What do you do with the soy beans after you've milked it? (sorry, dont' know what else to call your procedure!) =)
Mary--Some people on line refer to this as "milking the bean" so while it sounds kind of funny this is kind of what is going on.
But, with the by-product of the process, called okara, there is quite a few different things you can do with this. And, this is another benefit to making soy milk at home. Out of each 2 gal. batch of milk that I make I end up with a large bowl of the okara. This okara can be dried or put in the freezer to be used later, but too be honest with you for me I can't use all of it. When I first started making soy milk I had a freezer full in a short time and as much as I hate to waste it, I do exactly as Paul has said with the excess and compost it.
How you make the milk and how you grind the beans makes a big difference in the texture of the okara. I have a pretty powerful blender and I use the ice blade on it for this. But, what I'm getting at here is if you soak the beans overnight before making the milk and then grind them before putting them into the pot then the texture is very course. But, if you do the quick soak which is boiling them for 5 mins. and then letting them stand in the pot for 1 hour, they are softer and they can be ground up very fine to a texture much like Cream of Wheat. But, there are advantages to having a more course texture or a finer texture depending on what you are using it for. For example, I make bread too
My wife calls my bread, my 27 grain bread. She is trying to be funny with this, because there are not 27 grains in there. But, I do try to use different whole grains. But, what I am trying to get at here is that if you want amore fluffy sandwich type bread, then the finer and the drier the okara the better. But, if you are making a heavy bread or something like ban nana nut bread or zucchini bread then the course okara is better and it doesn't matter how moist the okara is so much.
I actually like to take the Cream of Wheat style okara (very fine) and sweeten it with brown sugar, and have it for breakfast by itself in a bowl. Or, on the other hand, you can take the course okara and mix it half and half with oatmeal and have something very good too.
There really is a wide variety of things that you can do with the okara. And, again there is a great savings to all of this. It costs me about 1.79 for the beans to make 2 gallons of milk and I also get more okara than I seem to be able to use through the week in meals for this 1.79 as well.
Aside from baking with it, it can go a very long way when you season it and cook a batch of it with ground up vegetables and then use this as you might use ground hamburger or ground sausage in some other dishes. This is a great way to use it! I have containers of this cooked "meat mixture" in my freezer that can be pulled out and used in Mexican dishes (tacos, burritos, etc.), chili, sloppy joes . . . it works really well as a pizza topping too (this cooked mixture looks like hamburger or sausage on a pizza). It makes a great addition to a mushroom and spinach pizza. Any way you use ground meat, you can use this. Italian dishes, whatever . . . although I will share with you that if you use it straight-up with no pre-cooking/seasoning as mentioned above, then it does not absorb tomato sauce very well and does not have a good appearance in dishes with tomato sauce.
I'd like to find a way to make it stick together better so that I can make patties out of the "meat mixture." It's really cool though to make hamburgers with the meat mixture (the people in the Muscatine, Iowa who know about Made-Rite sandwiches or 'loose meat sandwiches' would love this). You can use the loose meat mixture on a hamburger bun and add whatever you normally have to hamburger to it and it's really very good. I like to make thick french fries in the oven, and have my 'okara burger' with a soy milkshake and think I am doing better than a trip to McDonalds healthwise.
But, there are so many things you can do with the okara Mary. The recipes online take some digging through, and some sites are better than others, but possibly there are some ideas there. Another thing I like to do is take the okara and mix it with honey and a flavor like coconut and then toast it on the sheet in the oven. When I want something sweet, I will take a slice of my 27 grain bread put it on a plate with some of my wife's homemade preserves and top it with the toasted coconut okara and eat it with a fork like a piece of cake or a pastry. I'm still blowing the calories on the sugar, but in this 'dessert' there are some whole grains and fibre going on that make it much better than a twinkie--at least some nutritional value in the trade. There really is so much to do with the okara.
But, here is one thing I'd like to pass along in case you want to give it a try. Wait until you have perfected your recipes before trying it on your family. When I first started using it, I served up a few dishes that weren't too good and this made my family not want to try it again. Actually, it was the source of much joking around here for quite a while. I remember when I served Reuben sandwiches with okara instead of corned beef, I was informed that I had not developed "The Okara Reuben" but was serving soybean and sauerkraut sandwiches!
Possibly, once one looks at some recipes online with this, then the same one can use his/her imagination and come up with their own uses based on what is being prepared at the present. Not counting the soaking time, it really is a good deal for those who need to watch their dollars. It takes me about 1 hour including clean up time, and when I am done I have about 2 gals. of milk sitting there in the Rubbermaid bottles and a nice supply of okara ready to go for the week.
I'm still trying to understand the nutritional aspects of what the soy bean offers. I think I am seeing some conflicting information as I look at this online. But, when it comes to nutrition an science what else is new?
I have a bag of soy beans, that i thought I could grind up and add to my bread, but, boy, is it hard to grind!!! I think I'll just buy soy flour that's already ground up. But I need to know what to do with all my unground beans...
I'd say boil them and make some good ole soy milk and okara. Or, another alternative may be to get some pea shooters for the kids and let them have at it. It has occurred to me a time or two that these beans look like they would have a high velocity great trajectory.
If you think you want to give soy milk and/or okara a shot let me know and I'll post the milk process and some other okara cooking helps that may allow you to have a shorter learning curve than I did. I have learned some tricks that are not readily available online that really help in terms of appearance and taste of the milk and okara.
PS In the first chai recipe above, I noticed that I had shown 1-7 white peppercorns. I have changed it to what it should be which is 6-7 white peppercorns.