Published On: Fri, Jun 14th, 2013

Soy Milk – A Beverage That Is Hundreds of Years Old

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The soybean is a great source of nutrients that is the key ingredient in a number of different products and can make a meal delicious and, at the same time, ‘may’ add health benefits. Coming from Asia, this plant has been used for many years to make tasty beverages and to add nutritional quality of all kinds of foods. The milk prepared from soya is one of the most wanted products in the world. This natural drink is highly appreciated by people from all over the world and has become a popular part of a balanced diet.

The origins of soy milk

In China there is a well-known legend, according to which soy milk was prepared for the first time by Liu An, a Chinese king who lived between 179-122 BC. He intended to help his old and sick mother enjoy eating soybeans, although she was not able to masticate anymore. It is said that it was her idea to grind the soybeans, but there is no concrete historical proof that this is the truth. Moreover, there are Chinese sources claiming that Liu An learned this method of obtaining soy milk from monks, or from the alchemists he hired to discover the secret of eternal life. Due to the fact that written records about soy milk are rare before the 20th century, many Chinese researchers still believe Liu An was the inventor of this drink.

How to use soy milk

Soy milk is used for many recipes in Asian cuisine. It can be consumed unsweetened, salted, or sweetened with syrups made from white or brown sugar. The industry of products based on soy milk is continuously growing, and besides the well-known tofu or bean curd, new items have been successfully released into the food market, such as yogurt, creams, kefir, or cheese analogues. Western countries consider the milk made from soya to be a reliable solution for the replacement of the traditional cow milk in the composition of different foods and beverages. For example, vegans, who eat no animal products, are fond of drinking milkshakes prepared from soy. Since veganism has gained more and more supporters in the last past years, many managers of coffee franchises consider this fact a good reason to start providing soy milk on request.

You can have your own homemade soya milk smoothies with minimum effort and time spent in the kitchen. All you have to do is throw a handful of fruits with them milk and blend them for 3-4 minutes, pour and enjoy. You can add some ice for a more refreshing sensation on a hot day.

Ecological influence

Apart from soy’s remarkable health benefits, there are arguably some ecological advantages of growing soy. It has been calculated that the amount of soy milk obtained from a certain area cultivated with soybeans can feed more people than if the same area was used to raise cows for producing milk. In addition, soy restores the nitrogen content of the soil.

If in any doubt ask a health professional about the suitability of soy products for you as some people can be allergic or intolerant to soy. Always read the label as some soy milk brands contain dairy ingredients

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