ModVegan’s Zero Waste Soy Milk Recipe and Tutorial
I have been making my own soy milk for a few months, and I pretty much have it down to a science. This zero waste soy milk recipe produces a beverage very similar in taste and texture to Vanilla Silk Soy milk. While I love Silk, I’m not a fan of all the packaging. And since being inspired to have a more zero waste home, I’ve found it’s an easy way to cut back. Commercial soy milk containers can be recycled, but the caps cannot. And this leads to unnecessary waste. Plus, I’ve found that by making my own zero waste soy milk, I’m also free to add a little extra calcium (I don’t drink that much milk every day, so it’s nice to be able to tinker with what I add to the milk).
2 cups dried organic yellow soybeans
4 c. + 1 litre water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Vanilla (0ptional)
1/4 – 1/3 cup maple syrup or sugar (optional), to taste (you’ll want to add closer to 1/3 cup to equal the sweetness of Silk soymilk)
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
nut milk bag (use cotton or hemp, as it is unsafe to pour boiling water through polyester).
Calcium carbonate, Vitamin D tablets and B12 tablets
- You’ll want to begin by placing 2 cups of dried soybeans in a container with about 4 cups of water. Place in the refrigerator (notes: some people recommend the counter, but I prefer the fridge, because it prevents the soybeans from beginning to ferment, and I think the final product tastes better. Also, if you have an emergency, you can make the soy milk up to two days later with no problems, so it’s less pressure).
- Optional: for a less bean-y tasting milk, once the soybeans have doubled in bulk, drain the soaking water and place the beans in a large saucepan filled with warm water. Using a potato masher, gently smash the soybeans to loosen the clear membrane covering the beans. You don’t want to turn the beans into pulp – just enough to separate the bean from its covering. Skim the bean membranes from the surface. (This is a bit time consuming, so if you don’t feel like it, don’t worry. The milk will still taste great, thanks to the next step)
- The real key to reducing the bean-y flavour from the soy milk is to blend the beans with boiling water (and yes, there is a body of research surrounding this). Boil 1 litre of water and place the drained beans in your blender two cups at a time (you can do several batches if you have a small blender).
- pour boiling water over the beans and blend thoroughly.
- Pour the liquid bean mixture into your nut milk bag over a large saucepan. You will need to gently squeeze the bag, or leave it hanging for a few minutes until the liquid has mostly drained out (most nut milk bags have a drawstring for this purpose).While I believe nylon mesh nut milk bags are adequate for other milk preparations, it’s important to use hemp or cotton nutmilk bags when making this variety of soy milk, as the boiling water will cause nylon to leach phthalates into the final product (and nobody wants that!). Having tried the different products available, hemp is my personal preference, because it produces the finest finished product.
- Give the nut milk bag a good squeeze to get rid of any remaining liquid.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and (optional) sweetening, flavouring, and 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum.
- Allow the milk to simmer on a low temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- Once the mixture is finished cooking, fortify your soy milk with Calcium, Vitamin D, and B12. Personally, I add 400 iu of Vitamin D to each cup of soy milk, and 1 B12 tablet per cup. I also add 1/2 teaspoon of calcium carbonate per cup, for a total of 4 teaspoons calcium carbonate. This might be a bit much for some. But my family doesn’t drink a lot of soy milk, and I like to make sure they get plenty of these vitamins and minerals.
- The mixture will have reduced somewhat in cooking. Add enough water so that you are left with 8 cups of milk. Pour into mason jars or carafes, and refrigerate.
I really love the way this soy milk turns out. My family has been drinking it for several weeks and we’re big fans. If you want to change it up, you can even add a little cocoa powder as well for a chocolate effect!
Why zero waste soy milk?
I was quite dedicated to making almond milk at home. But after a while I found that it was very expensive, and nutritionally less than stellar. And while I realize some people prefer the milder flavour of almond milk, I like that soy milk is far less expensive, even when made with organic soybeans.
I buy my soybeans in bulk from our local health food store, and at $0.49 cents Canadian for 100 grams, this milk costs about $2 for 8 cups. A far cry from $4 I used to pay for 2 litre containers of Vanilla Silk we bought at the store. Since our family normally drinks about 6 litres per week, we save about $6 a week by making it at home. In a year, we would save about $312 by making soy milk at home, which is pretty nice! Plus, I know my family is drinking a healthier product.
Of course, your time is also worth something, and I understand not everyone will want to take the time to make their own soy milk each week. But it is also an investment in your health.
I received the hemp bag I featured in the video from Lena Mumma’s shop, EcoPeaceful. It’s a great small business and I’m so happy to finally have the chance to try Lena’s products. The bag also comes with a 420 day warranty, which is pretty impressive! With good care (don’t put it away wet or anything), it should last you years. Lena is a veganic gardener who grows food without using animal products. She also makes amazing products for helping people live compassionate, zero waste lifestyles.