Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting the 'beany' taste out of homemade soy milk

Or how to make homemade soy milk taste better!

There are tons of people that love the taste of homemade soy milk.  I'm not one of them.  I thought it was awful and I really am one of those 'it's so much better when it's homemade' type people.  I researched over the course of a few days, but what really stood out was that over soaking your soy beans made them taste bland and flat.

Hey, that's what I want.  Here's what worked for me:

I put 1/2 cup of soybeans in a quart mason jar, added plenty of water and put them in the frig.  They hung out there for 2 full days - a full 48 hours.  Periodically I'd drain off the water and add fresh water (morning and before bedtime, maybe once or twice during the day).

Cooking day:  I drained off the water, dumped the soybeans in a pot, added fresh water and 1/4 tsp of baking soda.  I boiled the beans for 10 minutes.  Then I drained them, added fresh water and another 1/4 tsp of baking soda.  Again, I heated to a boil and boiled them for 10 minutes.

I drained them, added fresh water and boiled for an hour and a half.  After an hour, the beans were done and there wasn't too much flavor to them.  I was just being anal about over cooking them.  Next time I'll stop at one hour.

Anyway, I drained the beans, and then processed them in small batches in my Magic Bullet pitcher, adding fresh water.  The resulting milk was almost impossible to strain as the bean pulp was more like flour.  I finally gave up and just added the rest of it to the pitcher. 

I do add sugar and some vanilla to my plant milks.  Bingo!  Good stuff, doesn't taste beany at all.  There still is a slight soybean fragrance if you give it a sniff test first.

That half cup of soybeans swelled to 1-1/2 cups during soaking.  I think I used 4-1/2 cups of water when I processed the beans and I like the consistency of the milk.  It's not too watered down.  I also did not remove the skins from the soybeans.  I put the strained bean pulp into an ice cube tray and popped it in the freezer.  I'll use it later in baked goods.

Added 12-5
I read somewhere that if you add 3 Tbsp of barley malt, your soy milk will taste more like purchased soy milk.  I haven't tried it, I don't even know where you can get barley malt.  Let me know if it you use it.

3 comments:

  1. Hi. I just discovered your site and appreciate the soy milk advice. I'm wondering if you are still making it yourself and if you have any additional words of soy milk wisdom. I've recently started making soy milk at home. I've made two batches so far, but the beany taste is so unpleasant to me. One method I tried was to microwave the beans for two minutes after the soaking time, but before blending. It helped a little, I guess. But still not the flavor I was hoping for. I love Silk unsweetened brand. I'm not sure if I'll be able to reproduce that taste, but that's the goal. Thanks again! Rachel

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    1. Hi Rachel,
      I still make soy milk occasionally. I do the 48 hour soak, changing the water frequently. 30 minutes to one hour is plenty of cook time for me now - I don't always set the timer. I honestly think the long soak with water changes helps remove that strong bean taste the most.
      I never have bought Silk, but everything I have read said that homemade soy milk will never taste like Silk. Most added that Silk didn't taste anything like true soy milk. But if you come up with an easier way to make a mild soy milk, I'd be really interested. The microwave would sure speed things along.

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  2. I added some powdered peanut butter (about a tsp to a bowl of my homemade soy milk) and I found it really improved the taste! More of the nutty flavor that I like from Silk soymilk.

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