Bret's Soylent: Oat, Rice. Complete, low price. Tasty!

by hess8
Last updated August 15, 2017 Copy
AmountVolumeIngredient$ / daySource
217gOat Flour Honeyville Farms $0.60Honeyville
66gRice protein powder, 77% protein by weight$0.96Bulk foods
81ml0.37cupCanola Oil$0.14Local, 5qt (Costco)
46g3.7tbspSugar or sugar+sucralose (see notes)$0.13Amazon
5g1tbspHershey's Special Dark Cocoa$0.07Amazon
1pillKirkland Signature Daily Multi$0.03Amazon
5gPotassium chloride$0.10Amazon
0.4pillVitamin K$0.03Amazon
1.56gLysine$0.03Amazon
0.9gtspXanthan gum (see notes on amount)$0.03Amazon
3.1gSalt$0.01Amazon
1.23gCholine Bitartrate$0.03Amazon
1.2pillCalcium and vitamin D$0.04Amazon
Amounts for:
Total Daily Cost:
$2.21Add Ingredients
to Amazon Cart

Uses a macro nutrition profile very close to Soylent 1.4, which was 43-40-17 carb/fat/protein by calories percentage.

See my other recipes using whey protein , corn and wheat protein, and wheat protein. They taste very different.

This recipe is almost universally liked, and probably the best to start with if you don't have a preference. It has medium texture (grit). If this is a problem for you, the smoothest ones are whey and wheat protein.

Yes, the great price is for real and I update the ingredient prices when I buy more. You need to buy in bulk (see the links) to get these savings. And an Amazon prime account might help. Costs: The recipe editor on this site automatically calculates price per day. It shows you how many days that each purchase lasts... look at the recipe editor tab, column "days/unit". As far as how long your first order would last, you can see that the oat flour bag runs out first at 105 days. If you ordered 2 bags of flour and 2 calcium bottles, you'd be up to 165 days when the rice protein runs out, and you have to order that again. So it's about $450 investment to get started, and then it will average about $2.50 a day to replace supplies...or less if you eat less than 2000 cal/day.

See instructions here for how to use this mix and adjust to soylent.

If you want to try it before you invest in ingredients, I'll send you a day's supply of powder to try by priority mail (2-3 days), if you send me $16 ( $26 for 2 days, $42 for 4 days, $57 for 6 days, $67 for 8 days) by SquareCash ($brethess), Google Wallet or PayPal to: bret dot hess at gmail.com (replace the "dot" and "at" with the real symbols). Be clear about whether you want the rice, wheat, corn or whey version, or a combination. I sell only samples (no continuing orders).

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Background

My family used official Soylent (1.1 through 1.4) for about 5 months for about 2 meals a day. At the same time, I experimented with my own recipes, while matching the official Soylent nutrition, and finding the right prices for the ingredients. In Feb 2015 I found a rice protein recipe that was a hit with the family, who said it tastes better than the official product (v1.4). I now rotate between all of my recipes.

I find that weight loss/maintenance is a lot easier with soylent for two meals a day than eating traditional meals. It's very satisfying, and you know you're getting complete nutrition. I could have marked this "Weight Loss!"...just watch your total calories.

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Mixing

I mix a month's supply of powder (everything but the oil and water) in a 5 gallon bucket with a mixer that's powered by my drill in reverse. Pour it into a second bucket (to turn it upside down) to do the final mixing of what was on the bottom of the first bucket. I measure amounts on a digital scale in a very large bread mixing bowl (holds about 3 kg of flour) and put it into the bucket for mixing. You'll be glad if you get a lid like this for the bucket.

Here's a spreadsheet calculator for mixing any number of days you want of the mix or the vitamin mix. Just replace "Days to Mix" number with the number of days you want to mix.

To save time, I mix about 4-6 months at a time of the vitamins and minerals (the pills go in the blender with a tight lid...I put plastic over the blender and then the lid...the dust is not pleasant) including salt and xanthan, and mix all in the big bowl with a whisk and store. Then just add the number of grams of this vitamin mix that the calculator above says. So it's only 4 ingredients plus this powder to mix up a month's worth. This method means you can get good vitamin accuracy with a scale with 1 g resolution

For example, for 180 days of vitamins/minerals, I go to the recipe calculator and choose 180 days. This is many multivitamin pills, but I don't count them, I just weigh them. The calculator gives the number of grams of multivitamins to use, and the number of other pills (I just round to whole or half pills) Then I blend them all up. Then add this to the powders in the big bowl and whisk.

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Protein

The protein comes from brown rice and oats. I added lysine to achieve the balance for complete protein. See the protein essential amino acid analysis (blue columns are the summary). This recipe provides at least 150% of the WHO recommended of each essential amino acid, and the balance is very good. There is a lot of tryptophan in oats, but in amounts similar to meats, fish, cheeses and beans (ref). Larger amounts of tryptophan in foods does not seem to change the blood levels of tryptophan, as opposed to the purified form in supplements (ref).

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Oats

All my recipes have some oat flour. It's easy to digest and has excellent protein and fiber (why add a fiber supplement when this grain is so good?).

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Xanthan gum

This adds a little thickening for texture, and keeps it from separating. It also reduces all tastes somewhat, including sweetness (slips right past those tastebuds if you put in a lot). Optional. I mix it in with my big powder batches so I don't have to add one more ingredient on a daily basis. If you do choose to add it separately into the blender each day, use only half as much! It's a more effective thickener before it's mixed with the other powders.

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Sodium

Most nutritional and medical associations have lowered their recommendations to 1500 mg/day (down from 2300 mg). The amount here (1250mg per 2000 cal) is below that, and below that in official Soylent 1.5 (1440). If you want to lower sodium further, it also tastes good with 1000 mg.

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Chloride

The potassium comes with chloride. In the past I used some potassium citrate for part of the potassium to keep the chloride within the typical "maximum" amount. But I researched this, and there is no chloride toxicity from chloride in the range of double the "maximum" amount. Because there is no danger from chloride itself, the "maximum" amount was simply set to match the amount of chloride that comes in the recommended amount of salt. In other words, it's sodium that can be dangerous, and whoever set the "maximum" amount of chloride was making things up: "The AI for chloride is set at a level equivalent on a molar basis to that of sodium, since almost all dietary chloride comes with the sodium added during processing or consumption of foods."(ref) In fact studies of patients taking potassium chloride (in addition to a steady salt intake) showed a reduction in sodium levels in the body.(ref), caused by the presence of potassium.

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Sugar

The sugar amount is "within" the WHO guidelines: - "In both adults and children, WHO recommends reducing the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake (strong recommendation). • WHO suggests a further reduction of the intake of free sugars to below 5% of total energy intake (conditional recommendation). • Free sugars include monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods and beverages by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates."

As written (chocolate) the recipe has 9% of calories from sugar (disaccharide), which is better than their "strong recommendation (10%)" and close to their "hopeful" one (5%). Their 5% goal doesn't count fruit eaten, so if you're replacing some fruit consumption with this, it could easily meet the health effects of the 5% goal.

To reduce sugar, you can replace half of it with the equivalent volume (not weight) of sucralose (Splenda). Tastes the same.

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Oil

Official Soylent went from 30% to 40% of calories by fat in version 1.4 and 1.5, and I've followed that here. I think this reflects the increasing understanding that getting a significant portion of our calories by healthy fats can be very healthy and satisfying. The problem with our diets wasn't too much fat, but too many calories, too much sugar and unhealthy fats.

Oil preference is more a matter of fad than science these days, so if you're against Canola, find a new oil...I don't mind. It won't really change the price or calories. But the research in these notes has convinced me that canola oil is quite healthy:

"Canola oil is low in saturated fat and contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a ratio of 2:1. If consumed, it also reduces low-density lipoprotein and overall cholesterol levels, and as a significant source of the essential omega-3 fatty acid is associated with reduced all-cause and cardiovascular mortality" Wikipedia. "In 2001, researchers at a conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health concluded that the two classes of fatty acid should be consumed in a 1:1 ratio. As of 2007, the Japanese government recommended a ratio of 4:1, while the Swedish government recommended a ratio of 5:1, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in the United States recommended a ratio of 10:1. (In all cases, the number to the left of the ratio is omega-6 fats, while the number to the right is omega-3s.)" Wikipedia.

"Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1 whereas in Western diets the ratio is 15/1-16.7/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids ... A ratio of 2.5/1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4/1 with the same amount of omega-3 PUFA had no effect. The lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk. A ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences" 2002 study.

So the ratios are all over the place. But the info above makes me think that the high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in western diets is probably an extreme to avoid. This recipe has a total ratio of about 3:1.

Another issue in the oils controversy that wrongly criticizes canola and is not an issue in this recipe is the form of vitamin E, gamma vs alpha. One correlation study suggests that the consumption of higher gamma over alpha in the US could reduce the lung capacity for 1% of people. Another study says that the gamma form might guard against cancer and dementia. So it's not decided, but regardless, high gamma consumption in the US is due to soybean oil (76% gamma) and corn oil, not canola (7% gamma).

In any case, the multivitamin vitamin E used here has the alpha-form, which is where almost all of the vit. E comes from, and so the vitamin E in this recipe is overwhelmingly alpha form; the gamma form is very small here (about 1%), and you probably should be glad to get a little of it, since just one form is probably not great.

So canola seems to work well with a good ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, and no issues with vitamin E.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Day
41% Carb, 18% Protein, 41% Fat
Calories1939
% Daily Values*
100%
Total Carbohydrate202g
131%
Dietary Fiber 36g
108%
Protein87g
100%
Total Fat90g
Saturated Fat8g
Monounsaturated Fat53g
Polyunsaturated Fat28g
281%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids7g
206%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids21g
Cholesterol0mg
Calcium
105%
Vitamin A
117%
Chloride
197%
Vitamin B6
171%
Chromium
100%
Vitamin B12
250%
Copper
218%
Vitamin C
100%
Iodine
100%
Vitamin D
147%
Iron
112%
Vitamin E
257%
Magnesium
109%
Vitamin K
104%
Manganese
477%
Thiamin
252%
Molybdenum
1064%
Riboflavin
149%
Phosphorus
161%
Niacin
146%
Potassium
100%
Folate
143%
Selenium
236%
Pantothenic Acid
209%
Sodium
102%
Biotin
100%
Sulfur
Choline
101%
Zinc
166%
 
* Percent Daily Values are based on "Solylent 1.4, 1900 calories, U.S. government DRI male 19-50". You may use the Nutrient Calculator to personalise your own profile, then select it from the list on the Recipe Editor tab.
Nutrient Profile: Solylent 1.4, 1900 calories, U.S. government DRI male 19-50Change

4 Reviews

1 review
8 months ago
Excellent overall taste
A little gritty
Snacky betwen meals
Above average flatulence
Reviewer tried this recipe 2-5 times

I ordered a 1-day sample directly from Bret, and used it for a few meals, but no more than 1 meal per day so I'm still eating a lot of other food and the score a gave for flatulence is probably unrelated to this recipe.

My first experience with this recipe, I was knocked over by how good it tastes. Way better than Soylent power (though my only experience was with 1.5), and much tastier than "drink" (2.0), which I consider to be pretty flavorless. The flavor is pretty sweet and somewhat chocolaty (the chocolate is very subtle). This was the result of mixing and immediately consuming.

I immediately mixed a single meal for the next day and left it in my fridge overnight, and was surprised to find the next day that it was far less impressive. It was completely bland, and given how few variables there are here it can only be attributed to being left overnight. For my final meal, I again did a mix-and-drink approach and was pleased to find that the great flavor I had enjoyed the first time returned. So if you try one approach and don't love the flavor, I'd recommend trying the other and see if your opinion changes.

Fullness is a challenge for me as I have an immense appetite and I usually have to snack after a Soylent 2.0 meal as well; I'd say this recipe was just on par with Soylent as far as fullness goes.

Overall I'm giving this 5 stars because it surpasses Soylent in flavor and greatly in cost, and matches Soylent in terms of fullness and nutrition.

1 review
10 months ago
Below average flatulence
Terrible overall taste
Very gritty
Don't feel full
Reviewer tried this recipe once
Reviewer is currently using this recipe

It was really gunky and gritty. If you like tortilla chips, it literally tastes like liquid tortilla chips. I could not manage to swallow it nor stop from gagging when I tried it.

Feel bad now since I got over $200 in supplies sitting around since I did not like it... Anyone have any better suggestions on what to do with it?

1 review
2 years ago
Good overall taste
Higher than average energy level
Below average flatulence
Somewhat gritty
Don't feel full
Reviewer tried this recipe 5-10 times
Reviewer is not currently using any type of Complete Food

My initial review (and why it may not apply to you): First things first: The only reason I'm trying soylent is because I have IBS and soylent seems like an easy way to go on the low FODMAP diet (http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/). Furthermore, I'm not scared away by the potential lack of flavor and monotony of just eating soylent. I've lived in a number of remote areas overseas where the locally-available foods were extremely limited and fairly bland, so I think I'm mentally prepared in that regard.

I got a 4-day sample from Bret Hess (the creator of this soylent recipe, if you haven't figured that out by now). Because my primary interest is how my intestines react to this recipe (not flavor, enjoyment, etc), I simply started eating soylent one morning and ate nothing else until the 4-day sample ran out 2 2/3 days later. That's a 3,000 calorie/day rate, but I still felt hungry a lot of the time. Now, this is one of places my experience probably doesn't apply to you. First, it's entirely possible that I use >3,000 calories/day - I'm a 30 y.o., very active male. It's also possible that years of IBS means that my intestines simply aren't absorbing all 3,000 calories. Side note: has anyone done any research into the bio-availability of uncooked oat flour and rice protein? In general cooking foods increases the calories that actually get absorbed. I know, there a ton of ways of measuring this. If you want to start down the rabbit hole, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_value However, I think the primary reason I felt hungry a lot is because my intestines simply weren't bloated at all for the first 2 days! It was wonderful. I went for a run and ran 30 seconds/mile faster than I expected - a huge decrease that I attribute almost entirely to a happy tummy. On the third (and final) day the bloating came back. Why? Because my intestines are evil, that's why. Seriously though, I don't know. It may have been stress related or something else entirely unrelated to food, or it may be the result of 2 days of massive amounts of oats (I think this is unlikely given the quick improvement the first two days followed by the rapid decline on the third day). But those two glorious bloat-free days were enough to convince me to make the investment in trying this recipe longer-term. I plan to eat it two meals per day - probably 2000 calories total split into 3 or 4 smaller meals (eating smaller amounts more frequently helped me not get so hungry) - and normal food one meal per day.

Flavor: I like the flavor when I initially start eating. It's like a chocolate-y bran muffin flavor. However, the flavor quickly becomes less appealing the more I eat. I guess if you're trying to avoid over-eating, this is probably a very desirable trait. For me (being hungry and trying to eat large amounts), it could be annoying.

Final note on feeling full: it takes some time during and after eating for your body to release hormones that help you feel full (I know, it's not that simple: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-eating-slowly-may-help-you-feel-full-faster-20101019605), so if you gulp down a full meal's worth of soylent in 30 seconds or a minute, you're going to have to wait a bit to feel satisfied. I spent more time feeling satisfied and less time feeling hungry when I ate smaller amounts more frequently.

Bowel movements: I also experienced a marked improvement in bowel movements (regularity and consistency) while on soylent. I'd rate them a 4 on the Bristol stool scale (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_stool_scale).

I'll update in a month or two after I'm on this recipe for a longer period of time.

1 review
2 years ago
Good overall taste
Below average flatulence
A little gritty
Reviewer tried this recipe more than 10 times
Reviewer is currently using this recipe

Started on official Soylent 1.3, switched to this due to cost. Amazing price, and tastes pretty damn close to official Soylent 1.4 to me. Add vanilla powder for a taste closer to official 1.3.

Been living off it for about 90% of my daily calories for the last two weeks. Feel great, no weight gain or loss. Will follow up with blood tests soon.