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Seed and Nut Milk Recipes
Soy Milk Recipes
Seed & Nut Milk and Soy Milk Culture-Products
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Seed & Nut milk [SNM] is a nutritious non-dairy milk, a rich source of essential fatty acids, protein, vitamins, minerals and trace elements or micro-nutrients. Soy milk may also be of some value in the diet, but only if the soy milk is prepared correctly.
One of the main reasons for the soy milk recipe explained here, is to explain the making of soy milk in the proper, traditional manner, which has stood up to the test of time in China and other parts of Asia. I have came across many articles especially on the internet that suggest recipes for soy milk that are quite dangerous and bad for health, due to little knowledge or know-how involved in this particular art that some folks were keen to freely share. Good intension is not always enough, and combined with little knowledge is dangerous. Many recipes I discovered did not include the cooking step, which is an important essential process in delivering soy milk not simply more palatable, but safe for consumption. When preparing soy milk, it is essential to cook the milk well to render soy milk digestible and safe for consumption.
Cooking destroys Trypsin inhibitors including Phytates found in soy beans. These natural occurring chemicals lock or inhibit digestion of nutrients including minerals. These and similar compounds are also found in other legumes [blazing saddle lifters], and phytates are also found in the bran of cereal grains and some seeds and nuts. When using the hot water extraction method for preparing soy milk [explained on this page], cooking time is reduced to 10 minutes, which should be sufficient to denature inhibitors found in soy beans. If ever choosing to prepare soy milk with the cold water extraction, simmering the milk for 20 minutes as the final step, prior to consumption--- is a must-do!
Asian cultures have used soybeans for thousands of years but through accumulated knowledge, have discovered procedures to eliminate these limiting, or unwanted factors of the soybean. Apart from correct cooking methods for preparing soy milk, the fermentation of soy beans to produce cultured food-products such as Tempeh, Miso, Natto and Soy sauce including sufu and others, also denatures inhibiting and undesirable compounds, so that the nutrient-locking and enzyme inhibitors are eliminated in the final product. This is where soy milk kefir, soy yogurt or soy viili may be of further value over fresh soy milk, due to fermentation rendering a probiotic source, and in the case with kefir fermentation, is also rich in antioxidant, one that is easily absorbed by both body, and brain cells. This is of practical use for protecting the body including brain cells against mutagenic activity and oxidative damage, which cause cancer and disease of the brain such as Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease etc. In recent research, both dairy milk-kefir and soymilk-kefir [including rice milk-kefir] demonstrated significantly greater anti mutagenic activity than fresh milk and fresh soy milk.[1-2] These are now classified among the more promising functional foods, as a source of good nutrition and preventative against disease.
There appears to be controversy regarding the benefits of soy. Research has found soy contains certain plant-derived hormone-like or hormone-mimicking compounds which to a degree may assist health by preventing certain types of cancer. While other research suggests that these compounds have also been found to help alleviate symptoms associated with menopause. In the fermented soy bean curd product sufu, special peptides of sufu have shown to have anti oxidative and angiotensin I-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitory action. ACE inhibitory peptides are considered to be useful for preventing hypertension, or high blood pressure. The soy-isoflavones or phyto-estrogens [plant derived estrogen-like compounds], since being hormone-like in action, appears to be what most of the recent concern or controversy is based on. However, there is little research to suggest soy products prepared in the true, traditional manner especially in a fermented state, and consumed in moderation, is of any health concern, but quite to the contrary, I would think.
Today however, soy products found in commercial foods in the western world, are not prepared in the traditional manner, the latter of which has been in existence for over 4,000 years in China. The Chinese, Korean and Japanese cultures prepare and comsume soy in many forms, but with much accumulated knowledge especially the knowledge of Monks put into place, is mostly if not completely overlooked by today's Western soy processing industry especially. Monks of many centuries ago, did not focus on the many ways of extensively fermenting soybeans by shear chance, but by careful design through good observation and clear insight that practices such as extensive fasting, most certainly qualified those well disciplined Monks of yesteryear in China, to reach their well earned conclusions.
SNM and Soy milk are produced by extraction or the emulsification of seeds, nuts or the soy legume with water. This is achieved by grinding or blending the seeds, nuts or soaked soy beans with hot or cold water. The milk is then separated by straining through cloth. Emulsifying may be performed with a Mortar and Pestle by hand, or, with an electric food blender or food processor with hot, or cold water. Making small quantities by pounding the raw ingredients with a Mortar and Pestle [Suribachi and Surikogi in Japanese] is quite simple to do, and is good physical exercise. If making more than 1 litre [1.9 pints or 4 cups] batches of milk, then the electric food blender method is recommended, yielding a nutritious milk with little effort.
Explained below are two methods for preparing vegetable milks. Note that only the blender and hot water extraction method is explained for soy milk, although soy milk could be prepared with the Mortar and Pestle method by substituting the seed and nuts for soaked soy beans in the recipe explained for seed and nut milk below.
At all times it is highly reccommended and best to use Non Genetically Modified, Certified Organically grown food produce.
There is general consensus that we need dairy products such as milk in our diet as an important source of calcium. Much money is spent in advertising by the dairy industry to push this point. Although, there are alternative sources for the essential elemental metal calcium, [yes, calcium is an actual metal]. Some foods in the vegetable kingdom are very rich in calcium. Whole sesame seeds e.g., are one of the richest source of calcium. Whole [un-hulled] sesame seeds contain about 1.2 grams of calcium per 100gm. Although the form of calcium in whole sesame seed hulls is not well assimilated [very low bio-availability]. This is because it is found as Calcium oxalate, the oxalate binds the calcium so the calcium can not be utilized or absorbed through digestion. This limitation may be improved by preparing Seed & Nut Cheese or culturing kefir or yogurt or viili from milk or paste made from un-hulled sesame seeds. This is also partially true for dairy milk, in that kefir or yogurt made from dairy milk, renders the native form of calcium of dairy milk, into a more bio-available form. Any of these culture food-products prepared with Seed & Nut Milk, or Soy milk are also a probiotic source. Almonds are also rich in calcium while pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. The vegetable-based milks prepared from seeds and nuts, contain important fatty acids, which may help to lower the bad blood cholesterol levels if consumed accordingly. And not forgetting the golden rule-- Everything in moderation [even moderation:-] As a matter of fact, this saying inspired me to compose a song titled, What more [can I ask for].
Gomashio-- Un-hulled Sesame seeds toasted at high temperature with unrefined sea salt to produce the aromatic condiment, often used as a substitute for sea salt in Japan.
In a certain part of Japan where a diet considerably high in sodium is consumed in the form of sea salt, coronary heart disease among the population is virtually non existent. Whole sesame seeds are an essential part of the diet. Sesame seeds are used in certain fermented foods and also consumed as a condiment known as Gomashio. Gomashio is prepared by toasting whole, un-hulled sesame seeds together with unrefined sea salt at a very high temperature. Toasting un-hulled sesame seeds at high temperatures may improve the assimilation of calcium by denaturing the calcium-binding compound oxalate, because the native calcium in un-hulled sesame seed is calcium oxalate. Chlorine is released during toasting raw, unrefined sea salt at high temperatures. This may cause a chemical reaction, converting a portion of calcium oxalate found in the sesame seed hulls to calcium chloride. There may also be a conversion of some calcium oxalate to calcium carbonate. This may be the reason for rendering Gomashio into a more bio-available calcium profile in comparison to the native calcium oxalate found in the hulls of un-hulled sesame seeds.
The people of this part of Japan are also known to enjoy fermented small dry, raw, whole salted fish. The tiny bones of salt-preserved dry fish are rich in calcium. As well as the role of potassium, an adequate intake of calcium is believed to be essential in the protection against the harmful effects of high sodium intake [sea salt], health of the arteries and bone density. Sodium intake increases calcium losses with 5 to 10mg of calcium lost with each gram of salt eaten. It is believed that reducing sodium intake can reduce calcium losses, however, increasing calcium intake may have a protective effect against excess sodium intake.
The amino acid profile [peptides] of fermented foods including salted fish, may also play an important role in the prevention against harmful effects of high sodium intake, or at least in the prevention of hypertension [high blood pressure]. The populous of this particular area of Japan, enjoy a wide variety of natural salt-pickled vegetables. Most importantly, eating whole foods which contain limiting factors such as the case with whole sesame seeds including soy beans, but through accumulated knowledge, has a distinctive advantage in achieving a healthy outcome for the general populous who put the knowledge into practice.
The Role of a Healthy Gastro Intestinal Microflora may Reflect the Health of the Cardiovascular System.
There may also be another important factor, and that is the function of the microfloral makeup of the Gastro intestinal [GI] tract of folks in that particular part of Japan. There is little doubt in my mind, that a healthy GI microflora gives some protection against the harmful effects of high sodium intake on the health of arteries and the heart. The GI microflora can be influenced by the intake of culture food-products, such as salted fish and culture-vegetables. To extend on this, kefir fermented seed and nut milk and soy milk kefir inclusive, fit in this category.
The protective role of soil micro-organisms against Soil and Underground Water Salinity AND the health of a GI Microflora and the protection against Artery and Heart Disease. Do these have anything in common? These share some common ground-- the effects of micro-organisms on sodium, or do they?
To bring light on the importance of a healthy GI microflora and the prevention of the ill effects of high sodium intake, I shall mention another area, and out of all things, increase salinity of our Australia waters and soil, in the essential farming land of the River Murray Basin.
Since the colonisation of white man in Australia over the past 150 years, and the clearing of land of native fauna which included large Eucalyptus trees [native Gum trees] growing along the river Murray, water and soil salinity in this area has reached dangerously high levels where a growing portion of farming land along the river Murray is no longer unusable for farming. Part of a team of scientists appointed the job of evaluating this problem and reporting their findings to the Government, observed and explained a very important finding [which has been overlooked by the previous Government, and the current Government so far has not considered the value of this important finding thus far]. Until that point in time, there was and still is in fact, an accepted theory that believes soil salinity has risen in these areas, solely due to land clearing of native fauna to create farming land along the River Murray. It is thought that the large Eucalyptus trees and other native fauna that existed before land clearing, tapped a root infrastructure that reached into the underground water supply [in the Murray-Darling Basin]. It is believed that this kept the water table of underground salty water deeper underground, so it did not get a chance to rise close to the surface, otherwise bringing or depositing salt on the top soil.
However, a number of those very scientists observed an important finding. They found areas where land is heavily mulched with organic matter, and which did not have tree populations [farming land], the soil INCLUDING the underground water supply, is not effected by high salinity, but to the contrary. The underground water and top soil was found to be quite healthy-- drinkable water and suitable fertile soil. Adjacent properties not only had salty top soil where in many areas nothing can grow, the underground water is also considerably salty, undrinkable in fact. The conclusion is, it is not the clearing of land of native fauna that solely controls salinity by controlling underground water levels, but the soil microflora created by mulch, being the major contributing factor in controlling soil and underground water salinity. This finding and a healthy microflora in the GI tract in humans which to some degree, may help control sodium levels in the human body, or the effects of large sodium intake on the human organism, may have a similar mechanism in play, if these do in fact cross paths or share any similarity. It's fodder for thought nevertheless. But I am getting us off track, so back on topic I shall steer, from here :-)
Makes about 4 cups
A large Mortar and Pestle [Granite mortar and pestles, or Suribachi and Surikogi (Japanese), are available from most Asian grocery stores].
Cheese cloth or loosely woven white cotton material used for straining [about 30cm or 12" square or circular].
Large bowl or container to strain the milk into.
Suitable clean bottle to store the finished veggie milk.
12 each raw Almonds, Macadamia and Cashew nuts [try a mixture including Brazil nuts and Walnut, or use a single nut-type].
1 Tbs raw pumpkin seed kernels [raw unsalted Pepitas].
1 Tbs white, black or mixture of raw, un-hulled sesame seeds [de-hulled white sesame seeds are also suitable. Best using un-hulled sesame seed if the milk if going to be made into kefir, yogurt or viili, in order to reduce the mineral-binding oxalate of calcium oxalate. If intending to consume the milk unfermented, then please use only hulled white sesame seed.
1 Tbs raw sunflower seed kernels.
1 Tsp raw honey, or unrefined cane sugar such as rapadura, jaggery, or palm sugar, or malt extract [available through brewing suppliers sometimes sold as maltose, either dry powder or liquid]. Note that including any sweetener is optional.
1 Tsp blackstrap molasses. Optional also but provides essential minerals and vitamins, and can also improve flavour. Good to add if going to make kefir, yogurt of viili from.
3 cups good quality spring water.
- Pound seeds and nuts in Mortar with Pestle to form a smooth, thick, oily paste similar to smooth peanut butter.
- Add about 1/4-cup water and grind till smooth liquid with thick consistency. Slowly add more water, breaking up any lumps that form until about 2 cups of water is added. For a thinner milk, add up to 3 cups water.
- Pour contents into pre-moistened cheese cloth-lined bowl. Collect edges of cloth and lift together to form a bag and then lift bag out of bowl. Twist and squeeze bag by hand to express milk into separate bowl. As demonstrated in the animation above, seeds and nuts can indeed be milked by hand! LOL
- Dissolve honey or sugar and molasses in the milk. [If you're making SNM yogurt, go to SNM yogurt below before adding any sweetener].
The SNM is now ready to serve. SNM may be stored in the refrigerator in a sterile sealed container. It should keep for about 5 days.
Hot or Cold Water Extraction Food Processor Method
Electric food blender or food processor.
About 45cm or 18" square cheese cloth for straining the milk
Large strainer or colander.
Large bowl or container to strain the milk into.
Suitable pre-sterilized bottle to store the finished milk.
12 each raw Almonds, Macadamia and Cashew nuts [try brazil nuts and walnut, or use a single nut-type].
1 Tbs raw pumpkin seed kernels [raw unsalted Pepitas].
1 Tbs white, black or mixture raw, un-hulled sesame seeds [de-hulled white sesame seeds are suitable].
1 Tbs raw sunflower seed kernels.
4 cups water.
1 Tsp honey, or unrefined cane sugar such as rapadura, jaggery, or palm sugar, or liquid malt extract or dry malt extract [from brewing suppliers].
- Add nuts and seeds in an electric blender and pour in 1 cup boiling hot water or cold water.
- Blend for about 1 minute.
- While still blending, slowly add remaining 3 cups hot or cold water, and blend for a further 1 minute.
- Pour liquid into cheese cloth or an opened cloth bag placed in a strainer or colander sitting over the mouth of a wide container.
- Squeeze milk from bag by hand. If using hot water, use a cup or a hand potato masher to press onto the bag to squeeze out hot milk.
- Pour the SNM into a suitable pre-sterilised container, and dissolve sweetener of choice when milk has cooled to about body temperature. [If your making SNM yogurt, follow this step before adding any sweetener].
Store SNM in the refrigerator if not used or consumed right away. It should keep for about 4 to 5 days. Longer keeping time for hot water extraction method.
For SNM Kefir recipe please go here
For SNM Viili recipe please go here
For SNM Yogurt recipe please go here
The following soy milk is prepared with hot water and electric blender or food processor extraction method. This method deactivates some of the unwanted soy enzyme Lipoxygenase and further cooking should eliminate any remaining enzyme that's left in the soy milk. The milk is high quality and nutritious with a nice smooth flavour, containing about 3.5% protein. The soy milk can be either consumed fresh, used as a dairy milk substitute in most recipes, or for preparing Soy milk kefir or Soy milk yogurt or Soy milk viili. If you wish to make tofu from the soy milk do not add any sweetener in step 15 and halt the process at step 13 [updating with a recipe for Tofu when I have time]. It may be wise to consume fresh soy milk in moderation. However it may be consumed on a more regular basis in a fermented form.
Electric food blender or food processor.
About a 20-cup cooking pot.
Strong plastic or stainless steel colander.
12-cup minimum size pot, so colander can sit onto its mouth [that don't sound right!].
Either a white non printed or bleached flour bag, or large white cotton or linen cloth about 45cm X 60cm [18" X 24"], preferably made into a bag.
1 cup dry Organic soy beans.
12 cups water.
1 Tbs each of honey [or sugar] and liquid malt extract [rice malt also sold as rice honey or rice syrup is my personal favourite].
1 Tsp natural soy sauce [tamari or shoyu].
1/3 Tsp molasses [optional but masks the beanie flavour of soy milk while providing essential micro-nutrients].
- Remove any damaged soy beans. Washed soy beans well and discard water.
- Soak beans in 8 cups water over night or for 8 to 10 hours.
- Strain soy beans and put aside in a container.
- Boil 10 cups water and let simmer [cover pot with lid].
- Put one cup soaked soy beans in electric blender with one cup boiling hot water.
- Blend at low speed for 30 seconds then increase speed.
- Slowly add 3 more cups boiling water and blend for a minute longer.
- Pour contents into pre-moistened cotton cloth bag placed in colander [sit colander over the mouth of the 12-cup pot to catch the draining raw soy milk].
- Repeat from step 5 until all beans are blended and poured into bag.
- Press on the bag with a cup to squeeze all the hot soy milk from the bag. You can use a hand potato masher or a large tea cup to press onto the bag against the colander. This is useful if it's too hot squeezing by hand.
- Add enough water to the pressed soy bean fibre [okara] in the bag until it is saturated, then press okara to express excess milk.
- Bring soy milk to slow boil, while continually stirring the bottom of the milk. Be careful for the milk may boil over like dairy milk when reaching close to boil due to saponins [plant glycosides] found in soy beans.
- Simmer for 7 minutes [Note a decrease in foam on surface of the milk due to the denaturing of saponins. Apart from destroying trypsin and other enzyme inhibitors, denaturing of saponins is also important by cooking soy milk before rendered suitable for consumption].
- Place pot in cold water bath to rapid cool the soy milk. If you wish to make soy yogurt or soy viili, stop here and do not add any sweetener.
- Stir in soy sauce, molasses, malt, honey or sugar [please read this note].
That's your soy milk ready and done!
If you're not going to use the soy milk for making kefir, yogurt or viili, you can use either less or no sweetener [step 15].
Note: When sweetening soy milk with lesser refined sweeteners such as malt extract of honey, add the sweetener to cooled soy milk, and NOT to HOT soy milk. Otherwise the soy milk will coagulate! Homemade soy milk is very susceptible to coagulation by certain minerals and pH [Acid or Alkaline]. The risk for coagulation is increased if the milk is hot, as any chemical reaction is more efficient at a higher temperature. This is especially true when adding honey, malt or other less refined sweeteners, so always add these to the soy milk when the milk has cooled to room temperature and no hotter than body temperature.
Below I share a few tips for a few variations of soy milk. You still use the recipe above to make the soy milk, but you prepare the beans first, or you add certain ingredients during, or at the end of the process above. This may either enhance the flavour, or character or the finished soy milk. In general, when trying to make a less beanie flavoured soy milk, one can remove the hulls or skins of the soy beans before emulsifying. The hull contains some of the bitter flavours and also some inhibiting enzymes, so by removing the hulls first has an effect on taste, while some gas forming or digestion inhibiting compounds are either reduced or eliminated. Steaming dry beans prior processing is also a good way to improve the flavour of the finished soy milk. This also helps to inactivate some inhibitors, in turn reduces the cooking time in steps 12 & 13 in the soy milk recipe above.
Creamy rich soy milk
In step 5 blend with 1.5 Tbs of any vegetable oil e.g., olive, soybean, safflower, or sunflower oil etc. Follow the rest of the recipe there on for making your rich, creamy soy milk. When this form of soy milk is refrigerated, you'll notice a layer of cream form on top of the soy milk, similar to non homogenized full cream dairy milk. Just give the container a shake before use.
Sweeter soy milk
After soaking the soy beans in step 2 above, remove the hulls by rubbing the soaked beans in between your hands. Place the whole lot in a deep container or pot and add lots of water. Stir the beans in a circular motion from bottom to top of pot, then run off the water into a strainer to remove the floating hulls. This action will float the hulls away with the draining water. You need to do this a few times until all, or most of the hulls are removed. Now follow the recipe above for making soy milk from step 5.
Advanced less beanie sweeter tasting soy milk
This technique is used before soaking the beans. Remove all damaged soy beans. Place the dry soy beans in a steamer and steam for 20 minutes at atmospheric pressure. To do this, you can use any house hold vegetable steamer, or you can use an Asian bamboo steamer put in a wok filled with a little water.
Now soak the beans as in step 2 then remove the hulls as above in Sweeter tasting soy milk. Now follow the recipe for making soy milk from step 5.
Note The soy milk in step 12 & 13 only needs about 10 minutes cooking because this recipe technique will destroy a portion of trypsin inhibitors etc. found in soy beans. You may get a little less yield than non steamed beans, and that the cloth bag used for straining the milk may clog up easily. This is because the okara [soy fibre] is softened and becomes mushy due to the initial steaming of the dry soy beans. Hey, you can't get anything from nothing except for this information, now, can you? <soy milk grin>
A soy-milk with the lot ... thanks!
OK... here it is! You can also make soy milk with all or a combination of the tips above e.g., first steam the beans, then remove the hulls after soaking in step 2, blend with a little oil in step 5. This makes a very nice creamy soy milk with a sweet, full flavour.
Tips for Flavouring Soy Milk
Vanilla soy milk
Add about half Tsp of natural vanilla essence per litre of soy milk as a starting point. You can even use a natural vanilla pod for flavouring soy milk. Add one 4 hour soaked vanilla pod with soaking water, which is cut into pieces in the cooking steps 12 & 13 then strain the milk to remove the spent pod pieces.
Pandan flavoured soy milk
One of my favourite soy milk flavour is an Asian flavouring called Pandan. It is one of the best flavours to mask soy milk of any bean flavour detectable by fussier taste buds. Pandan comes either as an extract of Pandan leaves, or as fresh dry or frozen leaves sold at Asian grocery stores. Pandan essence comes in green, or clear coloured. If you're like me, a naturalist, you can make your own natural Pandan flavoured soy milk by adding a small leaf in the cooking steps 12 & 13 and then remove the spent leaf by straining.
If you're using Pandan essence, add about 1/8 Tsp to 4 cups of soy milk [if not enough, simply add more]. You only need a very small amount for the essence is quite strong and can overwhelm the soy milk with Pandan flavour. Try adding a smaller amount first. You only need to add enough to enhance flavour.
1 cup SNM.
1 to 2 Tbs milk kefir-grains.
2-cup glass jar with lid.
Add 1 cup SNM with kefir grains in clean 2-cup glass jar. Seal jar but do not seal airtight. Let stand for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. Separate the SNM-kefir from the grains by pouring into a strainer and collect the SNM-kefir as it strains in a suitable container. Put the kefir grains back into the jar after the jar is washed and repeat the process for the next batch.
NOTES: Although to a degree SNM may be cultured with kefir grains, the native medium for milk kefir-grains is in fact any form of "dairy milk". Because of this fact, kefir grains may more than likely cease growing [became non-propagable] when cultured in non-dairy milk on a continuous basis. To work around this limitation, one has a few options. Kefir grains do well in a mixed media consisting of dairy and non-dairy milk e.g., a mixture of 50/50 SNM and dairy milk. Kefir grains do well on a continuous basis when cultured in the above mixed-media. Another option is to culture alternative batches; culturing dairy milk one day and non-dairy milk such as SNM on the following day with the same kefir grains. This can be done on a continual basis.
Another alternative is to use some milk kefir or water kefir as a starter. 2 Tbs of either type of kefir added per cup of SNM left at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours works well. I have tried this in a yogurt incubator with good results, but milk kefir produced better flavour. If you use or have used an artificial powder commercial kefir starter, then the milk kefir used as a starter option is similar to using this type of starter. Even a commercial starter contains some form of dairy element, so unless you are a strict vegan, there is no reason for concern using milk kefir as a starter. Otherwise, use water kefir as your starter.
To prepare SNM yogurt, the SNM and sweetener or fruit of choice must first be sterilized or pasteurised by cooking. Bring SNM to a boil in step 6 of the SNM recipe above, along with the sweetener or fruit. Rapid-cool by placing the pan in a bath of cold water, continuously stirring the SNM and cool milk to 45Â°C [113Â°F]. Add about 1 Tbs of commercial plain yogurt that contains Active Cultures or add yogurt starter as required per cup of SNM. Pour into sterilized jar, seal jar airtight and incubate at 40°C [104Â°F] for about 6 to 12 hours. Similar to soy milk, SNM takes less time to culture than dairy milk.
Variation with fruit
You can also add fresh or dried fruit to prepare SNM yogurt, but any fruit must first be pasteurised by cooking with an amount of water for about 3 minutes. Add all the sweetener with the fruit, then cook for 3 minutes. If the mixture is too dry, add a small amount of water. Cool to 45°C [113°F], then add to the SNM with the yogurt or yogurt starter. Incubate at 40°C [104°F] for about 6 to 12 hours as above.
SNM can also be cultured with viili, to produce a reasonable creamy thick cultured non-dairy milk-product. Prepare SNM as above for yogurt, and let SNM cool to room temperature. In a clean bowl, add 1 Tbs dairy viili and whisk with a fork till the texture is smooth and creamy. Run some viili part way up the sides of the bowl with a clean spoon. Add 1 cup of SNM, cover bowl with waxed paper and let stand for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. You can use some previous SNM viili to prepare about 2 more batches. After this, you must resort to a new batch of dairy viili to prepared more SNM viili. This is because viili organisms need lactose for they have evolved in dairy milk, and SNM does not provide lactose, so the culture has the ability to ferment no more than a few consecutive batches of SNM from the initial SNM viili.
1 cup freshly made soy milk from step 15 in recipe above.
1 to 2 Tbs milk kefir-grains.
2-cup clean glass jar with clean lid.
Add 1 cup soy milk and all the kefir grains in a clean 2-cup glass jar. Place a lid but do not seal the jar airtight, and let stand for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. Strain the soy-kefir from the grains by pouring into a strainer and collect the soy-kefir in a suitable container as it strains. Put the grains back into the jar after the jar is washed and repeat the process for each new batch.
NOTE Although to a degree soy milk may be cultured with kefir grains, the native media for milk kefir-grains is in fact any form of "dairy milk". Because of this fact, kefir grains may more than likely cease growing [became non-propagable] when cultured in non-dairy milk on a continuous basis. To work around this limitation, one has a few options. Kefir grains do well in a mixed media consisting of dairy and non-dairy milk e.g., a mixture of 50/50 soy milk and dairy milk. Kefir grains do well on a continuous basis when cultured in a mixed-media just explained. Another option is to culture alternate batches; culturing dairy milk one day and non-dairy milk such as soy milk on the following day with the same kefir grains.
The other option is to use some freshly strained milk-kefir or water-kefir as a starter for soy milk kefir. 2 Tbs of either type of kefir added per cup of soy milk left at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours works well. I've tried this in a yogurt incubator with good results, but the milk kefir as a starter produced better flavour than water-kefir. If you use a powder commercial kefir starter, then the milk kefir option is very similar to using this type of starter. Even a commercial kefir starter contains some form of dairy element, so unless one is a strict vegan, there should not be a concern about using milk kefir as a starter explained above. Otherwise, use freshly strained water kefir as a starter.
Research shows kefir grain-cultured soy milk kefir contains higher counts of Lactic Acid Bacteria than kefir prepared with dairy milk. While dairy milk-kefir contains a greater proportion of yeasts than soy milk-kefir [J-R Lui, C-W Lin. 2000]. Both soy milk and dairy milk cultured with kefir grains contain a powerful antioxidant, that is easily absorbed by body and brain cells which makes either of these a promising anti-mutagenic and anti-oxidative. This helps in the prevention of cancer and brain cell deterioration that causes diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease including Dementia and a other similar diseases caused by brain cell deterioration..
Je-Ruei Lui, Chin-Wen Lin. Food Microbiology and Safety. Journal of Food Science.  ; 65: 716 -719
Makes 4 cups
4 cups freshly made soy milk straight from step 14 above.
1 Tbs liquid malt extract [rice or barley malt].
About 1/2 cup commercial yogurt or yogurt starter culture.
1 to 2 Tbs lemon juice [any citric juice will do]
Sterilized jars and lids.
Yogurt incubator [or electric blanket as a substitute].
- In the last step 14 above, cool the soy milk to 45°C [113°F].
- Add 2 Tbs of lemon juice or preferred citric juice to 1 Tbs of malt extract in a pot and bring to a boil then rapidly cool to body temperature by placing the pot in a bath of cold water, and then add this to the soy milk.
- Inoculate by mixing in 1/2 cup yogurt or yogurt starter powder according to amount used for regular yogurt.
- Pour the inoculated soy milk into sterilized jars, seal jar airtight and incubate at 40°C [104°F] for about 4 to 8 hours using a yogurt incubator.
The longer you incubate, the more tart or sour it will turn out. Soy milk yogurt takes less time to culture than dairy milk yogurt.
A thicker style soy yogurt
A thicker soy milk yogurt is quite achievable with various ingredients. Adding agar agar powder when cooking the soy milk, in step 12 & 13 above, will produce a nice, thick soy yogurt. Add about 1 small Tsp agar powder, which is first mixed with 1/4 cup water, added in step 12 & 13 above. Cooking the soy milk for the 7 minutes will dissolve the agar, which is crucial. You can also use agar which comes in opaque, flat long or square long pieces from Asian grocery stores. Use a piece about 2cm [about 1.5"] square. You need to experiment with amounts, so it is a good idea to note how much agar was used and how thick the soy yogurt sets. If you think it's still too thin, just use more agar next time, or visa versa. Be careful though, for a little agar goes a long way, so it doesn't take much to thicken the yogurt more. You can also use Kudzu or corn flour as a thickener [kudzu is Japanese arrowroot sold at health food stores, or macrobiotic outlets etc.]. I find that about 1 Tbs of Kudzu powder or corn flour cooked with 2 litres of soy milk in step 12 & 13 is sufficient to thicken the yogurt.
Soy Yogurt with Added Fruit
Fresh or dry fruits may be included in Soy milk yogurt. The fruits must first be sterilize before inoculation by cooking the fruits for about 3 minutes. Add a small amount of water with the fruits in step 2 above, then cook for 3 minutes with the malt and citric juice. Cool to 45°C [113°F] and follow the rest of the soy milk recipe from step 2 onward.
Soy milk can also be cultured with viili, to produce a nice, creamy thick product. Prepare the soy milk as above recipe, including the sweetener. Let soy milk cool to room temperature. In a clean bowl, pour 1 Tbs dairy viili in the bowl and thin the viili by whisking it with a clean fork till smooth. Run some thinned viili part way up the sides of the bowl. Add 1 cup soy milk, put waxed paper over the bowl and let stand for 12 to 24 hours. You can use some previous soy milk viili to prepare about 2 more batches. After this, resort to a new batch of dairy viili to prepared more soy milk viili. This is because the viili organisms have evolved in dairy and lactose-- soy milk does not provide this, so the culture has the ability to ferment no more than a few batches of soy milk, and after that the different types of organisms loose their dynamic relationship [symbiosis], producing variable results due to the introduction of wild organisms and an imbalanced relationship between organisms.
Rejuvelac is a name given to a natural fermented cereal grain and water beverage. The beverage was extensively used by the late Dr. Ann Wigmore at Hippocrites Health Institutes that Dr. Ann Wigmore initiated in the USA. Although the process for culturing rejuvelac is similar to making beer and Kvass of Russia, including other cultured-grain beverages, on the other hand, the latter contain appreciable amounts of alcohol. Whereas rejuvelac prepared per Dr. Ann Wigmore's method should contain a very small amount of alcohol. The cereal grains are usually sprouted, water added and the mixture fermented in a glass jar at room temperature for a few days, depending on temperature.
However, I have extended on Dr. Ann WIgmore's recipe by including a dry grape such as sultanas including lemon juice. The reason I've extended on the recipe is because there is a potential for problems with Dr. Ann WIgmore's recipe, and possible contamination being the major concern. Including lemon juice, and in fact, my Kefirlac or Kefirlat recipe, prevents or markedly reduces the risk of contamination.
Temperature for fermentation is best between 19° to 25°C, 20°C being optimum [66° to 80°F, 70°F optimum]. The ferment [rejuvelac] is strained from the cereal grain and the beverage is consumed fresh, or refrigerated and consumed over a few days. The process is also similar to sourdough bread starter making, and in fact, the spent grains of rejuvelac prepares a wonderful sourdough starter simply by adding the spent grains to fresh flour and water, which is fermented for a few days in a covered container. Natural fermentation mainly due to the native microflora of cereal grain bran, including the sun dry grapes, which acidify by lactic acid fermentation and yeasts carbonate the medium. Rejuvelac has a clean, sour flavour with slight effervescence.
Rejuvelac is rich in Lactobacilli and yeasts producing lactic acid, carbon dioxide [CO2], a few B group vitamins and enzymes among other natural compounds. The beverage aids digestion due to enzyme activity.
Rejuvelac can be prepared from any cereal grain, such as wheat, rye, oats, barley, un-hulled millet, any whole grain rice, or raw un-hulled, or hulled buckwheat. Freshly soaked grains can be used, or the grains are sprouted and then ground to a mash. Rejuvelac may also be prepared by pounded soaked cereal grains in a Mortar and Pestle or blended in a food processor to form a mash, and the mash is mixed with fresh water and fermented for a few days in a clean, covered jar. I will explain the sprouted grain method here including some variations, for this produces a superior culture-product, for the conversion of starch to simple sugars provides the best conditions for a good ferment.
Rejuvelac, Seed & Nut Yogurt or Cheese below should have a sour, clean aroma with a hint of fresh yeast. The beverage may also have slight effervescence [depends on fermentation time and culture-technique]. Rejuvelac should never have a foul odour.
To accomplish the best quality rejuvelac, use only new season, fresh organically grown cereal grains that are stored under dry conditions and keep everything clean.
* The water should sterilised by boiling for 3 minutes then cooled before use.
** The fermenting jar should be sterilized with boiling hot water.
A rejuvelac with a foul odour may be due to a few reasons--
- High temperature during fermentation [over 25°C or 85°F].
- Too much air let into the brew.
- The cereal grains were old or of poor quality.
- The water was contaminated.
- The container was not clean.
- Practicing poor hygiene standards.
If the rejuvelac smells unusual, I suggest to discard the contents and start over with fresh ingredients after washing your jar well with a good detergent and then sterilise with boiling hot water. Although a few books that I've read mention that one may recover the next batch by washing the cereal grains and jar, and then safely reusing the same grains for preparing another batch. Although I'm inclined to suggest not to take any risks and to be on the safe side, start over with fresh ingredients and sterile utensils. Due to the very nature of this fermentation, using good grade clean cereal grains, clean sterile water and jars etc. there shouldn't be any problem with pathogens being cultured. But don't take any risks if the rejuvelac does smell unusual or has too much cloudiness or slime. Although aroma alone can not be reliable to determine contamination, if all steps are follows as explained here, you can be certain that a safe, healthy ferment shall always result.
This recipe incorporates wheat berries [soaked wheat], but any cereal grain described above may be used, including a mixture of any grain type.
Ingredients and Utensils
1 cup raw fresh organically grown whole wheat.
3 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice.
About 10 dry sultana, dry raisins, dry sun muscat or dry current grapes.
6 cups water [water must first be boiled then cooled to room temperature. Natural spring or purified water is recommended].
4-cup glass jar with sterile lid.
1 deep large strainer or colander.
1 piece of cotton or linen cloth a little larger than the diameter of the strainer.
MethodWash grains well with cold water and soak overnight in 3 cups fresh water with the addition of 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice.
- Place soaked grains in a deep strainer and place a moistened clean cotton or linen cloth over the soaked grains [Sit the strainer over the mouth of a deep container to let drain excess water].
- Let berries sprout for 48 hours or until shoot is the length of the grain [Run fresh water through the grains 2 to 3 times daily to water the grains for sprouting].
- Place the sprouted wheat in a food processor and blend with 2 cups water for 30 seconds. Or pound sprouted wheat in a mortar and pestle to bruise each grain, then put in 4-cup sterile glass jar.
- If sprouts were pounded in mortar and pestle, add 3 cups water, or add 1 cup if blended in food processor with 2 Tbs lemon juice and dry grapes of choice, place a cloth over jar and ferment for 2 to 3 days at room temperature, between 15° to 25°C or 60° to 80°F.
- Pour off clear liquid-ferment into another sterile container. This is your rejuvelac [please see this note]
Spent sprouted cereal grain mash may be used as a sourdough starter, or composted.
Quick n' easy Gluten free rejuvelac
Wash well 1 cup whole millet or buckwheat or a mixture to make up 1 cup. Place washed grains in a jar with 3 cups water. Add 1 Tbs lemon juice with 6 dry grapes of choice. Cover jar with clean cloth and ferment for 2 to 3 days. Strain the rejuvelac into a sterile jar if your are going to refrigerate to consume over a few days.
Champagne rejuvelac is rejuvelac prepared by securing an airtight lid on the container during fermentation. This causes CO2 gas to be retained in the finished beverage, producing a pleasing bubbly effervescence, similar to Champagne.
Champagne rejuvelac is best prepared with 1 cup of 24 hour sprouted whole millet. Slightly pound the sprouted grains in a Mortar and Pestle to bruise each grain, or blend in a food processor for about 10 or so seconds. Place the bruised sprouts in a sterile jar with 4 cups fresh sterile water, making sure not to fill the jar more than 2/3 full. Add 6 dry raisins or sultanas with 2 Tbs lemon juice. Now seal jar airtight and ferment for 2 to 3 days, giving the jar a gentle shake once daily. Millet makes the best Champagne rejuvelac because it tends to produce more sourness than other cereal grains. This gives the culture-product a more Champagne-like character.
Natural flavoured and herbal enhanced rejuvelac
Rejuvelac can be prepared with the addition of aromatic herb spices. This produces a pleasing beverage with good flavour providing tonifying and digestive properties. You can add spices in step 5 such as Dill, Anise, Fennel, Caraway, Cumin and Coriander seeds or Juniper berries, either singularly or as a mixture. These aromatic herb spices contain carminative and stomachic properties to help alleviate flatulence and aid digestion and tone the stomach and the entire digestive and gastro intestinal system. The beverage can be taken as a digestive aid enjoyed 1/2 hour before or after meals. Especially useful for relieving bloating after a heavy meal, or due to irritable bowel disease.
Kefirlac or Kefirlat
Sugary Kefir-Grains [SKG] also referred to as water kefir-grains [WKG] can also be used to enhance fermentation to prepare a version of rejuvelac which I've named, Kefirlac or Kefirlat. The use of SKG also ensures a completely safe ferment, due to the vigour of SKG organisms and their power of preventing the growth of unwanted organisms.
In any sprouted grain recipe above, include 1 Tbs of spare [excess] Sugary Kefir-Grains with the liquid ingredients, and ferment for 24 to 48 hours at room temperature. Strain to recover the SKG for use in the following batch with fresh ingredients.
Another option is to use about 10% by volume of freshly strained, ready-to-drink traditional water kefir added to fresh ingredients in any recipe above, and let the mixture brew for 24 to 48 hours at room temperature. This method involves water kefir as a starter and not the actual SKG to inoculate fresh ingredients. This method avoids the possibility of damaging the growth-factor of your sugary kefir-grains, since the grains are omitted in the brewing process altogether.
NOTE if using sugary kefir-grains to prepare kefirlac, make sure to use only spare sugary kefir-grains, because there's always the possibility of damaging the growth-factor of sugary kefir-grains when the culture is subjected to non-traditional water kefir ingredients. it is best to brew in an airtight sealed glass jar or bottle, which will produce a wonderful, refreshing fizzy ferment.
For those of you who are either vegan, or simply like to try new foods, you may find these recipes very useful. In making these food products, the organisms involved are all derived from non dairy natural cultures which make these very suitable for the strictest vegan, who keep away from even dairy oriented microbes from their diet. This involves making a yogurt or cheese-like product from seeds & nuts. These are simply made by inoculating a seed & nut paste [or blended] with rejuvelac, then fermenting this for 12 to 24 hours. In the case of using whole sesame seed as a calcium source. Making any one of the following products from these seeds will further enhance the bio- availability of the calcium rich husk of whole sesame seeds.
Because of the gluten free property and ease in making gluten free rejuvelac from millet, I will use this rejuvelac recipe to make the Seed & Nut Cheese [SNC] and yogurt. Although if you wish you can use any rejuvelac recipes above or even kefirlac in its place.
Ingredients and Utensils
1/2 cup each of almonds, pumpkin seed kernels, whole or hulled while sesame seed and sunflower seed kernels.
1 cup raw whole millet.
5 cups water.
4-cup glass jar.
Juice of 1 lemon, or about 1/4 cup natural apple cider vinegar.
Electric blender or a Mortar and pestle.
Clean cheese cloth.
First step is to prepare rejuvelac. As stated, any rejuvelac recipe above will do, but I will use the gluten free millet based version here.
Wash one cup of whole millet with fresh water, strain and add to a clean jar with 3 cups of water, 2 Tbs lemon juice and 12 dry sultanas, dry raisins, sun muscat grapes or dry current grape. Place lid on jar but do not seal it airtight, then ferment for 3 days at room temperature about 22Â°C or 70Â°F. Strain off the clear liquid which is your rejuvelac [note]
Wash nuts and seeds, add them in the 4-cup jar with 2 cups water. Add either lemon juice or cider vinegar, let sit for 30 minutes then strain off solution and discard. If using an electric blender, sterilize the bowl first, by pouring boiling water and let sit for a few minutes. Pour out the water and let cool. Add the strained nuts, seeds and rejuvelac, blend for 1.5 minutes till smooth. If using a Mortar and Pestle, sterilize by pouring boiling water into the mortar first, stir with pestle and pour out the water. Add the nuts and seeds and pound into a smooth paste. Add the rejuvelac a little at a time, mix in any lumps to form a smooth emulsion till all is added.
Pour into a sterile 4-cup jar, cover with a cloth and ferment at room temperature for 24 hours [15Â° to 25°C, 20°C optimum or 60°F to 80°F, 70°F opt.].
This is your Seed & Nut Yogurt. You can use it as is, in dips or for preparing sauces etc. The vegan yogurt should have a sour but clean smell and also slight effervescence. Please read special note, which also relates to seed and nut yogurt. The SNYogurt will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
In the above recipe, instead of rejuvelac, try water kefir in place of all the liquid. Ferment for 24 hours.
To make SNC, place the Seed & Nut Yogurt above in a cheese cloth. Lift the cloth and tie the ends and hang over a bowl. Drain until the cheese in the cloth is the consistency the you like. THe longer it drain the thicker it becomes. The best SNC is prepared from a water kefir explained in the Variation directly above.
What is left in the cheese cloth is SNC. The drained liquid is virtually vegan whey which you may drink, use in cooking, in baking or salad dressing etc. Of course, you can throw the whey awhey this whey... or that a'whey over yodner in the garden patch if you like <SNCheesey grin>
The SNC will keep for about 5 days refrigerated in a sealed container. Please read this special note which also applies to SNC.
About Milk Kefir + Water Kefir | Making Milk Kefir & Water Kefir + Recipes with Kefir + Ash Lye Detergent | Kefir Cheese Making + Pizza + Bread made with Kefir
Kefirkraut + Culture Vegetables with Kefir Grains | Kefir Preserving Brine | Nutritional + Chemical Composition of Milk Kefir | Kefir FAQs
Seed, Nut + Soy Milk Recipes + Kefir, Yogurt + Viili made from these + Rejuvelac | Nutritional Value of Different Fresh Milk-Types | Culture-Foods of Asia
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