Making your own
One of the biggest ways to save money is to make your own soymilk. It is very easy, allows you to flavor your milk to your own tastes. The cost for each quart is somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 cents here in the states. With commercial soymilk costing between $2.50 and $3.50 a quart, the cost difference is significant.
You can make soymilk either with or without a soymilk maker. See below for instructions on making soymilk without a soymilk maker. I have one of the older SoyaJoy models:
The directions and pictures below are for this type of model, which uses a stainless steel filter for holding and grinding the soybeans. A newer model is available that has eliminated the need for this filter, but the process would be similar.
Make the milk in the machine according to the model's directions.
Once made, remove the head and heating element.
Filter the milk through a "gold" filter. Here is my set up for this process: I have a 1/2 gallon canning jar that holds the full amount of one batch of milk made in the soymilk maker. Into the bottom of a clean jar I put the flavoring I like for my milk (3/8 tsp. salt and 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar). Then, put a filter in the top of the jar, and your "gold" filter inside that white filter:
Pour your hot milk into the filter. The okara (solids that are left over from the grinding of the soybeans) that is suspended in the milk will begin to cling to the sides of the filter slowing down the milk's exit from the filter into the jar. Just use a spoon to scrape down the sides of the filter.
There is a lot of foam that forms in the soymilk maker, and towards the end, your filter will be full of this foam. Just keep stirring and scraping with your spoon until you see that most of the milk has gone through to the jar below. At this point, the "gold" filter will be about 3/4 full of okara.
Now, remove the "gold" filter, saving the okara for other uses. Lift up the white filter and give the milk a stir to totally dissolve your salt and sugar. If you want to add some vanilla extract, this is the time to do so (or, do what Susan Voisin does, and add in a piece of vanilla bean right in with the soybeans during the grinding process!)
At this point, I like to transfer the milk into two smaller containers. I have found that two Pace Picante Salsa jars are the perfect size and shape to hold one batch of soymilk!
Using the white filter, pour the milk into smaller jars. Note the towel used for holding the jar ... the milk is VERY hot!
Soymilk will keep refrigerated for about a week.
I am lusting after one of the newer models of soymilk making machines which no longer use a stainless steel filter for holding and grinding the soybeans. If you do not have a dishwasher, this is the hardest part of making soymilk ... cleaning the filter.
With a dishwasher however, it truly is not a big deal ... I put the Soymilk maker base (the stainless pitcher) as well as the filter into the dishwasher, putting the both on the bottom rack, "anchoring" the filter in place with the handle of a pot or something so it doesn't get tossed around (see image below where I have a food processor base placed on the filter).
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