|Amount||Volume||Ingredient||$ / day||Source|
|130||g||Oat Flour/Powder||$0.41||Kauffman's Fruit Farm & Market|
|124||g||Blue-corn Masa Harina (corn flour)||$0.45||Amazon or local|
|52||g||Whey Protein Concentrate||$0.94||Bulk Foods Direct|
|15||g||Pea Protein Powder||$0.12||Amazon|
|15||g||Rice Protein Powder||$0.39||Amazon|
|30||ml||2||tbsp||Canola Oil (cold pressed, non-GMO)||$0.26||Spectrum, high heat, cold pressed|
|1.2||pill||GNC Mega Men® Sport pill||$0.21||GNC|
|6||g||Calcium / Magnesium 1:1 ratio||$0.26||Amazon|
|2||portion||Vitamin D / K2 Liquid||$0.04||Amazon|
|1.2||g||½||tsp||Choline, Alpha-GPC 50%||$0.60||Amazon|
|2||g||Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder||$0.15||Amazon|
|0||g||Additional Supplements (not in recipe):||$0.00|
Total Daily Cost:
|$5.18||Add Ingredients |
to Amazon Cart
Crude Food 1.3
This is (by calories) a 40% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 40% fat powder mix. It has no sweeteners or additives for flavor only. The resulting taste is neutral and bland, and tastes good when hungry. Blending with frozen berries and bananas makes a tasty smoothie.
My brother and I are working on this together. Like many, we got so excited about the Soylent idea that we couldn't wait for the official product so we started making our own. At first it was a bit messy to mix all the stuff, but now that we have our system down it's not much trouble. We enjoy researching different ingredients and discussing the merits of each. So now after the official Soylent ® is out, we're going to stay with our mix, which is cheaper and we believe more healthy. We've made many choices that we wouldn't be willing to go back on (using MCT oil for example.)
We currently use it for 1/3 - 1/2 of our calories. We started from People Chow and Superfood for Him.
We mix the dry powders in a huge bowl (17.5" diameter) for a six days (6 x 2000 calories) supply. We measure ingredients into a 5.4L container sitting on a .1g scale (we use http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001RF3XJ2 ) and then dump it into the bowl.
We mix our oil in with the powder so we don't have to fuss with it when we want to drink. We add the oil and vitamin K/D drops and mix until evenly distributed. At first the oil will create many balls of powder. We smash these against the sides of the bowl with our mixing spoon until the big ones are gone. Even better we now use a dough blender like this one http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Dough-Blender-Blades/dp/B000QJE48O which quickly breaks up the clumps. Then we store the mix in the refrigerator or freezer (it remains a powder in the freezer as the only water it has are the drops of K/D.) Also because the water is low it would probably last a long time at room temperature. We've left it at room temperature for as long as three weeks without a noticeable change in taste.
Six days of the mix will just fit in a 5 liter container.
Our 2,000 calorie recipe calls for about 3.5 cups (450g) of powder. A 670 calorie meal is just over a cup (150g) of powder mix.
Soylent ® recommends making a day batch at a time. But this is primarily done as a consequence of their packaging in "one day" aliquots. If you mix in your oil with your powder in advance, you can just scoop any amount at the time you're ready to eat. This has a side advantage that you avoid the subtle pressure to consume the arbitrary 2000 calories per day.
I always have a Blender Ball cup with 150g of dry Crude powder in the refrigerator at my work. So I can "eat" a healthy meal anytime I'm free for lunch in 5 minutes. You don't really that "ball", so any 20oz cup with a lid will work.
If you are making a smoothie It is better taste wise to use frozen fruit and consume immediately after blending. A banana is an excellent emulsifier. If you make a larger batch to store the fruit (especially the banana) will not taste as good later. And of course you'll lose the great taste of the fruit ice crystals after they melt.
Bananas will blend more easily if you cut them up before freezing.
Although fiber is often just expressed with one number, there are two types of fiber each with different benefits. Soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber helps move food through your bowels.
So even if you feel good about your regularity, so may still want more soluble fiber to lower the glucose in your blood (which is aging you.) Crude gets soluble fiber from the oat flour (not so much in corn flour), chia seeds, and psyllium husk.
Thoughts on Ingredient Choices
Designing food powder results in fewer food sources. While we are concerned about missing something important, we were equally concerned about over concentration of things not typically consumed in high quantities. Phytoestrogens in flax and soy is one example of something that might not be a problem consumed occasionally, but we wanted to avoid everyday consumption.
Some things we've included are not necessary to meet RDAs, but we believe there is sufficient (if anecdotal) evidence to be a "superfood". It makes us happy to know there in there!
Whey protein concentrate, unflavored: We opted for the concentrate over isolate as it’s less processed and may contain some beneficial oils, it is also cheaper. We don’t have a strong preference though. We started with Optimum Nuturion’s Natrual Vanilla Whey protein. But after a few weeks felt it was a bit too sweet.
We like whey as it is considered a “complete” protein, providing a good proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids.
This is the only ingredient that keeps the recipe from being vegan.
Rice Protein and Pea Protein Some studies suggest that animal based proteins may be worse than plant based proteins. So we've diversified our protein with these.
Cold pressed canola oil (Spectrum): Chosen for its excellent 2:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Other vegetable oils have higher ratios, and studies indicate that may not be good for you (search for “omega 6”). Some people are concerned that canola oil is processed with hexane. This is true of most vegetable oils as well and the high heat typically used to process vegetable oils may cause the oil to go rancid. We opted for a “cold pressed” alternative that avoids the high processing heat and hexane and is also non-gmo. In our opinion there seems to be a bit of a smear campaign against canola oil that is unjustified, and except for the more expensive MCT oil this is probably one of the better oils that can be used. If anyone has a different opinion please give us your reasons in the comment section. We are always looking for new information which will help improve our mixture.
We did not like the taste of olive oil in our mix. And it would require a source of omega-3 like from flaxseed oil. We avoid flaxseed oil as it is high in phytoestrogens. We do add chia seeds to help our omega-3 ratio.
There are studies linking too much omega-3 to problems with bleeding and recommend a 5g a day limit. These studies were dealing with fish oil supplementation and looked at DHA and EPA amounts. Plant based omega-3 found in the chia seeds and canola oil comes as ALA and the body only converts it to DHA and EPA forms at very low efficiency so high amounts of the ALA form should not be a problem. Total omega-3 consumption should be watched if you are supplementing with lots of fish oil.
MCT Oil: A saturated fat that has no Omega-6 (which contributes to inflammation when too much is present). MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides and is easily absorbed into the bloodstream to be used as a quick fuel. Some studies have reported a reduction of visceral fat on diets with MCT oils and claim they help with overall fat loss. This fat is almost tasteless and as long as you don’t buy into the ‘saturated fats’ are bad for you claims is probably the best source of calories for your DIY Soylent. Only drawback is high cost, but helps to keep the omega-6 amount lower.
Fish Oil: Needed to get the DHA and EPA not found in plant-based omega-3 oils. We opted to take a separate capsule instead of directly adding the oil to the powder to avoid the fishy taste. Masa Harina (Corn flour) / Oat flour: This provides the bulk of carbohydrates. Note: they are also a source of omega-6 and thus necessitate some form of omega-3 supplementation like fish oil or chia seeds. Some DIY’s claim bloating problems with oat flour and the manganese levels are high, corn flour is generally grittier and there are concerns about GMO corn. Our recipe originally used Corn mesa as we branched from the People Chow recipe. We added some oats to improve texture and to diversify our list of real food ingredients in case there is a ‘missing something’ that needs to be added to the diet. We felt the oat flour to be a definite improvement, but the cost is much higher unless you buy large 50 lb bags. Even then the oat flour is twice what corn mesa costs.
We did buy a 50 lb bag of Oat flour (for about $55). If you go this route, we highly recommend buying two 6 gallon buckets with gamma seal lids. We bought these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DIHYERC The 50 lb of oat flour will just fill the two buckets. These lids are easy to open and close so your flour will stay fresh.
If you're looking to buy a more reasonable quantity, this is a good source for oat flour: http://www.kauffmansfruitfarm.com Masa Harina (precooked corn flour) Do not get just "corn meal". It needs to be cooked in lime (like Masa Harina) (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization) if you plan to consume it without cooking. We tried "roasted" corn meal from Kauffman's Fruit Farm because it was non-GMO, and hoped the "roasting" would be as good as precooking in lime. But it was gritty and just went straight to the bottom of the glass even after blending. Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina is made from (non certified) non-GMO corn, but is more gritty and more expensive than Masa Harina found at the grocery store. Bob's Red Mill unfortunately will drop some grit to the bottom of your glass.
We've recently switched to blue corn mesa (that we found cheap at HEB!) as it is non-GMO.
Alpha GPC Choline Is more expensive than Choline Bitartrate, but we believe it works better and the Bitartrate negatively affects the taste. Some recipes get around this with soy lecithin, but we are concerned about adding soy products.
Potassium Citrate: Used to increase potassium levels. Our Potassium level is lower than the US RDA (4.7g) The Mayo Clinic says (http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/potassium-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/description/drg-20070753) only 1.6 - 2.0 g per day is required. Most web sites just parrot the RDA. Blood pressure is sensitive to the sodium/potassium ratio. We're trying to avoid the higher RDA because it may cause headaches when pared with reasonable sodium levels. We need to find the original research used to establish the RDA.
Mega Men’s ® Sport Daily Supplement (Multi-Vitamin Pill) This is our primary source of vitamins. Pills are cheap. We use a mortar and pestle to grind the pills into powder. We used to use the Mega Men's ® Sport powder, but it costs a bit more (~50 cents a day) and it has an artificial sweetener (sucralose.) Currently we have 1.2 pills per day. The ".2" was to get the required amount of folate. When you make a batch just add an extra pill or two.
Chia Seeds: Adds omega-3 and fiber.
Cinnamon (Ceylon): A "super food". May improve insulin response. Has lower amounts of coumarin than Cassia cinnamon (aka "Saigon cinnamon".)
Creatine Long used by weight lifters has also been found to improve cognition. It occurs naturally in meat, but as our mix is vegetarian we didn't want to miss out.
Psyllium Husk Increases soluble fiber. Also works as a laxative and stool softener. Studies suggest that soluble fiber helps control blood glucose levels. After mixing with water your drink will slowly thicken as this psyllium husk absorbs water.
Tumeric Superfood with many wildly beneficial claims online, :)
Probiotic We used to add probiotic powder to our mix, but were persuaded to take the pill form by the claim that a greater percentage of the probiotics survive your stomach acids to make it to your gut. We bought this brand: http://www.amazon.com/PRO-15-Recommended-Supplement-Technology-Probiotics/dp/B00JEKYNZA/
Things in Need of Investigation
Head Aches We suspect that suddenly increasing potassium to 100% RDA may give some people headaches. People have reported this after starting official Soylent ®. The effect goes away after a day and does not resume under regular consumption. Most people do not get the recommended amount of potassium. A sudden increase in potassium (to recommended levels) could be causing the slight head ache.
Nootropics (Brain boosters.) Somewhat scary to some people until they realize they are already taking them (caffeine, Monster Drink, Five Hour Energy, fish oil, choline, creatine, B vitamins, etc.)
There a lot to be gained here as who doesn't want to have better sustained focus?
More Super Foods Knowing that you have a new super-food in your powder is its own reward!