Making soy milk is a process that can be fun and rewarding. You can enjoy fresh homemade soy milk without a soymilk maker. Making your own soy milk allows you to control unwanted additives as well as the quality of the beans. It’s very economical and relatively easy, however because beans require soaking, it does require planning. From homemade soy milk, you can make your own yogurt and/or tofu. (more links at the bottom of the page)
To learn more about this, check out Making Soy Milk and Tofu at Home by Andrea Nguyen.
Yield: 4 cups soy milk and 3/4 cup okara* (142g/5 oz)
- ½ cup dry soy beans, (85 g/3 oz)
- 2 cups water for soaking
- 4 cups water for blending
- 1 – 2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional for beverage; omit for yogurt and tofu making)
- ½ tsp salt (optional for beverage; omit for yogurt and tofu)
- Sort through and remove discoloured and damaged beans then soak soybeans overnight (10-12 hours), or in refrigerator for as long as 2 days. Daily, replace soaking water with fresh water.
- Discard soaking water and give soybeans a good rinse. Add soybeans and 4 cups fresh water to blender and blend just until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a pot, while stirring occasionally, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. (see notes)
- Allow to cool, then strain mixture through an unbleached cotton soy bean milk bag. (see notes) After straining bring the corners of the towel up to form a bag; twist and squeeze the bag to allow more milk to drain out. The pulp is called okara and may be saved for other recipes. (see okara inspiration and recipes below)
- If using add maple syrup and salt. Pour soymilk into pitcher/jar with lid and keep in refrigerator. Use within 4 days.
- To use, substitute dairy milk with soy milk.
- This ratio of soybeans to water is very versatile and can also be used to make Soy Yogurt and Tangy Yogurt Cheese.
To make tofu, watch Andrea Nguyen author to Making Soy Milk and Tofu at Home. DYI Tofu Part One: How to Make Soy Milk. and DYI Tofu Part Two: Turn Soy Milk Into Tofu. Watching her videos has given me confidence and I’m proud to say it’s a rewarding experience. I’ve been very happy with the results.
- Use a heavy bottom pot for even heat distribution and to prevent scorching. Take care as when mixture comes to boil, it can quickly overflow the pot.
- Reusable unbleached cotton soy bean milk bags and can be found at Asian markets. I found these to strain the pulp out better than nut milk bags. A clean cotton tea towel can also work well. Before straining the milk, rinse the bag/towel with fresh water and wring it out. This will increase your milk yield as this step prevents the soy milk being absorbed into the fabric.
- Check if beans have been soaked long enough. Beans should easily split open revealing even colored creamy centers (like the beans in the photo on the right). If they are darker in the middle than the outer edge (like the photo on the left) they need to soak longer.
Okara Inspiration and Recipes:
Okara has a neutral flavor, has a fine-grained flaky texture and is rich in protein, calcium and fiber. If not used within a few days, it can be frozen and used within a few months. Can be used to give body to soups, casseroles, vegetable dishes, stir fry’s and baking. Can make soy protein powder. Dry in dehydrator, let cool then blend into powder.
I strain my soy milk through an unbleached cotton soy bean milk bag which results in okara with very little moisture in it. This is important to the success of these recipes.