Making soy milk at home
If you can't find soy milk at your local store, why not make it yourself? It's easier than you might think.
By Bill Rumbley
Soy milk, a nutritious drink, is a good source of complete protein, complex carbohydrates, and health-promoting isoflavones. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends consuming 25 gms of soy protein per day to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. A cup of soy milk contains about six or seven grams of protein. It's a valuable part of many diets.
How do homemade and packaged soy milk compare? With homemade soy milk you have absolute control over what's in it, adding only the flavorings or supplements you choose. Okara (high-fiber grounds) can be used in many recipes to boost fiber and protein content. You will save a lot of money making it at home since it costs about one tenth of what grocery stores charge. Packaged soy milk usually has added sugar, salt, starch, and may have vanilla extract or cocoa processed with alkali. It is fortified to be roughly equivalent to dairy milk by adding calcium carbonate, vitamins A and D, and sometimes other vitamins and minerals. When you choose homemade soy milk, be aware of the differences so you can balance your meal planning.
Have you made soy milk at home?
I have. No, not really. My wife has made it many times. A few years ago, our family traveled to Taipei, Taiwan. Every day, the morning markets and street vendors were selling hot, fresh soy milk. We tried it and loved it. It tasted so rich and fresh. No additives. Just pure water, soybeans, and sugar (you can tell them to skip the sugar). We could not forget the taste. So, my wife found out how to make it at home. It involves grinding the beans in a blender, cooking with water, filtering and squeezing the soy milk through a special sack, and boiling it again, and again, and again. The manual process takes the better part of an hour – and you have to watch that pot boil or you'll have soy milk foam all over your stove. It can be very messy.
Now, there is technology available to simplify things. An automatic soy milk maker (like the one illustrated on the left) with a microprocessor that controls and monitors the whole messy process makes a batch of soy milk in just 15 to 20 minutes. All you need to do is add water and soybeans and start the machine. You can pre-soak the soybeans for six hours or so to reduce phytates, which improves the flavor and digestibility of the soymilk. If you're in a hurry, it lets you use “raw” soybeans. The machine does the rest. It heats the beans and water to 80°C before grinding to eliminate the overly beany flavor commonly associated with homemade soy milk. Then the machine finely grinds the soybeans, producing soy milk. The process is finished after thoroughly boiling the soy milk. When you hear the beep, it is time to enjoy pure, rich, and fresh soy milk at home, flavored the way you like it. As a bonus, you also can use it to make rice and almond milks.
Bill Rumbley runs Q'Tessence, LLC, vendors of the automatic soymilk maker described in this article. To learn more about soy milk nutrition and recipes and making soy milk with the automatic soymilk maker, visit the Q'Tessence web site or call the company at +1 (303) 661-9393.
Please note: Neither Veg World nor its contributors are qualified to give medical or nutritional advice. If in doubt, always consult a suitably-qualified professional.