Soy-based lecithin is used as a commercial additive in some foods, used to reduce viscosity, control sugar crystallisation, promote better mixing of ingredients, improve shelf-life, stabilise emulsions, and improve texture. In doughs and baked goods, it reduces fat requirements, increases volume, and protects yeast cells when dough is frozen. Additionally, it acts as a releasing agent - preventing dough from sticking to containers, making for easier cleanup.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Lecithin granules
- Food processor
- Non-dairy milk
- Measuring spoon
Lecithin is best described as being an "acquired taste." In time, many consumers find they can tolerate the taste, but those new to lecithin often find it difficult to enjoy. Because lecithin granules don't readily dissolve in water, the easiest way to take them is by swirling the glass, so that the granules don't simply sink to the bottom. Add lecithin to store-bought or freshly squeezed orange juice, to help mask the flavour. Or add to a creamy almond milk-based fresh fruit smoothie for an even more palatable experience.
In breads, doughs or quick breads, lecithin is used to achieve a tender texture with heavier, wholegrain flours. If making your own bread, add a dough enhancer containing soy lecithin granules to help extend the life of the bread. Combine the following ingredients for a basic dough enhancer:
1 cup powdered soy milk
2 cups vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 tablespoons dry pectin
4 tablespoons agar
4 tablespoons lecithin granules
1 tablespoon ascorbic acid, crystals
In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients and store, refrigerated, in an airtight container. For an average-sized loaf of 3.5 cups of wholewheat bread flour, use 3 tablespoons of dough enhancer.
Use lecithin in spreads. Lecithin granules help emulsify and stabilise the texture of spreads, dips and creamy dressings. Try making your own tofu sour cream by blending the following ingredients in a food processor or blender:
3 1/2 cups silken tofu, well drained
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1/4 cup lecithin granules
2 tablespoons light miso
2 tablespoons corn oil
Combine all ingredients and blend on high speed, until a creamy texture is achieved. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Add lecithin granules as a topping for cereals or mix in with your favourite granola. To add extra nutrition to desserts, stir into soy yoghurts, or sprinkle onto non-dairy ice cream. Fresh crispy salads also benefit from a sprinkling of lecithin granules and, for stews, gravies and soups, lecithin works well as a thickener.
Tips and warnings
- Lecithin can also be used as a skin softener: Add 1-2 tablespoons to warm water and soak tired feet or sore hands.
- In some individuals, an allergic reaction to lecithin has been observed. Always treat with caution, if you have known allergies to soy.
- 20 of the funniest online reviews ever
- 14 Biggest lies people tell in online dating sites
- Hilarious things Google thinks you're trying to search for