Soybeans for Y2K food: A successful taste test! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

It's rather ironic. I've lived the better part of my life in soybean country and yet, until this past week, had never had a plate of cooked soybeans. I've had lima beans, navy beans, great northern beans, pinto beans, black beans and just about every other bean imaginable -- but not soybeans. Oh sure, I've had lots of process soy by-products, but just try to go to the store and buy a can of cooked soybeans. How many restaraunts do you know with soybeans on the menu?

A couple of recent threads here got me to thinking seriously about including soybeans as part of preparedness foodstores. Would I eat soybeans, I wondered? The best advice on foodstores is simply "buy what you eat, eat what you buy and use it or lose it" (I originally saw this advice in the book "Making The Best of Basics" by James Talmage Stevens.

I'd often heard that soybeans were a highly nutrional food product and decided to check the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (Simply enter "soybeans" into the serach box there.) As this information shows, soybeans are highly nutritious and packed with lots of good stuff.

But would I like them? No use buying something myself and my household wouldn't eat.

So I obtained a 5 pound bag of this year's crop from a local source and, following preparation instructions given to me by Gary Hansen, I cooked them in an 8 quart pressure cooker. The beans should be soaked overnight in the refrigerator prior to cooking and will approximately double in size while soaking. I wanted to create just 'plain-old-cooked-soybeans' to make sure I wasn't tasting any other flavors.

The pressure cooker was filled to the 1/3rd level with beans then just covered with water (about 4 cups) and 2 tablespoons vegatable oil (adding oil is important - it reduces the frothing and sputtering which can clog the steam release vents). I also added a some salt - but that's it, nothing else. Using a high flame, I brought the cooker up to pressure (15 lbs) then reduced to a very low flame for the remainder of the cooking period.

The first night, I cooked them for the recommended 35 minutes. The beans were wonderful but slightly undercooked for my preference. Still the remainder of this batch were quickly consumed the next day. They were a hit with both myself and Mrs. Rimmer. We served them on a bed of fresh leaf spinach with a little (what else) soy sauce!

Two nights later I repeated the process and this time let the beans cook 45 minutes. They were perfect! The remainder were added to yesterday's soup (also from the Y2K rations) and were great. The only problem is I seem to like them too much -- they pack a lot of nutritious calories into a small package and it's easy to over-eat! (Still, very low in fat and an excellent source of vitamins, minirals, and amino acids). I've got enough of the original 5 pounds for one last batch which I'm going to cook for some friends.

The taste of soybeans is mild and definitely NOT AT ALL overpowering. I can't imagine how good they'd be with some brown sugar and Newski's applewood smoked bacon (That was before I gave up my evil ways. Gosh, I do miss Newski's). But my real point here is that you could combine soybeans with a thousand different other food and have an excellent chance of succeeding!

I can only speak for myself and Mrs. Rimmer here but soybeans will be a most welcome addition to my Y2K table (as well as in the months before Y2K). I've placed an order with Gary for a fairly large amount. Stored properly, they will last a long time. When we receive them, we will store them in 5 gallon pails which we buy direct from United States Plastic Corp. We've had very good luck dealing with this company.

Gary tells me about 30 pounds of soybeans will fit into a 5 gallon pail. We divide our food into spearate 3-4 pound "Ziplock" bags before placing them in the containers although US plastics has 20"W x 24"H Polyethylene 4mil flat bags which can be used as liners for the pails as well.

My advice to anyone considering this option it to get and prepare a small quantity using the pressure cooker method I described above. See if you like them as well as we did.

I am purchasing from Gary even though I might be able to obtain them somewhat cheaper locally for two reasons: (1) he worked pretty hard at providing me information about the beans up front, and (2) he will provide them cleaned and in 50-pound paper bags.

Approximately 1/3 of the cost of the beans goes to Gary, 1/3rd to freight costs, and 1/3rd for storage containers. Still, once stored in buckets, I will have paid approximately $0.51 per pound total cost (includes beans, delivery and the buckets I purchased separately.) This does not include the time it takes me to transfer the beans from the bags to the buckets.

Important to the above equation is the fact that I live in Iowa, Gary lives in Nebraska and US Plastic Corp is in Ohio. This regional proximity makes delivery costs reasonable. Your mileage may vary. Check the specifics of your own individual situation before committing the resources.

Give soybeans a try!


-- Arnie Rimmer (, November 15, 1998


Thanks for the info, Arnie. If I can find a local source, I'll give them a try. BTW, thanks for the reminder, I'm about to call it a night, and I'm supposed to soak some beans for supper tomorrow night (bean soup/stew, by the family's request). Good night.

-- Tricia the Canuck (, November 16, 1998.

I've recently been making quite tasty soymilk in a simpler method than the soy cookbooks suggest. Soak 1 cup dry soybeans overnight, then cook them till soft in a pressure cooker. (They will take forever in a regular pot.) Your times will vary on the pressure cooking, and do add that oil Arnie mentioned.

Drain the beans and blend them with about 3 cups water. I have a Vita-Mix and solar panels so expect to continue past the century mark this way. Other blenders and food processers also probably work, but I'm not sure whatI'd use to do it by hand. probably the kind of food mill that you can make applesauce in.

I add vanilla and a sweetener, then sift through a strainer. It makes a thick but nutritious drink. I've done honey and brown sugar, both were good. I added about 1/3 cup.


-- Rosie (, November 16, 1998.

Water, beans, oil, and salt. Too many ingredients, it must involve cooking, and so should be avoided at all costs.

However, I face a technical dilema here:

If you are going to pour the water off at the end, does it still count as one of the ingredients? If the water does not count, then this is a valid way to consume calories, ie. eat.

However, the pot (and lid) still have to be cleaned afterwards..... Alas, alack, and a woe: so much effort merely to avoid starvation.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 16, 1998.

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