My SoyaPower soy milk maker arrived today, and I made my first batch of homemade soy milk tonight. (The dried soy beans have to soak for 8-10 hours, so I put them in water this morning and made the soy milk when I came home.) This is a magical piece of kitchen equipment. You put in water and the soaked beans, press a button, and 15-20 minutes later, you have soy milk. And it tastes good. And the texture is smooth. After it cools, you can add sweetener or any other flavors you want. But actually, I tasted the unsweetened soy milk tonight, and I have to say it’s quite refreshing without anything else added.
Okay, so you want to know about the plastic and the packaging? That, after all, is what we’re here for, right? First the good news. Sanlinx, Inc ships the soy milk maker in its own box, so there is no extra packaging. Inside the box holding the machine in place are molded paper pulp forms rather than styrofoam.
Now, the plastic news. Plastic inside the box includes: a plastic bag covering the machine, plastic coating on the outside of the machine itself (more on that below), a plastic zip-lock bag containing a nylon scrubber and plastic brush for cleaning the machine, a starter supply of soy beans in a plastic bag, a plastic measuring cup, and a plastic drip pan inside a plastic bag. Some of the accessories are nice but unnecessary for me. I wish instead of automatically including these things, Sanlinx would list them as options. I don’t need a plastic measuring cup or scrubber or even the beans. I already bought beans in anticipation of the new machine.
And okay, I did have a choice between the machine with plastic coating on the outside and the one with bare stainless steel. The plastic coating keeps the machine cool to the touch, unlike the regular SoyaJoy machine whose bare stainless steel gets very hot. I chose safety and convenience over plastic-conservation this time. I’m rationalizing by weighing this amount of plastic against all the packaging I’ll be saving: at least 52 plastic-coated cardboard cartons and plastic caps per year!
Another nice thing about using the soy milk maker is that in addition to soy milk, you also get okara, which is the leftover soy bean fiber. The okara can be used in all kinds of recipes, from veggie burgers to breads or cakes. I’m actually wondering if I could use it to make a hummus-like spread for us, if I could only figure out how to make it taste like Haig’s, the best hummus in the world.