Soy Milk

Soy milk is the rich creamy milk of whole soybeans. With its unique nutty flavor and rich nutrition, soymilk can be used in a variety of ways.

In China and Japan, fresh soy milk is made daily using a simple, centuries-old process of grinding soaked and cooked soybeans and pressing the dissolved soy milk out of the beans. In these countries, soy milk is sold by street vendors or in cafes. It is served hot or cold and is often sweetened for a delightful beverage or flavored with soy sauce, onion and vegetables to produce a spicy soup.

A faux soymilk can be made from soy flour, or soybeans.

Buying & Storing Soy Milk

Soy milk is sold in supermarkets, health food stores and specialty food shops. It is most commonly found in aseptic (non-refrigerated) quart and 8-ounce containers, but is also sold refrigerated in plastic quart and half-gallon containers.

Unopened, aseptically packaged soymilk can be stored at room temperature for several months. Once it is opened, the soymilk must be refrigerated. It will stay fresh for about 5 days.

Soy milk also is sold as a powder, which must be mixed with water.

Soy milk powder should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Types of Soy Milk

Soy milk is available as a plain, unflavored beverage or in a variety of flavors including chocolate, vanilla, carob and almond. With the growing interest in lower-fat products, a number of “lite” soymilks, with reduced fat content, are appearing on the market.

Nutritional Value of Soy Milk

Plain, unfortified soy milk is an excellent source of high-quality protein, B-vitamins and iron. Some brands of soymilk are fortified with vitamins and minerals and are good sources of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12. Soy milk is free of the milk sugar lactose and is a good choice for people who are lactose intolerant. Also, it is a good alternative for those who are allergic to cow’s milk. Children can enjoy homemade or commercially prepared soymilk after the age of 1 year. Infants under 1 year of age should be fed breast milk, commercially prepared infant formula or commercial soymilk infant formula.

Nutrients in 8 ounces of plain soy milk:

 Regular Soy Milk  Lite Soy Milk (reduced fat)
 Calories (gm)  140  100
 Protein (gm)  10.0  4.0
 Fat (gm)  4.0  2.0
 Carbohydrate (gm)  14.0  16.0
 Sodium  (mg)  120.0  100.0
 Iron (mg)  1.8  0.6
 Riboflavin (mg)  0.1  11.0
 Calcium (mg)  80.0  80.0

Source: product analysis.

Tips For Using Soy Milk

Soymilk can be used in almost any way that cow’s milk is used.

  • Try plain or flavored soymilk as a refreshing drink
  • Pour soymilk over hot or cold breakfast cereal
  • Use soymilk to make cream sauces that are cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat
  • Make rich pancake and waffle mixes
  • Create your own delicious shakes with soymilk, ice cream or tofu and fruit
  • Use soymilk to make cream soups
  • Try soymilk instead of evaporated milk to produce lower-fat custards and pumpkin pies