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I started to experiment with home-made soy milk, which means that I have a lot of okara and I am looking for various ways of using it. I grind the soy beans before boiling the milk, so that the okara I get comes from the beans that have just soaked in water overnight and boiled for one or two minutes before grinding. Can I use such okara directly in spreads and other recipes without boiling it or steaming it? Can my body use the proteins and other nutrients?

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6 Answers 6

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Its been a while but I found this thread as I was wondering the same thing... Not much info on raw okara but I just googled raw soybeans....

"For human consumption, soybeans must be cooked with "wet" heat to destroy the trypsin inhibitors (serine protease inhibitors). Raw soybeans, including the immature green form, are toxic to humans, swine, chickens, and in fact, all monogastric animals."

From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean

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Okara is not very appealing raw It should be cooked into something.

It is used in some foods but I have never heard of it being used raw.

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  • So far I have used it in spreads and breakfast cereals. It tastes good (or rather it takes over the dominant taste quite willingly) and it creates a nice texture. I’m mainly curious if my body can absorb the nutrients from okara without cooking or baking it.
    – zoul
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 14:48
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If you made soy milk in a soy milk maker, the okara isn’t raw, it’s cooked. But if you made it in a blender before boiling the beans, and then cooked the milk on the stovetop, then the okara really needs to be cooked before eating.

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From what I know, I suggest to cook it. Here are many examples of people being poisoned after drinking uncooked soybean milk. The toxin in raw soy milk may be trypsin inhibitors and saponin. Okara is part of soybean, it may contain the toxin.

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I was trying to figure out if okara powder is safe to use in smoothies and came across this question.

As other commenters mentioned, the question is whether it was cooked, and how long. This is presumably easy to determine if you're making soy milk at home, though 1 minute is probably not sufficient. This paper notes:

Boiling them at atmospheric pressure during 20 minutes was required to destroy 80% of the soybeans antitrypsin activity [...] Nevertheless, the soybeans texture was not satisfactory; therefore, longer boiling periods were tested so as to establish the most suitable time needed to achieve a softness similar to that of common beans as usually consumed. Softness was measured instrumentally, and the optimal conditions found were: 40 min boiling after 8 hr soaking in a 0.25% bicarbonate solution.

Ground soybeans probably cook more quickly than whole soybeans, but it seems like 20 minutes would be a minimum to avoid toxins.

For commercial dried okara flours, this site notes:

Fresh okara made from raw uncooked soybeans (like what we get from our soya milk recipe, where we process uncooked beans, filter, then cook the milk) has a flavor similar to raw mung bean shoots.

Raw uncooked okara must be cooked before consumption because uncooked soy protein is poisonous - see our article on "What to do with soy bean pulp" for details on How To Cook Raw Okara.

Fresh okara made from cooked soybeans (where cooked beans are blended and then filtered) has a neutral or bland flavor.

Dry okara granules and powders have a nutty flavor to them.

So it's apparently possible to tell by taste (neutral/nutty implies cooked; "beany" implies uncooked). Additionally, the manufacturer would probably mention that it must be cooked prior to consumption if it's made from raw soybeans. If their package mentions adding it to smoothies or other raw applications, it's either safe to eat, or they are opening themselves up to serious liability claims.

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I made my soy milk by soaking 1 cup of beans in hot water for a day and removing the translucent skin. I steamed the soaked soy bean and blended it in my vita mix with 7 cups of water.

Then I strained this and the okara was unbelievably delicious - like almond paste with no bitterness, but nutty and creamy. The milk turned out very delicious and creamy.

I am going to add it in my carrot tomato soup.

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  • 1
    I'm sorry, but how does this answer the question?
    – Marti
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 21:08

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