Soy milk is a great alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or who simply don’t enjoy the taste of cow’s milk. It has many of the same great health benefits that you typically find in cow’s milk. It is also quite easy to make.
But like cow’s milk, soy milk has the potential to go sour. In fact, soy milk and cow milk spoil almost exactly the same.
Spoiled Soy Milk
One of the surefire ways to tell if your soy milk is spoiled is by looking at the consistency of it. If it is thick and clumpy, chances are your soy milk is bad and you should definitely not consume it. The packaging itself can also be telling as soy milk that has expired will typically cause the packaging it’s in to bloat.
Another way to tell whether or not your soy milk is spoiled is by checking the smell. Your soy milk should always have a mild odor to it, and anything stronger typically means the milk has gone bad. Before drinking it, pour your soy milk into a glass to check the thickness and whether or not there are any lumps present.
If there are, immediately throw your soy milk away.
How Long Should Soy Milk Last?
Many people end up with expired soy milk because they believe it will last longer than regular milk. But the truth is, soy milk is only good for about a week after you’ve opened it. If your soy milk remains unopened, however, it has a shelf life of about eight months to a year. Keep in mind that this only applies to store-bought soy milk.
If you have made your own soy milk, chances are it will last in the fridge for just a couple of days. This is because of the fact that homemade soy milk will not contain the preservatives found in store-bought soy milk.
Making Homemade Soy Milk
While on the topic, you may be curious to know how to make homemade soy milk. Making soy milk is a time-consuming but simple process that is worth the wait. Not to mention you only need two ingredients to make it happen – water and soybeans.
The first thing you are going to want to do is soak your soybeans in water and leave them overnight. The next day, take your soybeans and drain the water out of them. Afterward, start peeling off the skins from the soybeans.
Your next step is going to be to blend your soybeans with water to the point where you get a creamy texture. Now, you are ready to strain your soybeans. You can do this via a nut bag, a cheesecloth, or a fine mesh strainer.
You’re still not done, however. Once you have strained your soy milk, pour it into a sauce pan and add more water to it and let it come to a boil. You will start to see foam rising, which is normal. Be sure to remove as much of the foam as you can.
Continue to cook your soy milk over medium heat and leave it for about 20 minutes. Afterward, the process is complete and you can let your soy milk cool before enjoying it. You can always add sweetener or flavoring such as vanilla to really complete your soy milk.
In terms of storing, you will want to use a jar or air-tight container to keep your soy milk in. This will allow your milk to keep for about three to five days. If you want it to last a bit longer, you can always freeze it. Keep in mind, however, that your soy milk will lose some of its flavor when frozen.
Health Benefits of Soy Milk
As mentioned earlier, soy milk has many health benefits to it that make it a great alternative to regular cow’s milk. Unlike cow’s milk, soy milk has fewer calories and about four grams of fat and seven grams of protein. It also contains no cholesterol and has little saturated fat.
Soybeans are also a great source of calcium, protein, and even potassium. According to research, soy milk has also been proven to improve heart health greatly. It does this by improving the plasma lipid levels, thus reducing the risk of heart complications later on in life.
Soy milk has also been proven to do wonders on your hair. It’s an unexpected side-effect that would be welcomed by many. Soy milk is full of protein, and protein causes your hair to grow. In fact, soy milk can also do wonders for your skin! Those who are victims of acne should try to eat only soy-rich foods as soy can reduce hyperpigmentation and it even has anti-aging properties.
The only downside of soy milk is that some people may be allergic to soy. In that case, another alternative such as almond milk or oat milk could be used.
To say that soy milk is a wonder food would be an understatement. Not only does it have so many great benefits, but it is a great alternative to cow’s milk. It can also easily be made at home, so you don’t need to spend too much to have it at the ready.
Like with regular milk, however, soy milk tends to spoil if not stored properly or if left in the fridge for too long. One of the most telling signs that your soy milk is bad is if it becomes thick and clumpy. This is never a good sign and you should immediately toss it if this is the case.
Be sure to never drink out of the carton of soy milk directly as this can cause bacteria from your mouth to get into the milk, thus spoiling it. The best way to enjoy soy milk is by pouring it in a glass, over cereal, or mixing it in into your favorite recipes. The possibilities are endless!