Andy and I recently ordered a soymilk maker, and we have been busy milking ever since.
We ordered a SoyLove from Nature's Wonderland, pretty much only because the seeming favourite of the blogworld, the SoyQuick Premier, is no longer for sale in Australia (which is a shame, because it sounds pretty magical). The SoyLove has a basket, into which you put the beans or grains for milking, and a big basin of water. It simply heats the water, cooking the beans, and then grinds them so finely that they make their way out of the fine mesh basket and into the liquid, becoming milk. The whole thing takes 30 minutes.
We are still new to this and are still working out recipes, but our favourites so far involve soy beans, some almonds, and something else fatty like coconut or sesame seeds. As we progress with our milking skills, I will post recipes on this blog.
One of the exciting side-features of a soymilk maker is the ability to make tofu. You simply make a watery batch of soymilk, and add coagulant. The milk separates into curds & whey (Miss Muppet would appreciate that).
Then you simply scoop out the curds.
Put them into a tofu press (which came free with our SoyLove) lined with cheesecloth.
For firm tofu, press some more.
When you take it out, it will be nice and compact.
Perfect for marinating and baking.
The other side effect of the soymilk maker is okara. This is the highly nutritious soybean pulp that you strain out of the milk (which I didn't even realise you had to do at first, since it isn't in the shonky Korean-translated instructions. That first batch was a *thick* 1.5 litres). We had the bright idea to experiment with okara recipes, without actually following recipes. This was a bad idea. I made okara meatballs by adding gluten flour and some flavourings, and they were mushy-chewy-stringy and not nice at all. Matt Preston would have thrown it on the ground, but when the ad break finished he still wouldn't have had anything nice to say about it.
However, Andy added a bunch of okara to some burrito filling, which made it creamy but didn't add any kind of flavour or grainy texture.
We have since copied several okara recipes from various blogs and I will let you know how we go as we try them out.
We haven't found a perfect batch of soymilk yet, but at less than 50 cents for a 1.5 litre batch, we are going to keep experimenting until we find one that Andy finds acceptable in tea.