Saturday, January 17, 2009

nut and soy milks

I was considering making soy milk today because I want to make turnip or rhutabaga puree soon.  But I'm not the biggest fan of soy milk so I thought I'd make a nut milk instead and then make hot chocolate for house-mate, who is feeling under the weather.  I figure I have three options when a recipe calls for soy milk.  
1.  make soy milk with my soyquick soy milk maker (add some dates to give it a touch of sweetness).
2.  make nut milk with same machine.
3.  make cashew milk by blending some cashews and water in the vita-mix. 

The latter takes less time, has less cleanup, is more flexible on amount made, has the best taste and texture (most creamy), and costs less (than option 2, probably costs a lot more than option 1).  That is the conclusion of this post, but here is what I did:  I did option 2.  I didn't want to make almond milk because you are supposed to soak and blanche and resoak for hours and hours.  Too much work.   So I decided to make nut milk with the soyquick machine, and just use some other nuts that are soft and don't need soaking.  The manual calls for 2 cups of nuts.  Wo, 2 cups of raw organic nuts and seeds is a bit pricey.  I didn't have 2 cups of any one nut so I used a mixture of cashews, pecans, and pumpkin seeds (all raw).  All you get out of that is 32 oz of milk, and a lot of nut pulp that you throw out (or compost).   Anyway, I made the nut milk, and it was not white because of the mixture I used but I don't care about that.  I added 3 dates by the way.  The nut milk did taste good, though there was pulp in it.  I drank a large, warm, mug of it with 2 tsp of date sugar and raw carob powder and it was very yummy.  But, I could have made the same amount of cashew (or the same mixture I used) milk in the vita-mix with fewer nuts and no pulp---essentially it is using all the nuts in the milk, and it blends so thoroughly that it is much more creamy and is less pulpy than my drained nut milk from the soyquick machine.  I made hot cocoa this way once and it was the best I've ever had. 

So my take-away message is, when I want soymilk, the soyquick maker is good to use and is pretty easy to clean up, and is very cheap.  It makes over 32 oz so I have to plan to use it over the next several days, which is easily accomplished.  But if I just need a milk-like substance and maybe I only need 8 oz, I'll just blend up some cashews and water in the vita-mix.  I'm not a fan of nutmilks made in the soymilk machine because it's expensive and wasteful (all the good nut pulp going to waste) and not as good as vita-mix cashew milk.


Mary said...

Dear Barb: Wow, what a pretty picture of your salad with the beet dressing on it. Another hint re: baking beets: wrap them in aluminum foil, to keep the heat and moisture in (if you didn't already do that). As for effects of eliminating dairy from my diet: I think I'm feeling more energetic and healthier, but I'd rather wait another couple of weeks and see what happens. You've inspired me to make a fresh batch of soymilk for the week with my SoyaBella machine. I agree, I really could not drink soymilk all by itself, instead, I use it as whitener for coffee, or a little bit on hot cereals, such as oatmeal or Scottish oatmeal, or, even, farina. Yes, it's fun to blog!
P.S. On WordPress, seems I have to "approve" comments before they get posted!

kneecap said...

Hi Mary, thanks for the beet tip of using the foil. I'll try that next time. Do you do that with sweet potatoes too? I just throw them in but maybe I should try the foil there too.

Howard Veit said...


Where would I get a SoyaBella?

I try not to wrap things in aluminum foil. Aluminum has been associated with dementia and alzheimer's disease. There is apparently a link between these diseases and aluminum content in the blood.


Howard Veit said...


One other thing. I am going to try making almond milk with the Vitamix. I'll tell you how it goes. It has got to taste better homemade than the kind you buy.

kneecap said...

Hi Howard,

1) Mary uses the Soyabella, you can ask her where she got it. I use the SoyQuick 930P which you can get from here:
or from
I have no idea which is better. Susan at was raving about the SoyQuick so I went with that. You can ask Mary at
where she got her Soyabella.

2) thanks for the tip about foil. is there evidence that the aluminum leaches off the foil onto the food?

3) good idea about almond milk in the vita-mix. I think it will work better than the soymilk maker because it grinds the nuts more finely. You might have to strain the milk but I have to do that with my soy milk too so no big deal.

Howard Veit said...

I just pulled this from the Alzheimer's Association website. Guess the link between aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease is unproben. Something to think about though. Yes, I read somewhere that the aluminum foil leaches into the food. I may have read this on McDougall's website. I'll let you know if I get more information.

"A number of environmental factors have been put forward as possible contributory causes of Alzheimer's disease in some people. Among these is aluminium. There is circumstantial evidence linking this metal with Alzheimer's disease, but no causal relationship has yet been proved. As evidence for other causes continues to grow, a possible link with aluminium seems increasingly unlikely. This factsheet looks at the circumstantial evidence and current medical and scientific views."

My wife is not big on lots of gadgets in the kitchen, so I'll probably exhaust the possibilities with the Vitamix before venturing into other cooking play things.