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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Make Your Own Soymilk!

It's official. I've jumped off the deep end. It started with my decision to give my son soymilk instead of cow's milk. Then came the dreaded reading of the ingredient panels on all my favorite soymilks. One of the recurring ingredients was sugar or some form thereof. Other items popped up on the list that seemed completely unnecessary, and I didn't know what the heck they were either. So I started digging for info on how to make your own soymilk, and to my surprise I found there are soymilk makers out there! Naturally, I bought one.

The model I bought is called Soyabella from Tribest. It looks a lot like the old percolator coffee pots and has a mesh basket inside to put about 1/2 cup soaked soybeans. A small blade like a blender's blade is attached to the lid of the pot, and this fits into the mesh basket. I fill the pot about halfway with water, plug the unit in, and hit the Milk button. In 15 minutes the soymilk is done!

Homemade soymilk is probably not for the faint at heart, but if you're already used to commercial soymilk, adjusting isn't very difficult. The Soyabella claims there's no beany aftertaste, but I'd say there is a wee bit of an aftertaste, if not exactly beany. I still doctor the milk up a bit with some honey (my son is 15 months old - under a year it's not advised to give honey) and a little vanilla. Overall, I find the end result quite good, especially when it's still warm. The maker also comes with a booklet with optional recipes for other soymilks, nutmilks, and even soups and stews. I tried one of the soup recipes today, and it was surprisingly easy to do. Two large bowls of soup were ready for lunch in just over 15 minutes.

Cleanup was a little tricky at first, but now that I've learned to soak the basket in water right away so the beans don't stick, it takes me less than five minutes to clean. As long as I get to it right away, all the soy residue washes off quickly.

Overall, I really like using the machine. It's quick and easy, and I'm now paying less than 10 cents a quart for soymilk, as opposed to $2 - $3! I've made close to two dozen batches, and it's become part of my morning routine. Besides, it is a nice feeling knowing what my son gets is fresh and preservative free!

Note: This is NOT an endorsed review.


Vivian said...

What a great idea! I got a juicer for similar reasons, but since moving to Portland I haven't unpacked it. We drink Rice Milk almost exclusively, but now I'm wondering if there isn't something like Ricebella out there!

Kat said...

That is a really cool idea. Was the machine costly? I will definatly look into this.

Diane said...

Vivian, a lot of soymilk makers also make rice milk. I believe this one may, but I haven't figured that out yet! It does make nut milks, which I really want to try too. And Kat, I got this machine for about $100. It's been well worth it! I even made potato leek soup in it for lunch today, and it was soooo good!

Stam House said...

Wow homemade soy milk!

Scribbit said...

I tried soy milk for the first time a while back and was really surprised at how good it was.

On second thought maybe it was all that sugar :)

Laura said...

I'm pretty sure you can sweeten it w/ figs or dates as well - I think you soak them then puree them then add them, but you could make a batch and keep the puree in the fridge. :) Also I would recommend mixing it up and giving him some nut milks and some rice milk too... I'm not sure how much you are feeding him soy, but it may be wise not to over do it. :)

Diane said...

Laura, that's a good idea with the dates. My husband wondered if there was some way to use dates as sweetener. Soaking them overnight - that sounds like the key, huh? I am looking forward to trying a nut milk with this machine as well. There's a cool recipe for an almond walnut milk. My son usually gets the soy milk as a secondary beverage. I try to give him water first. Yeah, you don't want to overdo anything! I'm always trying to balance that out since he's such a big tofu eater as well.

I'm going to soak some dates this evening and see how that works! Thanks!

Laura said...

Diane, how did the dates work? And did you try the almond/walnut milk? I'm curious as to how that turned out. I made almond milk once and it was GREat!

Diane said...

Hi, Laura! I actually forgot to soak them that night! But I'm definitely going to try in the next couple days. I'll be on a computer "hiatus" for a few days, but I'll let you know how it goes when I get back. I did, however, make a peanut milk that was really good. Then I made hot chocolate out of it. (Health nut??? Who???) It was like a Reese's peanut butter cup in a mug. Sooooo good!