Make Some Soy Butter
An Economical Vegan Substitute
While living in San Francisco, I sometimes visited the Sivananda Center, a yoga ashram, in Grass Valley, California. It was at the ashram that I learned how to make this soy butter, which has a very light, fluffly texture. The advantage of making it is that you can use a good quality, cold-pressed oil. Apart from moistening a piece of toast, soy butter can be used as a base for sauces. I have used it this way for coleslaw and macaroni or potato salads. You can add herbs and spices to taste. It's a delightful alternative to dairy-based spreads.
Appliances and Tools You Need
- a one-quart skillet, any type
- liquid measuring cup
- measuring spoons
- a whisk or large mixing spoon
- a blender or mixer
- 2 cups water, pure or filtered
- 6 Tbls. soy flour
- 14-16 oz. grapeseed or other light oil, cold-pressed, organic
- Bring the water to a steaming point in a skillet over medium heat. Add the soy flour (not soy milk powder) to the heated water as you stir with a whisk. Keep stirring occasionally and allow this mixture to come to a slow boil and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove the skillet and allow the liquid to cool for at least 20 minutes (you don't want to cook your cold-pressed oil).
- Once the mixture is sufficiently cool, pour it into a blender and blend it at "puree" or a little higher. By using a thin stream, slowly drizzle the oil into the churning liquid until the "whirlpool" has closed and droplets begin to form on the surface. The butter is ready.
- When using any of the heavier oils, such as olive or corn, you may find you only need about half the amount indicated in the recipe.
- If you decide to use a thickener, such as xanthan gum or pectin, the result will be a pudding-like consistency.
|Serving size: 1 Tbls.|
|Calories from Fat||81|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 9 g||14%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
A Word About Soy and Genetically Modified Foods
There has been some concern lately over both the isoflavones in soy and the genetic modification of soy beans. First of all, foods are only a part of our health. While they are important, the mental and emotional aspects of the human are even more important than food. Images absorbed through a media-rich society go into the subconscious, which can eventually manifest in undesirable symptoms or enhanced health, depending on the types of images and one's attitude toward them.
Isoflavones, compounds which act in a manner similar to estrogen, the predominant female hormone, occur mostly in soy, but are contained in other plant sources as well. For example, red clover, which is eaten by cows, also contains isoflavones, a naturally occurring substance. Also, a significant number of individuals metabolize isoflavones differently than others do. No scientific studies have conclusively proven soy to have any miraculous benefit or detriment to those who eat this legume.
Genetic modification (GM) has been going on for decades and started in the U.S. with tobacco in 1984. GM might be something as simple as hybridization or as complicated as mixing plant and animal genes together. For the most part, the practice of GM is done within species in the hopes of getting better crop yields and hardier plants. Scientists have also begun achieving higher nutritional levels through GM. Soybeans account for 60% of all GM crops worldwide, and the U.S. produces 59% of all GM crops (Argentina is ranked second with 20%). Other crops being genetically engineered are maize (corn), rapeseed (canola), and cotton. The concerns surroundinng the practice of GM are: 1) long-term health effects, 2) unintentional gene transfers, 3) ethics, and 4) commercial licensing.
My personal preference would be for scientists and growers to focus on restablishing fertile bio-organisms within the soil, rather than manipulate the plant species. Connecticut and Vermont have passed laws requiring labels on GM foods. Twenty-seven other states have introduced legislature to pass similar laws. Since scant studies have been done regarding the consumption of GM foods on long-term health, the labels will at least allow the public a choice about what to put in their shopping carts. ***
- Discount Vitamins, Supplements, Health Foods and Sports Nutrition - Vitacost
You can read about and purchase Bob's Red Mill soy flour here.
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http://www.aicr.org/press/press-releases/soy-safe-breast-cancer-survivors.html (Collins, American Institute for Cancer Research 2012)
http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/genetically-engineered-foods (Definition of Genetically Modified Organisms)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/06/12/labels-being-sought-for-genetically-modified-food/2417459/ (Laws for GMO labels article by Dan D’Ambrosio, USA TODAY 2:40 p.m. EDT June 13, 2013)
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/soyiso/ (Jane Higdon, Ph.D.; Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, January 2006)
© 2012 Marie Flint