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I haven’t done any tutorials since I moved into this home, so I figured it was time to do one. This method of making soy concentrate is going to be the basis for the next two recipes. Keep in mind that you could use it to make soy milk (by adding twice the water), but that is just too much work, in my opinion, especially when I have a soy milk machine. But I can’t use it to make small quantities of concentrate, so this is what I do when I need some.

First, you will need to soak soy beans. This is 1/2 cup of dry, organic Laura soybeans (the second best price and the best quality I have found), soaked overnight.

It is essential to think ahead for any recipe using soy concentrate. I suppose if you had some soy milk powder that didn’t have vanilla in it, you could double the amount of powder, but it would cost a whole lot more. I don’t happen to have any soy milk powder in the house! I either plan ahead or do without.

Once the soy beans are ready, bring about two quarts of water to a boil. When it’s just about boiling, turn on the hot water on, and when it’s hot, put the soy beans under it to rinse and heat up. The water should not be on strong enough to make the beans spill out.

If you time it right (which I never do, just so you know), the water should be boiling now (mine’s usually been boiling for 5 or 10 minutes). Fill your blender with the boiling water to warm it. Glass blenders are best, because they retain the heat longest. It will warm quickly—probably 30 seconds or less, and you want the water to be as hot as possible. Now get a strainer and pour your beans into the strainer, then quickly dump the water from the blender over them.

Now rapidly dump the beans into the hot blender and add 2 cups of the boiling water. Blend. Be careful not to start the blender on high, or at best you could have a very hot mess all over. ***Here’s how I like to start it. You’ll want to blend about 2 minutes.

I should make a comment on the reason for all that effort, as opposed to just rinsing the beans and blending in water. There is an enzyme in soybeans that is activated when the bean is broken. This enzyme is what gives homemade soymilk its “beany” flavor—the flavor that store-bought soy milk does not have. However, the enzyme can be killed before it reacts if the water is hot enough. That’s why we heat the beans, the blender, and then blend in boiling water. Soymilk made this way tastes better than anything my soy milk machine can make—it just takes too much effort to make it! Maybe when all my kids are grown and gone. . .

Let it blend for a couple of minutes. You want it very fine. Now, pour it into a 2-quart saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. I say slowly, because it’s already very hot, and soymilk will boil over very quickly (as it nearly did in the picture below while I toyed with the camera settings!), so you need to watch it. I stir with a rubber spatula, so I don’t scratch the bottom, but also try to prevent it from building up. You could use a double boiler and let it go 15-20 minutes (it probably won’t boil over then), but that uses more energy.

I cooked it with the fiber in it because it was just too hot to strain. If I were making soy milk, I would strain it out as best I could with the spatula, then put the pulp back in the blender with cold water, blend briefly, then I would strait it out well. But I’m making concentrate, not milk, so I am not adding water. Now I let it cool in the fridge. Within a couple of hours, it will be cool enough to strain through a cloth, but not too cold.

This should make 2 cups of concentrate. If it isn’t quite enough, top the jar off.

Make sure your concentrate is thoroughly chilled before using in recipes, unless it calls for hot concentrate. It should be chilled for making next week’s recipe, as well as mayo or similar recipes.

You could also use this in recipes calling for evaporated milk. You would want to add a little sugar to sweet recipes, like pumpkin pie, though for savory dishes, like creamy soup, you wouldn’t want to. Be sure to add an extra dash or two of salt to the recipe, especially if it is initially a tad low in salt, because this doesn’t have the salt content that store-bought soy milk does. Also, keep in mind that if you are going to cook it, you can skip the cooking in saucepan step; just chill in the blender (in the fridge—it cuts down on bacteria growth), strain, and use. But use within a day or two, because uncooked it won’t last very long.

Next week I’m going to share my recipe for a soy base that can be used to make anything from sour cream to sweet whipped cream to mayo.

Note: I got this method from the cookbook Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley, but I did not copy their text. I have made the recipe so many times that I just wrote it from memory, so I don’t think I’m breaking any copyright laws. But their book does have some excellent recommendations on using it, and I highly recommend it.


11 Responses

  1. #1
    Linda 

    Hello Lisa! I found your page a couple of days ago. I loved your tutorial on making the Soy Milk Concentrate and will be making some soon. Do you have tutorial on making regular soy milk? I know you briefly stated what you would do if you were making soymilk.

    Thanks in advance
    Linda

  2. #2
    Lisa 

    No, I have never made a tutorial on making just soy milk. Unless you have a soy milk machine, the steps would be virtually the same as this one, except that you would use twice the water (added after blending), just like I mentioned in this tutorial. I personally just use a soy milk machine for making soy milk. It’s much less time consuming, and yields decent quality at great prices!

  3. #3
    Linda 

    Thank you! My soybeans haven’t arrived yet, but when they do I will make the concentrate and then dilute it for milk when I want it…

    I don’t have a soymilk machine – yet.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Lisa 

    I would like to just mention a couple of things. First, you will probably want to flavor the milk somewhat. About 1/4 tsp salt per quart, some sugar and vanilla, some people like about a tsp of oil (I think coconut would be best–not olive oil!). I usually leave my milk plain until I’m ready to use it, because if I’m baking I don’t need to add anything to it, and then I add a couple tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt per glass for cereal or to drink. And vanilla. I use a glass bottle that comes with a dropper inside and put two dropper fulls (probably 1/4 tsp) per serving.

    The other thing is that the machine will not make quite as good flavored milk as this method. I’m not sure why. I’ve gotten used to the machine’s flavor, because it’s so much less work. Plus when I’m making tofu, the flavor isn’t that important (because who eats unflavored tofu?). But if you really want a good flavor for drinking, making it in the blender is THE WAY to go.

    Let me know how it turns out!

  5. #5
    Linda 

    I did make it. I think I didn’t have the water hot enough. I wrote about it in my blog here: http://lindercroft-smwon.blogspot.com/2010/12/made-soymilk.html

  6. #6
    Don 

    You mention that Laura soybeans are organic. Are you sure? I know they advertise as non-gmo beans, but that does not necessitate organic production. I looked all over their site, and asked them (getting no response) for anything stating their farming practices. I hope they are, as I just ordered some, but will stop if I find out that they don’t practice organic methods.

  7. #7
    Lisa 

    You are right. It doesn’t say organic. However, I am not one to fret about non-organic food right now. I can’t afford to. I mean, if we lived on food stamps I’d have more money to spend on food every month than I do now!

    My biggest concern with soy is that most of it is genetically modified. Knowing that the Laura beans aren’t GMO is very comforting to me. Of course, organic (or at least good farming practices if not certified) would be nice, but it’s what it is.

    Though lately I have been buying organic soybeans from Azure Standard. If you live in one of the 17 or more states they deliver to, you can get organic soybeans for 5lb for I think $5.56. That’s actually down from $6 a year ago (which is nice, because most everything else is going up in price). Their beans are much more broken than the Laura beans are, but if you are willing to order at least $50 from them (and since I can get a lot of bulk items like organic wheat and organic cornmeal and hemp milk and other things from them) and have a local drop-off site where at least $550 worth of orders can be delivered at a time, you don’t have to pay shipping. Most drop off locations charge something (a small percentage, or $5; I’m lucky that the one near my house doesn’t charge, but that’s rare). They have hundreds, maybe thousands of products (their catalog is almost an inch thick). Some things are priced like the local health food store, but some things are really a savings. For instance, the wheat I mentioned. Organic hard red wheat. A 25lb bag is under $11, which is cheaper than I would pay for regular hard wheat berries at the bulk section of the local discount grocery store! They sell Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal (25lb bag) $2 or 3 cheaper than I could buy it at the local Bob’s Red Mill store (we live about half an hour away from their mill here in Oregon). Since I buy a lot of staples in bulk, and since my allergic-to-almost-everything son drinks almost a case of hemp milk every month, it is definitely worth it to buy from them!

  8. #8
    Linda 

    Hello Lisa. I am making soymilk again and I am fast finding out that your expert advice on this is right on. My first attempts were just that – attempts (http://lindercroft-smwon.blogspot.com/2010/12/made-soymilk.html). I have been making it it with either my soyabella soymilk maker or the blender and either way the soymilk turns out as described.

  1. […] Soy Milk Concentrate I am amazed at how more and more people are turning to soy milk for better health. This step-by-step how-to with pictures has been pretty popular and a lot of people have found it in search engines. One lady even tried it and blogged about her results! […]

  2. […] I used the instructions for heating the beans prior to blending them as described by Lisa in the “Life of a Happy Mom”. I also used boiling […]

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    Soymilk | LinderCroft (via Pingback)

    […] recipe I am going to use to make it is from the blog Life of a Happy Mom. She tells how to make soymilk […]

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