All about homemade Soy Milk

I choose to make my own soymilk for several reasons. #1 being that I can use a traditional system, utilizing soaking and organic non-GMO soybeans #2 being that I don’t want the preservatives, added vitamins and minerals of unknown origin or anything else in my soymilk. Fresh and naked please. #3 would be cost. The cost of 1 batch of soymilk for me is approximately $1. That’s for a full 2 Liters of super creamy, protein rich soy milk. This same 2 Liters could be diluted to 1 gallon for a more comparable product to most commercial soymilks, (which may be the way to go for using on cold cereal etc.). Pretty good compared to $3.50-$4.50 per 1.89 Liter carton from the store.

What can you do with homemade Soymilk?

Make Lattes, hot chocolate or chocolate milk. Sweeten and use as a beverage or coffee creamer. Use in place of milk in baking or pretty much any recipe. Use in place of eggs in some recipes. Make your own tofu. Make non-dairy yogurt or buttermilk by culturing it. If you are not used to the taste of fresh soy milk, you may need to use a lot of sweetener and other flavourings. Vanilla Soymilk is a common favorite, and it can be as easy as adding vanilla syrup to the finished milk. You can also use your choice of natural sweetener such as agave or dates.

You can get used to the natural taste and even love it, but it might be strange at first. I find it familiar and neutral compared to coconut, almond or even cashew milks in many applications. The trick is not to use it plain in something that it will overpower. For instance, don’t try to use it in an unsweetened tea or coffee. Just don’t.

There are a lot of soy milk recipes and recipe videos out there, and I’ve seen a LOT of them. I’ve also done a LOT of experimenting and I’ve come up with a straight-forward system that works for me, and it should work for you as well.

Here is a list of the supplies you will need:

  • Vitamix or other high powered blender.
  • A fine mesh strainer/sieve.
  • Woven cloth or nutmilk bag
  • 1 gallon bucket or at least 3 qt  container, pot or bowl
  • An Instant Pot or a 2 gallon plus cooking pot with a slotted spoon
  • 2 x 1 qt or 1 L jars or other 1/2 gallon container suitable for storing the milk
  • 1 cup or 185 grams by weight Organic Soybeans per batch

Key points:

Always use Organic (Non-GMO) Soybeans. Not only will the taste be better, but you will hopefully avoid any negative affects that may be associated with soy studies. Traditional organic soy products have been consumed for centuries without negative effects, because traditionally people have soaked the beans, cooked and or fermented them. Many producers of (even natural) soy products do not soak their beans, because the taste can be more neutral with unsoaked beans, and it takes time to soak them. The problem is that without soaking the beans, the natural enzyme inhibitors are not fully neutralized. Soaking the beans activates appropriate “good” enzyme compounds that neutralize the inhibitors or “bad” compounds making them mostly digestible. Cooking finishes the process.

I recommend you should soak your soy beans for at least 8-12 hours or overnight up to about 24 hours. After this, they may start to sprout or produce acids that can curdle your milk, so don’t leave them to long.

The enzyme inhibitors in soybeans must be deactivated by cooking, not just soaking. Please do not ingest the soymilk or bean pulp (okara) raw.

In an Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) I use 7 minutes (manual) high pressure with natural release.  This is the easiest, but of course you can do it in a pot on the stove. Just bring the soy milk to a low boil and cook for at least 15 minutes. It will foam, so use an extra large pot and you should be prepared to remove foam with a slotted spoon to keep it from going over. Also be sure to keep stirring it to avoid it burning to the bottom.

Once it is cooked, I like to pour it into glass 1 liter jars and seal the jars with canning lids while it’s still hot. Let it cool considerably on the counter before refrigerating. I find the unopened/sealed jars keep fresh for over a week, while the opened ones can start to sour or culture within 3-4 days if not used up. Your fridge temperature will affect the time it remains fresh. If you anticipate using it more slowly, consider using half liter (1 pint) jars and sealing them while hot to keep the unopened portions fresh longer.

I find the soured soy milk to be incredibly useful as a baking ingredient, and I sometimes leave it out to intentionally cause some culturing. It usually becomes too sour and off smelling after about 2-3 weeks in the fridge, so always smell it before using in a recipe. If it smells sweet-sour-pleasant, it’s usable, even if it has seperated. If it smells rotten or if you see any mold, toss it.

Don’t bother trying to save the bean pulp, it’s not worth it. Cooking it is a pain, and it has all the bean skins in it making it taste bitter. I used to try to put it in lasagna or baking, but it really just made things hard to eat. Compost it, feed it to your chickens, find a friend with chickens or put it down your garborator.  If you insist on trying some, make sure you cook it thoroughly to deactivate the enzyme inhibitors.

This recipes is for high protein (8 grams per cup) creamy soy milk, which is very close to the unsweetened Trader Joes Soy Milk, WestSoy or EdenSoy that so many people use to successfully make yogurt.

I am including the recipe here, with the intention that I will be making a video demonstration of the process.

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Soymilk

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup (185 g weight) dry organic soybeans soaked in 1 L water
  • 2 Liters Additional water

Instructions

  1. Soak soybeans overnight in water. They will grow to about triple in size, so be sure to use a 1 Liter or larger container.

  2. Rinse and drain soybeans

  3. Place soybeans in Vitamix with 1 Liter of water and blend on high for about 30 seconds.

  4. Strain through a mesh strainer into a 3 qt or larger container. Use a spoon to scrape the bottom of the sieve to help speed things up.

  5. Put the bean pulp back into the vitamix and add the other 1 Liter of water. Pulse a couple of times to combine.

  6. Strain again through the mesh strainer, using the spoon to press out most of the liquid.

  7. Discard the bean pulp.

  8. Pour the liquid into your vitamix and see if you have 2 Liters. If not, add water to the 2 Liter mark. 

  9. Now, rinse your mesh strainer and 3 plus liter container and strain the liquid through using a fine cloth or nutmilk bag. This will make sure it is completely smooth.

  10. Pour the soymilk into your instant pot and set it for Manual 7 minutes, Natural release. When the pressure comes down, it's ready to use hot or put into glass jars and seal for refrigeration.

Organic Matters OMfoods.com has yellow soybeans, which are supposedly the best type for soymilk. They also have raw cashews if you were looking.

Creamy Coconut Almond Milk

I just made this milk for a latte, and it was great! I’ll try to do an instructional video later.

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Creamy Coconut Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Dry Unsweetened Coconut
  • 4 Cups Warm Water
  • 1/2 Cup Almond milk (From previous recipe)

Instructions

  1. Blend the coconut flakes and warm water for 1 minute in the Vitamix. If you use cold water, you can warm the mixture on the stove before straining, to melt the coconut fat. Strain through a cloth or nutmilk bag, squeezing out the coconut pulp. Add the 1/2 cup of almond milk, stir and transfer to a clean jar. Store in the fridge. Makes a great latte! 

A great (not to cold for winter) smoothie in minutes

I don’t know about everyone else, but my family always seems to feel better when we have fruits every day. Vitamin C, fiber, all that good stuff. We get sick less often and eat better all around. A good smoothie can reduce the tendency to snack on unhealthy or less healthy options, plus snacks can get expensive very quickly.  I estimated the cost of this smoothie to be about $1.25, with a .50 cent orange, a .25 cent banana and .50 cents worth of organic frozen strawberries. That’s for a full 5 servings of fruit!

I shared mine with my 3 year old Ashi, so I got in about 3 1/2 and he got in about 1 1/2 servings. Considering adults should be getting 7-10 servings and children should be getting 4-6 as our daily minimums, I am happy to make smoothies a part of our day whenever possible.

Check out this great chart for vegetable and fruit serving sizes. https://www.naturalgrocers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/serving-size-chart-print.pdf

I hope you enjoy this simple and delicious, not to cold for winter smoothie.

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Whole Fruit Smoothie #1 (Orange, Banana, Strawberry)

This is a delicious way to get some fruit into your diet. 

Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 190 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana ripe
  • 1 Orange peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup Strawberries frozen, sliced
  • 6 cubes Ice (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water or plant milk or as needed

Instructions

  1. Place the ingredients in the Vitamix blender and secure the lid. Pulse 5-10 times on the 3 setting to chop the ingredients, then slowly turn up the dial to 10/high. Blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Turn the machine back to 3 and chop a few times. If you hear anything chunky hitting the walls of your container, do another rotation to high and back to 3 again. Finish with a few quick pulses on 3 to remove excess air bubbles. Pour and enjoy.


  2. Note: If you do not have a vitamix or other high speed blender, I recommend you section the orange and blend it smooth with a little water before adding the other ingredients.

Almond Milk Latte plus Almond Ricotta Cheese – Pareve Vegan

So, I am inspired again. I got on a big kick trying to find out everything about espresso machines, drooling over the Breville Infuser (on sale at bestbuy) and after a facebook post asking for feedback on home espresso machines, a friend contacted me saying she had an espresso machine in her basement that I was welcome to. It turned out to be a Starbucks Barista, which is probably 10-20 years old, but in great working condition and actually a pretty capable machine. My main reason for wanting to try an espresso machine is because I love Almond milk lattes from Second Cup (or anywhere really) but I can’t seem to give up half and half in my coffee at home. I like my coffee rich and creamy. Adding a little almond milk in regular coffee works sometimes, but it’s just not the same. It can get me through a few days, but I always crave that rich thickness that cream gives it, along with the mellowing of the acids. You know what I’m talking about right? Silk coffee creamers work sort of, but they are so sweet. I am used to drinking my coffee with no sugar or with the occasional teaspoon of honey or sugar when I feel like it. Anyway, hope you enjoy this.

ALMOND MILK

To blanch the Almonds, first, boil 1 cup measure or 150 g weight of almonds in water for a minute or so, turn it off and then let it sit for a few minutes. Drain off the liquid and refill with cool water and peel the almonds. It might take some practice, but it should take under 5 minutes once you get the hang of it. You could also just buy blanched almonds. I weighed the almonds after peeling and there was about 180 grams. Rivy (19 months) helped me on her little red chair by peeling a few and picking up any that fell on the ground. Cheli (also 19 months) was still napping, so she missed out on the action.

Put the almonds in the Vitamix and fill to 1000 ml mark. Blend for 1 minute on High. I like to pulse it a few times on 1 at the end to break down some of the foam. If you don’t have a Vitamix, blend for an additional minute or so. Your ricotta won’t be as smooth, but it should still be usable.

You will need a strainer or a nut milk bag. I use a square of nylon woven fabric draped over my stainless steel  mesh strainer. I have it over a 2 quart bowl here. I use the same setup on a 1 gallon bucket when I make soy milk.

To strain quickly, stir around the bottom with a spoon, scraping the pulp away from the bottom.

When it looks like ricotta, you are done. If you use a nutmilk bag, or if you pull together the corners you could squeeze out more liquid, but this time I wanted a wet cheese so I didn’t. Nutritionally speaking, this stuff should be low in fat and high in fiber. I am pretty certain that most of the fat ends up in the milk.

RICOTTA

To make it into ricotta, just add a little salt and lemon juice. Use it in lasagna as a low fat vegan pareve ricotta cheese or spread it on crackers or toast. It’s nice as a spread with herbs. I like basil and garlic, but I recommend using whatever seasonings your family usually likes. See, I got 304 grams.

Now I rinse the Vitamix, strainer and cloth and set them to dry, pour the milk into a jar and rinse the bowl. Basically, never leave any of the cleanup until later, because it is soooo easy when everything is still wet.

Over 600 grams weight of milk, which was about 3/4 of a liter (I know, the picture angle makes it look like less). I did not weigh the original 1000 ml,  but I think loses were minimal.

LATTE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the latte, I used 1/2 cup of milk, which expanded to about 3/4 cup once steamed. I heated it to almost 160, and it made nice micro foam with no curdling. The milk sat warm for a few minutes due to some little people in the background needing help, which may have allowed the foam to deflate a little bit by the time I made my latte.

I pulled a nice double shot, using about 18 grams weight of ground espresso.

I usually pour the shots in the bottom of the cup, followed quickly by some of the milk, syrup, and then the rest of the milk. In this case, I made the latte plain so I could try it. It was good. The almond was a very strong flavour and not in a bad way, but because I really wanted some sweetness I added about 1/4 of a shot of maple syrup, drizzled over the foam like the caramel on a caramel Macchiatto (Starbucks) or caramel Caretto (Second Cup). I was going to snap a picture, but my 3 year old Ashi bumped it just as I went to snap the picture and it all sunk. Oh well, it was delicious and completely satisfied the craving.