Monthly Archives: June 2016

Healthy DIY Soylent Recipes with Organic, Real Food Ingredients

Soylent runs a website with thousands of DIY recipes.

I spent over an hour searching for one with 100% real food ingredients (no gums, fillers, additives, sugars, etc.).

I couldn’t find a single one.

So naturally (pun intended), I decided to make my own.

In my Soylent review, I answered the question, “Is Soylent good for you?” (spoiler alert: the answer was no).

In this post, I’ll show you how you can create your own healthy DIY Soylent recipes.

Let’s get started …

Bonus: Download 3 Soylent DIY printable recipe cards

My 4 Criteria for “Healthy”

1. 100% organic, plant-based, real food ingredients.

2. No added sugar.

3. A balanced macronutrient profile (carbs, fat, protein). 

4. 400-500 calorie range. 

Quite the challenge to pull off, right?

Here’s how I did it … and how my DIY recipes compare to Soylent.

INGREDIENTS

soylent ingredients
Red Flag #1: when you can’t pronounce 95% of the ingredients. (click to enlarge)

For carbs, I used oat flour, maca, real fruits and fruit powders, and other high fiber, real food sources.

Soylent uses maltodextrin, a GMO corn-based thickener and other processed starches you can barely pronounce. Just look at their ingredients label, you guys: Soylent is a science experiment gone horribly wrong … not real food.

I used higher quality, healthier sources of fat like olive, coconut, and avocado oils in my recipes. Soylent uses sunflower, canola, and algal oil powder. These oils are high in Omega-6 fatty acids (the kind that promote inflammation).

For protein, Soylent uses soy protein, which has some pros and many cons. All 3 DIY recipes use Pure Food Protein. Yes, it’s (obviously) the protein I sell. Yes, I think it’s the best plant based protein powder on the market for many reasons.

But use whatever protein powder you want, especially if cost is your biggest concern (more on this below). The type of protein powder type doesn’t make or break the recipe … just watch out for the ones that use chemicals and cheap additives though.

COST

At $1.54/serving, Soylent is cheap. Like, so cheap I have no idea how they make money. So if you’re looking for a cheap meal replacement and don’t care about ingredients/nutrition, Soylent is a great deal at least!

These healthy Soylent alternative recipes are much more expensive at $3-6/meal. Couple things to note about that though:

1. I used all organic ingredients, so you can probably save a couple bucks if you don’t buy organic if cost is a concern.

2. To knock the price down even more, buy whole fruits and seeds instead of the powders I mention below (for example, in DIY Soylent recipe #1 I wanted to create a full powdered version so I used banana powder but in recipe #4 I used a whole banana, which was much cheaper).

I recommend a high-powered blender like a BlendTec or Vitamix if you go that route. This is the Vitamix I have. It’s a couple years old but saves you a few hundred dollars compared to the new models.

Although I’ve included links to ingredients that are the best deals I found on Amazon, Costco is another great place to get deals on many of this stuff (except Pure Food … we’re only available on Amazon and here on our website … for 20% cheaper if you Subscribe & Save, I might add, which decreases the cost/serving substantially).

So long story short, if you don’t have time to cook a full meal, scoop up the awesome ingredients below and try my homemade Soylent recipes.

Healthy Soylent Recipe #1

DIY soylent recipe
My meager phone photography skills don’t do it justice, but this recipe was the best tasting, in my opinion.

Ingredients:

Nutrition:

  • Calories: 496
  • Fat: 34 grams
  • Carbs: 33 grams (7 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar)
  • Protein: 20.5 grams

Price:

$5.32/meal (496 calories)

Healthy Soylent Recipe #2

homemade soylent
This recipe has just 2 grams of sugar (plus 17 grams of fiber)!

Ingredients:

Nutrition:

  • Calories: 522
  • Fat: 25 grams
  • Carbs: 52 grams (17 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar)
  • Protein: 25 grams

Price:

$5.28/meal (522 calories)

Healthy Soylent Recipe #3

healthy soylent alternative

 Ingredients:

Nutrition:

  • Calories: 494
  • Fat: 33 grams
  • Carbs: 30 grams (12 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar)
  • Protein: 24 grams

Price:

$5.40/meal (494 calories)

Healthy Soylent Recipe #4

homemade soylent recipe

Ingredients:

Nutrition:

  • Calories: 506
  • Fat: 20 grams
  • Carbs: 60 grams (10 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar)
  • Protein: 26 grams

Price:

$3.13/meal (506 calories)

Final Thoughts

I think Soylent is a brilliant idea. I love the concept of a meal replacement drink that meets all your nutritional requirements. But Soylent’s ingredients and nutrition facts are garbage. Their last batch of powder actually got recalled because a bunch of people experienced vomiting and diarrhea (yikes!).

I’ll be updating this post in the coming weeks with more DIY Soylent recipes as I work on my new real food meal replacement product … join my email list if you’re interested in getting new recipe updates or getting a free sample of the new product when it’s ready. I’m experimenting with many of the ingredients you see in this post!



(This is the 2nd of a 2-part series. Read the first post for my full Soylent review.)

Soylent Ingredients and Nutrition Facts Review and Analysis

Before I get into my ingredients and nutrition facts reviews and analyses for Soylent’s protein products, let me say this …
I love the idea of Soylent: a convenient, inexpensive way to get a full meal.
If you take a closer look at the ingredients and nutrition panel though, there are a few red flags you need to be aware of if you care about the foods you put in your body. 

In this Soylent review, you’ll find out exactly why.

Click/tap the links below to jump to each section …

Get Instant Access to My 3 Healthy DIY Soylent Recipe Cards Here


What Is Soylent Made Of? Nutrition Facts and Ingredients Review

I’ve reviewed a lot of different protein powders. If there’s one single piece of advice I can offer when deciding for yourself whether a product is “healthy,” it’s this:

The nutrition facts and ingredients are the only objective sources of truth.

Let’s have a closer look at the nutrition facts for both Soylent bottle (liquid) and pouch (powder). We’ll start with Soylent Drink.

Soylent Drink 2.0 is the current version of their liquid ready-to-drink bottle, which is now available in three flavors: Original, Cacao, and Nectar. 1.8 is the current version of the powdered formula. Here are the nutrition facts labels for each:

Soylent 2.0 Drink Nutrition (Original):

soylent 2.0 nutrition

Soylent 2.0 Drink Nutrition (Cacao):

is soylent healthy

Soylent 2.0 Drink Nutrition (Nectar):

soylent nectar nutrition facts

Soylent 1.8 Powder Nutrition Facts:

soylent 1.8 powder nutrition facts

Upon first glance, you might think these are healthy.

Here’s where this review gets a little ugly though if you’re a Soylent fan.

Each “meal” has between 9 and 15 grams of added sugar. Newly proposed recommendations provided by the WHO encourage limiting added sugar to less than 5% of your total energy intake each day. That’s just 100 calories’ worth of sugar (or around 25 grams) for someone who eats 2,000 calories per day!

So 60% of the sugar you’re supposed to eat in an entire day is in a single serving of Soylent Powder!

According to Soylent’s website:

The Soylent recipe is based on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and is regulated as a food by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Uh, call me crazy, but where does the IOM (or any other respectable health organization) recommend 15 grams of added sugar in a single meal?!

But this isn’t even the worst part.

We haven’t gotten to the ingredients yet …

Soylent Ingredients

First, I’ll call your attention to this graphic from Soylent’s website:

soylent review
Thanks, Soylent, for being “transparent” about your low standards for ingredients. Source: www.soylent.com

As you can see, the ingredients in Soylent are:

  1. Not organic (which means there’s a high likelihood there are chemical pesticides and herbicides in your meal replacement shake)
  2. Not kosher-free
  3. Not GMO-free (Soylent actually says their products are “proudly made with GMOs“)
  4. Not allergen-free

Here are the complete ingredient lists for Soylent’s current releases of their Drinks and Powder:

Soylent 2.0 Drink (Original):

soylent ingredients - bottle

Soylent 2.0 Drink (Cacao):

soylent drink - cacao

Soylent 2.0 Drink (Nectar):

soylent nectar ingredient list

Soylent 1.8 Powder Ingredients:

soylent powder ingredients

These sounds more like chemistry experiments than real food.

There’s a lot of cheap fillers and additives in those ingredients lists but I want to call your attention to a few, in particular, you might want to consider avoiding …

Click on the links below to read about the potential dangers and side effects of the following Soylent ingredients. I’ve summed up each in parentheses too.

  • Soy Protein Isolate (cheap protein source usually produced from GMO and chemical-ridden soybeans; derived using petroleum-based hexane; common allergen and cause of inflammation)
  • Natural Flavors (the 4th most common ingredient on food labels; consist of a “natural” extract combined with potentially hundreds of chemical compounds that food companies don’t have to disclose, thanks to the FDA)
  • Maltodextrin (GMO corn-based starch used to thicken processed foods)
  • Soy Lecithin (GMO soy-based thickener/emulsifier that may promote inflammation)
  • Sucralose (artificial sweetener that caused cancer in animal studies; still approved by the FDA for some crazy reason)

What Does Soylent Taste Like?

I didn’t case for the taste for either Soylent bottle (2.0) or pouch (1.8). It’s kind of like a thick, malty mush. Not gag-worthy by any means but not good either. The Cacao and Nectar Drinks tastes better but that’s because they use so-called “natural” flavors (see link above).

I’ve heard that earlier versions were too sweet so they reduced the sweetness level in the latest version. It’s still too sweet for my liking.

Its grey color is a little off-putting for me but this may not be an issue for others.

I realize this is only my opinion about how Soylent tastes and not a very objective answer. If you’d like to hear what others have to say, check out the answers to this question on Quora: What does Soylent taste like?

Soylent Price

One of Soylent’s biggest draws is its cost—it’s pretty cheap. This comes as no surprise when you look at their list of unhealthy, processed junk ingredients.

Here’s how much Soylent costs:

Soylent Drink 2.0 Original Price: 

$34 for 12 bottles ($2.83 per 400 kcal serving) or $32.30 for 12 bottles with a monthly subscription ($2.42 per 400 kcal serving)

Soylent Drink 2.0 Cacao Price:

$39 for 12 bottles ($3.25 per 400 kcal serving) or $37.05 for 12 bottles with a monthly subscription ($3.09 per 400 kcal serving)

Soylent Drink 2.0 Nectar Price: 

$39 for 12 bottles ($3.25 per 400 kcal serving) or $37.05 for 12 bottles with a monthly subscription ($3.09 per 400 kcal serving)

Soylent Powder 1.8 Price:

$64 for 35 meals ($1.83 per 400 kcal serving) or $154 for 35 meals with a monthly subscription ($1.54 per 400 kcal serving).

Soylent Recall

It seems like every time I blink, there’s another Soylent recall …

Soylent recalled their 1.6 Powder in late 2016 after it made a lot of people sick.

Then 1.7 was released after a messy dispute with one of their ingredient suppliers.

Just a month later, they released version 1.8, adding “soluble corn fiber,” which they claim is a “truer source of fiber to the consumer,” whatever that means.

Then 1.8 was recalled due to “undeclared allergens.”

Mistakes happen in the food industry, I get it. But that’s a lot of recalls in a short amount of time.

Soylent Review: The Final Verdict

My Soylent review can be summed up in three words:

Not. Real. Food.

Sure, it satisfies your daily calorie requirements—but it may do your body more harm than good because of all the artificial, processed, junk ingredients.

Look for a meal replacement powder with ingredients sourced from organic whole foods instead.

This is the first of a two-part series. Check out the next post: Healthy DIY Soylent Recipes with Organic, Real Food Ingredients