For a while I have been trying to make a soylent recipe which tastes better than what I’ve got. Recently I had some success, and I wanted to share. The main new idea is to use almond flour instead of oats. I also use a bunch of ideas from the hacker school soylent recipe, and a couple other ideas. The recipe is here:
I came around to this recipe in the following way. For a long time I was using maltodextrin as my only carbohydrate source. I think this made the drink a little thin and unsatisfying. Unfortunately, adding oat powder (as is usually done) does a lot to hurt the texture, in my opinion.
Soaking the drink for a long time reduces some of the “oatiness,” in a positive way. It also presumably deactivates some of the phytic acid. @J_Jeffrey_Bragg suggests going further and actually cooking the oats (and in his case the other grains, since his recipe uses multiple grains). He thinks that this not only deactives more of the phytic acid, but also transforms the carbohydrates to be more digestible.
He goes so far as to suggest that eating uncooked oats is just a very silly thing to do. That is one of those things that seems very obvious in retrospect to me. So I was thinking that either I ought to cook my oats before I put them in the soylent, or I ought to dispense with oats (and any cereal grains, for the same reasons).
Right now I am preparing for a new living situation in which I won’t have the ability to cook food; so that option is out the window for me. Thinking about alternatives to oats, almond flour occurred to me as a good one. Almonds can serve a function in soylent similar to that of oats, providing some carbs, fat, protein, and fiber, as well as minerals, and in particular the “tricky” minerals such as phosphorous, magnesium, and manganese. Plus, they are delicious!
Unfortunately almonds don’t provide enough fiber by themselves. Fiber is tricky, because most fiber supplements I’ve tried have an unpleasant taste and/or texture. To solve this issue, I thought to try dextrin. Dextrin is a fiber which dissolves completely in water and is tasteless. Perfect, from a culinary standpoint. From a health standpoint it seems imperfect, because dextrin is all soluble fiber, and we probably also want some insoluble fiber. Conveniently, the fiber in almonds is mostly insoluble.
A few more tricks bring the taste and texture the rest of the way home. Following the hacker school soylent recipe, we use soy lecithin as an emulsifier (and a choline source). Also following the hacker schoool soylent, we let some of the carbs be sugar, for flavor. (You can substitute stevia if you don’t want sugar.) We add a bit of cinnamon and vanilla.
So that was the idea behind the recipe. Now the detailed breakdown.
The almond flour [130g] provides all of the fat the mix needs, some protein and carbs, insoluble fiber, and phosphorus and magnesium.
Because all of the fat comes from almond flour, we don’t need to add any oil. This is advantageous from a texture standpoint. If one mixes oil-including soylent powder ahead of time (to mix into a shake at a future time), the oil congeals into crystals, which may not vanish in the mixing process, thus creating nasty chunks.
To top off the carbs, I add maltodextrin [150g] and sugar [50g]. The sugar can be replaced with 50g maltodextrin and 19g stevia.
To top off the fiber, I add dextrin [25g].
To top off the protein, I add soy protein [70g]. This could be replaced with whatever your favorite protein is.
Next I add soy lecithin [20g]. This provides some fat, supplies most of the choline, and acts as an emulsifier, keeping the mix stable.
The rest of the micronutrients are covered by an Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women multivitamin [1 pill], potassium gluconate [20g], calcium carbonate [1.5g], MSM sulfur [2g], and salt [2.5g]. This isn’t a women’s formula; the idea to use the Opti-Women vitamin (regardless of sex) comes from the hacker school soylent recipe.
For flavor, I add cinnamon [1g approx. = 1tsp] and vanilla [5ml approx. = 1tsp]. You could also add cocoa powder [20g], if you want it chocolate flavored.
I recommend letting the drink sit for a while (the more the better, up to ~24hrs) after making it. This does something to the almond flour which substantially improves the texture. It should also deactivate (some of) the phytic acid in the almond flour.
My biggest dissatisfaction with this recipe right now is the remaining “floury” texture. In particular the almond flour has a bothersome tendency to get stuck in my throat. I am thinking about things one might do about this. Using almond milk instead of almond flour is one thought, but I am almost certain that the fiber in almond milk is only soluble fiber. Basically it seems like it’s logically impossible to have a drink which contains insoluble fiber and doesn’t contain particles of stuff. Anybody have any ideas?