diet and Diet Reform


Table of Contents



About This Book

Written by : M. K. Gandhi
Edited by : Bharatan Kumarappa
First Edition : 5,000 copies, July 1949
ISBN : 81-7229-062-4
Printed and Published by : Jitendra T. Desai
Navajivan Mudranalaya,
© Navajivan Trust, 1949


Chapter 23: Soya Beans

As soya beans are claimed to possess high nutritive value, I reproduce the following from pamphlet No. 7 published by the Bombay Presidency Baby and Health Week Association to enable the food reformer to make experiments:
"Generally speaking, yellow beans are the richest in protein and fat, especially in the latter; then come green beans, with black beans last. Farmers in any part of the world who take up the cultivation of the soya beans should therefore grow the yellow beans in preference to others.
"The soya bean is one of the most important articles of diet. It contains far more proteins than any grain or pulse seed known so far. It has as much as 40 per cent proteins, i.e. 2 times more than in pulses and beans, 3 times more than in wheat, and 5 times more than in rice.
"Its proteins are of high biological value as they contain all the important Amino-Acids; particularly, Glycine, Trypto-phane and Lycine. In fact, the protein of soya beans is similar to that found in cow's milk and animal foods. It is a boon to vegetarians as its protein resembles animal protein. Soya bean oil contains a large amount of Lecithin and Vitamins A & D and in this respect it resembles butter. Lecithin of soya beans is identical with that of yolk of eggs.
"Soya bean is one of the few seeds containing three Vitamins A, B & D, which are indispensable in a staple food consumed by mankind.
"The mineral salts in soya beans are far more than in many other seeds and they consist mostly of phosphates and calcium. It can therefore be used to great advantage for the cure of nervous diseases.
"Soya beans are on account of their low starchy content (only 24 per cent) very important in the dietary of diabetic patients. Modern researches in diabetic dietary recognize the importance of a carbohydrate equivalent containing starch in small proportion. Soya beans fulfill this condition.
"To prepare soya bean coffee the beans are roasted like coffee beans and ground to a fine powder for use.

Soya Bean Milk

"The straw-yellow or yellowish-green seeded varieties of soya beans are always used in the manufacture of vegetable milk. The bean pulse should be soaked in water for several hours. This soaking causes the pulse to swell up and is said to facilitate the extraction of the bean proteids. It is then crushed on a stone slab or ground through a native mill which consists of two pieces of flat circular stones, one on top of the other.
"The crushed mass is strained through a cloth, diluted with water (usually three times the amount of water as there is of bean material) and boiled. After boiling, it is again strained and the white milk run off into containers.
"The flour of soya bean pulse can be used in the same manner and gives fully as good results as the above method. It is a rather convenient method of preparing the milk as it involves less labour and greatly reduces the amount of time. The flour is added to the boiling water and the mixture boiled for ten minutes stirring con­stantly. Experiments with the different methods of preparing the milk have shown that as much bean curd can be obtained by use of the flour as with soaking the pulse and crushing, the latter being the method used in the Orient. After the flour and water are boiled, the mixture is strained through a cloth. If a more concen­trated milk is desired, the proportion of water may be reduced.

Soya Bean Flour

"The soya beans are dried in the sun for two days. It becomes now easy to make its pulse. All the small particles of the pulse should be included in the pulse and only the thin husk should be thrown away. This pulse should be mixed with rice or wheat or bajri in the proportion of one part of soya pulse to 6 or 8 parts of other grains for the preparation of rotis or puris in the usual way.
"The soya bean is not generally used by itself but as an addi­tion to other foods. Our food then becomes richer in proteins, fats and salts which is a great advantage to vegetarians."