There are so many types of milk out there that stray away from traditional cow’s milk. Soy milk was one of the first types to be released into the world that now shares a shelf with other non-dairy milks.
Soy milk is a plant-based, non-dairy beverage made from soybeans. It’s a great addition to many foods and drinks. It’s also a great alternative to those who are lactose intolerant and cannot drink dairy, or are just drinking it for personal health and weight loss.
Different from what you might think, soy milk was first created in Colombes, France in 1910, from a man named Li Yu-Ying a Chinese biologist and Engineer, so it’s been around for quite a long time! The first soy factory was set up, and Yu-Ying applied for and was granted the world’s first soy milk patent, titled “Vegetable Milk and its Derivatives.”
In 1917, the first commercial soymilk in the United States was produced by J.A Chard Soy Products in New York, and in 1931, the firs calcium fortified soy milk was produced by Madison Foods in Tennessee.
Now we’ve established that soy milk has lived on for years and acts as a trustworthy alternative to cow’s milk, the question is – what does soy milk taste like? Overall, soy milk has a mild and creamy flavor. Sounds like we need to give it a chance!
Read on for everything you need to know about soy milk.
What Does Soy Milk Taste Like?
Typically speaking, soy milk has a mild and creamy flavor to it. However, there are so many different soy milk brands that flavor can vary subtly depending on who makes it. It’s also usually sweeter than other milk alternatives.
However, because it’s a plant-based milk, you can taste some sort of a beany flavor as well. Commercial kinds can lose their taste while pasteurizing. Soy milk also can come in different flavors to mask the sourness and nuttiness.
Does Soy Milk Taste Like ‘Real’ Milk?
If you want dairy-free milk that tastes like “real” milk, then soy milk is your best option. This typically mild flavor will give off the same idea and texture of cow milk.
Alternatives to Soy Milk
If you just can’t get into the taste of soy milk, then you’re in luck! We currently live in a world where there are so many different kinds of milk to choose from that you could try a new carton each week until you find your perfect match.
Almond milk is made from, you guessed it, ground almonds, and also water. It’s another very popular plant-based milk option that’s been around for several years. Because of the almonds in the drink, there are quite a few benefits to drinking it, such as vitamin E, vitamin A, and riboflavin.
It’s also a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. It also has a lower number of calories than soy. However, with fewer calories comes fewer nutrients.
Click here to learn more about how almond milk tastes and more!
Rice milk is created from boiled brown or white rice and brown rice syrup and is typically sold with added flavors and sweetness, even though it’s naturally sweeter than other alternative milks. It’s actually the least allergenic of milk alternatives and has a good source of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. But with rice milk comes little protein, as there’s about 1 gram per cup.
Made from filtered water and coconut cream (grated mature coconut flesh), you’d be surprised to learn that coconut isn’t actually a nut. Therefore, people with nut allergies can enjoy this one.
Coconut milk contains more fat than other milk alternatives and has no protein with 2 grams of carbohydrates. However, it can be fortified to be a good source of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
A less popular version of milk, hazelnut milk is creamy and rich with lots of body. It also doesn’t have the bitterness that a lot of other nut milks bring to the table.
Adding hazelnut milk to your diet can improve endothelial function, decreased triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol as well as increased HDL levels.
Hemp milk is made from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. Although the beverage doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, it provides more healthy fats and protein than other plant milks. It does taste as creamy as dairy, and has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.
Take steel-cut oats, soak them in water, blend them, then drain them in a cheesecloth to get this type of milk. Oat milk is high in protein and promotes a healthy digestive system.
This drink is high in fiber and in vitamin B, and it replaces saturated fats with unsaturated fats. It’s also cholesterol free, regulates blood sugar levels, and contains bone strengthening minerals lime potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
Another popular nut milk, whole cashews and water turn into a creamy, rich consistency that’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and other beneficial plant compounds.
You can find both sweetened and unsweetened versions of the drink at the store. It also has a lower-calorie alternative that delivers a richer consistency than soy.
A lesser-known alternative, pea milk is made of yellow peas. The drink is dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free, and has much higher protein than most other plant-based milks and provides important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and iron.
Nutritional Benefits of Soy Milk
Soy milk benefits can vary depending on types of soy milk, but generally speaking, a cup of organic unsweetened soy milk offers tons of benefits. One cup offers 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber, with only one gram of sugar and 0 grams of added sugars, all for just 80 calories. Soy milk also has nine essential amino acids and is rich in isoflavones.
Although more research needs to be done, studies have shown that soy milk reduces the risk of cancer and possibly osteoporosis. It can also help reduce menopausal symptoms. The plant compounds in soy may also be heart-protective, with claims that it could reduce the risk of heart disease. Other potential health benefits include maintaining your nerve cells and DNA thanks to the vitamin B found in soy, and reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Uses for Soy Milk
Aside from drinking it plain as-is, soy milk is also used in making imitation dairy products such as soy yogurt, soy cream, soy kefir, and soy-based cheese analogs. You can also throw it in as an ingredient for making milkshakes, pancakes, bread, and mayonnaise. Oatmeal is also a great option when using soy milk because it will give a creamy texture in consistency that soothes you when eating it.
You can also incorporate soy milk with baked goods. Muffins are a great example, as you can substitute regular milk for the regular milk and still get a delicious, dairy-free outcome. Adding soy milk to your smoothies will also enhance the flavors and bring out a little more of the sweetness.
Overall, you have plenty of options to incorporate soy milk to your everyday lifestyle, and it seems as if it would be a very natural switch into your diet.
Does Soy Milk Curdle in Coffee and Tea?
You have probably heard that curdling happens often with non-dairy milks. This is because liquids such as coffee are more acidic. Non-dairy milks, like soy milk, act as a coagulant, therefore curdling up in your cup, which does not look appetizing! This happens quicker in hotter substances. The soy milk is still drinkable, it just won’t look pretty.
With that being said, I bring good news. Soy and light soy milk does not curdle in tea, so go ahead and pour away!
I also have a trick for you; if you pour the coffee first and the regular soy milk at the end, there’s only a film on top of the coffee, so it doesn’t look as unappetizing.
Another trick, you ask? The best way to prevent curdling is to warm the soy milk slowly and then gradually add it into the water and coffee afterward. Adding the soy milk to water before adding it into the coffee helps lessen the chances of curdling.
How Long Does Soy Milk Last?
Soy milk can hold its own once opened and refrigerated for about 7 to 10 days. Before they’re opened, the expiration date on the carton is a good indicator as to its shelf life. Typically speaking, products can tend to stay fresh after 10 days, but it cannot be guaranteed. If you want to risk it, I’m not taking the blame!
Can You Freeze Soy Milk?
Whether or not you should freeze soy milk depends on how you plan to use it after freezing.
If you want to drink it, freezing isn’t the best idea as the milk separates when thawed. On the other hand, if you’re planning to use it in recipes then freezing it is no problem.
Click here to learn more about the ins and outs of freezing soy milk.
How to Tell if Soy Milk Has Gone Bad
Soy milk actually has some similarities to cow’s milk when it’s gone bad. The first important and most noticeable indicators are smell and texture. Soy milk, just like regular milk, will start to smell sour.
If you’re still not sure, try pouring your soy milk into a clear glass (or down the kitchen sink). If you’re seeing the soy milk is lumpy, that means it most likely went bad.
One more noticeable attribute is that when your opened soy milk has gone bad, the carton will begin to expand. This might save you a smell test!