Saturday, February 11, 2012

Making soy milk

Before I start here, let me preface this by saying that I know that there is controversy over soy. I have cut most other non fermented soy items out of our diets, but my kids have this one vice that I continue to indulge them in. However, I do consider it of utmost importance to buy organic soy and to avoid GMOs at all cost.

That said, I decided that I needed to give making soy milk a try. I am so sick of buying packaged soy milk and there are some people in my family who do not like cows milk.
Here's how it went down.

I first bought some organic dried soy beans from the bulk department.
And then I looked for some easy to follow recipes online. Most of you know that I can't stand follow recipes, so I found this video much more useful:
I soaked my soybeans over night. Actually, I meant to make the soy milk yesterday, but before I found this video I got so overwhelmed by the recipe that I was going to use that I put the soaking soybeans in the fridge to soak for one more night so that I could continue to contemplate the task.
I pulled myself together and blended the soybeans up (in batches) with some filtered water and poured it into a big pot to cook.

Now let me tell you a little tip about cooking the soy milk - keep stirring! I didn't at first and consequently spent unnecessary time and energy scraping one of my more favorite pots when I was done. Good news though - the pot was saved.
Remember to scoop off the foam from the top while you are bringing it to a boil.

Something else that I would have done differently here was add more flavor. My final product is decent but to get my kids to drink it at the rate they were blowing through packaged soy milk, I should have put a little more sweetness and vanilla in during the cooking stage.

Once it was done cooking, I strained it through a cheese cloth. I didn't have those nifty clips that they used in the video, so I just secured the cheese cloth with a rubber band  - and since my bowl had a lip at the top, it worked perfectly.
I saved the soybean pulp stuff, also known as okara. My original plan for this stuff was to add some of it to my dog's food or just compost it, but then I remembered seeing another video on the side of that soy milk video, so I went back to find it.
I decided to save all of the okara so that I can make a bunch of these veggies burgers and freeze them for when I need a quick meal.
I let the soy milk cool for a bit before I strained it into some clean glass jars. I used a funnel with a small strainer to catch any lingering bits that might freak my kids out if they were to encounter them. Oh, and remember that as it's cooling you might see a film form on the top of the milk. I just took a spoon and scooped it right up and tossed it into the compost.

And now I have soy milk without all of that packaging! Cross your fingers that the kids like it enough to use it on their cereal in the morning...

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