Help Reducing Cost/Optimizing a Keto Recipe?


Oh, true. The Sam’s Club link is actually an accident, I don’t have a membership but the local co-op does sell bulk cocoa powder for lower prices, I should use that. Should probably check for other components as well.


If your body does fine with soy or whey then it may be worthwhile - they do have excellent amino acid profiles and any purported drawbacks are long-term and subtle. I don’t know how long you intend to be on your keto recipe, but if it’s not a long-term thing you may consider it. If there were an easier shortcut to inexpensive protein powder than we’d all be using it.


If your body does fine with soy or whey then it may be worthwhile - they
do have excellent amino acid profiles and any purported drawbacks are
long-term and subtle. I don’t know how long you intend to be on your
keto recipe, but if it’s not a long-term thing you may consider it. If
there were an easier shortcut to inexpensive protein powder than we’d
all be using it.

I am planning to use it long term. I realised I can get protein down to ~2.50 a day by buying in larger quantities from the same supplier (bulk discount + more efficient shipping price.) I’m down to 6.92 a day overall and I’m guessing there are some changes I can make to my micro-nutrient sources to pull out that last .40. That or use an even cheaper non-alkalized cocao powder and add something (perhaps stevia if it seems fine for long term use and is cost effective,) to counteract the increased bitterness. Though I guess at that point I’m getting ahead of myself, have to taste it before I can start fixing the taste.


It’s looking like I can remove some ingredients by getting a more comprehensive multivitamin. What do you all think about the concerns regarding the safety of magnesium stearate?


I wouldn’t worry too much about the magnesium stearate. It’s in everything. :stuck_out_tongue:

You know, you could actually reduce your protein costs by just using less of it. I really doubt you’d need more than 100g per day, especially if you’re only doing 1750 calories.


That’s what I had read but there’s enough concern floating around the net that I figured it was worth asking.

All of the keto calculators I have used recommend at least .8 grams of protein per lb of lean body mass, which comes out to 118g for me. Do you have a different experience/source? I’m not certain of it, just working from what I’ve read.


What is your weight and % body fat? How are you measuring the %?


~175lbs and ~16% body fat. Just a visual estimate based on reference photos, I don’t have callipers or easy access to anyone trained to use them.


The 0.8g/lb lean body mass is a safe overestimation of amount of protein based on rigorous studies of active body builders. The actual maximum any good study has found for any beneficial effects even for novice body builders is around 0.7-0.75g, which was then ratcheted up to 0.8g just to be safe. So that’s the amount of protein you want if you’re an active body builder trying to get every single percentage of muscle mass you can, if you’re not a body builder and not worried about increasing your gains by 5% you can easily do less. 100g protein is a safe estimate for you, that would be ~0.67g per lb LBM, but probably you won’t even use that much. My main worry is that 1750 calories will be too low for you, unless you’re trying to lose weight.

edit: for the record most research only finds benefit for body builders up to 0.65g/lb, the 0.7-0.75g are already outliers.


Oh, excellent, I wouldn’t say I’m a body builder so .8 is definitely too much. I am trying to lose some weight, 1750 may be too steep of a cut but that will be easy to fix if it turns out to be too intense.


You have to remember that on a kytogenic diet your body converts some of the protein into glucose so your brain doesn’t starve. So you have to take in enough protein to meet your needs and some extra to convert to glucose.


True, I checked some sources and they all recommend a minimum of .6-.7 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass when in ketosis and I’ve got it at .69 now. I’ll certainly push it up a bit if/when I start trying to put on muscle but that seems sufficient.


I see some potential issues for you here, mainly taste/texture. The reason Chris was able to spin off my recipe and sell it so well is because it hit the mark of tasting good, and was much smother than the other available recipes. Keto was hard for me to get right, it took a long time and lots of experimenting (as told by the version numbers I’m using), but I got there in the end. The old keto recipes I had tried from the DIY site just didn’t go down well, and were hard to stick with for any length of time.

Your fats will have a heavy influence on your flavors, as long as you like your oils you’ll be fine, but with as much as a keto recipe uses you can’t avoid the impact they bring. MCT can help a bit as it’s neutral, so if your flavor is close it may help swing your recipe into the zone if you use a bit to supplement for the stronger flavors, but start slow to avoid stomach upset. On that note be careful with too much coconut oil as well, though I’ve not used it so I’m not sure if it would have the same gastric effect, it is solid at room temperature and may not work well for you here, especially in a chilled mix.

If you decide you want to stay away from dairy you’ll have a bit tougher time of it, but it’s not impossible. The HWC really does make a tremendous difference (to both taste and texture), and if you decide you’re willing to try it I think you’ll be surprised at just how much it changes your recipe. I have had my recipes without it, if the rest of the recipe is good you can probably stick with it, and you’ll even get accustomed to the stronger flavors with a little time, you just may not have as much fun along the way. HWC was a game changer for me.

Next, your protein mix may be a bit gritty. This may not bother you, but many people prefer a smoother mix. Also, be sure to get a good flavor, the taste of the protein will absolutely make or break your recipe, and should mask the bitterness you were worried about without extra sweetener.

Hopefully you can find something useful in my current keto recipe, it’s only $7.60/day, but I think could easily be brought under $7 at your caloric level with a little tweaking, though it may not fit everything you’re trying to do, and it uses cream. I don’t like pills, which effects my recipes a bit, so you could save some money easily that way. I’ve been trying to get everything I can powdered, and now only have the cream and fish oil and as wet ingredients. I’m going to try powdered fish oil at some point, but it’ll raise the cost a bit. I have also tried powdered HWC, but wasn’t a fan of the flavor profile, though it would work well for backpacking or the like where dry would be necessary.


I like the taste of coconut oil, it’s not very strong, and I have no experience w/ macadamia oil but I’ve heard it’s pleasant, nutty and light. I don’t think coconut oil would cause gastric problems but it is entire possible that my mix will not end up being liquid when chilled, in which case I could eat it with a spoon or up the macadamia oil or replace some coconut with MCT. I think I’ll give this ratio a shot first though, the omega fatty acid ratio works out real well, I get lots of MCTs from coconut oil and I beat the price of using straight MCT oil.

I’ll definitely give it a shot if I can’t get the texture/flavour to work but I’m pretty sure I’m mildly lactose intolerant so it’s definitely not at the top of my list.

Do you say that because of the source/brand? Is rice/pea or true nutrition known to be gritty? This is a good point though and I definitely will not be buying the full amount listed in my recipe for the first order, I might do a pound or two of each flavour they offer and see which is best.

There may be things in there I would like to use. Do you find lecithin necessary to achieve a good mixture? Why two forms of magnesium and phosphorous? Why xanthan gum? Also, I understand your aversion to pills but if you used a different multivitamin and just ground it up you would have money and have a better micro profile. I too have considered applications as a trail food, it seems to me that a mixture using predominantly fats that are solid at room temperature and no water a kind of pre-mixed nutrient-rich lipid could be formulated which could be stored in a large airtight canister. Not sure it it would work as far as perishability goes but I think it would be worth a shot. You would lose the obvious advantage of, say, putting your daily chow in your camelback, but it would probably work.

Thanks for the well considered post, lots of good things to consider.


I expect the bigger issue will be that you cannot get the coconut oil to even mix into your drink. I don’t know if I’ve seen anyone use it before, though if someone is I’d be interested to hear how they made it work. Even at room temp it will be a solid blob, so you would be forced to use a blender to get it to mix. I used a blender regularly a while back, and it’s OK, but I got tired of the extra work before long and wanted to find a recipe that was more prep friendly.

Fortunatley for me I don’t have that issue and don’t know much about how treating it works in the real world. I have heard folks mention taking lactase, but don’t know how much it helps.

Rice protein is known to be very gritty and chalky, Soylent used a rice protein with an extremely fine mesh size to get past it’s issues, but that’s hard for the consumer to source. I’m not sure about pea, but something is nagging in the back of my head that there may be issues with it as well. I think @axcho has worked with pea protein, so he may be able to weigh in. For smoothness and texture it’s hard to beat whey and soy.

Not necessarily, it’s been in my recipes from pretty early on, but I don’t recall any disasters without it. It is known to be a good emulsifier though, which is one reason I included it, plus it’s a good source of choline.

Not sure what you’re seeing… my magnesium is primarily coming from magnesium citrate, and my phosphorous primarily from calcium phosphate, but both are just supplementing what was missing, and both have multiple sources with the other ingredients that are already included.

It’s another good emulsifier and thickener, also adds some fiber, though not much.

I think you’re really underestimating my laziness here. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I don’t want to be bothered with grinding pills, but even more than that I don’t want to be bothered trying to fix the extreme poor taste and bitterness that grinding them into the mix can cause. The bitter vitamins were an issue for a lot of folks early on, which I’d rather avoid. I don’t mind spending a bit more for something already powdered, with the poor flavors already masked.

I have successfully baked some of my recipes into loaves as well for solid soylent, (even made grilled cheese with it :smile:) but it adds a bit of weight and space.

I think some folks have tried that, the consensus being you’ll ruin the camleback.


Will this be your first soylent experience, or have you tried some before (either bought or home made)?


I expect I’ll just find a way to keep the coconut oil above room temperature, such as leaving it on/near a heater in the winter and out in the sun in the summer. Perhaps this will be unworkable or a hassle, we shall see.

To be honest it might be that drinking a bunch of cream would have no effect but I do seem to get gassy when I eat too much cheese, dunno. Either way, yeah, lactase might be worth looking into if I fall back on HWC.

Hmmm, perhaps I will purchase a sampler of 1lb bags of various brands/types/flavours of protein and do a little science.

Cool, I tried it out before but it seemed like it was just an expensive source of choline, may throw it back in if I have emulsion problems.

I’m seeing Manganese Gluconate and Potassium Citrate, albeit at very low amounts, but why add the extra ingredients? More to store.

Ah cool.

Good points all, perhaps at some point I’ll have the room in my budget to be able to afford to not need the blender/coffee grinder, would be nice, it seems the best solution for now though.

Oh wow, well done. I was under the impression that baked soylent was still a fledgling technology.

Ah, too bad.

This will be my first soylent, I’m just sold on the concept.

Do you regularly chew gum to maintain your jaw muscles? If so would you recommend any specific suppliers/brands?


Coconut oil can be microwaved to melt it before mixing, so it’s not a big deal.

Rice protein is gritty. Pea protein is even grittier.

Xanthan gum is essential to keep the solid particles and the oils suspended in liquid. Lecithin is not essential.


Coconut oil at Trader Joes is a bit cheaper at $6 for 16 oz instead of $19 for 30 oz


You can also get it for $18.95 a gallon, delivered.


I tend to chew, but don’t make a point of it everyday, it’s more out of boredom than to actively maintain my jaw. Plus, it doesn’t take a lot to maintain the muscle, periodic chewing should be fine.

I tend to go with gum that has xylitol since it’s supposed to be good for your teeth. I’ve got some Spry at the moment, the flavors are good, they don’t keep their flavor long, but the gum doesn’t disintegrate.