Saturday, October 02, 2004

Freshly Roasted Soy Nuts

Tired of rancid, costly soy nuts? Roast your own!

Why eat soynuts?
They may reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and overall risk from coronary heart disease (CHD). If you're a peri-, pre-, or in-the-midst-menopausal woman, they've been documented to reduce hot flashes. And compared to dry roasted peanuts as a snack, soynuts have half the fat and double the protein. I just like them. Unfortunately, the FRE can't get past three.

This is a repost of my original recipe. I added step 4, which describes how to ensure a dry, crispy soynut.


1 cup dried soybeans


1     Rinse soybeans in cool water and place in a bowl large enough to allow beans to double in size. Cover the beans with water; the water level should be a few inches above the beans. Allow the beans to soak at least 8 hours, but not more than 24 hours.

Note: As the beans soak, they absorb water and swell. The hydrated bean will then begin to ferment. If you allow your beans to soak longer than 24 hours, you'll see a small amount of foam collect on the surface of the water. These are harmless gas bubbles, primarily carbon dioxide, that result from the breakdown of the bean's sugar during fermentation.

2     Preheat the oven to 330°F.

3     Spread the soaked beans in one thin layer on a baking sheet. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 10 or 15 minutes, until well browned and toasted. Remove from oven and let cool.

Note: Although the beans may be roasted in a conventional oven, a convection oven that blows heated air over the beans assists in drying and may reduce total roasting time. Reduce the oven temperature to 310°F if using convection. Don't try to speed the process by raising the oven temperature. A long, slow roast, using either type oven, produces the crispiest soy nut.

Try to remember to stir periodically. The beans will give up moisture and steam/cook for the first 20 minutes. Browning occurs rapidly after the beans are relatively dry. Stirring prevents the beans on the edges from burning.

Finally, don't salt the soybeans. The wet bean will absorb the salt. The salt inside the bean will draw and hold water, preventing the bean from drying effectively. No crispy nuts there.

4     While the beans are cooling (or the next day, or whenever you have time), reduce the oven temperature to 200°F. Return the beans to the tepid oven and forget about them for several hours while they dry. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


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