Tag: soymilk

Tools for Making Homemade Tofu (Zero Waste + Vegan)

Mastering tofu (well, as much as a little grasshopper can master a 2,000-year-old practice) has been my highlight of 2020. It’s all the more exciting because I failed so many times, and when I realized what was hindering my success, it was like a dam breaking. I’ve never looked back and now make tofu successfully a couple times a week. 

Is it worth making tofu at home? ABSOLUTELY! 

  • Homemade tofu is so much less expensive than store-bought
  • Homemade tofu eliminates plastic packaging (i.e. zero waste / low waste)
  • Homemade tofu tastes absolutely scrumptious!

Now that my live Homemade Tofu cooking class is available as an On-Demand class (full video and recipe/instructions), I thought it would be helpful to share the basic “equipment” needed to make your own tofu at home. As you’ll see, I mention a couple things you probably already have on hand, but there are some things that will be new to you. 

Tofu Mold: As for the tofu mold, I prefer a wooden tofu mold, which I’ve had for years, but when I looked for one to refer you to, I found it difficult to find one that wasn’t part of a tofu-making kit. However, considering the fact that the kits provide you with everything you need, it may be worth it in the end. The two kits I recommend are:

  1. SoyaJoy Tofu Kit with Wooden Mold, Nigari, and Cheesecloth 
  2. Yamako Tofu Kit with Wooden Mold, Nigari, and Cheesecloth 

Because I wanted to ease you into the homemade tofu-making process, I also wanted to find an option for you to use a mold you may already have on hand without having to buy one just yet. While a “colander” would work (as some blogs suggest), you need more than just a colander…you need a colander/strainer that will also act as a mold (usually square but any shape will do). So, two options to consider:

  1. A plastic tupperware container you punch / drill holes into the bottom of.
  2. A small plastic basket — like those that strawberries come in. The fruit basket is actually the perfect size, and it creates / presses a pretty little design into the tofu block once it’s finished pressing. 

Cheese Cloth: Whatever mold you use, you still need a cheesecloth, though, so just purchase some at a store near you, or buy some online; here’s one I like — it’s unbleached, you can cut it into whatever size you need, and you can wash it and use it again and again and again. And I do.

Nigari: As for the nigari, as I mentioned, it can be purchased in crystal or liquid form and can be found at most Japanese or Asian grocery stores, or you can order online here (in crystal form) or here (in liquid form). FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve used only the crystalized nigari that I dilute in water, and while it comes in a plastic bag, the amount of plastic waste you avoid using by making your own tofu makes up for it a hundred fold. (For instance, 1 pound of crystallized nigari makes about 240 pounds of tofu!) HOWEVER, I *am* curious about using liquid nigari, and since the one I recommend comes in a glass bottle, it would be even less plastic waste. I just haven’t tried it yet. What I use at the present time is nigari salts that I dissolve in water. 

Kitchen / Candy Thermometer: I mention below that this is not required, but I like to know I’m at the right temperature when adding my coagulant, so I use a simple thermometer to do so. Here is the one I have

The main thing I learned in terms of successfully making tofu was that the soy milk has to be made … from scratch. I mean…you definitely can’t use store-bought commercial soy milk and try to make tofu, but my failed attempts at making tofu also came from using soy milk I made in my favorite soy milk maker. I still use that soy milk maker just for making soy milk for daily use, but for making tofu, you have to do it without a machine.

If you missed the live class, fear not! You can get the video with full instructions and demo by purchasing the On-Demand class for only $9.99!

Fluffy Okara Pancakes

In one of my recent virtual cooking classes, I taught my students how to make homemade soy milk. As everyone learned, when the milk is done, what you’re left with at the end is okara.

Okara is the name for the soybean pulp left over when making soy milk. It has a delicious nutty flavor and can be added to smoothies, baked goods, and oatmeal — adding flavor, texture, moisture, and nutrients. It can also be used to make these delicious fluffy, oil-free, fat-free pancakes!

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup nondairy milk
1/2 cup okara
Dash of salt

Directions

Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl, and thoroughly combine. Then add the milk and okara, and stir / whisk until thoroughly mixed into a pourable batter. 

Heat up a nonstick skillet with or without some oil or nondairy butter, and ladle some batter onto the hot pan into the size pancakes you prefer. Repeat until you use up all the batter. 

Serve with your favorite nondairy butter, syrup, and fresh fruit.

Yield: Makes about 6-8 pancakes, depending on the size

Recipe by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Joyful Vegan, copyright 2020. Please provide credit when sharing.

Other recent posts you may be interested in:

10 Favorite Countertop Appliances

Homemade, Vegan, and Zero Waste Online Cooking Class

Favorite Countertop Appliances + Lessons from a Kitchen Remodel

Food processors, blenders, air fryers, oh my! While it’s true that countertop appliances require some space, it’s also true that they make it easy to prepare and eat delicious, nutrient-dense, animal-free, plant-based dishes. While you can get along without them, I do think a couple are worth the space they take up on your counter, and their price points are really reasonable these days. In addition, I share some lessons and gifts from our kitchen remodel — things I’m thrilled we did; things I wish we didn’t. 

MORE RESOURCES! In addition to listening to this episode, check out this sister blog post that has the links and details about the specific items I mention in the podcast, including my favorite soy milk maker, food processor, blender, air fryer, juicer, stand mixer, and more.

Homemade, Vegan, and Zero Waste Online Cooking Class

Watch, eat, or cook along with me — cookbook author, cooking instructor, and joyful vegan — Colleen Patrick-Goudreau as I show you how to create the most delicious, nutritious, plant-based recipes from scratch!
 

Register today to learn to make:

  • Homemade Plant-Based Milks (soy and almond)
  • Homemade Tortillas (flour and corn)
  • Homemade Seitan (juicy and delicious)

*recipes are subject to change due to availability of ingredients

The classes are fun, interactive, and live in real-time! This means, I will see you, you will see all the other participants, and you will see me cooking in my kitchen and answering your questions. In addition:

  • With my multi-camera set-up, you can watch the class with a split screen: me talking on one side and the food demonstration on the other
  • You receive all the recipes in advance of the class
  • You receive access to our private Facebook group to interact with each other before and after class
  • You receive a recording of our class within 24 hours of the end of the class

(Patreon supporters receive 10% off; check your Patreon account for your discount code.)

ONCE YOU REGISTER:

  • You will receive a confirmation page and an email containing directions for linking to the class through Zoom, our recipe packet, plus guidelines for having the best virtual experience possible!
  • If you cook along with me, just have everything prepped in advance!

https://www.colleenpatrickgoudreau.com/irish-soda-bread-vegan-recipe/

Minestrone Soup with Kale {Recipe}

 

Homemade Plant-Based Milks

Plant-based milks were the original disruptor to the dairy industry until coronavirus came along, knocking cow’s milk off its already shaky legs. As dairy operations are dumping milk and consumers are finding empty supermarket shelves, people are cooking from scratch more than ever. While commercial plant milks are faring well during this pandemic, making plant milks at home is even more economical and sustainable, and the basic ingredients may already be in your cupboards.

They cost less, have less (or no) packaging, and can be flavored or sweetened to suit your taste. Zero-waste and plastic-free. It’s a win-win!

Different types of milk vary in terms of taste and texture, so if you don’t like one, try another. All plant-based milks are interchangeable for drinking, baking, or adding to coffee/tea, though some are creamier than others. Oat, almond, cashew, and soy are the creamiest, with rice milk being the thinnest.

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ALMOND OR CASHEW MILK
Used widely in the Middle Ages in regions stretching from the Iberian Peninsula to East Asia, almond milk has long been valued for its ability to keep better than animal’s milk, which has a short shelf life. The same process for almond milk can be used for other nuts, such as cashews and hazelnuts.

Ingredients

1½ cups raw (not roasted) almonds or cashews
4 cups cold water (use less water for thicker, creamier milk)
Pinch of salt (optional, but it enhances the flavor)
Optional ingredients such as vanilla extract, cocoa powder, dates, maple syrup, agave, etc. 

Directions

Soak the almonds in water for a minimum of an hour or up to 24 hours. Soaking is optional for cashews, though they will yield more milk if you soak them for at least 30 minutes in hot water.

After soaking the nuts, discard the water. Add the almonds or cashews and the 4 cups of water to a blender. Add other ingredients such as vanilla extract or cocoa powder, if desired, and blend well on high speed. Optionally, you can sweeten the milk with your favorite sweetener (dates, sugar, maple syrup, agave, etc.).

If making almond milk, you’ll want to strain the mixture with a cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or fine sieve/strainer over a large bowl. This isn’t really necessary with cashews. 

Refrigerate for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Give a little shake before serving. 

Yield: 4 cups

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OAT MILK
Rolled, quick-cooking, even steel-cut will work. Oat milk can become gummy (which is why it’s so effective at combating high cholesterol), so be sure to use cold water and avoid over-blending.

Ingredients
1 cup oats
4 cups cold water (use less water for thicker, creamier milk)
Pinch of salt (optional, but it enhances the flavor)
Optional ingredients such as vanilla extract, cocoa powder, dates, maple syrup, agave, etc. 

Directions

Soak the oats in water for at least 30 minutes or overnight. After soaking, drain the water from the oats, and rinse well with cold water. 

Add fresh cold water and oats to a blender, and blend just until smooth. As with the nut milks, you can add liquid or dry sweeteners or other flavors at this time, but be careful not to over-blend the oats.

Strain the milk using a cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or sieve/strainer over a bowl. Refrigerate for up to 5 days in an airtight container. 

Yield: 4 cups

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RICE MILK
By now, you’re getting the idea that you just need grain/nut/seed/bean + water to make delicious, nutritious milks. 

Ingredients

3/4 cup uncooked long grain brown or white rice
4 cups water (use less water for thicker, creamier milk)
Pinch of salt (optional, but it enhances the flavor)

Optional ingredients such as vanilla extract, cocoa powder, dates, maple syrup, agave, etc. 

Directions

Soak rice in 2 cups very hot (not boiling water) for 2 hours. The rice should be soft at the end of 2 hours. Drain and add to a blender. 

Add the 4 cups of water, salt, and any additional ingredients. Blend well. Taste for sweetness and adjust accordingly. Strain using a cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or sieve/strainer. 

Yield: 4 cups

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SOY MILK
Possibly the oldest of the bunch is soy milk, which originated in China thousands of years ago and was used long before we have written records to document the precise “day of discovery.” You can certainly make soy milk without a machine, but it is oodles easier to invest in a simple soy milk maker. (Here’s my favorite.) You’ll make back your investment in no time with the amount of delicious, nutty milk you will make. 

Though water is really the only beverage we have a physiological need for (beyond our own human milk when we’re young), it is certainly convenient and tasty to be able to make creamy, nutrient-rich milk from nuts, grains, legumes, and seeds. No packaging, no additives, no pregnant cow required. It’s a win-win during times of crisis or anytime. 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLANT MILK? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!

 

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Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an author whose topics include animal agriculture, animal protection, and plant-based eating. She has written seven books, including several cookbooks, is a regular contributor to National Public Radio and LiveKindly, and has published letters and commentaries in The New York Times, The Economist, and The Christian Science Monitor. 

*Photos by Marie Laforêt

Buying In or Selling Out? When Meat and Dairy Corporations Buy Vegan Companies

The animal-based meat, dairy, and egg companies are not committed to killing and hurting animals as much as they’re committed to making money. If the meat, dairy, & egg industries could make as much money NOT killing and hurting animals, they’ll do it. Buying into the success of vegan companies enables them to do that. Isn’t that what we want?

The plant-based foods market recently topped $3.1 billion in sales and is slated to reach over $5 billion in just a couple years. As a result, the animal-based meat, dairy, egg, and other large corporations see vegan companies and the plant-based products they make as competitors they should fear, emulate, learn from, collaborate with, invest in, or even purchase. They recognize they need to “buy into” the success, growth, and future of the plant-based market. Some, however, see it as vegan companies “selling out,” choosing profit over principles and betraying their loyal vegan customer base. On today’s episode, we explore the many perspectives of such business decisions and speculate about who the biggest winners are in the end.

GET YOUR FREE JOYFUL VEGAN GUIDE

Includes delicious plant-based recipes and a meal plan!




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