Thursday, 27 March 2014

Milk or No Milk?

I am not against cow's milk or any dairy products derived from it. I don't even want to argue about pasteurized milk. Let's not go there. Some people have mixed opinions, some people don't see any harm in it and some people just can't start their day without it. But I am very sure there are a bunch of people who are totally against it whatsoever. I choose not to comment. Instead, I learnt the art of making soy milk. I have an obsession for anything handmade and homemade. If its out in the stores, I will learn to make it at home by any means. Simply because I am on a mission to cut down on preserved/packaged/canned food. The person to thank will be Nava because his preaching on eating habits and choices of food has been drilled into the core of my brain. Alright, enough yapping. If you still haven't guessed, I am going to share my take on the art of making soy milk. It is an ART because patience is essence and the final product is definitely worth the wait.


I probably love soy milk so much because my mom drank it almost everyday when I was in her womb. And she made sure I grew up drinking soy milk throughout my childhood and adolescent years. It has never occurred to me to make my own soy milk from scratch. But after my detox session earlier this year, I had to make healthy choices because there were a lot of do's and don'ts with diet. Fresh milk and dairy products was a no-no. I had my 'light bulb on the head' moment again and I decided to give soy milk a try. To my surprise, it turned out well despite the long wait. I must admit its a little painstaking to squeeze the milk from the ground soy beans, especially if you are doing bigger batches(just like I did the first time). I have learnt from my mistakes and I will share with you ways to make your life simpler so that you don't end up being tired like I was and still enjoy the goodness of soy milk.


Ingredients....

  • Raw soy beans - 1 cup
  • Brown sugar/Your choice of sweetener - 3 cups
  • Water - Generous amount for grinding soy beans and making the sugar syrup

         Yes! Only 3 ingredients! 

Making the Soy Milk...

  1. Measure one cup of raw soy beans and add it into a large bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the soy beans and allow it soak for at least 8 hours. I usually do this the night before and allow the soy beans to soak overnight. No need to change the soaking water in between and do not cover the bowl.
  2. When you are ready to grind the beans, set up the blender. 
  3. The beans would have doubled in size after soaking overnight. Throw away the soaking water and rinse the soy beans to remove any soy bean skin. It's okay if you cannot rinse off the soy bean skin.
  4. Now add 1/2 cup of the hydrated soy beans into the blender with 1 cup of water. Grind until you get a smooth paste. This measurement is just a guide but you can feel free to change it up according to your blender size. It's okay if its a little runny. Make sure not to overload the blender with beans because the ground beans increases in volume in the blender, it will overflow and you wouldn't get a smooth paste. That's how I made a mess the first time.
  5. Once you get a smooth paste, transfer the mixture onto a straining cloth placed over a large bowl. I used a double straining method, placing a straining cloth over a metal sieve to produce a much smoother milk.
  6. Allow the ground up beans to stay on the cloth for at least 20 to 30 minutes before you proceed to squeeze the remaining milk. The mistake I did the first time was I went on to squeeze the milk without allowing it seep through the cloth. It took way too much energy, made a mess around and I ended up with tired hands. Please DON'T REPEAT my mistake.
  7. When you think you have extracted maximum amount of milk from the beans, transfer the raw milk into a cooking pot and place it over the stove. Add another 3 or 4 cups water and bring it to a simmer on high heat. Once bubbles start to form on the surface, reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes until the raw taste of the milk goes off.
  8. Allow the soy bean milk to cool to room temperature before you transfer it to your favorite container/bottle. I would suggest you to strain the milk while transferring it to the container to prevent any milk skin from getting into the milk. This way you get a smooth milk.
  9. Refrigerate the soy milk and enjoy it at any time of the day. It keeps well for up to 3 days.


The Sweetener...

  1. Add sugar and water (may be 2 cups) into a cooking pot. Stir until the sugar dissolves. I personally prefer brown sugar over ordinary sugar. Feel free to use white sugar or any kind of sugar.
  2. Place it over the stove on medium heat.
  3. Once the sugar syrup has thickened, allow the syrup to cool completely.
  4. Run the syrup through a sieve to remove any sediments before transferring into a container. This step is only done when you use brown sugar.
  5. Refrigerate the syrup separately and add it to your soy milk whenever you need.

Finally, it's time for the taste test. I filled 1/4 of my glass with the sugar syrup and followed by the soy milk. Adjust the sweetness according to your liking. Stir and INDULGE! I don't want to sound like a brand ambassador for homemade soy milk, but it's an experience anyone should try at least one. Its's cheaper, fresher and healthier than store bought soy milk. It may seem like hard work at first but I promise you will get the hang of it. I made a little mess here and there the first time, but now I have got it under control. I am sure I impressed Mystery Man with my creation. Share with me your experience if you ever give this recipe a try. Cheers to Soy Milk!

~M~