What Is Soy Milk Made Of And How Is It Made?

Soy milk is plant-based milk made from soybeans. It is mostly preferred by Asians because it is lactose-free and is used to make tofu and non-dairy yogurt.

Most people have heard about soy milk and wondered what it’s used for and how it’s made. Soy milk is the most controversial beverage that is packed with low-fat plant-based proteins and essential fatty acids.

But is it healthy?

Soymilk is not just a substitute ingredient but a dairy milk alternative that can be a great nutritious and dietary drink.

Think about this for a moment, consuming milk without having to deal with gas, bloating, or diarrhea, Soymilk is perfect for you as it is lactase-free.

Soy milk provides your body with balanced nutrients without consuming the extra cholesterol and saturated fats associated with dairy milk. Soy milk is often fortified with vitamin D and calcium to make it more nutritious. Soy milk can also be used to make tofu or non-dairy yogurt.

There is no denying the health benefits of soy milk but we often wonder what it is and how it’s made. This article will tell you all you need to know about soy milk and how it’s used.

What is soy milk

dou jiang

Soy milk is a traditional plant-based low-fat dairy milk substitute made from soybeans. The milk is packed with a protein content that is close to that of cow’s milk and plenty of nutrients. Originally invented in China, soy milk is gaining more and more popularity across the world.

The milk is made by soaking and grinding soybeans in cold water, boiling the mixture, and then filtering out the particles to produce soy milk. Soy milk is the intermediate product used in making tofu.

Because the milk is divided from plants, soymilk is low in saturated fats and has no cholesterol, and is a good source of dietary proteins.

What if you have dietary or allergy concerns?

You do not have to worry about consuming soymilk if you are lactose intolerant. Soymilk lacks lactose as it is made from soybeans which are lactose-free. This makes soymilk a great alternative for lactose-intolerant people who cannot handle dairy milk. There are also no known risks associated with consuming soymilk. So, it is safe to assume that you can consume soymilk if dairy milk is not the best option for you.  

Consuming soymilk can be a great dairy milk substitute and because of this, it has gained worldwide popularity over the years. To make it even better, Soymilk lacks lactose which makes it a great substitute for people with lactose intolerance.  

What is soy milk made of

By now, you already know that soymilk is a great substitute for dairy milk. But do you know what it’s made from? And how it is made? Keep reading.

Soymilk is a creamy extraction made from soaked soybeans to produce a milky liquid that has a bean-like taste. The milky liquid is derived from soaking soybeans in cold water for at least a day, grinding the soybeans to release the milk, boiling the milky mixture, and then filtering out all the remaining soybean residue. This will produce the delicious goodness that is soy milk.

How to make soy milk

Due to its rising popularity, soymilk can be found in all grocery stores globally. But, fresh homemade soymilk is always better and richer in taste. This is because manufactured soymilk is made from genetically modified soybeans and preservatives while homemade soymilk is made from organic soybeans.

So, how do you make soymilk at home?

Making soymilk at home requires 3 ingredients:

  • Organic soybeans. You can buy them from grocery stores.
  • Water
  • Sweetener. E.g. sugar

It is easier to make soymilk using a blender or a food processor. Here’s a step-by-step process to make soymilk at home.

  1. Rinse your soybeans thoroughly and soak them in water overnight or for a day. This will depend on the temperature of the water they are soaked in.
  2. Discard the water and rinse the beans a few times. Ensure you remove the soybean skin as much as you can. Drain the water and set your beans aside.
  3. Blend your soybeans in a blender or a food processor. If you don’t have any of these, you can use the traditional grinder
  4. Add about 12 cups of water. Bring your soybeans to a boil. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until you have your desired milk consistency. Leaving your soymilk to boil for longer will result in a thicker consistency.
  5. Filter the soymilk with cheesecloth to filter out all the residues. This will give your milk the perfect consistency
  6. Add a sweetener like sugar to taste. You can also add salt to your soymilk.

This recipe only has 170 calories. Perfect for your weight loss goals. With this recipe, you can make a big batch of soymilk and keep it in a bottle. But make sure to store the drink in a refrigerator to keep it fresh for longer.

How to make tofu from soy milk

To make tofu, you first need to have soy milk. Preparing tofu does not to be pre-planned. As long as you have soaked your soybeans overnight, you can easily make tofu.  To make delicious homemade tofu, you need yellow soybeans, a coagulant, and water.

  • Make your soy milk by soaking yellow soybeans in water overnight. Blend and filter with a cheesecloth.
  •  Add a coagulant to your milk. You can dissolve nigari in your milk as a coagulant.
  • Once your milk has coagulated, you can press the curds into blocks of tofu.
  • Strain the curds and press them to form a block of tofu. Drain the tofu for 20 minutes and store.

How long does soy milk last?

Soya milk

Organic soymilk has a shelf-life of about 7 to 10 days before it goes sour. Surprisingly, soymilk sold in stores can last for extended periods of up to 8 months if left unopened. This is because they are highly processed and contain preservatives that keep them fresh for longer.

Soymilk can be found in two varieties: refrigerated and non-refrigerated. Both types of soymilk can last for longer periods if they are not opened.

When purchasing a bottle or carton of soymilk, it is important to check the expiry date of the drink to avoid purchasing a drink that is about to go bad or worse, purchasing milk that is already spoilt. Drinking spoilt soymilk can cause food poisoning and therefore, you should make sure to refrigerate your milk carton or throw it out.

So, how do you know if your soymilk has spoilt? This is easy. Check for changes in color or texture. If your soymilk is a bit off in terms of color, smell, or taste then it is time to toss it in the bin. If you have half-opened soymilk can that’s been sitting on your kitchen counter for far too long, then it’s time to toss. It’s always best to err on the side of caution.

Who invented soy milk?

Soymilk has its origins in China. In China, soymilk is called Dou Jiang. Soymilk is believed to have been discovered during the Han Dynasty by Liu An in 164 BC. The oldest reference for soymilk and its products in China appears in a poem by Su ping called “Ode to Tofu” in 1500 AD.

When was soy milk invented in China?

Soymilk is believed to have been invented as early as 164 BC in the Han Dynasty by Liu An. The earliest records were found on a stone slab used to grind soybeans to produce soy milk.

In 1365, a tofu broth— doufu was used during the Mongol Yuan. The use of soy milk increased during the Qing dynasty when they discovered that heating the soymilk gently for at least 90 minutes caused to be tolerable for lactose-intolerant people.

Making soymilk was industrialized in early Republican China and by 1929, two soymilk brands were marketed in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan up to the 1950s. The consumption of soymilk spread to European countries by the 14th century.

In 1910, Li Yuying established the first soy milk— Caseo-sojaine in Colombes, France.

Soymilk has become a staple beverage in Asian countries especially China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia. The Chinese invented soymilk years ago and made tofu from this refreshing drink. The beverage is versatile and can be served sweetened or salty.

For breakfast, most Chinese and Taiwanese people prefer to make soymilk with youtiao— Chinese fried crullers. In China, the total market size for soymilk and its products is estimated to be around 258 billion Yuan. 82% of Chinese people consume plant-based food and drink as a means to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Soymilk and tofu are considered the best selling products in China and are a major part of the Chinese diet due to:

  • The tradition of consuming soy products
  • Availability of soybeans throughout China
  • The health and nutritional value associated with soybeans

Conclusion

Soy milk is a healthy plant-based dairy milk alternative that has plenty of health benefits. The milk is packed with natural proteins and zero cholesterol making it the perfect substitute for cow’s milk. This milk and its products— tofu is mostly common in Asian countries because most Asians are not able to process lactose found in dairy milk. Therefore, it is among a variety of plant-based milk that is lactose-free.

Soy milk is made by grinding soaked soybeans using a blender or a food processor to produce a creamy liquid milk extract. The liquid milk is then boiled and filtered to remove the residue. You can also use soy milk to make tofu. If you are looking for the perfect plant-based milk that is lactose-free and healthy for consumption, then we recommend switching to soy milk.

 

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