Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Make Soy Milk

Sooner or later, anyone who can’t (or won’t) drink milk will probably try soy milk. Soy milk is a healthy alternative to dairy milk because it contains primarily polyunsaturated, rather than saturated, fat (as in dairy milk) and zero cholesterol. Soy milk also has significantly higher levels of fiber, iron, and niacin than dairy milk. Here’s how soy milk, 2% milk, and whole milk compare nutritionally:


Soy Milk vs Dairy Milk
Nutrients per cup
Soy Milk (unflavored)
2% Milk Vitamins A & D Added
Whole Milk Vitamin D
Added
Calories
131
122
149
Protein (grams)
7.95
8.05
7.69
Fat (grams)
4.25
4.83
7.93
Carbohydrates (grams)
15.26
11.71
11.71
Total dietary fiber (grams)
1.5
0
0
Calcium (mg)
61
293
276
Iron (mg)
1.56
.05
.07
Magnesium (mg)
61
27
24
Phosphorus (mg)
126
224
205
Potassium (mg)
287
342
322
Sodium (mg)
124
115
105
Zinc (mg)
.29
1.17
.90
Vitamin C (mg)
0
0.5
0
Thiamin (mg)
0.146
0.095
0.112
Riboflavin (mg)
0.168
0.451
0.415
Niacin (mg)
1.247
0.224
0.217
Vitamin B-6 (mg)
0.187
0.093
0.088
Folate (mcg)
44
12
12
Vitamin B-12 (mcg)
0
1.29
1.10
Vitamin A (IU)
7
464
395
Vitamin E (mg)
0.27
0.07
0.17
Vitamin D (mcg)
0
120
124
Vitamin K (mcg)
7.3
0.5
0.7
Total saturated fatty acids (grams)
0.498
3.067
4.551
Total monounsaturated fatty acids (grams)
0.974
1.366
1.981
Total polyunsaturated fatty acids (grams)
2.335
0.178
0.476
Cholesterol (mg)
0
20
24
Data from the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 24


Soy milk is available commercially in a variety of flavors, but it’s much cheaper to make your own. This recipe makes about 6 cups of soy milk.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup whole soybeans
Water

Directions:
  1. Rinse the soybeans to remove any debris or dust.
  2. Place the beans in a 2-quart microwaveable bowl, cover with water and soak for 12-15 hours or overnight.
  3. Drain, rinse, and drain again. At this point, I usually rub the beans to remove their skins.
  4. Place the bowl of soybeans in the microwave and heat for approximately 2 minutes (my microwave is 1100 watts; your microwave may take more or less time depending on its wattage). Cooking the beans makes them softer for the next step.
  5. Place the soybeans in a blender and cover with 3½  to 4 cups of water. Blend until the beans are ground.
  6. Line a colander or a strainer with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the soy mixture into the colander/strainer; let drain. Save the milk. The resulting pulp, called okara, is typically used as animal feed, but I usually save it and add it to soups, stews, or bread dough.
  7. Place the milk in a double-boiler and heat on medium until boiling; boil 5-10 minutes. Do not skip this step; it is important in order to inactivate the components in soy that inhibit protein-digesting enzymes in the human digestive tract.
  8. Remove from heat and cool.
  9. Refrigerate the soy milk. To improve the flavor, try adding sugar, salt, vanilla extract, or chocolate mix.

Making soy milk is not difficult, but it is messy and takes several hours because of the soaking process. If you really like soy milk, but want to speed up the process, look into the SoyaJoyJoyoung, or one of the other many models on the market. Note: I do not endorse (because I haven’t tried) any of these soy milk makers.

Uses for soy milk:
  • As a substitute for dairy milk in virtually every recipe
  • To make smoothies
  • To make puddings or custards
  • To make ice cream
  • To make tofu

Note: If you add vinegar or other acid to soy milk, it will curdle. This is great if you’re making tofu, but probably not the effect you want in most recipes.

Soy Milk

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