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Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Soya is species of the legume like the bean but unlike most protein foods like meat and beans soya is considered a source of complete protein food because it contains all the essential amino acids.
Dried Soya beans

Soya can be eaten as stew, it can be roasted and ground into powder which is taken  as soya tea or mixed with porridge flour which is extremely nutritious especially for  young children or mixed with chapati or ugali flour or deep fried and eaten as a snack. Milk can also be extracted from the seeds. Just to name a few of its uses.
 Recently it has come to great attention that consumers of soya in Isinya have not been treating the bean. Soya contains a chemical known as trypsin inhibitors; these are chemicals that interfere with protein digestion in the body and may even cause pancreatic disorders. For human consumption soya beans must be treated in wet heat/ boiling water to destroy these trypsin inhibitors. It is for this reason that the ministry of agriculture’s (MOA) home economics department led by Loise Gakuru embarked on a soya treatment sensitization campaign.

  • Soya beans  (measured as per cooking requirement)
  • Source of heat such as jiko
  • Clean water
  •  Clean sufuria

Soya treatment process

Step 1
Sort the soya to remove any discolored or spoilt beans.

Step 2
Bring water to boil.

Step 3
Pour a hand full of soya or less into the boiling water.
Loise Gakuru demonstrating how to treat soya

Notice that immediately the soya hits the boiling water the boiling subsides, wait for the boiling to resume then add another handful, then wait for the boiling to start boiling again before adding more this takes only a few seconds. Do this for the entire soya you intend to cook.

Step 4
Leave the soya beans to boil for at least 10 minutes
Notice that the seed coat of the soya comes out in the process.

Step 5
Pour out the water and prepare as preferred e.g.  Boil with maize for githeri, boil the same way you would boil beans, dry in the sun if you intend to dry roast them or grind them or any other way you may prefer to eat them.

Florence David translating the process to the elderly women
 It is important to note that all soya meant for human consumption should be treated this way.
By Njeri Kenyaggia