As I posted earlier in my blog, I'm on a mission to reduce or eliminate all aseptic packaging, which is not recyclable here in San Francisco. (Odd, considering we recycle or compost virtually everything else!) The vast majority of our aseptic packaging use came from soymilk and almond milk, which we use a lot. I have now happily replaced all packaged nondairy milks with homemade versions.
Our first soymilk maker, gifted to boyziggy by a friend, didn't work very well, so we invested in a new one, the Soyajoy G3. I used it for the first time yesterday to make batches of soy and almond milk, which came out fine.
Beans and nuts need to be soaked for several hours before grinding into milk. Soybeans swell up quite a bit after nine hours of soaking!
Straining the milk through the included fine-mesh strainer was kind of a pain compared to our last machine, which had a built-in strainer. But that's my only real complaint with this machine so far. I'm currently looking up recipes using the soybean pulp, okara, so that it doesn't go to waste.
Milks can be made raw in this machine, unlike our last one, which I appreciate. Back when I made almond milk with a VitaMix many years ago, I never heated it and it came out fine. Ziggy can't wait to try making Brazilian nut milk next!
I normally prefer unsweetened soy and almond milk, adding sweetener to the recipe if necessary. (I never drink them by the glassful, unless I'm making hot chocolate.) Ziggy prefers sweetened soymilk however, so this morning I made him a batch of vanilla soymilk sweetened with brown rice syrup.
Yay for reducing waste! Ultimately this should save us money as well, especially for soymilk; we can get organic soybeans in bulk locally for under $1.50 a pound. Almonds are considerably more expensive, but my main motivation is reducing waste, not cost.