See the FAQSpage for how to make soymilk without a soymilk-making machine. You can use a heavy-duty blender or Vita-Mix.
UPDATE: see this blog post for my new, fast and easy way of straining soymilk!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE SOYMILK? It takes a little while to get used to the process, but very soon you'll find you can almost "make it in your sleep"! It takes about 20 minutes to make a batch, which includes cleaning, now that I know what I'm doing! And 13 of those minutes don't involve any effort on my part! TIME-SAVING TIPS
**CONSERVING WATER WHILE MAKING SOYMILK OR TOFU:
To conserve water, you can use the same 2 quarts or so of water to a.) float the skins off the soybeans; b.) scald your equipment; c.) wash your equipment after making the soymilk; and d.) water your plants or garden.
If you rub the skins off of the beans before making the soymilk (recommended for a less "beany" taste unless you use the Laura soybean variety, strain the water in which you are floating off the skins through a seive into a pot or bowl each time. Re-use the same water for each round of rubbing off and floating off the skins and save the water after the last round.
Now you can boil that same strained rinsing water and use it to scald your equipment in a basin. After making your soymilk, you can resuse the same water (in a washing basin and reheated) to wash out your straining cloth and clean and rinse your soymilk-making equipment. If you use dish soap, use a biodegradable one. You can then use this washing and rinsing water to water your plants or garden, or even flush your toilet, if water is very scarce.
Many people find the cost of commercial soymilk to be prohibitive and have invested in a wonderful machine that cooks and grinds the soybeans and makes soymilk, fresh in your own home! It also eliminates the cartons that accumulate! Homemade soymilk is extremely inexpensive-- I figure that it costs me under 12 cents (Canadian) per quart! (And that's using organic soybeans!) My machine has paid for itself within a few months!
SOYBEANS-- WHAT TYPE AND WHERE DO YOU BUY?
Some soymilk instructions call for a type of soybean called a Laura soybean, which has a less "beany" taste than an ordinary soybean. But they must be mail-ordered (the price is good, though), and I no of no Canadian source for ordering Laura soybeans at this time.
But I have developed both an all-soy soymilk AND a blend of soy-and-oat or soy-and-rice milk that do not taste beany at all, so I find no need to order Laura soybeans! I bought a 55 lb. bag of organic soybeans for $44 Cnd through a local co-op, splitting it with a friend who also has a soymilk maker. By the way, the beans I bought this way are really fresh and make the best soymilk, compared to what I bought in the health food store! But, if your health food store has a good supplier and a good turnover, they may still the best bet for you.
I don't use a "gold" coffee filter with this recipe, either, which is usually recommended when straining soymilk. So, you save money with my recipe.
RECOMMENDED SOYMILK MAKER:
Update on May 9, 2008-- NEW! THERE IS A NEW, IMPROVED SOYQUICK, THE
SoyQuick Premier Milk Maker 930P This machine has no messy filter to clean and it can make a thicker soymilk, with more beans, with NO burning! Because you can use a larger amount of beans without burning the milk, you can make ultra-creamy soymilk with this new SoyQuick machine!
This photo shows the blade-protector, which is a cinch to clean-- no more filter clogging!
Another plus with this new model is that it comes with a jug and wire mesh sieve, so you can just pour the milk through the siever into the jug (I pour in half, stir the okara/soy pulp until no milk comes out of it, empty the sieve, and repeat with the second half of the milk. Then, to filter it one step further, after I have flavored the milk, I pour it into the storage jars through a very fine mesh tea strainer, to get the very fine sediment out. This way, I do not have to use the cloth-straining method I describe in the original recipe below.
I HAVE REVISED MY SOYMILK RECIPE USING THIS NEW MACHINE!
Follow the soymilk recipe below, EXCEPT use 2 of the little measuring cups (you get one with the machine) full of soybeans (this is actually 1 scant regular measuring cup, or 6 oz., or about 165 g of dried soybeans),
soaked thoroughly and skins removed (see in recipe below-- this is easy but important to the flavor of the finished product), PLUS 3 tablespoons of rolled oats. NOTE: Since this milk is stronger, I use 2 tablespoons organic sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in each batch.
NOTE: As soon as I make one batch of soymilk, I always put another batch or two of soybeans directly into the refrigerator in a covered container to soak for several days. This has two benefits-- 1.) I always have some ready at a moment's notice, and 2.) the longer soaking seems to make the soybean skins come off more easily [see step just below in red type].)
(NOTE: The following step is NOT necessary if you are making soymilk for tofu-making.) BEFORE MAKING THE SOYMILK, most of the skins need to be rubbed off of the soybeans-- this is what gets rid of the beany taste.( The skins contain some of the bitter flavours and also some inhibiting enzymes, so removing the skins can positively affect the taste, while some "gas forming" or "digestion inhibiting" compounds may be reduced or eliminated.) This procedure isn't as arduous as it sounds and only takes a few minutes. NOTE: As soon as I make one batch of soymilk, I always put another batch or two of soybeans directly into the refrigerator in a covered container or bowl to soak for several days. The longer soaking seems to make the soybean skins come off more easily. SEE A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCEDURE IN THE RECIPE BELOW.(SEE ALSO HOW TO CONSERVE WATER DURING THIS PROCEDURE BY READING "CONSERVING WATER WHILE MAKING SOYMILK" NEAR THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.)
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE WITH OTHER MACHINES, EVEN THE OLDER SOYQUICK, OR YOUR MILK MAY SCORCH!
To flavor each batch, use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons organic sugar or other sweetener.
FOR MAKING TOFU, use the all-soybean version of the original recipe below, WITHOUT any flavoring.
FOR MAKING SOY YOGURT, you can use the new recipe. Use the salt and sweetener, as usual, in soymilk used for making soy yogurt.
I have a SoyQuick. soymilk maker (it used to be called Soylife) It's a Canadian company, but they ship to the US with free shipping and no duty!
US customers: To order straight from the company, or to find out more about US retailers, call customer service at 1-888-769-5433 Mon. - Fri. 8:30 to 4:30 PT.
Canadian customers: find a long list of Canadian retailers here.
I love this machine! I make 4-6 batches of great soymilk a week in it, and have had no problems! Read a review of soymilk makers from the Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association (VIVA) here.
The SoyQuick (formerly Soylife) has been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratory Inc. This means that it meets the highest operational and safety standards in both Canada and the United States.
The"SoyQuick"-- formerly the "Soylife" (the packaging is now updated and made from recycled materials)
Finally, a homemade soymilk that my husband likes! This is the best! You have 2 options: the first is a combination of soy and a little brown rice, which cuts the beany taste, and, also, the starch from the rice gives it a creamier mouthfeel, a cleaner taste, and seems to keep the milk from separating after you shake it well (right after it cools off). Or, if you prefer an all-soy milk, use Option #2 for a method of making it without the beany taste (suggested to me by SoyQuick's Director of Sales and Marketing). Please read through the recipe carefully before starting. The instructions are long, but the process is NOT!
NOTE ON SCALDING EQUIPMENT: I have read comments on a few forums from people who think I am overly cautious because I recommend scalding all the equipment and storage jars with boiling water before use. Some commentors seemed to think this would add alot of time to the process-- it does not!! But scalding all the equipment (except the soymilk maker itself!) and containers is very important, so that the soymilk doesn’t get contaminated by stray bacteria, which may cause it to sour or taste bad after a few days. This may not happen ever, or very often, but when it does-- yuck! This is exactly what you would do if you were bottling your own home-produced dairy milk, BTW! I use only about 1 qt. of boiling water to do this and it just takes a minute if you stack everything up the way I describe it in the recipe instructions. (See my comments on conserving water when scalding equipment and making soymilk at the top of the page, and also Time-Saving Tips.)
The following is a detailed recipe— but, trust me, it actually is less complicated and time-consuming than it sounds!
STEP 1 (SOAKING):
For each batch in a soymilk maker that is big enough to make 1 and 1/2 quarts or L, soak:
OPTION #1) RICE-AND-SOY VERSION (do NOT use this version for making soy yogurt or tofu!)
1/3 c. PLUS 1 T. organic soybeans
3 T. organic brown rice (I use short grain)
in lots of fresh water (you can soak them together).
If you soak them more than 8 hours, place them in the refrigerator in a covered container. They will keep there for a few days. (NOTE: As soon as I make one batch of soymilk, I always put another batch or two of soybeans and rice directly into the refrigerator in a covered container to soak for several days. This has two benefits-- 1.) I always have some ready at a moment's notice, and 2.) the longer soaking seems to make the soybean skins come off more easily [see step just below in red type].)
OPTION #2.) ALL-SOY VERSION (use this version ONLY for making soy yogurt and tofu):
a heaping 1/2 c. (100 g) organic soybeans
in lots of fresh water. If you soak more than 8 hours, place it in the refrigerator. They will keep there for a few days. NOTE: As soon as I make one batch of soymilk, I always put another batch or two of soybeans directly into the refrigerator in a covered container to soak for several days. This has two benefits-- 1.) I always have some ready at a moment's notice, and 2.) the longer soaking seems to make the soybean skins come off more easily [see step just below in red type].)
NOTE: The following step is NOT necessary if you are making soymilk for tofu-making. BEFORE MAKING THE SOYMILK, most of the skins need to be rubbed off of the soybeans-- this is what gets rid of the beany taste.( The skins contain some of the bitter flavours and also some inhibiting enzymes, so removing the skins can positively affect the taste, while some "gas forming" or "digestion inhibiting" compounds may be reduced or eliminated.) This procedure isn't as arduous as it sounds and only takes a few minutes. NOTE: As soon as I make one batch of soymilk, I always put another batch or two of soybeans directly into the refrigerator in a covered container to soak for several days. The longer soaking seems to make the soybean skins come off more easily.) (SEE ALSO HOW TO CONSERVE WATER DURING THIS PROCEDURE BY READING "CONSERVING WATER WHILE MAKING SOYMILK"NEAR THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.)
Place the drained soaked soybeans in a deep bowl in the sink. Run hot water (very hot tap water is fine) over them to cover and let soak for a few minutes. (The hot soak seems to help loosen up the skins.) Add some cold water so that you don't burn your hands. Remove the skins (or husks) by rubbing the soaked soybeans vigorously between your hands with a back and forth motion, as if you were really scrubbing your hands well, OR by plunging your hands into the beans, grabbing handfuls of beans, and rubbing vigorously them between your fingers. (I alternate these methods.) Add water in a strong flow from the tap or a pitcher, to cause the skins to float upwards. Stir the beans in a circular motion, then run off the water into a colander or sieve placed in the sink, leaving the beans behind in the bowl. Rub some more and repeat. The skins float to the top and you can float them away while you drain off the water. You need to do this several times until most of the skins have come off (leaving a few behind is okay). It usually takes me about 7 minutes to do this with enough beans for 2 batches.
STEP 2 (USING THE MACHINE):
Fill the soymilk maker jug to the highest water mark (see below, about avoiding burned soymilk, if you want to use less water). Make soymilk according to your directions for your soymilk maker.
Just before making the soymilk, stir the soybeans and rice (or the skinned soybeans, if making all-soy), then pour them into the metal filter cup of the soymilk maker over the sink. Flush some clean tap water through them in the filter cup, then attach to the machine as instructed in the manual.
NOTE ABOUT BURNED SOYMILK: The cause (besides not cleaning the immersion heater properly) is usually over-filling the filter cup. This seems to be the perfect amount for my machine using the MAXIMUM amount of water, 6 cups. I haven't figured out the right amount for the minimum amount of water (5 1/2 cups) with the soy-rice version, but for the all-soy version, use only 80 g, or one level 1/2 cup, per 5 and 1/2 cups water. WITH THE NEW SOYQUICK (SEE ABOVE), BURNING IS NOT A PROBLEM!
STEP 3 (PREPARING AND STERILIZING EQUIPMENT):
While the soymilk cooks, prepare your equipment. Besides the soymilk maker, you need:
A receptacle for the soymilk—I use a large stainless steel soup pot
A stainless steel colander that fits snugly into your receptacle
A wire whisk
Measuring spoons—1 T. and 1/4 tsp.
A funnel, if the neck of your storage container is narrow
A piece of clean cotton sheeting about 2 ft. square
Note: If you are making more than one batch, you should have a cloth for each batch)
A container or containers to store the soymilk in, with tight lids
Clean rubber kitchen gloves (sturdy ones, so that you won't burn your skin when gthe soymilk is hot)
An oven mitt to remove the hot filter cup from the machine
A small rubber spatula to remove the pulp from the filter cup
Scrubbing pad and brush to clean the machine parts
Put some water on to boil (1 use a qt.). (SEE ALSO HOW TO CONSERVE WATER DURING THIS PROCEDURE BY READING "CONSERVING WATER WHILE MAKING SOYMILK"NEAR THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.)
Place the pot or other receptacle for the soymilk into a clean sink. Place the colander inside of the pot and then line it with the cloth (folded inwards so that it doesn’t droop into the sink); place the storage container lid(s), measuring spoons, whisk, and funnel (if using) inside the colander. When the water boils, pour it into your storage containers (protect your hands!), swirling it around, then immediately scald the gloves with some of the water, and then pour the rest of it over the contents of the colander. Let it drain into the pot, and place the scalded equipment on a clean tea towel, discard the hot water from the pot, and unfold the cloth. Leave the pot with the cloth-lined colander in the sink.
Note: If you are making more than one batch, wash and re-scald the colander and gloves, and use a fresh cloth for each subsequent batch.
When the machine beeps, remove the top part, with the immersion heater and filter cup and immediately pour the hot soymilk into the cloth-lined colander. Hold the immersion heater-with-filter-cup over the colander with one hand (to let it drip into the pot) while you pour out the soymilk. IMMEDIATELY fill the soymilk container with COLD water up to the usual level and place the immersion heater into the cold water until you can deal with it later. This cools everything off AND makes the machine much easier to clean! (If you are saving the okara (soy pulp) to use in recipes, remove the filter cup,using an oven mitt or tea towel to protect yourself, before you place the immersion heater into the water, or the pulp will get soggy. If you are NOT using the okara [I compost it], then you can just put the whole thing in the water, filter cup and all.)
Note on okara (soy pulp): Soy-rice okara is very wet when it comes out of the filter cup, but firms up when refrigerated. You can oven-dry it on cookie sheets to dry it out more, if you like. See FAQS (under the question about making soymilk without a machine) for links to okara recipes.
Put on the scalded (and cooled) kitchen gloves and gather up the corners of the cloth; twist and squeeze so that the soymilk drains into the receptacle. Untwist and twist again and use the twisted cloth to push down on the “bag”. Keep doing this until all the soymilk is removed (there will be very little pulp left in the cloth, which you can add to your okara supply, dump into your compost bucket, or rinse down the sink).
NOTE: IF YOU ARE MAKING MORE THAN ONE BATCH OF SOYMILK, clean out the soymilk maker jug and clean the immersion heater, remove the filter cup,using an oven mitt or tea towel to protect yourself, and scrub the filter cup before you twist and squeeze the soymilk out, to save time . Fill the jug and filter cup again and get the next batch cooking before you start squeezing as directed above. Make sure that the immersion heater is thoroughly cleaned—no vestiges left behind-- using a plastic scrubber or brush, so that there is no burned taste on the second batch. You can order an extra filter cup, too, if that makes it easier for you.
STEP 5 (FLAVORING THE SOYMILK): NOTE: DO NOT FLAVOR SOYMILK TO BE USED FOR TOFU!! DO flavor soymilk for making soy yogurt!
Note: If you are making more than one batch, you can mix them all up together and flavor it all at once, multiplying the flavoring ingredients two or three times, as appropriate.
NOTE ABOUT “ADDITIVES”: Soymilk is naturally very low in sodium and sugars, which is why they are added to commercial soymilk. Dairy milk is naturally high in both—a taste most of us are used to, so most people prefer a little flavoring. Some people like to add vanilla, but I don't like the flavor of vanilla in my tea and cereal, etc..
Of course, you can flavor this however you like. I add (per 1.5 qt or L batch):
1 and 1/2 T. organic unbleached sugar OR maple syrup
(you could also try agave syrup or brown rice syrup, if you prefer-- you may need a little more)
3/8 tsp. sea salt
Whisk with the scalded wire whisk.
**OPTIONAL: To fortify with calcium, if you like, whisk in 3/4 T. calcium carbonate powder (buy from your pharmacist) per batch 1 and 1/2 qt. of soymilk . (This adds about 300 mg of calcium per cup, or about the same as regular milk.) Make sure to shake the soymilk thoroughly before pouring each time, as the calcium tends to settle on the bottom. Or, you could use 1 1/2 T. liquid calcium (from a pharmacy or health foodstore, or online vendor), but it's more expensive than the powdered form.
STEP 6 (STORING):
Pour the soymilk into the scalded container(s) and place the lid(s) on tightly. Immediately refrigerate.
I recommend using a glass storage jar. These are the ones I use (I have 3, which is enough for two batches of soymilk):
These are 1 qt. Frigoverre glass storage jars (made in Italy), and they cost me $4.99 each (Cnd) at London Drugs. Tight lid and easy to store; sturdy glass.
This one holds 2.3 L and I paid $6.99 Cnd for it.
Other online sources:
kaboodle.com has a wide variety of glass refrigerator storage jugs:
Set of 2 I L jugs similar to the ones above, but with colorful lids at freshfinds.com
It takes several hours to cool off the soymilk. You may see some separation in the milk after cooling. Shake the container vigorously—you should not have to do this again unless you add calcium to it.
STEP 8 (CLEAN-UP):
As mentioned above, as soon as possible after emptying, remove the hot filter cup from the machine using an oven mitt or tea towel to protect yourself. Scoop out the okara (pulp) with the spatula. Try to wash everything immediately, because soymilk can get sticky. (If you can't wash everything immediately, fill the jug up to the water mark with cold water, and place the dirty heating element [including the filter basket, empty if you use the okara, full if you compost it] into the jug to soak. This will keep the soymilk from sticking like glue to the dirty parts! Later, even hours later, you can clean it as instructed below.)
(SEE ALSO HOW TO CONSERVE WATER DURING THIS PROCEDURE BY READING "CONSERVING WATER WHILE MAKING SOYMILK"NEAR THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.)
Wash out the jug and dry it. Scrub the filter cup, using the brush provided with the soymilk maker. (I put the filter cup through the dishwasher afterwards, as well, which keeps it really spotless.)Being careful not to get water on the top of the soymilk maker (THIS IS IMPORTANT- you need to keep water away from the control panel!), scrub the heating element with the plastic scrubber provided and make sure no residue is left on any of the parts (if you don't it may cause burning, which will make the milk taste odd). To keep water off of the control panel, you can cover it with a plastic bag while you wash the bottom part. Dry, reassemble and store in the box.
I came to these numbers by subtracting the nutrients from 3/4 cup of okara (the amount of okara or soy pulp left after making 1 batch-- 6 cups-- of homemade soymilk) from the nutrients in 100 g of raw soybeans, which is how much you use in a batch. I added calories for 1 and 1/2 Tbs. of sugar and sodium for 3/8 tsp. of salt (raw soybeans contain virtually no sodium) for the whole batch. I used nutrient info from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
1 cup of all-soy homemade soymilk made from my recipe=
71 calories; 5.6 g protein; 3.50 g total fat; 0.0 mg cholesterol; 6.11 g total carbohydrate; 34 mg calcium; 2.41 mg iron; 42.6 mg magnesium; 130 mg sodium; .71 mg zinc; .143 mg thiamin; .142 mg riboflavin; .25 mg niacin; .045 mg vitamin B6; 3 g sugar
NOTE: If you add 3/4 Tbs. calcium carbonate powder to each batch of 6 cups, add 300 g of calcium per cup of soymilk to the nutrient count.
SOME HAVE WONDERED ABOUT THE USE OF SUGAR IN THIS RECIPE. Here is my answer to that: "The sugar is such a minute quantity that I can't imagine anyone having a problem with it! It is basically replacing the sugar that is naturally present in dairy milk!"
Compare the following with the nutritional facts above for my homemade soymilk:
1 cup 2% dairy milk (from the USDA):
122 calories; 8.05 g protein; 4.81 g total fat; 19.52 mg cholesterol; 11.42 g total carbohydrate; 285.48 mg calcium; 0.07 mg iron; 26.84 mg magnesium; 100.04 mg sodium; 1.05 mg zinc; .10 mg thiamin; .45 mg riboflavin; .22 mg niacin; .009 mg vitamin B6; 12.35 g sugar
There is more sugar (12.35 g) in the dairy milk than in the homemade soymilk made according to my recipe (3 g)!!
#1.) If you make soymilk several times a week, but your schedule is erratic, keep a batch of soybeans soaking in water in a covered jar in the refrigerator at all times. (I even rub the skins off when I have a few minutes, after they have soaked for at least a day, and keep them soaking in the fridge like that-- then they are all ready to go when I have 15 minutes to make soymilk.) Change the water every day or two-- they should be okay for about 5 days if you do this, and your fridge is sufficiently cold.
#2.) I often make soymilk in the evening, after dinner, when I'm cleaning up the kitchen, or when doing some other kitchen chores. I try to multi-task! I can see the TV from my kitchen, so I putter around, watching some program I don't really have to concentrate on, and get chores done while the soymilk maker does its thing!
#3) If you are too busy to clean out the machine right after making the soymilk, fill the jug up to the water mark with cold water, and place the dirty heating element [including the filter basket, empty if you use the okara, full if you compost it] into the jug to soak. This will keep the soymilk from sticking like glue to the dirty parts! Later, even hours later, you can clean it as instructed above in the recipe.)