Homemade Organic Soy Milk
Yield: Approximately 4 quarts, plus 3 to 4 cups okara
Prep time: After soaking overnight, 30 minutes
Soak 2 1/2 cups (1 pound) organic soybeans in refrigerator overnight in 3 quarts water. Yield: 5 cups.
Drain and grind to a fine gritty paste in blender, in 4 to 5 batches, using a total of 2 cups very hot water to process.
Whisk paste into 3 1/2 quarts rapidly boiling water. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Keep 1 cup cold water at hand to add if pot begins to foam over! Remember, soy milk acts like dairy milk and scorches easily.)
Strain through nylon mesh, multiple layers of cheesecloth, a muslin square, or an old pillow case, working over a colander. Set colander in a larger bowl or pan to catch the strained milk. Then, using a quart jar filled with water for weight, push repeatedly to extract all liquid possible.
Save leftover paste (the Japanese call it okara) from the strainer. It can be mixed and cooked with rice, barley, wheat, oats or other grains and used in casseroles, patties or burgers, or added to breads and muffins for extra nutrients. If you cannot use it immediately, it can be frozen. Because this is cooked, it can also be used as a protein supplement in pet food.
Taste soy milk. It benefits from a pinch of sea salt and just a little sweetener such as brown rice syrup or malted barley syrup, plus a bit of vanilla or almond extract (optional). Consider making two or three quarts plain, one vanilla or almond.
Cool, then refrigerate in covered jars for use within four to six days. You may freeze in appropriate containers, leaving ample head space for expansion. Thaw in refrigerator over several hours for use as needed.
Note: Soy "milk" is not nutritionally equal to cow or goat milk, as it lacks vitamin B-12, contains 1/6 the calcium and 1/3 the riboflavin. It can be fortified with 1/2 teaspoon calcium carbonate per cup, although some find carbonate is constipating. Calcium lactate may be used, but may curdle milk if it is reheated in recipes. For riboflavin, eat plenty of green vegetables or consider supplementation.
Vegans note: For B-12, one 25mg tablet can be crushed and added per half gallon.
Recipe by, former PCC Nutrition Education Manager