Since I have been using fresh okara recently I decided to write a formal review of my soymilk maker. I was very confused about what to buy before I purchased this machine. When you haven’t made soymilk you have no idea what the process is like or what features you need.
We decided to buy this when we realized we were buying a case or more of soymilk a month. Now that was when we were drinking coffee, and since then our soymilk intake has slowed to a crawl. But I am glad that I have this machine when I make soymilk. This was something that my husband thought I needed to make life easier. I wasn’t certain it was a necessity but it does make the soymilk while I do other things. Here are the positives and negatives of the machine:
• No measuring, there is a fill line for water. This is handy if you make a lot of soymilk
• One button and you walk away until the machine beeps. I particularly like this feature because I don’t like to baby sit machines. When the cycle has finished (between 16 and 19 minutes) the machine stops processing and sounds a beep so you know to begin straining.
• Easy to clean. The manufacturer recommends that you clean the machine while it is still warm and that does make it very easy to clean. Additionally there is no internal filter which makes all the moving parts easy to access.
• Fairly quiet. While the machine is running, you can hear the grinding mechanism but that doesn’t last the entire time and is not as loud as I imagined.
• Comes with a pitcher and fine wire sieve which allows you to start making soy milk right away.
• Cheaper than buying soymilk. Depending on how much non-dairy milk you make it won’t take long to recoup the purchase price of the machine in savings.
• Flexibility. I have been using Bryanna’s soy milk recipe that adds 3 tablespoons of oatmeal to the machine. It makes a rich creamy soymilk. Adding a date to the milk also makes lightly sweet milk without processed sugar. By making your own soymilk you can eliminate both the salt and sweetener if you choose. The machine also comes with a recipe book that gives you many options for non-dairy milks.
• 7 year warranty. A longer warranty than I would have expected for a small appliance.
• Okara. Okay so this may not seem like a benefit now but I love finding uses for the stuff. My Japanese friend told me her mom added okara to soup when she was a kid. If you haven’t tried this you should. I was very pleasantly surprised by the richness fresh okara adds to miso soup.
• Makes great tasting milk. According to my Japanese friend from Tokyo this machine makes soymilk as good as she can get at home. I can’t think of higher praise than that.
• Storage. The machine is not big but it is another appliance that needs to be stored. On the positive side it is smaller than a case of soymilk. So I suppose this isn’t a big negative.
• Straining takes forever. I like making my own soy milk but the straining process is a serious pain. It can take an hour to drain the okara from the soymilk. This is fine if you have plenty of time, but it can be annoying.
I have used this machine to make soymilk, mung bean milk and almond milk. It works great with all the types of non-dairy milk I have tried. Having an automatic soymilk maker does make the entire process quite simplistic.
Would I purchase this again? Yes. Even though we don’t make soymilk as often as we used to it is handy to have and I like the versatility of making different versions of soymilk that you can’t purchase.
The Steps Required to Make Soymilk With this Machine:
If you haven’t made soymilk before I will outline the entire process so that you know what to expect.
• Soak 1 cup of soy beans in plenty of filtered water for 8 hours or overnight.
• Place the soaked soy beans in a large container (that your hands will fit into) and fill with warm water. Use your hands to rub the soybeans together to loosen the outer skin of the beans. You can skip this step but your soymilk will taste more “beanie” if you don’t remove the hulls. This step takes about 5 minutes, but I don’t obsess about removing every hull only the majority of them. As you rub the beans together the skins will rise about the beans. The soy bean hulls are mostly clear but you will be able to see them to remove them.
• Place the soaked and dehulled soybeans in the soymilk maker.
• Add water to the line on the interior of the machine.
• Place the head (white part where the heater and grinder are located) on top of the machine and plug it in.
• Press the button for soymilk and come back when the machine peeps (somewhere between 16 and 19 minutes).
• Remove the machine head and place in the sink.
• Place the wire sieve on top of the provided jug and begin straining the milk. This will need to be done in batches and takes about an hour. You will need to empty the sieve once or twice during the straining process.
• While the milk is straining clean the machine head. Use the provided green abrasive pad to clean the metal parts of the machine. This tastes about a minute.
If you have any questions about this machine that I didn’t cover please let me know.