Soylent: Food Bar

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Finally! I got my chance at living the post-food dream. I like where this is heading. Let’s discuss.

The Soylent Food Bar is pretty much everything I was hoping for. It basically solves all the problems I had with Soylent, both minor and serious. I haven’t done an all-bar week, but I’m already really satisfied with this iteration.

The good points. Convenience is at max level with the Food Bar. Aside from simply not eating, it doesn’t get any simpler than cramming a rectangle into your mouth. I like food bars in general, so one that’s nutritionally-complete is quite ideal. The packaging is nice and easy to open, which my carpal tunnel appreciates. No layer of Soylent moon dust on the counter. The bar texture is nice, moist and with a slight crisp. Most importantly, I’m not hungry. The bar is, holy crap, actually filling. Also, I get absolutely no indigestion whatsoever. It’s almost perfect. Almost.

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The neutral points. The flavor of the bar is “okay,” and it’s nice not having that weird Soylent film in your mouth that you get with the fluid. I’m not going to whine too much about that. It has a sort of caramel taste, probably from the cooked sugars. I honestly couldn’t give a crap about whether or not it’s delicious. Oddly, it tastes nothing like any other version of Soylent I’ve tried. It is awfully sweet, though. Why is there corn syrup in this? I don’t want to eat that, especially not as a staple food. The non-neutral taste is a neutral point for me, but it does seem antithetical to the Soylent philosophy, so to speak.

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The bad points. There’s only one, and that’s the price. When these finally came out, I was genuinely surprised. Unpleasantly so. The cost of the Soylent bar caused a lot of complaining on the forums, and I completely agree. They are way, way too expensive, at about $2 each. I might as well just pick up some random granola bar off the shelf for that price. Still, I have to admit that a Food Bar is a heck of a lot cheaper than salads topped with feta cheese, or even tofu stir fry (some of my more regular meals). It might still be worth making the switch. I’d pay good money not to get horrible indigestion and to get rid of that dizzy, low-energy feeling I get when on a Soylent diet.

Overall, I’m okay with this. Not thrilled, but I can live with it. Now I can stop thinking about food and focus on something more important, like socket programming.

EDIT (10/23/2016): Annnd they’re gone.

Baking: Pumpkin Spice Rolls

180 calories

I walked into a grocery store a few days ago and noticed that everything is orange. It’s obviously pumpkin season. Pumpkins are dirt cheap right now, so I bought my annual pumpkin (plus picked up a couple free ones from my brother’s work function). We spent the evening depulping, peeling, cutting, and seed roasting. There’s enough pumpkin in the freezer to feed half a continent.

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Consequently, my brother asked me to make pumpkin bread, so I did. I’ve decided I’m only baking for him from now on since he’s the only one who likes my cooking and I’m sick of people throwing my cookies (which tasted fine to me, but whatever) into the garbage. What ever happened to the gentleman’s art of lying, I wonder? I make it a point to lie as much as I possibly can–it’s called being polite.

Well, in any case, if you want yet another recipe that’s sure to not impress, here you go:

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Makes 12 pumpkin rolls.  Preparation Time: About three hours.

Approximately 177 calories for 1/12 recipe.  Calories in the whole batch: 2,128.

Additional Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Carbs 33g, Fat 4g, Protein 4g, Sodium 49mg, Sugar 6g

Tools

Mixing Bowls, Measuring Cups/Spoons, Fork, Cooking Pot, Rolling Pin, Bread Pan, Wax Paper, and an Oven.

Materials

  • 3 1/2 Cups Flour, plus a little for dusting
    + Great Value All-Purpose White Flour: 1,400 calories for 3 1/2 cups.
  • 2 Tbsp White Sugar
    + Domino White Sugar:  45 calories for 2 tbsp.
  • 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
    + Dominos Light Brown Sugar: 180 calories for 1/4 cup.
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
    + Generic Margarine: 4o8 calories for 4 tbsp.
  • 1/2 Cup Nut or Soy Milk
    + Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Cashew Milk: 13 calories for 1/2 cup.
  • 3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
    + Homemade: 37 calories for 3/4 cup.
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Egg Substitute
    + Ener G Egg Replacer: 15 calories for 1 1/2 tsp.
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Packet of Yeast: About 11 calories.
  • Spice Mix (clove, nutmeg, ground ginger, and cinnamon, to taste): Add another 20 calories, just to be safe.
  • Cooking Spray

Preparation

Just so you know, you’re typically supposed to use double the sugar and butter. I don’t want to eat Cinnabons, however, so I cut the amounts in half. If you do this, don’t use a lot of spices. Spices act to cut the sweetness and it’s really easy to overdo it on the clove. If you don’t care at all about how fattening the rolls are (like if you’re making them for your coworkers), you can make a powdered sugar cinnamon glaze to drizzle over the top, too.

Step 1. Boil a few cups of pumpkin in a cooking pot until tender. Drain it and mash it up well with a fork.

Step 2. Warm the nut milk in the microwave for a few seconds and sprinkle in half a packet of yeast. Let the yeast sit in the bowl for around 10 minutes.

Step 3. Mix in 1/2 cup flour, the pumpkin puree, and the white sugar.

Step 4. Cover with a paper towel and allow the “starter” to rise about 30 minutes. It should crack and look puffy.

Step 5. Add 3 cups flour. Mix in the egg replacer, 1 tbsp melted margarine, and ½ tsp salt. Knead well.

Step 6. Cover the dough and let it rise for about two hours. It should double in size, be very tender, fluffy, and not sticky enough to cling to the bowl.

Step 7. Lay out some wax paper and sprinkle it with flour. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until its about 1/4 in thick.

Step 8. Butter the surface with most of the remaining margarine. Just a thin layer is enough.

Step 9. Prepare your spice mix. You can use a mortar and pestle like I did to combine the spices, or just buy pumpkin spice and add a bunch of cinnamon. Mix in the brown sugar.

Step 10. Sprinkle the sugar/spice mix over the buttered surface of the dough, but set a tiny bit aside for the next step.

Step 11. Roll the dough up into a tube. Rub the last of the margarine into the top and sprinkle a little of the spice mix on top.

Step 12. Let the pumpkin tube sit for a bit as you preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You’re supposed to let it rise for another hour, but I don’t have all day and the time it took for the oven to heat up worked just fine.

Step 13. Cut the tube into 12 slices. Place them into a bread pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.

Step 14. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the exterior starts to get a little hard. This isn’t brain surgery. You’ll know when its done.

Step 15. Allow to cool and serve to your willing test subjects. If they don’t puke, you did it right.