Tuesday, October 26, 2010

So soy easy

You only need to read the labels to know that processed foods contain heaps of additives. There has been a recent outcry about the use of GM soy beans in food including baby formula.  If you enjoy soy, you can avoid the whole issue of genetically modified beans by making your own products from certified non GM beans. The most popular of these would be soy milk. Many shop bought soy milk brands contain sugar in some form, added oil to make them creamy, salt to enhance the flavour and often a lot more, especially the cheaper brands.
Soy milk made at home is quick and easy and tastes absolutely delicious (and this from a person who is a confirmed soy milk hater.) You can control the additives and cost you under fifty cents a litre and half an hour of your time. You will need to start the night before.

2 saucepans, at least 2 litre size
A spatula and a wooden spoon
A colander lined with a damp tea towel
A stick or jug blender (must be hot water proof)
Well washed glass bottles with clip or screw tops to hold 3 litres

300g soy beans
Water (rain water if you have)

Soak the beans in water 10 – 12 hours or overnight.  They need less time in really hot weather, more if they are older beans. If the beans are more than a year old, they become too starchy and you will not be able to strain the liquid. They are ready to process when the husk comes off easily and the inside of the split bean halves are slightly concave.
Drain and rinse under fresh water.
In the first pot bring two litres of water to the boil.
Boil a kettle with extra water.
Jug Blender:  put half the beans in the jug with 2 cups of hot water from the kettle and process until fine and creamy Add to the water in the sauce pan, turn off the heat and put the lid on. Repeat with the rest of the beans and add to the pot.
Stick Blender: Put soaked beans into saucepan after the heat has been turned off and blend carefully in the hot water until fine.
Place the other saucepan in the sink with the lined colander inside it.
Gently pour the slurry into the colander and let drip into the pot below, scraping the pulp into the middle with your spatula.
When the liquid has drained through pull the corners of the tea towel together and make a twist, squeezing the pulp to extract as much liquid as possible.
When you are tired of squeezing, open the tea towel and pour an extra two cups of hot water from the kettle over the pulp and repeat the process of squeezing. You can do this again with two more cups of water to extract more milk. After the final squeeze the pulp is called okara.
Put the pot on the stove and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about eight minutes, stirring occasionally. Fill the sink with coldwater and place the hot pot in the cold water for about 15 minutes to cool, replacing the water in the sink a couple of times as it becomes warm. The quicker you cool the soymilk down, the creamier it will taste and the longer it will keep.
If you prefer a lighter taste, leave it to cool slightly in the pan before bottling. Tighten down the lids and refrigerate. Of course you can add sweeteners, vegetable oil and salt at this stage if you wish or flavour it with chocolate or fruit juice.
For more information including instructions on making and using soy milk, soy cream and okara follow these links to my website or try to find a copy of The Book of Tofu by William Shurtleff, who writes fabulous books on all things soy.  It is out of print but copies often turn up in second hand book stores.

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