A few years ago I posted about how to make almond milk, remember that? I have since stepped up my game by (finally) learning how to make soy milk which is much cheaper and, with the fancy device I just got, much easier.
On Gabriola we have an Isle of the Arts festival every spring where community members put on workshops teaching other islanders how to do things. It could be how to make a drum, how to make cheese, how to do a specific kind of art or gardening, how to read tarot cards, etc etc etc. The list is endless really and it goes on for weeks. And it’s cheap!! J and I grabbed some last minute tickets (just $15) to a workshop on how to make soy milk and tofu and now here we are.
First things first, this tutorial is based on what I learned in the workshop, which was essentially how to make soy milk by loading soy beans into a soy milk maker that does all the work for you. Ha! At first I was like But I don’t haaave a soy milk maker :((( but then thought who am I kidding, I want one now that I know they exist and I am just going to buy one. If you want to do it on the stove top it is definitely possible but as we were cautioned in the workshop it is easy to boil over the milk and wreck everything and if anyone is going to get all ADD and wander away mid-process ruining everything it WILL be me. I got a cheque I had been waiting for and treated myself to the $125 machine. I’ve used it twice since it arrived yesterday and I already love it. If you are interested in making your own soy milk on the regular I definitely recommend it.
Step one is to get some dry soy beans. I grabbed some from 3 different sources and was really surprised by just how cheap they are. We went to Bulk Barn in Nanaimo (side note: AHHH I LOVE THIS PLACE) where [what I thought was] a big bag came to just $1.08. I bought a bag of raw almonds the same size and it was literally 10 times the cost at over $10. Sheesh! We then made a stop of Man Lee’s in Nanaimo and found some prepackaged bags for $1.80 each. Finally, when I was in Vancouver I stopped at Sunrise Market in on the edge of Railtown (where I used to buy all my groceries, I miss this place!!) and found prepackaged bags for 80 cents each. The cheapest place was Bulk Barn, but Sunrise was a close second! Long story short, soy beans are CHEAP.
Using the small measuring cup I dumped the dry beans into the jug that came with the machine and let them soak in water for 6 hours. When they are ready they look like this:
I then drained the soaked beans and put them into the machine with fresh water up to the MAX line. The instructions that came with this particular model were in pretty mangled English, so I did my best to make sense of it and forged ahead. (“Do not immerse the part of body immerse in water thus to avoid circuit if water entering.” Crystal clear.) I set the machine to “WET” for soaked beans (I think?) and pressed ON.
It worked! It took about 20 minutes and the machine blends, heats and cooks everything perfectly. When it’s done it plays a little song (which happens to be Jingle Bells, for some reason) and you can remove the lid and pour the milk and pulp through the strainer.
Ta da!! Fresh soy milk has a pretty earthy, almost nutty flavour to it (true story, I typed that as “butty” at first, which is also accurate.) I am now experimenting with sweeteners and other improvements. I’ve tried agave, brown sugar, vanilla and a bit of salt to get the right taste. I’ll report back when I get the perfect blend.
I made a soy chai with my own soy milk this morning! Hipster doofus level up! Haha. The leftover pulp can be used in other foods if you are into the no-waste thing; pancakes, oatmeal, cookies, breads, whatever. I’m not there yet so the pulp just goes to the chickens or the compost. I’m sure it still contains lots of nutrients.
Next tutorial will be how to make your own tofu with your own soy milk! Woot!