Makes about 5 cups.
Sort through the dried soybeans for any discolored, cracked, or damaged beans. Place the beans in a colander and rinse with water. Combine the soybeans and 21/2 cups of the water in a bowl. Cover with a clean cotton towel and soak overnight.
The next day, heat 6 cups of water in a 4-quart saucepan until almost boiling. Drain the soaked soybeans in a colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. Rinse the beans. Transfer 1/2 cup of the soybeans and 1 cup of the heated water to a blender or food processor, covering any openings to avoid splashing the hot liquid. Blend about one minute until beans are fine particles and the water becomes milky.
Pour the soybean mixture into a large bowl. Repeat until all of the soybeans are blended. If any hot water remains, stir it into the soybean mixture.
Line the colander with a double layer of cheesecloth and place it in the 4-quart saucepan. Pour the soybean mixture into the colander. Allow to cool. Gather the cheesecloth corners and twist around the soybean pulp mixture. Press a large spoon against the cheesecloth to extract any remaining liquid. Remove the colander and soybean pulp; the pulp can be added to other recipes just like tofu, or composted.
Heat the soy milk to boiling, stirring often to prevent burning. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Allow the liquid to cool; sweeten if desired. Pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate. The soy milk will keep in the refrigerator for about five days; it may also be frozen for one month.
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