All my boyfriend has talked about for the last year is Soylent. When creator Rob Rhinehart became frustrated with the daily tasks of planning meals, preparing food, and cleaning up, in addition to trying to figure out what was healthy and what wasn’t, he decided to make a food that provided him all of his daily nutrients while being as easy as possible to prepare. Did you know, on average every person spends 90 minutes each day preparing, cooking, eating, and cleaning? Enter Soylent: a food supplement consisting of powder and oil that you mix together with water to create your meals for the day. Founded by Kickstarter (that’s where the boyfriend comes in, backer #800 something), Soylent is designed to be either a complete food replacement or something you substitute for certain meals while eating regular food the rest of the time. Rhinehart’s goal was to get all the vitamins and nutrients he needed every day, in the most efficient way possible. After extensive testing and reformulating, Soylent began shipping to customers a few months ago. The boyfriend finally got his a couple weeks ago (after a brief stint making DIY Soylent).
His take: Soylent. Where do I start? Who eats three nice, healthy meals a day? Not me! Soylent is perfect for the person that wants to eat healthy, but does not have the time, or the expertise/willingness to cook. This may sound crazy, but eating healthy is a burden in this country. Soylent is great for the person that wants to save time, save money, and eat healthy.
My take: Not a bad flavor, pretty bland, almost like plain Cheerios. Smells kind of vanilla-y. What I can’t get past is the texture. It’s not as grainy as the DIY stuff, but it’s definitely not smooth. Also, I can’t get excited about having a beige-colored drink for a meal.
I have to admit, I’m not exactly Soylent’s target market. I like food. A lot. I’m a big fan of fruits and vegetables, and I feel that I get a pretty balanced diet. I like the convenience factor, but I don’t find it difficult to throw a few ingredients together for a quick meal. However, since the boyfriend is so into it, I thought I would try to make Soylent edible for me.
My first thought was that it would be pretty easy to mix some Soylent into a smoothie. The texture wouldn’t be as noticeable and I could get some extra nutrients. My take:
1 scoop Soylent (1/2 meals worth)
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup yogurt (I used vanilla Greek yogurt)
1 1/2 frozen bananas, sliced
Blend all ingredients together (I used an immersion blender).
This was actually really good. It still had a bit of a powdery texture, but I didn’t mind it. The texture was similar to a smoothie with protein powder added. It was still hard to get past the beige color, but I just poured it into my Kate Spade tumbler (similar one here) and was good to go.
Another thought I had was to use it as a substitute for flour when baking. I figured Soylent wouldn’t rise like flour, but I wanted to see if it would taste alright. I made chocolate chip muffins using a modified recipe from here. My way:
2 cups Soylent (about 2 meals worth)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Combine Soylent, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix egg, soy milk, and olive oil and beat until combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffin pan 3/4 full and bake at 400° for about 20 mins, or until toothpick comes out clean.
As I suspected, the muffins didn’t rise like they would have with flour. They were pretty dense and moist and had a sweet flavor. They fell apart easily and were best eaten with a fork. These muffins tasted great but next time I’ll probably use a half-flour, half-Soylent mix.
I’d like to try this a few more ways, but the boyfriend is protective of his stash and worried about how long it will take him to get more (it only took him a year + to get his first month), so I can’t waste any. But if someone from Soylent wants to send me some, I’d be happy to continue my experiments. :)
Update: While I still haven’t quite taken to the flavor, G still loves it. The formula has continued to improve and he know purchases premade bottles. The grainy texture is mostly gone and the premade bottles are a lot more convenient. G loves to take a few with him when he travels so he always has food to eat.