For the past few months, I’ve been struggling with intestinal gas, cramps, irregularity. So I googled the symptoms and came up with Irritable Bowl Syndrome. There isn’t any specific cause and there isn’t a specific cure. Among the various things associated with IBS are milk products. Although I’m not a big milk drinker I am a very regular milk drinker between a large milky coffee every morning and cereal with milk 2 or 3 times a week. So I decided to experiment and replace milk with soy beverage.
No effect on the IBS but I did like the soy beverage. Or at least, I liked, the brand that I tried. The next time we bought soy beverage it was a different brand which, from the taste, could have had chalk added to it. A blogger I follow posted pictures of making his own beverage. That got me thinking about of how soy could fit into our garden & food plans. As the list grew, I got very interested in soy. It was one of those multi-benefit situations that we like.
It’s a nitrogen fixer. It converts nitrogen in the air into nitrogen compounds that help it grow. When the plant dies, it releases the fixed nitrogen into the soil when it decomposes. We have many areas of the garden, particularly in the orchard that could benefit from soybeans.
We make yoghurt and wondered if we could use soy beverage. The answer is yes although it’s not as firm as milk-based yoghurt. Nor does it have the tart edge of milk-based yoghurt. A teaspoonful of rose hip jelly is a wonderful addition. So we bought some non-GMO Laura beans to try roasting for soy nuts, sprouting, and as one type of seed for next year. And at the local bulk store, we bought some soy beverage powder. The math worked out to about $0.30/litre vs $1.90/litre.
The menu possibilities are pretty varied. I love almond flavoured bean curd as a dessert. We’re too far north for almonds but we are growing some interesting possibilities – haskap, hazelnuts, rosa rugosa’s rose hips, cherries, plums. And soybeans can be sprouted which would add to our sprout choices. And it can be stored for long periods of time as long as they are kept dry.
Nutritionally, they are a good source of protein and Vitamin B6 (29% of RDA), Vitamin C (10%), Vitamin K (45%), Calcium (28%), Iron (126%), Magnesium (76%), Phosphorus (101%), Potassium (38%), and Zinc (49%).
So the need to raise animals for food is reduced to one requirement – Vitamin B12 which is only found in animals.