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Soy milk
Why Eat It
Varieties
Availability
Shopping
Storage
Preparation
Nutrition Chart


Why Eat It

Vegans and people who are lactose intolerant appreciate soy milk as a dairy-free substitute in milkshakes, puddings, soups, and creamy sauces. But those who drink milk have much to gain from soy milk, too. Because it is made from beans, soy milk contains fiber (dairy milk has none); it's a good source of protein and, although it contains more fat than reduced-fat (2%) milk, it is low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free. (Soy milk is also sold in reduced-fat and fat-free forms.) Soy milk is a good source of isoflavones (though not as good a source as soybeans themselves or tofu), estrogenlike compounds that seem to have a myriad of health benefits. Although it is not a good natural source of calcium, some brands of soy milk are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Varieties

Soy milk is made by soaking, crushing, and cooking soybeans, then filtering the resulting liquid. To give the soy milk the "mouth feel" of dairy milk, many commercial brands add things such as seaweed to add thickness, and malted cereal extract to add thickness and a mild sweetness. (The touch of sweetness is intended to mimic the sweetness that comes from the lactose in dairy milk.) Soy milk is sold plain and flavored--vanilla and chocolate as well as more exotic flavors. Use plain soy milk for most recipes, and experiment with the flavored varieties in desserts. Soy milk is sold in full-fat, reduced-fat, fat-free forms.

Availability

Soy milk is now sold in most supermarkets. For the widest selection of flavors and types, shop at a health-food store.

Shopping

Soy milk is sold in cartons, plastic bottles, and in aseptic packaging. It also comes in powder form.

Storage

Keep fresh soy milk refrigerated in its original container until opened. If the container is not resealable, transfer the contents to a bottle with a tight lid.

Soy milk in aseptic packages can be kept at room temperature for a year; after opening, the milk will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Preparation

Soy milk is ready to use as it comes from the container. If you want to drink it instead of milk, but find its flavor off-putting, try adding a drop of almond extract.

You can substitute soy milk for cow's milk in many recipes, especially puddings, cakes, and soups.

Nutrition Chart

Soy Milk/1 cup

81
Total fat (g)
4.7
Saturated fat (g)
0.5
Monounsaturated fat (g)
0.8
Polyunsaturated fat (g)
2
Dietary fiber (g)
3.2
7
Carbohydrate (g)
4
Cholesterol (mg)
0
Sodium (mg)
29
Thiamin (mg)
0.4
Copper (mg)
0.3
Manganese (mg)
0.4


Date Published: 04/21/2005
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