Brief history of soy
Mesolithic: No archaeological excavation has confirmed the hypothesis that indicates the period of the first crops of soy beans some 9000 years ago. We assume that soy beans came from central or northern China, perhaps Manchuria.
The art of coagulating soy milk to make tofu goes back to 164 BC. The famous Lord of Liu An-Nan Juai, philosopher, politician, keen on alchemy and Taoist meditation, experimented with soy to introduce a new element in the vegetarian diet of his Taoist friends.
In 1910, in France, a soy milk production unit was created in Paris. The soy bean crop was developed in the West in the early twentieth century. In the US, soy bean cultivation is carried out on a large scale. Soy has conquered the US market and gradually replaced the cotton due to its high oil content (20%).
Today, two thirds of soya bean crops in the US are used to feed pets and livestock, the rest is exported to Japan.
Soy milk and nutrition
Soy beans are simply pressed after cooking to extract a milky substance that can be used in all dishes where one would normally serve as cow’s milk: pastries, smoothies, sauces, custards, soufflés, puddings, etc.
Soy beverages fortified with vitamin A, D, B12, thiamine, zinc, calcium and unsweetened are vegetable drinks that have the most similar nutritional profile with respect to cow’s milk. Indeed, they contain about the same amount of protein, and similar amounts of vitamins and minerals. Since these drinks are made from vegetable ingredients (soy beans) unlike milk that comes from cows, they contain no trans fat, no cholesterol and less sugar (6-7 grams per cup).
Japanese people recover the skin (yuba) that forms the surface of the milk after it has been heated. They consume it or use it to make rice rolls or vegetables. Using a broad, shallow pan, we can recover a good amount of skin. Simply heat the milk after each collection and let it cool five to seven minutes. Remove skin with a wand slipped under the surface and hang it to drip.
Soy milk: a plant milk
In the collective mind, the simple word “milk” often evokes the idea of this whitish liquid generated by the cow. Yet all milk is not necessarily originating from animals.The soy milk picture, particularly popular with vegetarians as a protein source, and especially for vegans because of its vegetable origin.
In fact, soy milk is not even considered a dairy drink, since the drink is obtained by mixing water and soy, the germinated seed. Soy milk has almost identical qualities to cow’s milk. It contains no calcium, no lactose, making it a great alternative for individuals intolerant or allergic to carbohydrate in cow’s milk, for example.
One downside: soy is considered by many as “the other palm oil”, since the crop cultures are intensive and lead to deforestation.
Soy milk: nutritious qualities and benefits
From a nutritional perspective, soy milk and cow’s milk are very similar. If soy milk provides about 40 kcal per 100 ml of beverage, milk, semi-skimmed cow provides about 46. Also, if soy milk contains no lactose or calcium, it provides as much protein as cow’s milk, and several essential amino acids, all without saturated fatty acids, or even cholesterol.
Soy milk is a perfect product for people with elevated cholesterol and who want to continue to drink milk. By helping the body better regulate cholesterol, soy milk also appears to be a good ally against cardiovascular risks.
In addition, soy milk contains phytoestrogens, which may protect women reaching menopause against breast cancer. For these women, soy milk help fight against osteoporosis. But beware: these studies are not yet providing solid evidence that these phytoestrogens are good for the body … Soy milk also slows skin aging.
Soy milk: not recommended for all
Soy milk is not really recommended for children, and men should also monitor their consumption.
If the scientific community does not seem to agree on the real dangers of soy and soy milk on men and children, the fact is that this liquid contains phytoestrogen, like estrogen, this female hormone.
Thus, excessive consumption of soy milk in men and children could lead to hormonal disorders, for example, or early sexual maturation, while the soy milk only consumption in children may lead to some deficiencies.
As if soymilk is deemed to protect women agains breast cancer, if the cancer is already declared, scientists do not know at present if continuing to drink soy milk is harmful or not to the patient.
Soy milk therefore has many advantages for man in general, and especially for women, people with lactose intolerant or vegetarians. However, as with any food, we must learn to consume with moderation.
How to make homemade soy milk?
- 1 litre of water
- 100 g of soy beans
- Before making your soy milk, you must begin by soaking the soy seeds for at least 8 hours (if it’s more, don’t worry, you can put them to soak when you think about it and make soy milk when you want). Soaking softens the soy seeds and starts the process of germination, which increases the nutritional quality of the seeds. Dry soy seeds are almost round, once soaked they look like white beans!
- When the soy seeds have increased in volume, you need to rinse them carefully. For 100 g of dry soy seeds, add 500 ml of water, mix carefully for 1 minute in the blender. Add another 500 ml of water. Mix and blend.
- Cook in a pan for 50 minutes stirring regularly.
- Pour the milk in a nut milk bag and press to remove a maximum of juice.
- Pour the soy milk in a bottle and that’s it.
You get about 1 litre of milk. Leave to cool before serving beautiful recipes!
You can recover the remaining pulp, called okara, for other delicious recipes. Soy milk can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days.