Fresh is Best

PRICE Organic soya beans HK$ 28 for 2 pounds (HK$ 30.8 per kg). Non-organic soya beans HK$ 7 per catty (HK$ 11 per kg). 1kg of soya beans makes about 3 litres of soya milk.

PRODUCT RATING Very Good. Homemade soya milk is fresh and delicious. No additives means it’s healthier for you. You can sweeten it to suit your taste. Easy to make and worth the effort. Economical. Very healthy, according to the US FDA:

“Soy protein products can be good substitutes for animal products because, unlike some other beans, soy offers a “complete” protein profile. Soybeans contain all the amino acids essential to human nutrition, which must be supplied in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the human body. Soy protein products can replace animal-based foods–which also have complete proteins but tend to contain more fat, especially saturated fat–without requiring major adjustments elsewhere in the diet.”

GREEN RATING  Deep Green if made with organic soya beans or consumed as a dairy milk replacement (note: it does not mix well with coffee). Quite Green if made using conventional (GM) soya beans. Soya milk has a much lower carbon footprint than dairy milk. Homemade soya milk reduces that even further because less fossil fuel is used in transportation (liquids are heavier) and refrigeration is not required. In addition, there is no carton to dispose of.

AVAILABLE AT Organic soya beans are available at various health food stores. The price quoted above is from Green Concepts. Conventional soya beans are available in the wet markets.

As part of our effort to reduce our dairy consumption by 50%, we started drinking more soya milk. We began by buying organic soya milk in cartons. However, after researching all the additives in the ingredient list we became concerned. Vita brand soya milk, for example, contains a glazing agent to make it look brighter that is also used in shoe and car polish.

From an environmental perspective, we found the need to manufacture and dispose of single use cartons, and the high carbon footprint required to transport and refrigerate it quite troubling. Searching for an alternative we began making our own soya milk. Here’s how we make it:

  1. Soak the beans overnight in the refrigerator
  2. Blend the beans with water. For each cup of soaked beans add one cup of water.
  3. Pour the blended beans into a pot and add another 3 cups of water for each cup of blended beans. Bring to a boil a couple of times with the lid off, then lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes
  4. After cooling, pour the liquid through a fine strainer to remove the bits and add sugar to taste
The only drawbacks of homemade soya milk with no additives are that it can only keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge and there is a bit of extra work in clean up. However the fresh taste and delicious aroma make it all worthwhile.

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