Soy milk is widely accepted for its nutritious contents and is an ideal drink for kids and elders. Most types of soy milk that are available in the market are flavored and fortified with vitamins and calcium. Some manufacturers even add thickeners to have the same appearance and consistency of cow’s milk.
Some others use protein isolated from soy bean and mix it with sugar, oils, water and stabilizers to provide the milky taste and appearance. Such modified products won’t provide the benefits of real soy milk.
Traditionally soy milk has a beany taste, but if passed through right processing techniques, the traditional beany taste can be avoided or at least minimized. You can easily extract soy milk at home from the whole soy beans and can be served either hot or cold or alternatively flavored with vegetables and soy sauce, as a spicy soup.
Plain soy milk is an excellent source of good quality proteins, B vitamins and isoflavones and is free from lactose. As many people are allergic to lactose, soy milk is an excellent alternative for cow’s milk for such people. One cup of soy milk contain about 20 milligram of isoflavones and it helps to reduce the blood cholesterol, menopause symptoms, reduce the risk of cancer and also prevent osteoporosis.
- In order to make one liter of soy milk, you need about 125 gram whole soy beans. Once it is soaked, it takes about 35 minutes to prepare the milk.
- Soak the soy beans in water for ten to sixteen hours and then knead and flush the soy beans with water to remove the loose hulls. Alternatively, you can also soak cracked soy beans, as cracking helps to remove the hulls easily. Cracked soy beans require only less soaking time of about six to eight hours.
- Rinse and drain the soy beans and heat it in a microwave safe bowl for about two minutes. Heating helps to destroy the enzymes in the soybeans, which are responsible for the beany flavor.
- Transfer the heated beans to a blender and grind the entire contents at high speed for about two to three minutes. If they are not blending properly, add a little water and blend. You will get a foamy puree as the end product.
- Add eight cups of water to a large pot and add the soybean puree to the pot. Mix them well and allow it to boil. Thereafter, keep the mixture over low flame for twenty minutes. Stir the mixture continuously, else it may foam up. After about twenty to twenty-five minutes of heating, foaming stops and the grains float over the milky liquid.
- Sieve the entire mixture through a cheese cloth. Once the milk is drained out, grab the edges of the cheese cloth and squeeze the puree to extract as much milk as possible. The left over in the cheese cloth is called okara, which can be used as an ingredient while baking the bread or in cattle feed.
- Soymilk thus obtained can be drunk as such or can be flavored with sugar, vanilla essence or chocolate flavor. You can also use this healthy milk to make fruit smoothies or ice cream.
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