Thursday, January 29, 2009

Homemade Soy Milk

At first glance this looks like a nice tall, cold, frothy glass of soy milk...

Well in actuality it is...

But if you knew just how much work went into making that one glass of soy milk you would fact looking back on it now I can laugh too...but in the moment that this picture was taken I was tired, distressed, and generally upset.

12 Hours of Soaking Time + 3 Hours of Prep + 20 Mins Cooking + 15 Mins Squeezing = 1 Glass of Soy Milk

Doesn't tally up does it? All that work and effort went down the drain all because I made a simple mistake! I suppose cooking can't always turn out successful...and I did mention that I would blog both about my successes and bombs...well this was a total flop!

You can learn from my mistake though and hopefully the same thing doesn't happen to you.

Homemade Soy Milk

200 Grams Organic Soy Beans
1 Large Pot
Food Processor/Blender
Cheesecloth or Fine Mesh Cloth Strainer

Step 1: Soak the soy beans in a large bowl of water anywhere between 8 - 15 hours. Make sure there is a lot of water as the beans will soak them up and grow in size. I soaked them for 12 hours. This is how much larger the bean will look after soaking.
Step 2: I read in a few different blogs that the end product can taste quite grassy/beany and to minimize this you should take the skin off of the beans once they have been soaked. This is the process that took me over 2 hours to do. It was tedious and I hope it made a difference in the taste. If I ever do this again I might just keep the skin on to cut down on all the time it takes to make.
Step 3: Blend the beans with just enough water to cover in a blender or food processor. This will result in a white frothy liquid.
Step 4: This is where I made many mistakes which resulted in just one glass of liquid. Different recipes and sites that I read had different steps after this. Some say that you should strain the liquid out after processing it and then cook it on the stove top and others say to cook it first and then strain later. I decided to go with the latter. Pour the frothy blended liquid into a large pot and simmer until the liquid looks less frothy and more grainy. This is when the liquid has separated from the grain. I believe it was in the cooking that I went wrong. I think I should have added more water as the processed liquid seemed rather thick. I also think I might have cooked it a bit longer than I should have and so a lot of the liquid evaporated. If it starts looking thick add some water to it as it boils.

Step 5: Once the liquid has separated add it in batches to the cloth so that you can squeeze and strain. This is another way I went wrong...I think I should have strained it then cooked it...because at this point I was presented with boiling hot liquid that I would have to somehow squeeze and strain by hand with a cheese cloth to separate it from the grain. This was painful and near impossible!

The pieces that are left behind in the cloth are known as Okara. This is healthy and contains more protein than tofu. You can freeze it and use it in future recipes...I think this is the only good part that came out of my whole soy milk project! I'll use the Okara in other recipes as I'm not letting all that good protein go to waste!

As you can see, homemade soy milk might taste good in addition to being healthy and preservative free...but with all the work that goes in to it I think I might just stick to buying my cartons of soy milk at the grocery store!


Anonymous said...

Silk, anyone?! Thank you for showing us the highs and lows your chefspiration takes you to. I hope that one glass was the BEST glass of soy milk you've ever had :D

Alexandra said...

Onlinepastrychef - I'll take Silk anyday! The vanilla one especially :) Unfortunately that one glass wasn't the BEST...but I'm working on it..and next time I'll infuse it with vanilla bean...

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Ooh my dad used to make his own soy milk and yes it was quite a production as far as I could see. I think he was relieved when it became widely available :) Well done! ead