Soy Milk

We bought a soy milk maker and a fifty pound bag of soy beans. We’d been spending a lot of money buying soy milk from the store, and finally decided it made more sense to make our own. I think it was a good investment. The particular maker we bought had a few bad reviews that said the soy milk it made tasted like raw eggs, but other reviewers provided fixes for that problem, so we bought it. It was the right combination of features and price.

It does indeed produce a soy milk that tastes like raw eggs. Not very fresh ones, either. We tried the fixes that people had given in the reviews, but they didn’t help at all. We asked the proprietor of the local Asian food store if she had any advice, and she told us to cook the milk for a while after we made it. She said that the egg smell was because the beans/milk weren’t cooked enough. My guess is that the reason this one particular maker had this problem and there were no reports of this problem for any of the others, is probably that this one particular maker doesn’t heat the mixture up as hot as the other makers. If you buy a soy milk maker, look the make and model up on Amazon and read the reviews. And take them seriously.

Here’s my favorite soy milk recipe. This is my own recipe that I developed through experimentation. I cook my soy milk at a slight boil, stirring constantly ( and being careful to not let it boil over), until most of the beany smell is gone. I like to add about an eighth of a cup of either pecans or walnuts (pecans are my favorite) to the maker with the soy beans. The instructions that came with our maker say to soak the nuts the same way you do with the beans, but I don’t, and I don’t see any real difference. I just put them in as they are:

One batch of soy milk (remove as much of the okara as possible)
1/8 teaspoon carrageenan (Irish moss)
1/2 teaspoon corn starch, arrow root, or tapioca flour
1 teaspoon unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Mix the dry ingredients together with a fork and add a small amount of soy milk (or water if the soy milk is very hot) to form a stiff paste. Gradually mix in more liquid, mixing well with a fork, until the mixture is like a smooth batter. Add more liquid until it is more like soup. Put the soy milk into a sauce pan and add the mixture to it, whisking as you go, until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Heat on medium to medium high, stirring constantly, until the soy milk becomes velvety and a little bit thickened.

Allow to cool and put in a jar or pitcher in the fridge.

The mash that is left after the liquid is put through a filter or cheese cloth is called okara. Okara is a great ingredient to add to veggie burger and all kinds of other recipes. It does wonders for the texture of things like veggie burgers, and it’s nutritious and full of fiber. It’s rather disconcerting if any of it is left in the soy milk, but it will end up at the bottom of the container eventually, so if you don’t get it all out, you’ll want to avoid shaking your soy milk container before pouring some out.

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