How to Make Soymilk

Learn nutritional benefits of soymilk and some new soymilk recipes.

| January/February 1977

  • Soymilk
     Soymilk is rich in protein and iron, and is an excellent nutritional drink for children.

  • Soymilk

The follow is an excerpt from The Book of Tofu By William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi (Autumn Press, Inc.). 

Soymilk has been used for centuries throughout East Asia in much the same way that dairy milk is now used in the West. Today many people who could not possibly afford cow's milk find that soymilk's greatest appeal lies in its remarkably low cost. Whether prepared at home or in tofu shops, specialty shops, or factories, it can be produced for about one-half to one-third the cost of cow's milk.

Soymilk Nutrition Facts

Nutritionally, soymilk compares very favorably with dairy milk, as will be seen by comparing the following figures showing the composition of a 100-gram portion of soy, dairy, and mother's milk:

Dairy Milk
Mother's Milk
Water (grams)
88.6 88.6
Protein 4.4 2.9
Calories 52 59
Fat 2.5
Carbohydrates 3.8
Ash 0.62
Calcium (mg.)
Sodium 2.5
Phosphorus 60.3
Iron 1.5
Thiamine (B1)
Riboflavin (B2)

When prepared with the same percentage of water as that found in dairy milk (it is usually made with less), soymilk contains 51 percent more protein, 16 percent less carbohydrates, 12 percent fewer calories (18 percent fewer calories per gram of protein), and 24 percent less fat (48 percent less saturated fat). At the same time, it contains 15 times as much iron, many of the essential B vitamins, and no cholesterol. Finally it contains one-tenth the amount of dangerous agricultural chemicals (DDT among them).

Thus, in many parts of the world where dairy milk is not generally consumed and does not give promise of ever being able to meet the needs of growing populations, soymilk could serve as a practical source of high-quality, essential nutrients, both for infants and growing children in their crucial formative years, and for adults of all ages. Moreover, it is already finding popular appeal in the affluent West, especially among the many people interested in natural, health, and diet foods, and in a growing number of communities that find they can produce their own soymilk fresh each morning for a fraction of the price they would have to pay for dairy milk. "The Farm", a community of seven hundred, for example, has recently started its own soy dairy capable of producing 80 gallons of rich soymilk every day at a cost of only 7 1/2 cents per quart. "Farm" spokesmen report that the community's "babies love soymilk" and that most of its 250 children have been weaned onto it directly. And many tofu shops in America now sell bottled soymilk (available plain, or sweetened with honey or honey-carob) to a growing number of patrons.

Soymilk Benefits

Soymilk is well thought of by medical practitioners as well as laymen. Many Japanese doctors view it as an effective natural medicine and prescribe it as a regular part of the diet for diabetes (because it is low in starch); heart disease, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries (because it is free of cholesterol, low in saturated fats, and rich in lecithin and linoleic acid) and anemia (because it is rich in iron and is thought to stimulate the production of hemoglobin). It is also used to strengthen the digestive system (since health-giving lactic acid bacteria thrive and multiply in its presence) and alkalize — hence fortify — the bloodstream (since it is among the most alkaline sources of protein).

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