Tuesday, June 5, 2012

#Bean2Blog: Make your own roasted soybean “nuts.”


Roasted soybeans were the snack of choice in my household, growing up.  

I have fond memories of my mother driving to downtown Raleigh to Noah’s Food Coop in our 1972 white Toyota station wagon.  In lieu of membership fees, Noah’s allowed members to work in the backroom.  My favorite part was scooping out bins of wheat, soybeans, and brewers yeast into little plastic bags and securing with twist ties, as my mother penned the weight amount on the little white labels.  It was a blast.

Nowadays there is probably a law about that, forbidding children to assist in that manner.

Sigh.

As you know, I recently attended the Arkansas Soybean Board’s #Bean2Blog event at P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home at Moss Mountain, outside Little Rock.  The day was designed to teach us all about the miracle bean.  Truthfully, I already was well familiarized with soybean uses, having “grown up” with them as a child. 

As an adult, soybeans somewhat saved my life, as silly as that sounds.  Living fifteen years dairy-free was difficult as a self-proclaimed “foodie.”  How can you be a foodie and not have access to Parmesan cheese?  Think about it!  Soybean provides an excellent base for many dairy alternatives, including cream cheese, ice cream, sour cream, and of course soymilk.  I’ll be talking more about that in my next post.

#Bean2Blog rekindled my desire for the roasted soybean “nuts” of my youth.  Sure, I had purchased them many times in a pre-packaged form.  But make them?  I had not roasted them in a looooooong time.  

It’s so easy and inexpensive to make. And well, satisfyingly fun.


Try it for yourself.

EASY ROASTED SOYBEAN NUTS

INGREDIENTS

1 cup organic soybeans
2 tablespoons olive oil (or, if you prefer a lighter oil, try Macadamia Nut olive)
Salt
Pepper
1 tablespoon of soy sauce (I prefer tamari sauce, which is wheat-free)



INSTRUCTIONS

1. Soak soybeans for 8 hours, covered with water. 
2. Drain soybeans in a colander.
3. Preheat oven to Bake at 350 degrees.
4. While colander is still in sink, toss the soybeans with oil, salt, pepper, and tamari/soy sauce. 
5. Spread soybeans on a baking sheet. 
6. Bake, stirring occasionally, until soybeans have a beautiful golden roast color to them AND they are crispy. 




This is a bit of an art and a science at this point.  


I find it takes at least thirty minutes to get to this point.  The crispier they are, the better your snacking experience. 

Wondering where to find raw soybeans in Northwest Arkansas?   

Ozark Natural Foods in Fayetteville has them in the bin section (sigh, oh happy memories) for $1.49 a pound.

ONF even has a helpful how-to attached!

Cooks Natural Market in Rogers has them in the bin section as well, at $1.99 a pound.

Nah, those aren't Jelly Belly's!

See, roasted soybeans are an inexpensive and easy-to-make snack.  Have the kiddos join you and you will have them proudly nibbling and sharing with their friends.

Oh, wondering how they taste?

The roasted soybean will have a more earthy taste than a peanut, but a more satisfying crunch.

Soybeans, by nature are quite bland by themselves.  Think tofu.  Okay, you get the idea.  That’s why roasting with the oil and seasonings are key.  You may want to add chili powder, an Italian blend, or even hot sauce.
  
Let me know what special herbs or spices you add.  The possibilities are limitless!

Call it my child-like curiosity.

Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.

Lyndi

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pickled shallots (the cheater version).



My husband and I were in food-Mecca a little over a week ago (aka Manhattan), eating our way from Central Park to Battery Park.  We embarked on a food safari, flushing out the so-so places in order to get to the big game, the trophy winners.

I do this hard work for you. 

You see, my goal is to selflessly seek out unique experiences and when I order something unique on a menu, it is all for you.  Ultimately it is to share what I learn.

Okay, let’s call it what it is.  It's all about me! Foodie-ism is about the experience!  It is about the little surprises, whether it delights your palate, or not. It's about seeking it out, wherever you are.

Friday night we ate at a sumptuous hole-in-the-wall in NoHo, called il buco.  This place was on my to-do list the last few trips to the city and we finally made it. Romantic and cozy with a local vibe, this place was oh-so charming.



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