Soy milk making is as easy as soybean and water. Some soaking, a bit of boiling and the result is sweet, thick and flavorful. The best part is that it’s cheap to make and you get to pick your own beans and it’ll have ZERO additives. Try making your own soy milk and you’ll find that there’s really no need for additives and “natural flavors” in soy milk.
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Soy milk in the western world has become a phrase that relates to health freaks or vegans, but not in Taiwan. Soy milk isn’t a substitute for anything back home, it’s something of its own and people enjoy it, EVERY DAY. We have shops that are dedicated to soy milk, breakfast shops named after soy milk and all kinds of soy milk drinks everywhere. It’s how most people start their day whether they’re vegan or not.
Soy milk has been around for thousands of years in Chinese culture, it started as a cheap nutritious food source and later turned into all kinds of different byproduct such as tofu. Milk wasn’t a common drink back in the day, we didn’t raise dairy cows and most milk was in powder form but there was soybean. Soybeans are easily accessible, easy to store during the war and just as nutritious. Just like milk and cheese is popular in the western diet, soy milk and tofu is crucial to us.
Personally, I hate how everything has a label here in the US(ex. soy milk = vegan, health freak substitute for milk) and people are following all these “trendy” diets. These labels often stop people from trying new foods because they don’t want to be labeled, and I don’t think these trends are necessarily healthier despite the way it’s advertised. A lot of these diet trends indirectly increased the additives people consume. I believe in creating things from scratch, using ingredients you can see and try to purchase locally as much as I can… it’s tricky when you live in a winter food desert. Have you read what’s in the Silk soy milk?
Let’s have a look at the organic unsweetened soy milk label:
Organic Soymilk (Filtered Water, Organic Soybeans)
Contains 2% or less of: Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin [B2], Vitamin B12)
This is the least amount of additives of all the soy milk products Silk has to offer. So what is the natural flavor and gellan gum? Wikipedia says: Gellan gum is a water-soluble anionic polysaccharide produced by the bacterium Sphingomonas elodea (formerly Pseudomonas elodea) and natural flavor can really be anything… Why not make your own organic soy milk that doesn’t include gum nor any other crap?
I make my own soy milk because it’s 100 times tastier(I have to say that soy milk from a carton is often pretty nasty), I can pick my own soybeans(it makes all the difference), and I refuse to buy milk cartons since we decided not to purchase trash service. Other than that, soy milk can easily be turned into homemade tofu skin, tofu, a tasty soy milk tea and so much more. You can also control how much fiber is left in your soy milk by using different strainer, which is something most bottled soy milk doesn’t have enough of. The strained soy residue, soy puree can also be turned into some tasty pancakes, just add water and some flour and throw it in a pan to fry till golden on both sides, serve with soy sauce and an egg, it’s a super delicious and nutritious breakfast. Nothing is wasted.
Some people say that the perfect proportion to a tasty soy milk is 1:10 on bean and water. Personally, I like it thicker since I rarely drink soy milk on it’s own and I can turn it into tofu if I decide that I don’t want soy milk anymore. I find thicker soy milk tastes better with tea, coffee or if I decide that I want to turn it into tofu. My trusty Vitamix is great when it comes to soy milk, any blender will work really but Vitamix blends the beans so fine I could probably drink the whole thing without straining and gives me more fiber and whole food nutrition. YUM.
When straining, most people strain the soybeans right after it’s blended and before it’s boiled but some believe that it’s more nutritious when you boil it all then strain it. Since I make my strained soy puree into other food to consume, I didn’t think it mattered to me plus straining it after it’s been boiled is much trickier than when it’s cold.
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- 1 C Organic Soy Beans
- 6 C Water
- Cover 1C Soy Beans with at least 5 times the water and let it soak for at least 6 hours, or over night. The soaked soy beans should be roughly the size of a edamame bean (That's the "fresh" soy bean!) My soy beans came up to about 2.5C after being soaked
- Drain the soy beans
- Add the soy beans and 6C of water into a blender and blend on slow for 30 seconds then high for about 1 minute
- Strain the soy milk into a pot with a cheese cloth or any durable fabric. There are soy milk cloth, or I simply used my laundry bag. Squeeze and rinse out as much soy milk as you can. You might need to do it in a few times if making double the recipe.
- Move the soy milk pot to the stove top and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly as it's rich and thick the bottom gets burnt easily.
- The soy milk will foam up while heating up, it's not really boiling. It will take about 15 minutes to bring to a boil. Remove foam on top if necessary.
- Remove from heat after the soy milk has come to a boil. Add sugar if desired. Serve hot or let cool and pour into a container to store in the fridge.
In Taiwan, Soy Milk is often served with these items for breakfast: