kurt_w wrote:Detritus, that's cool that you've been making your own soymilk. I don't drink it, but others in my family do. Got a recipe, or a pointer to a good one somewhere online?
You can buy a soymilk maker if you like, but if you have a Cuisinart, a stockpot, and a good steel sieve you don't need it and it will taste better anyway. A couple of things to remember:
* Always use steel, ceramic, and glass utensils. Heated soybeans are a great source of plastic, which you will never get off plastic implements, so if you store soymilk in a plastic jug, make sure it's completely cool first.
* Soybeans need to be fully cooked and/or fermented to be digested. The longer you boil soymilk the more the long protein chains break down, which is a good thing for your digestion.
Here's what I do:
1. In the evening, wash a cup of dried soybeans in two changes of water and then soak them in a pyrex measuring cup with about 4 cups of hot water. I get the beans in bulk from the coop; 1 cup of beans will produce nearly a gallon of soymilk.
2. In the morning, rinse off the beans in the sieve and then whip them around in the Cuisinart. Start just with the beans, then gradually add water. You'll end up with bean whip, something between hummus and whipped cream in consistency.
3. Put the sieve over the stock put and turn the bean whip into the sieve. Slowly pour enough fresh, cold water over the whip to turn it into a suspension. Stir it a bit while pouring the water--the goal is to get an even suspension of the bean bits, much like you would do with coffee grounds.
4. When the liquid has mostly drained into the stockpot, run another batch of water through the beans, and keep going until the whip part is gone, and what you have left is the mass of ground beans.
5. Set the sieve aside and put the stockpot on the stove on high heat. You'll need to skim foam off the top, probably even before it heats up--if you don't do that the pot will boil over and that is very, very messy. I use a flat spoon and the pyrex measuring cup I soaked the beans in. Anyway, carefully bring the bean liquid to a boil and then let it boil gently for at least 15 minutes, skimming it occasionally to keep it from boiling over. The longer you boil it, the thicker it gets and the better it tastes.
6. Done! It will keep in the fridge for several days. I always heat it up servings before drinking them--I always bring it to a boil. It's normally drunk either salty or sweet, so try it with either a pinch of salt or a spoon of sugar (or honey) per cup. The result should taste like you're drinking sweet, roasted beans--not liquid chalk, which is what the commercial stuff tastes like to me.
The leftover bean grindings ("okara") are high in protein but have absolutely no flavor--and in any case they have to be cooked to be edible. You can steam okara with flavorings to get a sort of grain-like rice substitute, but I think most Americans prefer to spread it out on a cookie sheet and bake it. When it's nicely brown you can regrind it in the Cuisinart or a coffee grinder, giving you soy protein powder. Or you can compost it if you don't need soy protein powder.