Goya sofrito is sweet chili pepper. The nutritional values of these peppers depend upon their color. However, regardless of color, they are all rich in minerals like potassium and manganese and several vitamins, including vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, B9, C, E, and K.
Sweet chili peppers offer relief from various digestive complaints and inflammation. Plus, they improve your immune system, blood sugar regulation, cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular health. When used topically, these peppers also provide pain relief from joint and muscle pain.
Oregano is an herb that offers some potent benefits when it comes to your health. This herb is rich in antioxidants to protect you from several chronic diseases, such as health diseases and cancer.
Plus, oregano can help your body reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals. Inflammation is considered a cause of several diseases, including autoimmune conditions, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Onion is an aromatic plant that has several health benefits. For instance, this ingredient has anti-inflammation properties, reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure. As onions are rich in prebiotics, fibers, antioxidants, potassium, and vitamins C, B9, and B6, they have several other health benefits, such as:
- Improve the bone mineral density
- Provide immunity stimulant
- Regulate your blood sugar
- Contains antibacterial properties
No sofrito can be completed without garlic. Garlic is one of the most fundamental ingredients of Goya sofrito. It acts as an immune stimulant and reduces inflammation. For centuries, garlic has been used topically and internally for its anti-microbial properties throughout the body.
Garlic contains more than 18 antibacterial and antiviral substances and can affect fungi, yeast, worms, protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. Thanks to its ability to open and relax circulation and dilate blood vessels, garlic can reduce your blood pressure.
In addition, several studies have shown that garlic can reduce vascular damage and lower cholesterol levels, saving you from numerous severe health problems.
Nutritional Information of Goya Sofrito
Even though Goya sofrito is vegan, it is still not rich in nutrients. This aromatic cooking base is obesogenic. Besides its delicious taste, Goya sofrito does not contribute any nutritional benefits to your health. It contains just 5 calories and 30mg of sodium per serving.
In addition, the monosodium glutamate available in Goya sofrito creates a craving. Furthermore, according to a study by Nature, soybean oil (a refined omega-6 polyunsaturated oil) can cause obesity – mainly if utilized with carbohydrates.
Goya sofrito offers no essential nutrients. It is free from dietary fibers, protein, and total carbs. However, this cooking base is low in sodium and does not contain trans-fat cholesterol or unsaturated fat. So, it’s not all that bad.
Good Substitute for Sofrito
Well, there are no direct substitutes for sofrito available in the market. However, if you don’t have sofrito and need an alternative, we recommend using chopped cilantro, onions, and peppers. You can puree these ingredients for a close version of Goya sofrito or consider trying a fresh green chili paste.
Difference Between Puerto Rican Sofrito and Goya Sofrito
Recaito, also known as Puerto Rican sofrito, is a cilantro-based sauce with garlic and onions. These ingredients are also found in Goya sofrito, but the main difference between both bases is that Recaito does not have any tomatoes.
So, while Goya sofrito is a reddish-green cooking base, the Puerto Rican sofrito is a super-green kitchen staple. You can use Puerto Rican sofrito as an alternative to Goya sofrito. However, because Recaito offers a bolder and stronger taste, you might need to reduce your content.
In a Nutshell
Is Goya sofrito Vegan? Yes, this cooking base is entirely vegan. Goya sofrito does not contain dairy or animal products, making it a perfect addition to your kitchen.
The two ingredients found in Goya sofrito that you should worry about are natural flavoring and monosodium glutamate. The downside with natural flavorings is that they can be derived from both animals and plants.
In addition, a combination of monosodium glutamate and carbohydrates can lead to obesity and cause several weight-related problems.
So, do your homework and read the label before purchasing to ensure you get healthy and pure Goya sofrito.