There are plenty of awesome foodie blogs out there. Guess what? Mine’s not one of them.
I have as much patience for a camera in the kitchen as I do for kids underfoot in the kitchen. In a couple of months, my current kitchen will be ripped out for a new design, one that has more working and walking space. Until then, my under-designed-but-beautiful kitchen leaves me in no state of mind to juggle another thing.
But to my surprise, there are practically zero nut milk or tofu-making posts on WordPress. Perhaps I’m the odd one out; how could so few people be doing this? Nut milks are super-duper easy to make at home, cheaper to make yourself, and they bode well for a vegan, vegetarian, or any food diet.
All that was needed was the right appliance to get the show on the road, though I already knew the process could be done entirely stove top. Originally as an experiment to avoid purchasing a certain non-recyclable container, milk-making became the norm when we ditched dairy entirely.
No boob or pump — certainly not a cow’s boob or pump! — is even required.
Enjoy this photo how-to on how to make soy milk (or subsequently, tofu). If I can do it, you can do it.
Happy Tofu and Milk Making!
Get Your Supplies
As I’m making milk then tofu, I need:
- Soyajoy G3 soy milk maker
- soaked soybeans (soak 8 hours to overnight)
- container and pulp strainer
- 4-quart pan and thermometer
- tofu press, cheesecloth, and nigari (coagulant)
Start It Up!!
One cup of dried soybeans makes a 1-lb block of tofu; I will need to prepare two batches of milk for that. To make only a quart of soy milk for the fridge, soak only 1/2 cup dried soybeans.
Half of the soaked soybeans go into the pot, fill to the mark stamped on the container with drinking water, and plug in the unit. Press the little blue button “beans/nuts” (in case there’s confusion).
The Waiting Is The Hardest Part
For 20 minutes, go do something else in the vicinity. Piddle with your blog, play a game of Scrabble, watch birds, or eat vegan macaroons. You may even want to hum the Tom Petty tune that is now stuck in my head.
Strain the Pulp
When the unit ‘beeps’ at you, the batch is complete. Remove the power cord and carefully lift the unit out from the container. IT WILL BE VERY HOT. Pour the contents into the strainer that fits nicely over the pitcher provided to remove the okara (oh-KAH-rah) — soybean pulp — from the milk.
Do not discard! This will be used later for other yummy goodies (like brownies). You’ll want to press out as much of the milk from the pulp as you can. The pulp keeps longer the drier it is, and you’ll get another cup’s worth in this process.
Decisions, Decisions: Milk or Tofu?
If it’s milk you want, pour what you made into fridge to chillax. Clean up for next time.
Make a second batch of milk and move on to tofu-making, Baby!
Let’s Make Tofu!
While the second batch is brewing, multi-task with another meal, say, some vegetable broth. Broth is an essential component of miso soup, it flavors sauteed greens without fat, and can be used to bulk up many-a-meal, Miso soup is nothing more than broth, tofu, miso paste, chives and mushrooms, heated with spinach wilted on top.
When the second batch is strained, you will need to re-heat all your milk before adding coagulant. A 3-qt pot at a minimum is needed to hold both batches of milk. Insert the kitchen thermometer.
Get the tofu press ready. Place it in large flat container (like a baking casserole dish) that will catch whey, the liquid byproduct. Don’t send the whey down your city drain! Water plants with it instead– it’s loaded with bio-ready nutrients.
(I use the sink here since our septic water get puts right back on our property.)
Ready the nigari (magnesium chloride), the coagulant used for curdling soy milk. A bag of it comes with the tofu press which lasts a long time. More nigari, more firm. Less nigari, less firm. I measure out 1 tsp into a cup of warm water since this will be a firm tofu cake.
Slowly re-heat the milk to 180 degrees. The protein will not coagulate properly if the temperature is too low or too high, and this temperature is optimum.
Stir in 3/4 of the nigari liquid solution and turn off the heat. Stir gently and allow some curds to form. Wait a couple of minutes…you’ll notice the curds separating from the whey. When this happens, pour the remaining 1/4 nigari solution into the milky whey remaining at the top of the pot, finishing it off. The curds should now be fully formed floating in a vat of liquid — and looking more like tofu!
With a spoon or sieve, transfer the curds into the cheesecloth-lined press. When most of the whey has leached out, fold the cheesecloth over the top, place the wooden lid on top, and place something with weight on top to continue pressing out the moisture.
It’s quite a bit like making cheese.
While this batch settles out, I begin prepping Black Bean and Okara burgers for the kids for lunch, using the okara from last week’s batch. This okara will be reserved to bulk up some healthed-up brownies.