Vitamix Whole Bean Soy Milk / Soy Yogurt

I’ve recently been making some soymilk with my vitamix. The idea is simple: grind the hell out of whole soybeans and get a wholefood soymilk. Usual recipes will have you strain the soymilk, which removes nutrients (particularly fiber). The resulting soymilk is a bit grainier, but the vitamix does an excellent job of producing a smooth milk.

The recipe is here. The cost of this is very low. Soy beans are about $1/lb at my local bulk bin, and this recipe uses about 1/4 lb, so I can produce two quarts of soy milk/yogurt for about 30 cents total. Considering that a quart of soy yogurt is usually about $3.50 or so, this saves me about 6 dollars per batch.

Three things I want to stress:
1) USE BOILING WATER. Using boiling water when grinding deactivates an enzyme that can give soymilk a beany flavor that most people don’t like as much.
2) The simmering for 20 minutes is to deactivate trypsin inhibitors in soy which are potentially problematic in soy-based foods.
3) I added sugar to this recipe because I use the soymilk to make yogurt. My results were poor fermenting the unsweetened soymilk. Once I added the sugar (which gives it a calorie density very comparable to 2% milk), fermentation worked great.

I use this to make yogurt, of which I eat about one cup per day. The total amount of soy in that one cup is not very great, so I don’t worry too much. The yogurt actually turns out great. It’s very creamy, much more so than the skim yogurt I used to make with dairy. As a note, to get started, I purchased some soy yogurt, and used a bit of it to start the culture. Since then, it has been self sustaining.

Lastly, I don’t think this would work with a standard blender as I doubt it would grind the soy up fine enough. A vitamix, or similarly powerful blender, is probably needed.

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7 Responses to Vitamix Whole Bean Soy Milk / Soy Yogurt

  1. On the contrary, I used to make soy milk with a standard blender and it seemed to work out pretty well. We’d even used the strained ground soybeans in other dishes throughout the week.

    Amy couldn’t stand the smell, however, and the straining took me forever, and then we found that removing soy from our diets was rather beneficial to her endometriosis.

    Interesting that you culture your own soy yogurt. I did that once, but it came out really runny. I’ve since tried making my own kefir using store-bought kefir as a starter, but the result has never been kefir. Rather, it’s been…cheese.

  2. boykin says:

    When I said you need a vitamix, I meant in order to make the soymilk *without* straining. It grinds it smoothly enough so we eat the entire bean. It save a lot of time.

    Of course, if you are willing to strain, or drink grainy soymilk, a normal blender is fine.

  3. Kara Bauer says:

    I didn’t see the recipe listed at the link provided…only a nutritional breakdown of soymilk.

    • boykin says:

      Look under “Preparation” on the linked page. The thing I fail to mention is that you probably need a blendtec or a vitamix to get it smooth enough. If you don’t do that, you’ll need to strain it and that will change the nutritional content.

  4. gina says:

    I am new to Vitamix. I bought Vitamix mainly thinking can make soy milk without straining. Straining is painful, cooking it after straining is even more painful – you have to constantly stir to avoid spill.

    It is very easy and mess-free to make soy milk using Vitamix (soak the beans overnight > cook them in the rice cooker > add water and sugar then blend the beans) No straining needed, no cooking in the pot constantly stirring needed.

    So far the soy milk I make is more like soy “puree”. It is still not like the tradition soy milk you get from the oriental market. But I will settle for this method – one for my craving, 2nd for getting the WHOLE soy beans nutrition. 🙂

    – Note, I read soy beans must be cooked to be consumed.

  5. Thanks very much for sharing this post. I very much want to use my vitamix to make low cost, high quality soy milk, as it’s currently one of the largest single expenses in my family’s grocery budget.
    I tried the recipe and when it was fresh it was fantastic and I fantasized all day at work about coming home to have more. When I did get home, I was pretty disappointed to find a lumpy sludge that tasted just wrong.

    I’m sure I did something incorrect, as the recipe you linked to is somehow confusing to me. Would you do me a tremendous favor and just write out your own recipe of how you make it, using the proportions that fit the vitamix? Just dumb it down for me?

    • boykin says:

      Leif… unfortunately, the soy turned out to cause some stomach issues, and I stopped making it. It was soy in general, not this recipe in particular.

      That said, I will say: I am tolerant of lumpiness. So I can only suggest two things:

      1) Perhaps you didn’t blend long enough. I would blend for something 2-3 minutes with half the water.
      2) Perhaps the soy milk got too hot when you simmered after. The trick is to have it short of boiling. I think even like 150-160 degrees would do it.
      3) If it is too lumpy for you, you can strain it. I never did, but you may prefer it. You can do this with cheese cloth or possibly a coffee filter.

      Sorry I can’t give better instructions. I don’t think I have made this recipe in like 1.5 – 2 years.

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