Whilst ordering a soy or oat latte may have become the new norm, did you know that plant-based alternatives can be easily incorporated into your broader diet? Those who are vegan or lactose intolerant will be well versed in substituting non-dairy milk into their morning cereal but those of us without dietary concerns may not have considered the environmental and nutritional benefits of switching to soy, almond and oat milk beyond our morning coffee.
With a mild, creamy taste and high nutritional benefits, soy milk in particular is an excellent option for those who are new to utilising non-dairy milk in their cooking.
There are a few considerations that need to be taken into account when substituting plant-based alternative milk into everyday recipes however once you master the basics, you’ll be cooking delicious soy muffins and pancakes in no time! Continue reading for your guide to cooking your favourite meals with the best soy milk in Australia.
In terms of nutritional content, soy milk is one of the best plant-based alternatives to cow’s milk available on the market. Rich in protein, the drink contains all nine essential amino acids and is an excellent source of calcium.
Soy milk has high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — which are the good kinds. It is recommended by doctors for those suffering from high cholesterol and heart disease as it contains far less saturated fat than cow’s milk.
Soy milk also contains naturally high levels of an antioxidant known as isoflavones. Isoflavones are shown to produce an anti-inflammatory effect and can be useful for those suffering from cancer and osteoporosis.
If you are considering replacing cow’s milk with soy in a few of your favourite recipes, you certainly don’t have to be concerned with the nutritional value of your meal.
There are a few things to keep in mind when substituting soy milk for a traditional dairy product — particularly when baking — as the chemical formula and taste of the two are not exactly the same.
Soy milk has a mild and creamy flavour, making it an ideal substitutive ingredient as it is unlikely to dominate a dish. Keep in mind that recipes that feature milk as the main ingredient, such as custards and cream soups, are likely to taste slightly different due to the amount of soy milk you are using.
You can also get flavoured soy milk, which is perfect should you be looking to make a chocolate milkshake or vanilla cupcakes.
Soy is quite sensitive to heat. High temperatures can cause the protein to degrade, which in turn can cause the milk to split.
This is particularly important to consider when using soy milk in your coffee. An expert barista will know the exact temperature at which to heat soy milk to create that perfect creamy, frothy texture.
When using soy milk in other cooking situations, it is recommended to avoid boiling it or combining it with particularly acidic food. Should you need to, try whisking it in at the end of the recipe to avoid curdling your mixture.
The consistency of soy milk is fairly similar to that of dairy milk, and it does not present too many issues when it comes to substitution in a recipe. It is recommended to start with a 1:1 ratio however you may end up finding that you need to add a thickener (starch or flour) to mimic the consistency exactly.
Whilst soy milk can be used as a non-dairy alternative across all meals, there are a few recipes in which it particularly shines:
Soy compliments the taste of oats perfectly, and is an excellent way to start your day. If you are concerned about your soy milk curdling, considering cooking the bulk of the dish with water and stirring through the soy milk at the end for a delicious breakfast.
Soy milk can be easily added to any classic pancake recipe to create a mouth-watering sweet treat. It is best to select soy milk that is unsweetened or alternatively reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. Keep in mind also that your pancakes may be slightly slower to brown and will be a little chewier due to a lower fat content.
Smoothies are an excellent avenue through which you can get your daily dose of fruit and veggies. With its creamy texture, soy milk blends easily and using chocolate or vanilla flavourings can provide extra sweetness.
As you can see, soy milk can be easily adapted and incorporated into your favourite recipes to provide added, great-tasting nutritional content. Make sure to use the best soy milk in Australia in order to reap the many benefits of substituting soy milk into your diet.