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Making your own soy milk, and both standard and soy yogurts

I want to talk about three things in this little article. These are all things that have been known about by lots of people, but not by most people, and generally not all found in the same place. I’ll start by telling you how milk yogurt is made by me at least; and I’m lazy and like to do as little work as possible. In part 2 I’ll tell you how to make soy yogurt, and the milk it’s made from.

 

Moo Yogurt (Or Baa)

 

Ingredients needed

 

Thermos bottle

(vacuum flask) as wide a mouth as you can find

Milk

cow or goat, preferably not that low-fat stuff.

Powdered milk

if you wish a thicker yogurt.

A yogurt starter

(just plain unflavored, not vanilla yogurt from the store. I usually use Greek culture because I admire Socrates.)

 

Procedure:

pour a pint or more of milk into a sauce pan, place over low heat. Stir frequently till it heats to about body temperature. If you have a thermometer, 95 F or 35 C is good, but you can use your sense of touch to test that it’s not really not nor cold. Think tepid bathtub, or baby bottle.

When desired temperature has been achieved, fill your thermos with hot water from the tap to preheat.

Stir a couple of table spoons of your starter yogurt into your warm milk. This is harder to do than one expects. A bit of spoon work is wanted.

Now pour the water out of the thermos and the milk and yogurt mixture in. Screw the lid on tightly. I like to wrap the thermos in a bath towel for further insulation. Put it on a counter or in some other warm place and leave it alone! Overnight or even 24 hours if you wish. If you live in a cold climate, you can set it on top of the water heater or on top of your fridge. Let it sit overnight.

(Note If you want thicker yogurt, a few tablespoons of powdered milk can be stirred into the whole milk prior to heating.)

That should be all. By morning, the yogurt should be a smooth, fairly solid mass.

You need no special thermostatic yogurt maker or mail order starters. Slice in a peach or throw in some raspberries and you’ll have something just as good and a lot cheaper than those syrupy 5-ounce tubs they sell in the store.

 

Soy Milk and Soy Yogurt

I recently found that I could do exactly the same thing with soy milk. I don’t like soy yogurt as well as I like cow or goat yogurt but I’m choosing at this time to stay away from dairy products so here is how I make soy milk.

 

Ingredients needed:

 

4 ounces (around a half cup) of raw soy beans.

Look for them at an health food store, co-op or ask a local feed store if they can provide them.

Blender

Sauce pan

Nylon stocking, knee length

You can get them at your grocer’s in boxes of five pairs or something and they’re useful for lots of things. You can even wear them if you want!

Procedure:

Place a half cup of beans into a large bowl or pan and fill with cold tap water. Let stand for at least 8 hours. After this time, drain water off of beans and let that go down the drain or into the flower bed. I use a colander.

Place soaked, drained beans into your blender, fill to near the lip with cold water, put on the lid and process until you have something smooth and relatively thick. Sometimes it takes a while and you may want to use a spatula from time to time (with blender turned off) to move unprocessed chunks toward the bottom of the blender jar.

When you judge it’s done, move your bean slurry off the blender stand, take your magic knee sock and stretch it over the open mouth of the jar. Holding with one hand, tip the jar over your sauce pan. With the other, shake the jar a bit, try to coax all of the slurry down into the stocking.

Remove the sock from the jar and hold the stocking shut, twisting it is good. From here on it’s a process of kneading, gently squeezing the mash within the stocking to get the bean juice out of the pulp. This takes a little while but is sort of transcendental and even a little bit sexy so it can stand in for yoga or meditation or something.

When you have the pulp inside the stocking at a consistency about like homemade salt clay, put the sauce pan on about medium heat and cover. Turn the stocking inside out and dump the bean leavings into a bowl. Now run, go feed that to your chickens. (I did tell you to buy chickens did I not?)

Bring the virgin soy milk to a gentle boil and continue cooking for ten minutes. This will kill off some unwanted organisms and lessen the amount of gas you might experience on drinking the stuff. When done you can pour the now “experienced” soy milk into a jar or pitcher and refrigerate. It’s funny how foamy it is at first.

Should you want to make soy yogurt, cool it to body temperature and follow the yogurt recipe above including the starter. Soy yogurt is good in veggie stroganoff, or mixed with dry onion soup mix as a dip for baked corn chips.

A caveat:

Soy is controversial. It does contain phyto or plant estrogens, chemicals which mimic the female hormone that some of us manufacture independently. Like regular estrogen, the plant type has been accused of causing certain kinds of cancer and it may contribute to infertility in males. I tell women to use soy or flax seed meal in their bread because it will cause their husbands to talk with them more freely but I’m joking—-mostly. As with everything else, it’s probably best to use soy in moderation. A serving or two per day perhaps.