Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Homemade soy lattes all around

I have exciting news! Well, I was excited, anyway. I discovered the "trick" to making perfect lattes with my homemade soy milk--no more of that curdling grossness. It's very simple, really: Just add the steamed milk to the cup first, and then stir the espresso in. Then plop your foam on top, and enjoy the goodness of a homemade latte!

It's just very simple chemistry, and I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. But espresso, being acidic, should be added to the base--soy milk--instead of the other way around. And it comes out smooth and perfect!

Speaking of homemade soy milk, I have settled on a recipe that satisfies me with its taste and texture. I looked at a few different soy milk recipes, the most influential by far being Dori's recipe. In fact, I might have followed her recipe almost exactly, except that I have been unable to find a source of whole oat berries. Anyway, at the bottom of this post I'll share what I have come up with.

Just to let you all know, I am going to try to make a concerted effort to respond to all your comments to my posts. Don't fault me if I get behind! I do love to read and treasure all your comments--and it's always nice to get responses, I know. I've responded to everyone in my previous post.

Lastly, there is no winter wonderland here in Athens, Georgia. If you want snow, take a look here or here, but I have not seen snow this year and do not expect to. It used to snow every winter in north Georgia, but the devastating effects of global warming are being felt everywhere. Winters here are frigid and clear most of the time, with a lot of bare trees and deadness all over the ground. The mornings are the coldest time, and also the most beautiful--the clouds are truly "winter clouds," and interact with the sun in a distinctly different way from thick, opaque summer clouds. I set out to class every morning right about at the crack of sunrise; if I look to the west, I see this.

And if I look to the east, I see this.

Just wanted to share my mornings with you.


Laura's Homemade Soy Milk

1/3 cup soybeans
2 tablespoons brown rice
2 tablespoons pearl barley (or for variation, 1 tablespoon pearl barley and 1 tablespoon raw cashews)

Soak these overnight before making the soy milk according to the instructions. My machine makes 6 cups of soy milk; I split it in half and store 3 cups each in two Mason jars. This is convenient for me because then, if I want, I can make half the batch plain and the other half vanilla-flavored. To make 1 jar (3 cups) of vanilla soy milk, I use: 1 tablespoon raw sugar; 1/8 teaspoon sea salt; 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. To make 1 jar of plain soy milk, I use: 1 teaspoon raw sugar; 1/8 teaspoon sea salt. Add to the jar, add the milk, shake it up, and chill it.


Melody said...

your latte looks amazing!.. and duh.. you are right.. it is simple chemistry.. I will have to try barley in the homemade soymilk.. I usually just make mine with brown rice and soybeans... because I'm too lazy to get the groats... but I love Dori's recipe too.. I do the same.. make half of it vanilla and half regular.

Love the sky pics..

Ruthie said...

It's so cool that you make your own soymilk. I have the machine but haven't gotten into a scheduled "groove" yet of soymilk making! :) Like I said before, you're my soymilk inspiration!

aTxVegn said...

What beautiful pictures of your mornings.

Thanks for posting your soymilk recipes. I really want to explore the idea of making my own, although I have been buying rice milk lately.

Vicki said...

homemade soy milk?! i bow down. and i love the photos at the bottom -- thanks for sharing those.

laura jesser said...

Melody, I like the barley because it gives the soy milk a little more body--I think it's creamier than just soybeans and rice.

Ruthie, I have to admit that sometimes I just don't want to have to deal with making soy milk--mostly because I have to clean out the machine! Bob helps me keep the soy milk stocked, though, and between the two of us it's not too bad.

Diann, I haven't ever tried pure rice milk. I should really give it a try sometime. I love almond milk as an alternative to soy.

Vicki, your comment makes me smile! I'm glad you like the pictures... I just wish they had snow in them.

Celine said...

your mornings look wonderful! have a happy one today.

Midwest Vegan said...

Thanks for showing us your morning views. They're beautiful.

I've been contemplating buying a soymilk maker but have heard a lot of mixed reviews.

bazu said...

Laura, your photos are gorgeous. I've only been to Georgia a couple of times, but I would love to go back.

Thank you for the soymilk recipe- you are nudging me closer and closer to wanting to try that myself!

And the coffee trick is right on- with absolutely no knowledge of chemistry, that's how I've always done it- on my part, it's idiot's intuition, I guess! But now you've given me solid backing for doing it this way. =)

Gaia said...

Wow, you have been busy blogging since my last visit ! LOL

First, how cute you are in your kitchen with your synthetic boots ! And a hi-five to Bob for his Zelda interest ! LOL

The Chai cupcakes look heavenly !

Megan the Vegan said...

that's some interesting scientific evidence! I often wondered why sometimes my soymilk curdled and sometimes it didn't

laura jesser said...

Celine, thanks for your happy wishes! I'm a morning person, so my mornings are usually happy. :)

Midwest, to be perfectly honest, my homemade soy milk doesn't taste quite as good to me as Silk light vanilla--which is my favorite. But I like my homemade milk better than some varieties of commercial milk, and I can get used to drinking it instead of Silk!

Bazu, Georgia can be a nice place to visit. I want to explore the northeast more--I've never been to New York and I only passed through Boston. It's funny that you've always assembled your milk and coffee "the right way"--I'm so used to doing it the other way around!

Gaia, thanks for your sweet remarks! LOL, I probably am just as interested in Zelda as Bob is, but I am not coordinated enough to play--I watch him, though! I'm trying to blog more often, because it makes me happy--it's my "creative outlet!"

Megan, I actually got my advice from a chemist, lol! And as "duh" as it seems to me now, I probably would never have thought of it on my own.

Harmonia said...

Tips and tricks are always nice...glad it worked out for you! Just droppin by to say hi

Melissa West said...

Gorgeous photos of the winter. Love the soy lattes!

laura jesser said...

Harmonia, always lovely to see you drop in! I enjoy tips and tricks whenever I can get them...

Melissa, thanks for your comments! I love photographing the sky--I think it's one of the most amazing parts of the natural world.

Kati said...

Your mornings are so beautiful! I love sunrise/sunset pics.

laura jesser said...

:) Thanks, Kati! I love them too...

Dori said...

Bravo. I agree that the barley would work the same as the oats, I just happened to have the oats when I was experimenting and enjoyed it so I never changed.

I'd be happy to take a morning late with you... yum looks frothy!

laura jesser said...

Dori, maybe someday we will get to have that morning latte with you! That sounds like much fun.

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