Food stamp friendly Soylent


#1

I am developing a selection of food stamp friendly Soylent recipes. I am currently testing four recipes. So far, every ingredient used can be bought on food stamps, at least in Idaho (I know, because I did it). I have also taken pains to choose ingredients that should be available in at least most places in the U.S. This is a completely open source project, so the recipes along with all relevant information will be released freely.

My cheapest recipe so far is $1.38 a meal, at local Idaho prices, with almost everything at regular retail pricing, except 3 spices/herbs bought in bulk. (In other words, there may be room for improvement.)

I am also considering making a self published (via lulu.com) recipe book, if there is enough interest to justify the effort.

I am posting information regarding this on my blog. The introduction to this topic is at: http://makeshifttechnology.blogspot.com/2013/08/soylent-introduction.html This is where I will be posting my recipes and other information as well. I plan to post all of my documentation and research references sometime this week (Friday, probably), and I plan to post the four recipes I am currently testing by Saturday.

Lord Rybec


#2

Post your recipe on http://www.makesoylent.com/, the unofficial repository for DIY Soylent recipes.


#3

I do not plan to post my recipes anywhere else. Unfortunately, I am just too busy to keep up with my research, my blog, this, and that (I am in college, and I am taking summer classes right now; it is amazing I have enough time to do what I am doing). That said, if somebody else wants to post my recipes there, I am completely fine with that (and it sounds like a lot of people would appreciate that).

Anyhow, I have created my documentation post: http://makeshifttechnology.blogspot.com/2013/08/soylent-documentation.html. No recipes yet, but this post includes the list of ingredients I used. It also discusses some common concerns I have read about the nutrition of meal replacement drinks.


#4

Hi rybecarethdar,

Interesting project you have – we have worked on somewhat similar idea, “Organic Soylent”, already few months in Finland with our friends. We have used considerable amount of time to calculate and optimize the nutrition profile with whole foods product (in powder format). Have a look at our work in this thread:


#5

Great project! While my goals are a bit different, it looks like you have a lot of useful information. My current recipes are actually very close to gluten free. I am using oat flour, which contains gluten, but the company that makes it also produces a gluten free version. Currently I do not have any recipes using it, because I have not gotten the nutritional information for it. Once I finish testing on my current recipes though, I may try to make some gluten free recipes (I am certain there are plenty of people with gluten sensitivities on food stamps).

At some point, I may also consider trying to make a recipe that eliminates the milk powder. While my goal is not to make a vegan friendly recipe, it is, to my knowledge, the only non-vegan ingredient I have. Since it is only one ingredient, it may not be too much work to replace it with something vegan friendly. (I think the only issue is the vitamin D. Everything else can be handled by increasing ingredients I am already using.)

Anyhow, good luck on your project. It looks like the Soylent community is creating recipes for everyone, from organic to food stamp friendly, and everything in between. That totally rocks.


#6

I added some information to the documenation post on using cinnamon and stevia for increasing insulin sensitivity (that post is intended to work as a living document that is updated as I learn more things, or add more ingredients). I have designed a recipe with more cinnamon for this, and the refined stevia powders found in stores have no nutritional value, and thus can be added without any worry about upper limits (but they should not be added in excessive amounts).

I’ll be posting actual recipes soon.


#7

Here is my first soylent recipe (see the documents post for more information on ingredients):

I don’t know if I will have time to post the other three today, but now that I can use this one as a template, I should be able to post the rest fairly quickly once I get more time.

Also, I have so far not tested any one recipe for more than one day. If anyone does do this, let me know how it goes.


#8

Ok, it took longer than I thought, but I finally managed to post all the rest of my recipes. I will probably continue to make more recipes, especially once I have time to find a few more ingredients (I hear Augason Farms has dehydrated bananas that are sold at Walmart.) Here are recipes I just posted:





Note that in all but the reflux recipes, the fiber is slightly low. I added a count for the fiber right before the reflux one, and took it into account for that recipe. Most of the other recipes are low by about 10%, but since that is still far more than the average American gets, I don’t think it will be a problem. If you are really worried though, my documentation post provides a link to a zip file that includes a spreadsheet with nutritional information for most of my ingredients (not sure about the ginger and parsley). Increasing the flaxseed meal is probably the best way to increase the fiber.


#9

I just updated my documentation post. Yesterday I had pretty low blood sugar again, and after some research I found that corn starch has a very similar glycemic index to pure sugar. This means that it is digested and absorbed very quickly (at least my insulin response seems to be doing very well). I crossed out the part of the documentation about adding calories with corn starch and sugar, pending research to find a lower glycemic index alternative (that is food stamp friendly and not too expensive).

My current solution is to increase the oat flour to 120 grams (more than that puts manganese over the upper limit). Adding extra tomato power or strawberries may also help, and increased flaxseed meal will probably help as well, however, I have not done the math on that, so only add more of these if you have first made sure it won’t put any nutrients over their upper limits.


#10

How much continued luck have you had with this formula?

My roommate and I are starting in on it tomorrow and we’d love any advice or tweaks you suggest.


#11

It looks like the carbs need some adjustment. I have, on two known occasions, had low blood sugar on these recipes. The first time, I believe, was on the high tomato one. The second was on the cinnamon one, with added sugar and cornstarch (I thought the low blood sugar was a consequence of the low calories; had I been aware that the glycemic index of the starch is almost the same as sugar, I would have done things differently). The problem is that the sugar and starch have a very high glycemic index, and the high fiber was not enough to make up for it.

Note that I am mildly hypoglycemic, which may have aggravated the problem. If you start feeling very tired, or get a head ache around 1 to 2 hours after a “meal” (for a 60fl oz batch, I consider 20fl oz as a meal), I would recommend stopping, to avoid potential complications (note also that while my blood sugar was low, it was stable and not dangerously low; it was a 82 both times, which is considered very low for during the day, but is a reasonable fasting blood sugar).

I am currently looking for a solution to this problem. The best option right now looks like one of 4 bean flours (I hope they don’t ruin the flavor). Bob’s Red Mill has Garbanzo, White, Fava, and Black bean flours. The first three have very low glycemic indexes and the black bean flour is higher, but also pretty low. The low glycemic indexes combined with reasonably high carbs should last much longer and cause less of a blood sugar spike (I did not measure the spike, but the very low blood sugar indicates a high spike, followed by an excessive insulin reaction). Once I get the nutritional information from Bob’s (and have a little time), I will revise my recipes and update the calories section of my documentation post.

Let me know how this goes. I would love to see if the low blood sugar problem is an issue with the recipe, or if my hypoglycemia is making a mild issue into a more dramatic problem. Once I have revised recipes and other information, I’ll post here so you can try the new formulas if you want.


#12

Will do. I tried your high tomato recipe some last week.

Overall it’s pretty awesome, but I’m running into a problem with calorie density. I’m 6’8" and even at my target weight of 250lbs I need 3000 calories. I’m not sure what the best approach to add those calories in is going to be, I’ve debated just adding more Olive Oil, or something else


#13

The calorie density is indeed a problem. Currently the best ways to increase calories is olive oil and non-enriched soy protein (not the stuff already included in the recipe). I am still looking for a carb calorie source that won’t push any nutrients over their upper limits. Bean flour looks like the best option right now, but I am still waiting on nutritional information. So far, the four bean flours I have looked at appear to be lower on the manganese per calorie than the oat flour, so I might be able to reduce the oat flour and trade for bean flour to increase calories.

On a side note, I have found some claims that manganese poisoning does not occur with overages from strictly food sources, but I have not found any reliable research proving this. (There are similar claims for magnesium, but with reliable research.) So maybe I’ll look into that a bit deeper. If I can find solid evidence for those claims, then there will be a bit more flexability in this area. I’ll post an update once I have more information.


#14

Thanks for all the awesome work you’re doing. I just mixed up a week’s worth of the dry ingredients. I’ll share some feedback as we get going. I think I’m going to mostly up my calories using by using milk and coconut milk to mix my soylent, and taking Olive Oil shots more times a day than I care to contemplate.


#15

I should point out that they probably mean that the acute effects of excess Magnesium (upset stomach) don’t occur via food sources, but chronic effects of an ion imbalance may well still occur. We’re trying to piece together the ion balance puzzle in another thread here.


#16

Just started with a batch of your Low Oat recipe this morning… the taste is… interesting. Not bad, on the sweet floury side, but with the obvious basil coloring, it was completely foreign. :wink:

I had an issue with the measuring of 1-2 grams of some ingredients. My cheap scale just did not want to cooperate.

Also… the 20oz serving consistency was a lil’ too much, but I had left the batch in the fridge overnight so I don’t know if it was less sludgy when it was freshly mixed. With added water it was much easier to consume. I need more hydration in general anyway. :smile:

Thanks for your hard work and I am looking forward to seeing how this goes. I’ll be following your blog and this thread for updates!


#17

On the manganese thing: The “research” I found on this pointed out that a lot of vegetarian diets have between 20mg and 25mg of manganese per day. It suggested that, given the number of vegetarians on such diets, we would see a significant number cases of manganese poisoning (non-acute as well as acute) among vegetarians. The fact that we have not seen really any cases of food source manganese poisoning suggests that either food sources cannot cause manganese poisoning (as I mentioned above, research has shown this to be the case with magnesium), or that the IoM upper limit applies only to non-food sources and we have no idea where the upper limit for food sources is. In other words, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that the safe upper limit of manganese for food sources is no less than 20mg.

I’ll try to spend a bit of time this week doing more in depth research on this. For now, I would guess that it is safe going with double the IoM upper limit of 11mg, but I would suggest being very careful with going over (for instance, become familiar with the symptoms of manganese poisoning and stop with the soylent if you get those symptoms).

As for ion balance, there is a huge amount we don’t know about nutrition. I sincerely hope that the interest in soylent helps us discover new things so we can further improve it. Thanks for that link. I’ll look through that thread to see if I can find anything else useful for improving my recipes.


#18

Yeah, doing the 60oz per day thing is pretty thick. The 80oz one is a bit easier to drink. That said, if you want to try freezing for something with a consistency not too far from typical frozen desserts, the 60oz one seems to work best.

I still don’t have information on the bean flours. I’ll try again. I also recently bought some Augason Farms dehydrated bananas, which have a much better price than the strawberries. Since the purpose of the strawberries was to increase potassium, which bananas are also high in, I may be able to replace the strawberries with bananas and lower the cost as the same time. (Also, increasing fruit sources of carb calories should improve the glycemic load.)


#19

Yeah, even with the low oat recipe, the volume of strawberries required will whip through that can pretty fast. Do I remember correctly, seeing that the bananas are honey glazed though? That would affect other things as well…


#20

Well… day two. And all I am going to say about day one is that I did it wrong. :wink: The mix was way off and really heavy and today’s batch is waaaaaaayyy easier to consume and tastes better. I think I got my small ingredient measurement method fixed. Cheers!