Just my opinion, but all of top recipes are pretty gross tasting


I was pretty excited to try out some of these recipes because it seemed like a easy way to eat healthy. I got my ingredients today and tried several varieties: almond meal with corn meal, oat flour with corn meal, adding brown sugar and cocoa, and using milk instead of water.

All of it was pretty gross. The most drinkable was the the new bachelor chow with no oat and only almond and corn meal. Adding salt made it undrinkable though. Even without the salt I would still describe it as slightly unpleasant. The almond meal is gritty despite tons of blending which didn’t help. I tried various levels of wateriness and many other variables and didn’t really find one that I could drink every day without wretching.

I’m not just coming here to bash soylent, I just wanted to give honest feedback as someone who was really open to the idea. If you’re not a fan of whey protein shakes made with water you’re probably not going to like soylent. They were unpleasant in a very similar way in my opinion. It tastes unnatural, like they just really don’t go together.

I will probably continue to experiment since I have all the ingredients anyway. But for those who are wary, maybe wait until the official release in case it tastes better. At the very least you’ll only be out $65 for a week’s supply instead of buying tons of powders in bulk.


Thanks for sharing. I’ve been wondering about how all the diy recipes are in the taste department. I get the feeling a lot of people don’t actually make the shakes, they just come up with the ingredients because it’s like solving a math problem or something. You mentioned whey. I’ve been making fruit smoothies with protein for a few months now and whey isolate tastes a lot better than rice or pea protein. (Pea protein is probably the worst tasting) But I find rice protein to be easier to digest than whey.


I think most of the people who made those recipes also add things like cinnamon and mint to change the flavor. They probably didn’t add such things to the recipe because not every one likes cinnamon or mint.


Matt - adding cinnamon to the milk and almond meal variant is genius. This is actually palatable. A packet of splenda seemed to help too but I’ll probably leave the splenda out next time.


After finishing a glass with cinnamon I’m still not sure I could drink this every day. Not really sure what I can do to make this better even if it means sacrificing some of the healthiness.


Supposedly you can use the same artificial flavors one buys to add to water, though I don’t know what kinds there are or if any of them are good. There was someone who used vanilla flavoring. If nothing else see what flavoring stuff is out there and find ones that you like, that way you have a selection of flavors to choose from.

According to the Soylent blog, Soylent is for the most part, flavorless. They do claim that there is a ‘hint of vanilla’ but as to how many could taste it, they never said.


Not sure if you have tried my one - http://diy.soylent.me/recipes/countdown-2

I have yet to try it, but have tried to keep to something that seems on paper like it might taste ok. I don’t suggest the coffee powder is necessarily part of the drink, but have it there as some people drink coffee, and I wanted to make sure it’s not a factor in the overall picture. The prunes can either be blended into the mix or eaten separately. I suspect they will have a strong flavour influence


This makes me wonder - how good is Soylent really going to taste? It’s essentially just that, a “protein shake made with water.” And some cooking oil. :slight_smile: In the little documentary Vice made, the guy who compared it to horchata said he didn’t really like Soylent’s flavor. I guess I could make it with milk instead, but that would up the cost. Just really wondering when the “beige colored goop” hits my lips, is it all going to be a big letdown. Anyway, happy New Year, hopefully we can get some Soylent in 2014 :smiley:


I don’t think anyone is expecting soylent to taste good. They say it’s fairly flavorless. I think neutral to “ok” is the best we can hope for.


unsynch - unfortunately don’t have most of those ingredients, but I wish you luck when you get a chance to try it!


Matt88 - Not sure the artificial flavorings will help much. They tend to be really fruity and I just can’t imagine fruity flavors mixing well with really wheaty nutty flavors.


Yup, I totally agree with this. But I’ve also heard them describe it as slightly sweet due to the maltodextrin. We’ll see in 2014. Happy New Year everyone!


I have been eating bachelor chow for over a month, and I assume like most tailor the flavor. I think it tastes pretty good in my variant which adds a lot of cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, and a little sage.


I’m pretty tired of all these snowflakes complaining about the taste, this is not gourmet food, you’re doing this for your health.


In my experience so far, getting it to bland - like watered down unsweetened oatmeal - is the best you can do while keeping it cheap enough for daily consumption. I actually thought my recipe tasted pretty good in the beginning, but I’ve either gotten tired of it, or my tweaks have hurt the taste over time.

All of my tweaking now is for taste, so I’ll share when I’ve finalized it, but this is generally what I do to improve the taste:

  • cocoa powder (20g)
  • ceylon cinnamon (4g, but not as much as I’d like)
  • Include a sugar of some sort for the carbs (while staying under 20g of fructose/day)
  • Let it sit in the fridge overnight
  • Never let it get warm before drinking
  • Water it down till the grittiness goes away

These are things that I’ve done to improve taste that just cost too much for me, or aren’t good for daily use:

  • Milk instead of water
  • Use cassia cinnamon or a lot more ceylon
  • Add a banana
  • Exceed the 20g fructose limit on sugar

On the plus side, I tend to appreciate the solid food I eat more, and I tend to go for better (and better tasting) real food when I do have it.


As people noted here, the purpose of soylent isn’t to have beautiful looking gourmet food, it’s for cheap and wholesome nutrition.

That said, food taste and mouthfeel will always be a significant hurdle when it comes to broad scale adoption by the public. But there’s no reason why soylent has to be a thin watery oatmeal, or even a liquid shake at all!

In my case, I decided to treat the soylent as a food base and experiment with it on a daily basis - I left out practically all of the sugars that everyone threw in to pad the carbs and caloric content. This gave me a decent amount of headroom to add whatever I want in there, and I’ve had quite a bit of success experimenting with different variants of flavor. Additionally, I’ve decided that I prefer baking (~30 minute process) or microwaving it (~5 minutes) to drinking soylent. Most recently, I have a batch of barbecued soylent (still needs work) and a delightful cranberry maple walnut soylent. I’ve done fettucini alfredo, curry, mocha brownies, pancakes, etc. - it’s really versatile and can be extremely tasty with just a little forethought.

The only catch is the lower ratio of flour/starch to proteins means that the resulting foods tend to be spongier than one would expect, though it really depends entirely on the amount of liquid you add and how you bake it. Cooking in the microwave leads to fluffier food (like a souffle), baking in the oven can be spongy (if cooked in thick layers) or chewy (if cooked longer or in thin layers).

My only concern in all of this is the potential for cooking to modify or break down some of the nutrients in the food, but from everything I’ve read there shouldn’t be a problem (even with the microwave) as long as you don’t cook things extremely hot or long.

Making a change (like moving to soylent) is only sustainable if you can make it part of your routine - something you can enjoy and appreciate. Have fun with it!


I respectfully have to disagree with @ElCarnicero and others who say this is not a gourmet food or taste does not matter as much as healthiness. The collaborative efforts of the DIY group have only just begun. The first objective certainly is 100% RDA but following that most certainly is improving taste. Similar to a car as a means of transportation, and now focuses on comforts.
While I have my own versions of diy (people chow and Dr. Nexus blends) and I can stomach the bland tastes, my wife will have none of it for the very simple reason is she doesn’t like the taste. She said fix that and both of us will be on the shakes. Until then she will stick to the mouth watering ribeyes.


Yeah, I agree with @cohron. I can personally handle the blandness because long before I started this, I would usually sacrifice the quality and taste of my breakfasts for convenience anyway. Many people I tell about this think I’m exercising extreme willpower to limit my consumption of “real food” to “just 1 meal per day”.

It’s all because of the taste. This won’t be mainstream until it becomes enjoyable.


I read maltodextrin is good for mouthfeel and flavor- have you experimented with levels of that? Which ingredients are the hardest to deal with? Is it the protein? Which proteins are you using?

Which is worse to you? The flavor, or the mouthfeel?

While waiting for my ingredients to arrive so I can start experimenting (first with this one) I purchased Garden of Life Raw Meal Chocolate. After just a day on this, I feel like even bad DIY Soylent will taste INCREDIBLE by comparison. The primary ingredients of Raw Meal are various sprouts, grass-based juices, and rice protein. It’s made me realize that just as important as flavor are mouthfeel and smell.

I went in this expecting it to taste bad, but I didn’t think the taste would have been the lesser issue. Flavor wise, it tastes like dirt. I mean, literally like clay. Which isn’t “bad” per se but it is pretty unpleasant. The bigger issue is the consistency, smell, and texture. It feels like dirt too. Like muddy clay. And you could say it smells like clay too, if clay was as pungent as garlic; smelling it is like tasting it. It makes the overall experience really awful. I almost vomited from it after my mid-day serving.

Cacao is one of the last ingredients on the label and you can’t taste it at all. Adding sugar, Splenda, stevia, vanilla extract, and honey do nothing. Blending forever doesn’t help. A ton of cinnamon is the only thing that somewhat helps. The clay flavor and smell are just too overpowering, and even if it tasted fantastic it’d still feel like swallowing mud. Mud that sticks to every surface of your mouth for hours and dries on your glass like concrete before you even finish.

I’m going to keep at it though at least once a day until my ingredients arrive as I suspect it’ll make even a bad first attempt at DIY Soylent totally palatable.


My palette is a bit different, I actually liked the Raw Meal (I bought the unflavored not knowing I could have done chocolate or vanilla). To me it has a back taste of peas in the shake which I kind of like and reminds me of ‘real’ food.


I also used about 25g of cayenne pepper to get my Vitamin A and K up in some formulations. It is really spicy, but being a coon-ass I enjoy it for some of my meals.

When I started this adventure, I used to stick 100% to the recipe and make sure everything was in the green, etc. Now, I am using one of the most popular recipes (People’s Chow version 2.x) which is fairly neutral but for me requires overnight refrigeration in water to soften the masa meal (better mouth feel) and add cocoa/sugar or cayenne/cocoa or fruit powder (I know fructose is not the best for you but I have a lb of strawberry powder I don’t want to waste) or milk with cocoa instead of water. I am planning on ordering dried mint leaves/powder soon too.

I consume 3 meals @ 500 kcal each (about 121 grams soylent) plus my flavor additives gives me a ball park deficit of 500 kcal per day (I burn about 2200 kcal per day according to my fitbit) to lose about 1 lb per week.