DIY Roundtable - Advice on preparation, storage, tools, and everything else!


#1

Hello fellow DIYers! I wanted to start a dialogue for some of you more experienced “cooks” - and everyone else! - to come out and share some of the wisdom you’ve gained over the course of your experiences with DIY. :grinning:

I don’t mean recipe specific, but generally any tips you’ve discovered through trial and error to make things easier or more efficient on the front side of things especially. I’m just now really getting started and would love to maximize my time and efficiency.

  • A good example would be @chris_bair video of him mixing a week’s worth of People Chow; it was great seeing and hearing his thought process and the little things he’d learned. Youtube Video

My initial contribution, such as it is:

  1. I’ve leaned heavily on Google Sheets to build out spreadsheets and keep track of inventory, recipes, and servings (in conjunction with the DIY tool). I’m fortunate to have a Chromebook that I keep at my prep table. (My servings Spreadsheet)

  2. The simple scales on Amazon are pretty cheap and brilliant. The two I use are this one for larger amounts and this one for more precision. Also, these weighing sheets have been quite handy - all my powders slide right off after weighed on scale. For larger amounts, so far I’ve been using plastic measuring cups tare’d out on the scale, which I transfer to a larger mixing bowl once weighed. I purchased some stainless steel mixing bowls with lids which are really nice to shake/tumble a batch in.

  3. When I received my powders, most of them were in bags, so I went ahead and moved them to tupperware containers (plan to upgrade to glass eventually), taking special care to label everything in multiple places to not lose track of what’s what. There’s been a lot less “powder clouds” when using the real containers. This is probably obvious, lol. :wink:


Your turn! I’d love to hear from everyone, but especially some of the sellers working on a larger scale. What’s worked or not worked for you? What does your setup look like? What are your methods for preparing batches? How do you maintain inventory? What tools (physical and digital) do you use? What do you use to clean your area and tools, anything special?

… And so on and so forth! Let’s hear it!


#2

I compute the volumes of the various macronutrient ingredients and add them by volume. It also helps to round your ingredients to the nearest convenient to measure amount.

2.0625 cups is not as convenient as 2 cups and your not going to miss the extra tablespoon.

28g of oil isn’t as convenient as 30ml or 1 tablespoon.


#3

That’s an older one, here’s a new video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxh-Wi8rX94

Thought process

You obviously have me confused with someone else =)


#4

I’ve got a fair bit of prep instructions, tips, and equipment listed in the notes for my recipe, it’s probably a lot easier to send you to the DIY site to read it than to flood this post with something so ridiculously long winded and tedious. :stuck_out_tongue:

I will mention this here though… Diversify and experiment (try new things).

Don’t overly rely on any particular ingredient, I’m looking at you fiber, but I also think diversification is a good thing to keep in mind when trying to overcome other issues as well. One of the issues I faced when trying to work out a decent keto recipe was how generally unpalatable (meaning yuck, gross, don’t eat that crud) they tended to be, and one of the big offenders was the fiber source. Too much chia or psyllium and the flavor gets gross, to much coconut and the texture is off. You get the idea.

Another possible flavor offender could be your protein. Again, an issue I faced with my keto experiments (those carbs can sure help cover some offences), but had never noticed before. I had been reluctant to use flavored proteins, I suppose based on some pre-keto experiences when I had rarely tried a protein or two, I found them be less than desirable and had never had a flavored protein I enjoyed. Once I overcame my reluctance I found a protein line that is very well flavored, and it’s made a beautiful difference.

Bonus round pro tip: Consider heavy whipping cream as an ingredient. Yeah, you’d probably have to go to the store now and then rather than relying on Amazon to bring your grub to your door, but it’s worth the effort. Heavy cream adds a delicious and creamy vibe to my recipe, and it actually lasts quite a long time in the fridge, so those grocery trips we were talking about don’t have to happen all that often.


#5

Lol, thanks Chris! I edited my post to include this video instead.


@kennufs - thanks for the link! That’s an awesome set of notes that I will be carefully going through. :smile: I never considered going through the notes of different recipes as an info source to this… brilliant!

And I’m glad you say that about the flavor as I’m not fully happy with the overall flavor of mine - something just seems a little off. I think a lot of that is actually due to my oat flour brand/type. I really need to try a couple other brands to compare. This would also be true for my whey and olive oil brands as well… I really need more to compare with. How can I know my recipe is actually as good as it could be if I don’t try it with different brands? Costs are involved, but that’s just a part of doing bidness. :wink:


#6

Here’s hoping you find that offensive flavor(s) quickly and don’t have to work through too many recipes to get something that hits home. It took me until version 9.3 to be happy with my keto soylent, though I had my first non-keto recipes that I enjoyed ready much sooner, like version 1.3 sooner.

Another tip: Don’t delete your old recipes (or ongoing versions as you work out the kinks). Copy them first so you have a reference to fall back on and don’t repeat yourself at some point.

Also, if your interested in recipe notes you can sort the DIY site recipes by note length. FYI, the Hobo recipe guy stole most of his notes from Quid’s recipe just so he could be towards the top of the search.


#7

This may have been instantly obvious to everyone else, but it took me a couple days:

When viewing a food on the USDA database at http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/ changing the 1 on the “[1] Value per 100g” box to a decimal changes the page to a lower serving size (ex [.30] = 30grams), which can be matched up with a specific brand to compare much more easily.

^ - If everyone else figured that out immediately, I’ll just go sit in the corner.


#8

Wow, NEDM, huh? That brings me back. I miss when memes were more than impact font or mspaint comics.

I long for the likes of Brian Peppers now.


#9

So off topic, but screw it: Brian Peppers was the man! http://brianisbackagain.ytmnd.com/


#10

I do a keto soylent.
I make everything in bulk for 2 weeks.
Don’t fret over a few grams here and there, it all balances out over time.

I found that in my recipe I need X grams of something, and a package of that item comes in X +/- 50 grams, I just dump the whole package in the giant food container.

I have a hundred different types of scoops, so if the total grams of my dry mixture for the day 250, I find one that at level is around 50 grams and just grab five of them. I don’t worry about being a few grams off. Learn to let your body be self regulating!


#11

I have smaller 3qt rubbermaid containers that hold about 4 days of powder each, which fits well because I don’t have as robust of a scale. However, this also means I can just add water and oil to the whole thing, shake it like the dickens, and throw it in the refrigerator.

After that, I’ll usually take out what I need, blend it for consistency & taste, and go about my day… usually with a very large thermos, or just out of a glass if I’m working from home.


#12

Here’s my “master ingredients” list I’ve been working on: http://diy.soylent.me/recipes/master-ingredients-priced-1915

I found a bunch of discrepancies with various ingredients, so I went through and compared each food in three places (when possible): product label, USDA database, and other popular DIY recipes. I averaged out the numbers as accurately as possible, leaning on the USDA in times of conflict. Obviously so far I only have the foods I’ve used. I’ll be adding to it.

If anyone has one similar I can use to compare with or sees any issues with mine, please let me know! I updated the prices today, but I did not search other sellers/sources. There are likely cheaper prices to be found (let me know!).