Soy milk isn't just for vegans and vegetarians any more! This plant-based milk alternative has become incredibly popular in recent decades for those craving the consistency of milk without its lactose and fat content. Read up on all the nutritional pros and cons of this beverage below.
- ...is rich in heart-healthy fatty acids.In terms of fat content, soy drink is in the golden mean between whole milk (3.5 percent) and low-fat milk (1.5 percent) with an average of about 2 percent fat. However unlike cow's milk, the fat in soy milk consists mainly of unsaturated fatty acids, which have a positive effect on the heart and circulation.
- ...is great for vegans.Soy milk is similar in consistency to cow's milk and can be used in just as many ways, but is purely vegetable-based and guaranteed vegan.
- ...helps protect the heart.Unlike cow's milk, soy milk contains no cholesterol. This is especially beneficial for those who already have an elevated blood fat level or a cardiovascular disease and need to limit their cholesterol intake.
- ...comes in calcium-enriched varieties.Soy milk doesn’t have naturally occurring calcium like cow’s milk, however many varieties available in the store today have been enriched with this tooth and bone-strengthening mineral.
- ...contains protein.Although cow’s milk contains considerably more protein, most varieties of soy milk contain a notable serving of protein as well.
- ...shouldn't be consumed if you suffer from gout.Like almost all products made from soybeans, soy milk contains many purines, which are not good people with increased uric acid levels or gout.
- ...can cause allergic reactions in some.If you’re allergic to soy, make sure not to consume soy milk.
What you should know about soy milk
Soy milk isn't produced in the barn, but by pressing soy beans into soy oil. The by-product of this process is the so-called press cake, which is boiled with water to produce the soy milk.
As early as the Chinese Han Dynasty (164 B.C.), soy milk was known as a healthy thirst quencher and the basis for products such as tofu.
For real milk fans, soy milk takes some getting used to. Soy milk has a lighter texture than cow's milk and a slightly sweet, mild flavor. Soy milk often comes in flavored varieties as well, such as vanilla, to add even more sweetness.
Our Favorite Recipes With Soy Milk
Find all our recipes with soy milk here.
How Healthy is Soy Milk?
It's an eternal question: is soy milk healthier than cow's milk? It turns out the question is relatively complicated. In some ways, cow's milk is better for you, with more protein than soy milk and essential vitamins like B12, which soy milk doesn't contain.
However there is also a long list of why soy milk is better for you than cown's milk. Soy milk contains less fat than cow's milk, for one, with an average of 2% fat, as opposed to 3.5% from whole milk. However unlike cow's milk, the fat in soy milk consists mainly of unsaturated fatty acids, which have a positive effect on the heart and circulation. Soy milk also contains numerous vitamins and minerals not present in cow's milk, such as folic acid, of which it contins 4 times the amount found in cow's milk, and healthy plant substances such as saponins and flavonoids. Soy milk is also a great cow's milk substitute for those with high blood fat levels, as soy milk contains no cholesterol, and for those with lactose intolerances as well, as soy milk contains no lactose.
|SOY MILK NUTRITIONAL INFO (UNSWEETENED) (100 ML)|
Shopping and Cooking Tips
Today most grocery stores boast a ton of different varieties of soy milk. You can find unsweetened or flavored varieties like vanilla and hazelnut, which are great in the morning with coffee or cereal, or varieities enriched with various nutrients including calcium and protein. Soy milk enriched with calcium is the closest thing to real milk. But if you value naturalness and eat a lot of cheese, nuts, yoghurt and green vegetables, you don't necessarily need the addition of this mineral, which is so important for the bones. There are also lower-fat varieties available as well. Which kind you purchase really depends on your taste preferences and what you're using the soy milk for. Always check a recipe if you're cooking with soy milk to see if there is any specific variety you should purchase.
Ultra-high heated soy milk can be stored for up to about a year without refrigeration. Of course you should take the best before date into account. Once opened, however, the soy milk must be stored in the refrigerator just like cow's milk, where it will remain fresh for about a week.
What to Make With Soy Milk
You can easily make soy milk yourself. Simply soak 100 grams of soy beans in water overnight, then drain and puree with 330 millilitres of fresh water until you get a fine mash. Next bring 670 millilitres of water to boil in a large pot, stir in the soy mash, and let everything simmer for ten minutes at low heat. Remove from the heat and let it cool down, then hen line a sieve with a clean cheese cloth or thing cotton kitchen towel and hang it over a bowl. Add mixture and drain. Finally, pour 250 millilitres of cold water into the sieve and wring the cloth over the bowl well. The resulting mixture is delicious, homemade soy milk.
Whether bought or home-made, soy milk can be used as a substitute for cow's milk in virtually any recipe. Soy milk makes a delicious base for desserts like shakes, ice creams, puddings and even pastries. It also tastes delicious when paired with your morning cereal, or even in savory dishes like soups.