Monday, March 8, 2010

Red Pepper Okara Spread/Dip

So as odd as this sounds I made soy milk today because I wanted the okara. The soy milk will get used in our smoothies. I have had this okara experiment in my head for a few days that I wanted to try which I made today. Yesterday I dehydrated red bell peppers to use in my spread. I dried them out because I wanted to concentrate their flavor without degrading the vitamin C (which isn’t heat stable). My idea was to make a low calorie spread that had some of the flavors of roasted red pepper hummus, only with more nutrition. Honestly I had no idea what to expect from this idea but though it was a worthy experiment so I dove right in. The texture of this spread is creamy, like the best hummus you ever had. It is lower in fat and calories than hummus but no less satisfying. Now that I know it will be easy to turn okara into hummus next time I will be using traditional hummus seasonings of lemon, cumin and paprika. Here is what I made today.

Red Pepper Okara Spread/Dip
Makes 3 ½ cups (approximately) or 14 servings of ¼ cup each


Okara from 1 batch of soymilk using 1 cup of dry soy beans
3 red bell peppers, dehydrated at 105 degrees for 12 hours (the texture of soft sun dried tomatoes)
1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
2 teaspoons onion flakes
½ cup water cashews
Water or soy milk necessary to process (maybe ¼ cup), or oil (see discussion below)
Black pepper to taste (probably 1/4 teaspoon)


Place everything but the water and pepper in the blender and process. Drizzle water into the blender as necessary to process the mixture until it is completely smooth. I made this in my Vitamix and adding maybe ¼ of water. Add black pepper to taste. Refrigerate in a covered container for a few hours so the flavors can marry. Taste for seasonings and use as hummus.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 43.5
Calories From Fat (37%) - 16.02

Total Fat - 1.91g
Saturated Fat - 0.31g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 204.93mg
Potassium - 133.89mg
Total Carbohydrates - 5.46g
Fiber - 0.86g
Sugar - 1.61g
Protein - 1.55g


The texture of this dip surprised me the most. It is smooth and silky and reminds me of a hummus we get at our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. The okara is a perfect vehicle for carrying other flavors. Red peppers are very dominate in this spread. I could have gone crazy with flavor but decided to keep this simple so that it didn’t overpower the fresh veggies.

If you still use oil to sauté or roast your veggies this dip may taste too clean. Raw cashews do not give food the fatty mouth feel that you get from oil. I would suggest you add a little olive oil to the recipe in place of the water or soymilk.  Had I made this 6 or 9 months ago it would have tasted too clean to me, which is why I mention that variation. I had this today as part of my lunch with a very veggie dippers to use as “crackers”. Variations of this will be making regular appearances at my house.

Unrelated Comments:

The weather is absolutely gorgeous here today. I could not resist getting outside for a little exercise in the fresh air. Needless to say that sort of thing does not help me to get things done at home. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

I have some chickpeas that I have been sprouting that are going to make a fast soup for dinner tonight and lunches this week. Once I knock that out and get a few things accomplished I will be back later today. I hope to not only get the recipes from today posted but at least one from the weekend.


  1. Whoa, look at that plate of goodies! Somebody pass me a fork!

    For those of us who are dehydrator-impaired, what do you recommend? Think roasted red peppers would be okay in this? Also, our soymilk maker uses 3.5oz of soybeans and yields 3/4 cup of okara. Any idea how much okara you used in this recipe?

    Sure looks and sounds good! (And how did you find such dark red tomatoes this time of year? They're still looking all pale and anemic around here. You know, like us pasty, malnourished vegans. *snork!*)

  2. Lalo,

    For the red peppers you can either use them raw (retaining the most vitamin C) and then you may not need the extra liquid, or use the jarred roasted variety. Either should work fine but you will need to fiddle with the liquid or add more cashews to thicken the mixture.

    The tomatoes are grape tomatoes that I bought at Wegmans. I love that store because it has beautiful produce like Whole Foods, only it costs less.

    For the soy beans I would say a double batch of soy milk is close enough, or half the recipe and use one batch of okara from your maker.

    talk to you later,

  3. Thanks, Ali!

    I've never bought roasted peppers in a jar, I just roast mine in the oven! But I think I'll use them raw in this, and make a half-batch (I have storage issues if I make more than one batch of soymilk at a time! If I had known how much fun okara was going to be, I would have bought a bigger soymilk maker! LOL)

    Your comment at the beginning of your post about making soymilk so you can have the okara made me chuckle, and reminded me of a comedienne who had a joke about buying a dress so she'd get change for gum. ;-)

  4. Lalo,

    Wow, you have never bought jarred peppers. I hate to admit this but I always have a jar in my pantry for when I am feeling lazy, but they are organic (as she slinks away in shame). All Clad makes a nice stove top pepper roaster (which a friend bought for me) that works great. I use it to roast all sorts of veggies in the house.

    Who knew okara would be better than the milk. To think I use to throw the stuff away periodically in the past. Never again!

    I can see the logic of buying shoes for change for gum. Doesn't everyone do that? ;-)


  5. NOM NOM NOM!!!!!!
    I am seriously a veggie harlot!

  6. Brandi,

    I think that is a good description of me too! Shhhh, don't tell anyone. ;-) LOL!


  7. Heather,

    We had lovely weather today. I had to get outside for some exercise today. It was far too pretty to stay in all day.



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