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Soymilk drinkers know the beverage is typically more expensive than dairy milk. For example, at my local Walmart, a half gallon of Silk brand unsweetened soymilk is $3.20. A half gallon of Oak Farms brand skim dairy milk is only $1.98. To save, one viable option is to make your own soymilk.

Making soymilk by hand in your very own kitchen is a great activity to do with kids. Also, when you make soymilk by hand, you get a leftover byproduct called okara, or soybean meal. Use this byproduct to bake healthy Okara Oatmeal Carob Chip Cookies. The recipe is below. After all, nothing beats cookies and (soy) milk!

How to Make Soymilk by Hand

Homemade Soymilk Recipe

Yield: ½ gallon


  • ½ pound of dried soybeans (available in most local health/natural foods stores or in bulk quantities at Amazon.com)
  • 11 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (optional)


  • large bowl
  • colander
  • blender
  • large pot
  • cheesecloth (if you don't have a cheesecloth you can use a thin tea towel or other similar filter; your cheesecloth must be big enough to fit over the top of your large bowl with several inches to spare)
  • wooden spoon
  • 3-5 clothespins


  1. Put a half pound of dried soybeans in a large bowl and then pour three cups of cold water over the soybeans.
  2. Let the mixture soak until you can easily bite or pinch through the soybeans—between 8 and 12 hours.
  3. Using a colander, drain and rinse the soybeans. Delicately massage and knead the soybeans with your hands to remove their shells. Dispose of the shells.
  4. Optional: If you don’t want your soymilk to have a beany flavor, then while the soybeans are still damp from rinsing, put them in a microwave-safe container and microwave for two minutes. The heat from from microwave will break down the bean-flavored enzyme.
  5. Put the soybeans and just enough water to cover them in a blender. Blend on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes to create a foamy slurry.
  6. Pour the soybean slurry into a large pot on the stove and add 8 cups of water.
  7. Bring the slurry to a boil, stirring constantly.
  8. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring constantly. Keep skimming off the foam with your wooden spoon.
  9. Put the cheesecloth over a large bowl. Secure the cheesecloth to the bowl's edges using clothespins (see picture below).
  10. Pour the soybean slurry through the cheesecloth, collecting the liquid in the bowl underneath. This liquid is your soymilk. To get every last bit of liquid out of the slurry, remove the clothespins, gather the edges of your cheesecloth together, and squeeze it as hard as you can over the bowl (see picture below).
  11. What’s left over in the cheesecloth is soybean meal known as okara (see picture below). Check out the recipe for Okara Oatmeal Carob Chip Cookies included in this article–they’re yummy!
  12. Optional: sweeten the soymilk with 2 tablespoons of sugar, or flavor the soymilk with 4 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract.
  13. Keep your soymilk and okara refrigerated. Both products should last for 3 days with proper refrigeration.

Okara Oatmeal Carob Chip Cookies Recipe

Yield: 36 cookies


  • 1 cup okara (you should have at least a cup of okara left over from the above homemade soymilk recipe)
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil (or applesauce)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup carob chips (or chocolate chips)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Line two cookies sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together okara, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, and baking soda.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together vegetable oil (or applesauce), honey, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients from the small bowl to the dry ingredients in the medium bowl, stirring with a large fork until combined.
  5. Fold in carob chips, seeds, and nuts.
  6. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto your lined cookies sheets, leaving several inches in between for expansion. Using the back of an oiled fork, slightly flatten cookies.
  7. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
  8. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

How to Make Soymilk Using an Automatic Soymilk Maker

If you plan on making a lot of soymilk at home, consider investing in an automatic soymilk maker such as the Joyoung CTS1048 Automatic Hot Soy Milk Maker, available at Amazon.com for $99.00. To use it, soak 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of dried soybeans in water for 8 to 12 hours. Rinse off the beans and then add them plus water to the machine. Voila! In about 15 minutes you will have a quart of warm soymilk.

Cost Savings Analysis

Cost Analysis for Making Soymilk by Hand

  • Cost of 10 pound bag of certified organic dried soybeans at Amazon.com: $19.95.
  • Cost to make one gallon of homemade soymilk: $2.00 (it takes one pound of dried soybeans to make one gallon of homemade soymilk).
  • Cost of one gallon of store-bought soymilk: $6:40 (for this calculation, I used Silk Unsweetened Soymilk which is $3.20 for a half gallon).

Annual Savings: $228.80

Cost Analysis for Making Soymilk in Automatic Soymilk Machine

  • Cost of 10 pound bag of certified organic dried soybeans at Amazon.com: $19.95
  • Cost to make one gallon of soymilk in machine: $1.75 (it takes 14 ounces of dried soybeans to make 1 gallon of soymilk in the machine).
  • Cost of Joyoung CTS1048 Automatic Hot Soy Milk Maker at Amazon.com: $99.00.
  • Estimated life of soymilk machine: 4 years (I amortized the cost of the machine over four years to $24.75/year).
  • Cost of one gallon of store-bought soymilk: $6:40 (same calculation as above).

Annual Savings: $217.05  

Milking It: Save Over $200 a Year by Making Your Own Soymilk!