How to Make Soy Milk at Home
Soybean milk is a common plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. It’s often fortified with vitamins and minerals and contains protein and iron.
Homemade soy milk is very easy to make. All you need is a blender and a strainer (or cheesecloth). The leftover soybean pulp is called okara, and it can be used for many recipes.
Soak the Soybeans
Soaking the soybeans is the first step in making homemade soy milk. You need to soak the beans for at least six hours, or overnight if possible. This will soften the soybeans and prepare them for blending. You can also peel the soybeans (optional), which will help the mixture blend smoother.
After soaking the soybeans, drain them and rinse. Then add them to a blender along with water. Blend until the liquid is smooth and creamy. The amount of water you use will determine the thickness of your soy milk. You can use different ratios of water to soybeans to make rich, medium, or light soy milk.
The resulting soy milk can be used as-is, or you can strain it to remove the soybean pulp. You can then store the soy milk in a glass container and refrigerate it. The soy milk will taste best after it is chilled.
To strain the soy milk, put the soybean mixture into a clean cloth. Gather all the corners of the cloth together and twist it tightly. This will prevent the soybean mixture from leaking out of the cloth. Squeeze the cloth vigorously until you get as much soy milk out of it as possible. You can discard the remaining soybean pulp or save it to make more soy milk later. This soy milk recipe can be adjusted to suit your tastes by adding sweeteners, a bit of salt, or even a little cinnamon or cocoa.
Blend the Soybeans
Once the soybeans have soaked they need to be blended with water. It is best to use a high powered blender to get a smooth texture. If you are using organic or non-GMO soybeans you should consider peeling them before blending as this will help them blend smoother. The skins will come off very easily and this will save you some time.
Once you have the beans pureed, strain them through a mesh colander lined with a cloth (a muslin cheesecloth or a fine nut milk bag works well) into a mixing bowl. The soybean pulp that is left behind is called okara and it is very popular as an ingredient in various recipes.
The okara can be cooked and made into a variety of delicious snacks and meals. It is great in cookies and patties, or simply eaten plain. The soy milk can be enjoyed hot with tiao, or chilled and sweetened as a beverage.
Once you have the strained soy milk, heat it on the stovetop in a pot and add 1 bundle of pandan leaves (photo 2). Once the soy milk comes to a boil, stir and skim foam from the top and cook for another 20 minutes. Allow the soy milk to cool before serving. The soy milk can be consumed as is or sweetened with sugar to make it a delicious drink. It can also be used in cooking, as a substitute for cow’s milk, to add flavor and richness to recipes.
Boil the Soybeans
Whether you’re dairy-free, vegan or just want to drink better-for-you plant milk, making your own soy milk is easy. Some soaking, a little boiling and you’ve got yourself a tasty drink that’s rich, creamy and delicious. And best of all, you get to choose the ingredients and it has ZERO additives and preservatives.
Soak the soybeans in water overnight (photo 1). The next day, rinse the beans and transfer them to a large pot. Add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium heat (photo 2). Once the soybean mixture has reached a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thick foam begins to form, which can take 3 to 6 minutes. Stir the mixture frequently to avoid scorching and skim foam off the top as it forms.
Pour the soybean mixture through a pressing cloth, which can be a piece of cheesecloth, a napkin or a fine mesh strainer. The soybean solids left behind are called okara and can be used in many recipes, including Savory Soybean Milk with Fried Dough (Dou Jiang) and other Shanghainese dishes.
If you’d like to make more soy milk, you can repeat this process with the okara from the first straining. Just be sure to watch the heat closely because the hot okara will go from a gentle simmer to boiling over the pot in a flash, and you’ll have a mess to clean up.
Strain the Soybeans
Soybeans are the only ingredient in this soy milk recipe – no added sugar, no thickeners, no preservatives! The key to this recipe is to use the best possible soybeans (preferably yellow, but any color will do). Good soybeans are firm and smooth, with no cracks or wrinklies.
When the soybeans are ready, drain and rinse them a couple of times, then combine them with fresh water in the blender again. Blend until the liquid is smooth, but don’t overdo it – the soybeans are sensitive to heat and can get too warm easily.
After blending, pour the bean mixture through a nut milk bag (or cheesecloth or muslin) into a pot. Then twist the sack to wring out as much of the liquid as possible.
This is the most time-consuming part of this process, but it’s worth it for clean, high-quality soy milk with a flavor that can’t be beat!
The cooked soy milk will taste best if you let it cool to room temperature, then chill it in the fridge for a few hours. This makes the flavors mellow and the texture nice and creamy. If you like, stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a stick of cinnamon and enjoy it hot or cold! Note that the soy milk will coagulate as it sits, but this is normal and nothing to worry about. If it becomes too thick, simply add a bit more water and stir.
Cool the Soybeans
If you have a blender and some time to spend, making your own soy milk is not only inexpensive, but it’s also very easy. After some soaking, a little boiling and straining you’ll be enjoying a creamy beverage that’s rich in protein and has ZERO additives.
When the soybeans are finished blending, pour them into a large pot and add the remaining 2 cups of water. Heat over medium high, stirring frequently with a wooden spatula to prevent scorching and burning. Cook until the mixture is hot and begins to foam, 3 to 6 minutes. When the foam reaches the top of the pot, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for about 10 more minutes.
You may find the foam rises and falls as it continues to simmer, but you should be able to feel that the soybeans are now fully cooked, which is essential since raw soybeans/milk contain a factor called trypsin inhibitor that prevents the body from properly assimilating the protein. Once the foam is gone, remove from the stove and let cool.
Place a colander (or mesh strainer) into a sink and line it with the prepared cloth (thin unbleached muslin works well, but a nut milk bag could also work). When the soybean mixture is cool enough to handle, pour it into the colander and start pressing. When the mixture has all been pressed, you’ll be left with the delicious soy milk and okara.
Store the Soybeans
Soy milk is a delicious dairy-free alternative that can be enjoyed on its own or in recipes. It’s easy to make at home, and it’s much cheaper than buying store-bought soy milk. Plus, it’s a lot healthier because you can control exactly what goes into your soy milk.
To make soy milk, first rinse and soak the soybeans. Soaking the beans makes them easier to blend and also helps to reduce the amount of cooking time needed. Next, puree the soybeans with water until smooth. You may want to add a pinch of salt to the mixture for flavor.
After blending, transfer the soybean mixture to a pot and bring to a boil. Skim the foam off the top and simmer for 15 minutes. Then, remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, strain the soy milk through a nut milk bag (we recommend these organic cotton ones).
Store the soy milk in the refrigerator and use as you would any other dairy-free milk. You can even drink it plain or sweeten it with a little honey, sugar, or maple syrup. You can also use it in recipes, like cookies and cakes. It’s also great with breakfast, like oatmeal and smoothies.