The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

August 1, 2007

SoyaPower to the People

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!

soy-milk-maker-okara-p1020890Another 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.

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10 years ago

Does this gadget make other plant milks? One of our family members has a soy allergy.

Beth Terry
10 years ago
Reply to  MelissaGraves

Yes, it will make nut milks and other kinds of “milks.”

12 years ago

It sounds like a nice thing to find an alternative to “normal” milk – since I know we’re all consuming way too much dairy and meat – but after hearing that a lot of soy is planted on land that used to be rain forest, I am wondering whether soy milk is actually an environmentally friendly alternative.
I’ve switched to milk-like products based on oat and spelt for that reason (not rice, though, because of all the methane that, I’m told, is emitted in the process of growing it), but haven’t found any plastic-free way to purchase it. I tried to make my own, since the ingredients seem simple enough, but haven’t quite succeeded yet.

13 years ago

This is a pretty old thread… BUT… in case you still haven’t found any uses for the okara…. you need to check this out:

Beth Terry
14 years ago

Hi Tanya. I never really did find a good use for the okara. It does seem like a waste, doesn’t it?

8 years ago
Reply to  Beth Terry

I recently made my first batch of soy milk (without a machine) and used the okara the next morning as a thickener for an omelet. I scrambed the okara and eggs together before pouring it into the pan. It came out nice and fluffy! :)

Tanya Seaman
14 years ago

You mentioned in an article about your coffee-making system that you don’t like to make soy milk because it’s hard to clean your soy-milk maker. I had the same feeling about using mine (SoyaToy), and so I ran it without the heating cycle and heated it afterward on the stove. I don’t know if your has this option? But it meant that the filter cup didn’t get all gummy. I also have made it with other beans, my favorite being garbanzo. (You get a really creamy, yogurty texture with these.) I also double-batch it because I think the standard recipe is too watered-down. Unfortunately, my preference is still for store-bought soy milk, and they don’t recycle the containers in Philly…

Did you every find a good use for the okara? I couldn’t find a way that disguised the grittiness.

15 years ago

Recipe for hummus: 15 oz. garbanzos-cooked, canned or fresh. 1/4 c tahini (sesame paste). 1/4 c lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon). 1/4c veg. broth or water. 2-3 cloves of garlic, coursely chopped. 1 tsp cumin. Salt and pepper to taste. Few drops of Tabasco (optional). 1/4 c olive oil.
Put everything except olive oil into food processor or blender, blend until smooth. Add olive oil slowly through opening in top. If you’d like to add your soy stuff, either adjust seasonings or use less garbanzo beans. Enjoy with grilled pita. Warning: This recipe will be much better than the store bought!!

15 years ago
Beth Terry
16 years ago

What brand is the other guy’s machine?

Least Footprint
16 years ago

We use the other guys Soy Milk machine and it works very well too. I always throw in a little bit of brown rice when I make the milk and it adds just a touch of sweetness. After it has finished I then add a T. of agave nectar and a t. of vanilla since my wife likes it sweet like the store bought. It is a lot cheaper than buying the aseptic cartons of milk in the store.

First time I bought soybeans I filled up a huge glass jar full and then discovered how few beans it actually takes to make the milk. Fortunately the dried beans last a long time.

I tried to avoid the soaking time, by preparing a bunch of beans ahead and then freezing them. It was much more convenient but the milk just didn’t taste the same. I don’t recommend it. Fresh is best.

Beth Terry
16 years ago

We buy our dried soybeans in bulk from a local natural foods store, Berkeley Bowl, in (where else?) Berkeley, CA. Do you have a store in your area that sells bulk beans, rice, nuts, etc.?

Alternatively, you can order soy beans online from this site:

The soy beans that they sell are from a small family farm and are non-GMO. They sell 10 pounds for $8.00. That’s a lot cheaper than buying soy milk from the store. To make 1 batch of soy milk, you only need about 1/4 of a pound each time.

Stretch Mark Mama
16 years ago

So where do you buy the soybeans?? Are they expensive? We drink all soymilk and probably use 4-6 cartons a week.