I have had to cut out a lot of dairy from my diet due to my asthma. It seems to be giving me more and more trouble lately so I do what I can to eliminate anything that may contribute to the problem. I have been buying almond and soy milk and find that it is about $3 for half a gallon. Add teens drinking it also and it really starts to add up. I decided to look into getting a soy milk maker and discovered it is much cheaper to make it. Commercial soy, almond and rice milks have additives to thicken, flavor and preserve the milk. By making my own I would be able to control what goes into it.
The machine arrived quickly and I got started. We decided to make almond milk first. Soak one cup of almonds in water for 12 hours. Rinse the almonds before using. Add water and almonds to the machine and turn it on. In 20 minutes it was ready. I strained the milk through a fine sieve twice and then once through a gold coffee filter, if you don't already have one of these use cheese cloth, it works great. I then added 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and just under 1/4 cup agave syrup. My taste testers (Nathan and Tara)gave it a thumbs up. The next batch I made with sugar instead of the syrup because Ryan said he preferred not to taste the syrup. A sugar substitute can also be used, I need to go to Costco to stock up.
I have since make several batches of almond milk and some soy milk. For the the soy milk I used 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and scant 1/4 cup sugar to flavor the milk.
These milks are good both hot or cold and if you cook with them don't add flavor or sweetener. I think I may eventually make yogurt (hopefully Greek strained) with the soy milk.
These milks can all be done at home without the machine but I decided that due to time constraints and my wonderful arthritis this was the best path for me.
Making almond milk without machine.
Making soy milk without machine
Note: I used the SoyaPower Plus which can be purchased HERE. I recieved the machine in less than a week! We LOVE this machine. It is fast and easy to make all kinds of milk and best of all clean up is very easy.