Soy milk is called by many names: soya milk, soymilk, soybean milk and even or soy juice. It’s made by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water. In Asia, where soy milk originated, mostly all natives’ drink freshly made soy milk. Fresh soy milk is widely served in street stands, soy milk shops and restaurants. People there rarely buy any prepackaged, store brand soy milk.
One of the main reasons for drinking fresh soy milk is not only for its great taste but for its healthy nutrients: soy compounds, soy proteins, isoflavones which are said to boost your immune system and help your body fight against cancer, it also contains essential vitamins and powerful antioxidants that help slow down aging. They have been found to increase bone density and strengthen the immune system. Adequate soy protein has been proven to lower and stabilize cholesterol levels and can be effective in preventing heart disease. Natural soy isoflavones have also been proven to help menopausal symptoms for women, and soy promotes good prostate health for men.
Please keep in mind that the term fresh means just that. The nutritional value of store-bought soy milk is never as good as freshly made soy milk. That’s another reason people in Asia don’t buy prepackaged soy milk. Fresh soy milk is rich in protein, and contains soluble fiber. In addition to being cholesterol-free, studies have shown that a diet including fresh soymilk actually helps lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, while leaving HDL (good) cholesterol unaffected. Many people who are lactose intolerant use soy milk as an alternative because its properties are close to cow’s milk.
Fresh soy milk can be made at home in a short time period so feel free to try this recipe for making soy milk:
- 1. Prepare the Soybeans
- Clean 1 cup whole soybeans under running water. Remove debris or damaged soybeans.
- Soak the soybeans overnight in a bowl or other container in enough water to cover them.
- Drain and rinse the soybeans in a colander.
- 2. Make the Soy Milk
- Grind the soybeans in a blender with just enough water to cover them until well blended, about 3 minutes.
- Filter the mixture through a cheesecloth or linen towel, saving the liquid in a bowl.
- Pour the mixture into a pot on the stove and add one quart of water.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Turn it down to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Keep stirring.
- This is the soy milk. (keep refrigerated)
So the next time you reach for breakfast milk for your cereal, try some fresh soy milk, your body will thank you and you will reap the benefits.