|Amount||Ingredient||$ / day||Source|
|32||g||Cocoa Powder||$0.57||Honest to Goodness|
|2||g||Iodised Sea Salt||$0.01||iHerb|
|6||g||Ceylon Cinnamon||$0.27||Honest to Goodness|
|6||g||Maca Powder||$0.15||Honest to Goodness|
|3||g||Goji Berry Powder||$0.31||iHerb|
|50||g||Almond Meal||$0.88||Honest to Goodness|
|40||g||Amaranth Flour||$0.45||Honest to Goodness|
|2||g||Madre-C, Whole-Food Vitamin C Complex||$0.47||iHerb|
|5||g||Soy Lecithin Granules||$0.12||Woolworths|
|55||g||Soy Milk Powder||$0.77||Vitamin King|
|70||g||Pea Protein Powder||$0.98||Bulk Nutrients|
|35||g||Rice Protein Powder||$0.49||Bulk Nutrients|
|45||g||Dark Rye Flour||$0.11||Honest to Goodness|
|1000||g||Soy Milk (So Good - Regular)||$2.25||Woolworths|
Total Daily Cost:
|$11.42||Add Ingredients |
to Amazon Cart
####This recipe works as a drink or a cake
For a drink, you need 666ml of liquid for one meal (1/3 of the daily recipe). This is best made up from 333ml of soy milk and 333ml of water, to achieve the nutrient values listed, and get the tastiest result. You can use entirely water, or your favourite milk substitute, but the recipe is designed for Sanitarium So Good soy milk.
For a cake, you can bake the whole day’s mixture for 1 hour at 180°C. Or one meal (1/3 of the recipe) for 40 mins at 180°C. I prefer it as a cake but it’s slightly more work involved.
In this recipe, all ingredients are:
-Dry foods, with the addition of soy milk/water (added at the last step to turn it into a smoothie or cake batter).
-"Whole foods" (no supplements and minimal fortified foods are included to make up the RDIs for each vitamin and mineral)
I have selected bulk quantities for many ingredients to keep the cost/day down, so the initial total cost is quite expensive. Feel free to choose smaller quantities.
This recipe contains some organic ingredients, but only when they were the cheapest online source available. I have also made an alternative version of this recipe that uses organic ingredients wherever possible, but is slightly more expensive: https://www.completefoods.co/diy/recipes/whole-food-vegan-mix-v41-organic
I have also made a version with all ingredients from iHerb, to make it easier to order. Again, it is more expensive, but is more convenient to just make one order, and many of the product quantities are smaller so the initial total cost is lower, which might be best if you just want to try it out first, without making a huge investment in ingredients. Also bear in mind that there is no source of fine powdered oats (this recipe’s main ingredient) on iHerb, so it makes the mixture more chunky, which is fine for the cake but no so nice in the drink. Here is the “All Online at iHerb” recipe: https://www.completefoods.co/diy/recipes/whole-food-vegan-mix-all-online-at-iherb-2
This 3300 calorie recipe is created for my specific requirements, which is probably not ideal for most people. I am a very active 27yo male, trying to put on weight gradually. I have now made a 2000 calorie version of the recipe, which will be better suited to the vast majority of people. Here it is: https://www.completefoods.co/diy/recipes/whole-food-vegan-mix-2000-calorie-version
I have been eating this recipe for 1 out of 3 meals every day for over a year now, and will continue to do so indefinitely. It's tasty, satiating and easy to digest. I haven't got bored of it yet and I've generally felt quite healthy since including it in my diet.
I hope this recipe can be useful for you. Please let me know if you give it a try, and what you would do differently. Thanks!
Bear in mind that heat affects some vitamins and minerals. The quantities of all vitamins and minerals are listed for the raw ingredients before they are cooked. I’m not sure exactly what result cooking it will have on the final figures, but here is a table that shows what is typically lost in cooking: http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/processing
I would be most concerned about losing vitamin C in cooking. If eating only this recipe as a cake, I would advise taking the Madre-C powder separately as a drink without cooking it. Or ideally just keep eating fruit separately. Vitamin C is much more plentiful in fresh fruit than dried. Even freeze dried fruit tends to lose a fair bit of the Vitamin C content. I do not 100% trust the validity of the label on the Madre-C powder, yet I still include it because if accurate, it’s the best thing on the market.
The following is a bit of a journal of my experiments so far. Read down the bottom to see the things I’m currently trying. It’s a slow process because I’m only eating one meal of this recipe per day, and generally mixing 3 meals (the full recipe quantities) at a time. So it can take 3 days to try something new. Nevertheless, the whole process is quite fun, and I’m feeling good on this diet so far!
I set out with the goal of making a vegan soylent mix, created with entirely whole foods, and sourcing everything from the one place. I’m now sourcing some of the ingredients locally and from Australian online stores because I intend to keep making this long-term and that is cheaper/easier for me. I have kept the original “All online at iHerb” recipe online, if you are interested:
There are many reasons to suggest a whole food plant based diet is optimal for nutrition. I won’t go into all the reasons here, but here are a few videos worth watching on the subject:
-Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (lecture by Dr Greger): http://youtu.be/30gEiweaAVQ
-More Than an Apple a Day: Combating Common Diseases (lecture by Dr Greger): http://youtu.be/B-8ovk81nNM
-Forks over Knives (documentary): http://youtu.be/YtnlwqEii2I
These videos focus predominantly on the benefits of eating entirely plant foods and excluding animal products. I think the evidence is fairly conclusive, but I know this is a contentious subject, and will no doubt be debated well into the future. Perhaps even more contentious is the topic of whole foods vs the benefits/potential harm of supplementation or eating fortified foods such as the official Soylent. Obviously nutrition is a very complicated subject, and it’s hard to sum things up quickly, but here is a great article on supplements that affirms the suggestion that we should try to obtain as many nutrients as possible from whole food sources. It contains lots of links to short videos and articles on a range of related topics on the nutritionfacts.org website, all citing peer-reviewed nutritional studies. Well worth having a look:
It is uncertain whether supplements can healthily replace whole food sources of all vitamins and minerals. It’s seemingly not so clear cut. Supplementing some vitamins may be beneficial while for others it may be harmful. I personally don’t want to be the guinea pig to find out whether it’s beneficial to exclusively supplement all nutrients long term (I realise the term “supplement” doesn’t really make sense in this context). There will be plenty of people testing that concept with the official Soylent, so we’ll find out sooner or later. But for now, I’m still interested in the idea of making a nutritionally complete food, for the sake of health, food cost, ease of preparation and just out of personal interest to see if it is possible.
When I first decided to attempt making this recipe, I couldn’t find anyone else successfully producing a “whole food” soylent. I’ve since found out about Ambronite:
It looks pretty good, and I’d be keen to try it. I might order some soon, but it looks like it’s got a bit of a waiting time.
I’m still glad I made my own for a couple of reasons:
-It’s pretty expensive ($8.90 per 500 calorie meal, which works out to over $55/day on my dietary requirements)
-It contains Spirulina, which despite its many health benefits, is potentially quite dangerous: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/spirulina/
Anyway, it’s interesting to see that they chose a lot of the same ingredients as I have, so hopefully that’s a sign that I’m on the right track.
When I began, I looked around for whole food recipes on the DIY soylent site. I couldn’t find anything worth using as a basis, so I just found a good vegan recipe instead. I originally based my recipe on TheMolloy's Vegan Mix, which appears to be a great vegan option much cheaper than my recipe, if you’re not interested in whole foods:
I created a nutrient profile for my specific needs, which is probably not ideal for most people (I am a very active 26yo male, trying to put on weight gradually, so it’s 3300 calories, with a 45% Carb : 25% Protein : 30% Fat ratio). If my trial is successful, I will try to modify the recipe for a standard 2000 calorie 50% Carb : 20% Protein : 30% Fat diet.
Creating the recipe was a lengthy process, because I needed to research the best foods for each vitamin and mineral, and then input a lot of data for each ingredient. Rather than relying on a multivitamin or heavily fortified meal replacement formula, that ticks all or most of the boxes in one go, I looked for whole foods (in powdered form) that specifically targeted individual vitamins and minerals. It took a lot of tweaking and discarding ingredients to come up with a complete formula that didn't exceed the maximum intakes for certain vitamins and minerals.
I have actually exceeded the upper limit for Manganese, but am pretty confident the amount I have in here is safe for the vast majority of people. For more on Manganese, see here:
Here’s a reassuring quote from the 2nd link: “Manganese toxicity resulting from foods alone has not been reported in humans, even though certain vegetarian diets could provide up to 20 mg/day of manganese”
It’s also a bit reassuring that Ambronite also exceeds the upper limit for Manganese and Iron.
I'm not sure if it would have been an issue exceeding some of the other upper limits as I believe they are usually put in place more as a conservative guideline for supplementation. Generally, if you exceed the amount of a vitamin or mineral the body needs, through consumption of whole plant based foods alone, it will be excreted without harm. I've heard that this is not always the case with supplements, and is a reason why people choose to avoid them, beyond the usual argument that vitamins and minerals from supplements are not as easily absorbed and utilised by the body.
When creating a recipe using whole foods, the first difficulty is that vitamin and mineral quantities are not always included on the packaging. Nutritiondata.com has a huge database of complete nutrient profiles of most foods, but it still omits a few vitamins and minerals that are required in the US dietary guidelines. Biotin (aka Vitamin B7 or H), Chromium, Sulfur and Molybdenum aren’t listed (I’m guessing either because they aren’t considered as significant, or they are hard to measure in food, or they just aren’t in many foods so they don’t bother including them.) Multivitamins generally include them, and obviously they would have been measured and added individually, so most people would not have run into the problem of not knowing exactly what they’re getting. After doing some research, it’s clear they are all essential to get an adequate supply of, so I made sure the recipe included ingredients with these vitamins and minerals. I’m just making a note of it because they are the only vitamins and minerals where I am not certain of the quantities this recipe contains. I have had to make educated guesses at the quantities of these vitamins and minerals in ingredients based on limited information. I am pretty sure I’ve got them covered though.
It ended up being a lot of ingredients (23) and a bit more expensive than I would have liked, but still under $20/day, which would be less than I spend on food. The cost of my recipe could be reduced significantly by sourcing local ingredients or choosing non-organic options. Alternatively, you might like to look for more organic options locally, which will no doubt bump the price up a little more. Also, bear in mind the prices listed don’t include postage. I think I paid about $40 in postage for the entire iHerb order to Australia. I plan to make a cheaper version sometime.
It may be a lot of ingredients, but at least it’s relying on a variety of food sources, which is more beneficial for nutrient synergy. Being all dry ingredients, it will still be simple and not too time-consuming. You can mix up a large batch and either store it in one big container or in meal or day sized portions, which will last for months in the fridge.
(I’ll change the version whole number when I significantly change the recipe online, and just change the decimal for minor changes, or adjustments to the preparation.)
My 1st attempt used the "all Online at iHerb" recipe, with a couple of minor adjustments because not all items were available at the time I ordered them.
I made 1 day’s dry mix, then separated it out into thirds. Using one third, I added the almond milk to turn it into a smoothie (I had hoped!). It needed more liquid than expected to make it drinkable. 333ml was too thick. 500ml was ok but not exactly the consistency of a tasty smoothie. It tasted more like a cake batter. I thought that might be the case when coming up with a recipe including flour and ground nuts/seeds (especially flax meal, which I’ve used as an egg replacer/glue in vegan cupcakes and pancakes), but was still hopeful it would turn out drinkable. When mixing the dry ingredients together and seeing how much quantity there was, I already begun to lose confidence in it working as a smoothie, but I’d heard of people making soylent baked products (solid soylent), so I was prepared to go down that path if the smoothie option didn’t work. It was soon pretty obvious that it wouldn’t work for the recipe as it was. It tasted pretty bad too. The worst part was the horrible aftertaste. It was easy to identify that the bad aftertaste was mainly from the brewer’s yeast that I had in the initial recipe. I thought it would be hidden amongst everything else, but it stood out distinctly and left a disgusting taste in my mouth. I drank the whole thing anyway, as quickly as possible to avoid the aftertaste, and rushed off to play a basketball game, where I could feel the meal sitting quite heavily in my stomach. I had plenty of energy and felt good by the end of that night, after playing one game and umpiring 3, so I think it was just too close to game time for a big meal and the gross taste was still lingering, making me feel unwell at first.
So the first attempt was pretty awful, but I still had 2 meals of it to go and didn’t want to throw it out, so I mixed up another 1 meal, again with almond milk and decided to try baking it. I only needed 333ml of milk to make the cake batter. I call it a cake, but it turned out half way between a cake and a biscuit. Maybe more like a brownie consistency. I baked it for 20 minutes at 190°C. I was surprised how well it formed into a nice solid shape. I ate it while it was warm and it was much nicer as a food rather than a drink. The texture was good. The only problem was still the aftertaste. It was actually worse because you couldn’t just drink it quickly. I struggled with it for a while but eventually finished it. It was a big meal and felt very filling; even more so than the smoothie. I think chewing it and eating it slower made it more satiating. It may have been gross, but at least now I had a new confidence about it working as a baked product.
I baked the last meal the next day, using soy milk instead. The texture was even better, cooked right through without any doughy interior. I cooked it for a little bit longer than 20 minutes without opening the oven to check on it, like I did a couple of times for the last meal. I mixed up a bit of packet-mix custard to coat it so it wasn’t so gross. That worked well and it tasted alright.
By this time I’d played around with the recipe and managed to completely get rid of the brewer’s yeast, and reduce the other potentially foul-tasting culprits, nutritional yeast and wheat grass. I found out more about a few ingredients that meant I wasn’t lacking in the things that brewer’s yeast provides, particularly chromium, which was actually already abundant in the oatmeal. I also completely removed the rice bran and wheat germ, and I didn’t need to add any ingredients to compensate, so I was pretty happy with the changes.
I added a teaspoon (approx 4-5 grams) baking powder to the recipe. I am currently using McKenzie's baking powder, just because it was already in the cupboard. This put the recipe way over sodium UL, but I have sourced low-sodium baking powder from Honest to Goodness and will order for future use if the cake idea is successful. I may end up eventually going for a smaller, thicker, brownie type consistency, or even muffins or bar shaped things, but I want to try to get a nice looking, fluffier, risen cake first.
I baked the whole day mix (3 meals) and it was just about overflowing in the pan. If it had risen properly I think it would have overflowed. It didn’t really rise at all. If it did, it sunk again, leaving a few caved in sections. I may need to mix it better for it to rise properly but I don’t have an electric mixer/egg beater at the moment, so for the time being I’ll just experiment with different quantities of baking powder instead, to see if I can get a good result.
I baked it for 40 mins at 190°C, although I opened the oven a few times to check. It could have been baked slightly more, but was almost right, with just a bit of doughy texture on the inside. The top was just starting to burn, so any more time in the oven would have ruined it. I think I either need to bake a smaller quantity, or bake it for longer at a lower temperature to get it to bake even right through. I can’t remember what rack I put it on in the oven but apparently, according to Google, I should use the lowest rack if the top is burning before it cooks right through, because of the uneven temperature throughout my typical fan-forced oven.
As you can see I’m no cake expert! I’ve only ever baked a few packet-mix cakes in my life.
The taste of this recipe was much better! No gross aftertaste, but it was still a bit bland. I don’t mind the blandness of it, but it would get a bit dull eating it every day, and I don’t think other people would particularly like it, so I need to make some changes. If I want it to compare to an actual cake, it needs to be much sweeter. I’m not a huge sweet tooth so I don’t want it to be all that sweet. I particularly want to avoid sugar, especially in quantities cakes typically have, because it would be pretty unhealthy to eat that every day.
I looked into sweeteners and apparently erythritol is the way to go: http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/05/07/is-there-a-safe-low-calorie-sweetener/
I’m going to try a few things to sweeten it and bake a smaller quantity (it might rise better if not so deep in pan initially).
Version 3.0 changes:
-Increased Dextrose (decreased maltodextrin to compensate)
-Increased Date Sugar
-Added Erythritol to recipe (I’m actually using Natvia (erythritol + stevia) because it was already in cupboard, but I have found a good source of pure erythritol on iHerb). I will use 35g rather than 50g (as stated in recipe) as Natvia will be stronger than plain erythritol. Natvia is approx equal to sugar in sweetness whereas erythritol is approx 70% of sugar.
-Added Vanilla Extract to recipe
-Also increased cocoa powder and cinnamon for added flavour
I mixed full day (3 meals) dry without baking powder, natvia, or vanilla extract. Then I separated 1 meal dry content, and added 10g (1/3 recipe) baking powder, 12g (approx. 1/3 of 35g) natvia, 4ml vanilla extract, and 333ml soy milk. (I can try other quantities of these ingredients for the remaining 2 meals.)
I baked the cake at 190°C for 25 mins. It didn’t seem to rise any more with the extra baking powder. I’ll go all out and try 20g in the next meal, even though I’m pretty sure that’s too much.
It was easily the tastiest yet. The extra sweetness helped a lot. I would be happy sticking with this recipe but I think it could still be sweeter, and others would probably prefer that too. I’m going to go all out with the sweetness too and try much more Natvia in the next meal.
Version 3.1 changes:
-10g to 20g (per single meal) Baking powder
-12g to 50g (per single meal) Natvia
Yep, 20g baking powder was too much. You could really taste it and it was pretty foul. It didn’t rise any more either. I might try no baking powder next meal to see the difference, and to confirm that it was just the baking powder giving it a gross taste and not the excess sweetness. I think the sweetness was ok. Maybe a little too much, but I think the baking powder made it hard to tell. I had a headache that night after eating it. Maybe sodium overload from so much baking powder, but I doubt it.
Version 3.2 changes:
-20g to 0g (per single meal) Baking powder
This was the tastiest yet! The baking powder was definitely the issue with the last one. Now that I could taste it properly, I can assess the sweetness. It was more like the typical sweetness of a cake, which was nice, but I’d probably drop it off a bit for regular consumption. Maybe half the Natvia. I’ve just ordered some pure Erythritol from iHerb to replace the Natvia in the long term anyway, so I’ll still have to find the ideal quantity of that.
Without any baking powder it didn’t rise at all. I didn’t realise that it was actually rising a little bit at least before. The consistency was still fine though, and it actually looked a bit neater because it didn’t crack in the top at all (not that it really matters for myself, but to serve to others it would be nice to look good). So I might go without the baking powder until I get an electric mixer/egg beater to see if that affects anything.
I’ll need to mix up another batch tomorrow. I’ll do 1 day (3 meals) again and then split it in 3. I think I’ve only got about 50g of Natvia left, so I’ll mix all that into the dry mix before splitting it in 3.
I was thinking, now that the mixture is tasting good, I might give the smoothie another go. Maybe I was too quick to write that option off. The cake batter does taste delicious before I bake it. I think I’ll just have to water it down. I could use more than 333ml of soy milk, but because it balances out nicely in terms of correct nutrients with that amount, I think I’ll try adding water first and see how that goes. I’ll just add in quantities of 50 or 100ml until it is the desired consistency.
At the end of the day, I’d prefer it to be a smoothie for a couple of reasons:
-Simpler and quicker
-Won’t lose any vitamins and minerals due to cooking
-I can give or sell the powder to other people to try, easier than giving/selling them cake (I have the idea in the back of my head that it might be worth trying to sell. I see a lot of people are doing that with their DIY soylent online, but no one in Australia yet, from what I can tell.)
I have a couple of ideas to try to change the recipe to suit a drink more, so I might make an alternative recipe and attempt that soon. But first I’ll just try the addition of water.
Version 3.3 changes: (testing as a smoothie)
-50g to roughly 17g (per single meal) Natvia (depending on what’s left)
-Add water until good to drink
I made 3 meals dry mix. I had 35g of Natvia left, so it is back to 12g per meal for this batch. (The erythritol is on its way in the mail, but after this batch I may have to make a batch or 2 without extra sweetener, or just use sugar instead.)
I separated out 1 meal and added 333ml of soy milk. Then 100ml of water. It was ok to drink at this consistency but needed a bit more liquid. I added another 100ml and it was pretty ideal. It would have been fine with slightly less. I’d say it’s ideal to have about 500ml of liquid in total. I actually found that out the first time I tried it as a drink too (but it just tasted gross).
It was actually pretty good. The taste and sweetness was fine. It has a couple of issues as a drink, but it’s still not bad.
-Firstly, a lot of the oatmeal and pumpernickel meal (I think it’s those 2 things anyway) settles at the bottom, so the last bit you end up needing to spoon out and chew. To fix this I can use fine powdered oats rather than oatmeal. I’ve got them already, so I’ll see how that goes soon. I don’t know what I’ll replace the pumpernickel with but I’ll try to find something. The counter-problem to this is that very fine powders might make it go doughier, or sludgier (I don’t know what the best term is). The amaranth flour, and perhaps some of the other ingredients, contributes to this a bit I think, and I don’t want to make that worse. I’m not sure whether it’s all that much of a problem.
-Secondly, it doesn’t seem to digest as easily. Both times I’ve had this as a drink it has felt a little funny in my stomach afterwards. Today I was also getting a little bit too close to diarrhoea for my liking. I think I had 3 or 4 bowel movements since lunch (it’s the end of the day now). I’ve been pretty regular and pretty solid over the last week on the cake diet. This recipe does have a lot of fibre in it, so I was happy that it wasn’t messing with my system until today. I’ll have to see if it happens again.
Tomorrow I plan to test it out as a drink with only water in it, to see if that works.
Version 3.4 changes: (testing as a smoothie)
-333ml to 0ml soy milk (recipe will be deficient in Vitamin D, low on calcium, and a bit low on carbs, protein and fat)
-200ml to 500ml water
-4ml to 0ml vanilla essence (I want water to be the only liquid)
It wasn’t really much different to the last drink with soy milk in it. 500ml of water was a good amount. It was maybe slightly thinner consistency than the one with soy milk in it, and due to this, I think even more of the oatmeal and pumpernickel settled at the bottom. But I was very impressed that the taste remained pretty similar.
I’m not sure what the vanilla essence was doing. I’d have to compare directly to see the difference. I only added it in earlier because I heard it brings out other flavours.
I’m now convinced it can work as a drink and a cake. I still prefer the cake. It tastes better and feels more filling. But the drink is definitely more convenient, especially as a meal on the go, if you can just add water. I didn’t have any adverse bowel movements today, and felt fine straight after drinking it. I’m very excited by this development. I’ll try to replace the chunky oatmeal with powdered oats and pumpernickel with something else soon. I think the Linwoods ground flax/nut mix has some nut chunks in it too.
For tomorrow, with the last meal from the dry batch I made up, I think I’ll try these exact liquid amounts, to make up the 500ml total, but maintain the right amount of soy milk to match the recipe.
Version 3.5 changes: (testing as a smoothie)
-0ml to 333ml soy milk
-500ml to167ml water.
Cool, this worked well. I think that’s the ideal liquid combo. Felt fine after drinking it as well.
I received the erythritol in the mail, so I will include that in the next batch, and also replace the Scottish oatmeal with fine powdered oats. First I’ll see how that goes as a cake. I also found an alternative to the Linwoods flax/nut mix at the local Foodland supermarket. I couldn’t believe it had all 5 ingredients in exactly the same quantities: 70% flax, 10% almond, 10% walnut, 10% brazil nut, and a small dose of CoQ10 (it must be some kind of magic combination). It was slightly cheaper than Linwoods, and it looks like it’s ground up finer, so hopefully no nut chunks.
Version 3.5 changes: (testing as a cake) From now on, you can presume the only difference between the cake and smoothie is added water. I won’t include water in the changes when switching between cake and smoothie attempts.
-12g (per single meal) Natvia to 17g erythritol (50g for full day recipe)
-150g Scottish oatmeal to 150g fine powdered oats
-25g Linwoods flax/nut mix to 25g Celebrate Health flax/nut mix
I was completely wrong about the Celebrate Health flax/nut mix not having chunks in it. I just couldn’t see them from the outside of the packet. They were actually even bigger. I think it must be impossible to grind up walnuts and brazil nuts to a fine powder (I just presumed this because I can’t find them anywhere online, and also because I’ve seen walnut butter, made from 100% walnuts, so I guess they just turn to paste, rather than powder).
I baked it for 25mins at 190°C. I should have put it back in for longer but was in a rush so just ate it, even though it wasn’t cooked right through. The oats being finer must have affected the mixture. It seemed a bit thicker, as the oats were totally dissolved in the liquid rather than floating chunks in it. It tasted fine. The sweetness and flavour was good, so I think I’ll stick with that erythritol amount, but I’ll try it as a smoothie before deciding for sure. As a cake, I think I preferred the oatmeal chunks, to make it a tiny bit crunchy, but it worked fine like this. Tomorrow I’ll do the same but just cook it for longer.
I baked it for 30mins and it was pretty much right, just slightly doughy in the very middle. Unfortunately it was starting to burn on the top. Tomorrow I will try bake it for 35mins at 180°C. That might help cook it right through without burning the top. I’ve also read that I’ll lose less of some vitamins, if baked at a lower temperature. I’m not sure how low or high I’d need to go for it to have a significant effect. Cooking time also has an effect on nutrient loss. I’m not even sure which factor is more significant (heat or time), but I guess if it is suggested to cook at lower temperatures to avoid nutrient loss, you would presume they’ve factored in the extra time it would take to cook. So I’m guessing the lower the temperature the better if I’m prepared to wait. I might try the extreme of this some time, like cook it at 100°C, and see if it still cooks properly and how long it takes, but for now I’ll just try this small step to 180°C.
That baking time/temp change seemed effective. It cooked right through without burning the top. I’ll change the recommendations at the top of the notes in the next version of the recipe, but not this one, because I’ll leave the Scottish oatmeal on this one (it’s available on iHerb and I think it tastes a bit better in the cake).
My next task is to change the recipe so that no chunks exist in it, for the sake of the smoothie. It might take some significant changes to replace the pumpernickel meal and the ground flax/nut mix that were contributing to this problem.
I’ve made a new recipe, but left v3.5 online, because I think these changes might be best for the smoothie but not for the cake. I think I prefer cakes with some chunks in them. That seems to suit this cake anyway. I want it to be suited for both cake and drink, so I’ll be sticking with this version.
I was looking to replace the pumpernickel meal, which wasn’t difficult. I just needed to find a dark rye flour because they have the same nutrient quantities. In the process I found I’d omitted some data for that ingredient, so I updated the figures. Unfortunately, this meant there was more manganese to add to the mix. The research I did earlier suggests that I still shouldn’t be worried at 17mg, but it appears a bit alarming being over the upper limit by so much. Hopefully it is not an issue.
I found an organic dark rye flour on iHerb, but haven’t made another order yet. In the meantime, I found some rye flour (presumably light rye by the look of it) locally. There is a significant difference nutritionally between dark and light, with light flour losing a lot of its vitamins and minerals in the refining process, but it shouldn’t be too different in terms of taste. I’ll get the dark flour next time I do an order, but will just use the light for now (and leave the values in the recipe for dark).
Luckily it wasn’t too difficult to remove the ground flax/nut mix from the recipe. I basically just needed to increase the flax meal and almond meal to compensate. I originally had that flax/nut mix in for the selenium content (brazil nuts are the best source of selenium), but the recipe has still got enough now without it. The flax/nut mix did have some CoQ10 in it, which is one of those things that is taken as a supplement, and is apparently beneficial in many ways. This might just be marketing hype as it seems we are still unsure of the entire function it plays in humans, and its potential for disease prevention. In any case, it seems it is abundant in plenty of foods, including almonds, so this recipe should have it covered anyway.
I have been reading about PDCAAS lately (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_Digestibility_Corrected_Amino_Acid_Score). It is probably not a significant concern in a meal with a wide range of things in it, as it would certainly contain the entire amino acid profile. However, a lot of significance seems to be placed on PDCAAS for protein powders, so I thought I would look into how pea and rice protein powders score. It turns out not so great individually, being outscored by soy and whey protein, but together in the right ratio, they can be basically a perfect amino acid profile. http://forums.truenutrition.com/showthread.php?38706-I-did-some-math-to-find-the-PDCAAS-optimal-blend-of-hemp-pea-rice-and-soy-protein
So I have changed the recipe to aim for this ideal 70 pea: 30 rice ratio. I ended up getting it close to this ratio. It might not achieve much, but I thought I might as well. The added bonus is that it reduces the cost of the recipe a fair bit, because the pea protein is cheaper (although I’ve found cheaper sources for both pea and rice protein powders now anyway, so I’ll update that soon when I try them out).
I tweaked a few other quantities to balance the carbs, protein and fat ratio.
Version 4.0 changes:
-150g Scottish oatmeal to 150g fine powdered oats
-25g to 0g Ground Flaxseed, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts & Q10
-25g to 50g Flaxseed Meal
-42g to 50g Almond Meal
-40g Dark Rye Pumpernickel Meal to 45g Dark Rye Flour
-75g to 35g Rice Protein Powder
-40g to 70g Pea Protein Powder
-45g to 55g Soy Milk Powder
-30g Dark to 32g Cocoa Powder
This recipe does work for the drink a lot better, but needs more liquid, because the ingredients that were previously small chunks (oats, pumpernickel, nut/seed mix) are now fine powders that dissolve. I’m still experimenting with the right amount of water. I’ll leave the soy milk at 333ml to keep the correct nutrient values.
-167ml to 250ml water
Not bad consistency. I think I’ll try a bit more water still tomorrow.
-250ml to 333ml water
That’s the one. Nice that it works out to equal parts soy milk and water.
I baked this recipe today. Full day mix (3 meals). I think it needs a bit longer in the oven than the last to cook right through. I baked it for 1 hour.
I tried the same again, baked for 1 hour 5 mins. That is probably ideal.
Update 2 months later
I’ve now been eating this for 1 meal/day for almost 3 months now, and feeling great. I’ve been busy with other things lately so haven’t been experimenting with changes or adapting the recipe, but I thought it was time for an update.
I’ve found the easiest way for me to work with this recipe is to make up either 2 days (6 meals) or 4 days (12 meals) of dry mix at a time, and bake 2 days (6 meals) at a time. My large baking tray just fits 6 meals in it. For a better gauge of the quantity, my muffin tray of 12 regular size muffins fits 2 meals in it (so 6 muffins/meal). It’s a fair bit but I find it easy to get through because I eat a lot usually and I enjoy the taste. I’ll post some pictures soon. Baking a tray of muffins takes 30mins at 180°C. Baking the large tray of 6 meals takes 1 hour 15 mins. If kept refrigerated, the baked meal still tastes fine 6 days later. If anything, maybe slightly dried out, but pretty much the same. I haven’t tested exactly how long it will keep for.
I’ve made a new version now, because I’ve found alternative sources of some ingredients. I thought it was also a good time to make a cost-reducing recipe, changing some of the organic sources to non-organic. I’ll leave the recipe with organic ingredients online, labeled “organic”.
Version 4.1 changes:
I’ve changed the source of the following ingredients:
-Cocoa Powder (iHerb to Honest to Goodness)
-Cinnamon (iHerb to Honest to Goodness)
-Maca Powder (iHerb to Honest to Goodness)
-Almond Meal (iHerb to Honest to Goodness) (I found a cheaper source of almond meal locally so check out bulk food stores, but I’ve left all links to online sources here.)
-Amaranth Flour (iHerb to Honest to Goodness)
-Fine Powdered Oats (Still from Bulk Nutrients but I found a cheaper source locally)
-Pea Protein (iHerb to Bulk Nutrients)
-Rice Protein (iHerb to Bulk Nutrients)
-Dark Rye Flour (iHerb to Honest to Goodness) (When I switched from pumpernickel meal to rye flour I originally found a source locally but I wasn’t sure if it was dark (aka whole grain) rye flour, so I ordered some that I found on iHerb. I only recently found this on Honest to Goodness so I haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure it will be fine and taste just the same.)
You can still find all of these ingredients on iHerb, or order them in smaller quantities from Honest to Goodness. I just selected the largest quantity because I wanted to get the cost/day down as low as possible. Here’s the recipe that has all ingredients from iHerb: https://www.completefoods.co/diy/recipes/whole-food-vegan-mix-all-online-at-iherb-2
Some of the updated ingredients are now non-organic. Here’s the recipe that is organic wherever possible: https://www.completefoods.co/diy/recipes/whole-food-vegan-mix-v41-organic
I haven’t noticed a change in taste with these new ingredient sources. I also removed baking powder and vanilla essence from the recipe (they were at a quantity of 0 anyway). I experimented a bit with both. I didn’t notice a flavour difference with the vanilla. The baking powder would help it rise a bit, when mixed in well with an electric mixer, but it often sunk again anyway once taken out of the oven. I don’t have an issue with the thickness of the cake anyway. A bit of baking powder made the muffins a nicer shape (they weren’t as prone to sinking) but I still didn’t think it was really worth it.
I can’t see myself changing the recipe much from now on. It’s tasting great and is now pretty cost effective, especially after ordering most ingredients in bulk.
I have now been eating this recipe for 1 meal/day for about 9 months. I eat it as a cake and still enjoy it, mainly because it is a very satisfying meal that fills me up and gives me energy without making me sluggish. I’m feeling good and have put on some weight as intended.
One thing I have changed recently is that I no longer include the Madre-C powder in the mix. I used the last of my supply separately because I figured I was wasting it by cooking it. Now I just make sure I eat enough fruit and veg in the rest of my meals to have my vitamin C covered. I have left the Madre-C in the recipe because it makes sure the RDI for vitamin C is met, but I would recommend taking it separately if eating the recipe as a cake. Or ideally, leave it out and just eat some fruit instead.