Several months back, I mentioned to my mom that I was interested in getting a soy milk maker. I’m not too keen on all the hormones they pump into the cows, especially with a growing kid at home, and the organic milk is just too expensive.
She happened to have one lying around, and she gave it to me! Now, it’s very old (she used it when I was a kid), and she no longer had the directions, but it seemed pretty self-explanatory.
We checked the local co-op for soybeans, but all they had was the frozen edamame (don’t use this!! These are soybeans harvested at an earlier time. They won’t work). My mom recommended Laura Soybeans online. You can buy online, but obviously it would be cheaper to buy local. I bought 13lbs for $20 including shipping. Still looking for a local source…
I take 3.5-4oz of these and soak them in 1-2 inches of water. The beans need to be soaked for 8-10 hours. It’s easy to plop ’em in and go off to work, or to soak them overnight.
I hold on to the water used to soak the beans in and water my garden with it. I fill the water up to the 2nd line on the soy milk maker. The soaked beans go into the filter cup, along with 2tbsp of oats. The oats make the milk thicker and give it a less watery texture. I put 1/2tsp of vanilla into the water as well as 4tbsp brown sugar.
Then I screw on the filter cup, pop the top on, plug it in, press the buttons, and let it run! In 10-15 minutes (I don’t keep track, since I’m usually doing something else) the soymilk is done.
The grounds are great for composting (if you have a compost heap…if not, stay tuned!), and the milk is delicious. My fiance compares it to pudding, and my stepson-to-be loves it. Sure, I’m trading hormones for a smidgen of sugar, but I think it a decent trade-off. I’m still tweaking the recipe, so I’ll let you know if I find a better way of doing it.
The soy milk maker itself isn’t very expensive. I saw a similar model to mine sell on ebay for $55. Going by the calculations on the Laura Soybeans website, it costs me approximately $1.25/gallon to make. I’m sure I can do it much cheaper if I find a local source.
INITIAL TIME INVESTMENT: However long it takes you to buy a soy milk maker and beans
DAILY TIME INVESTMENT: 5-10 minutes, soak the beans for 8-10 hours, but you don’t have to watch them soak, just as you don’t have to watch the soy milk maker for the 10-15 minutes it takes until it beeps =)
Due to the money it saves, the low time investment, and the low initial $$ investment, I’d highly recommend making your own soymilk. I’ll venture into making my own tofu from this later.