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Monday, August 3, 2009

CONSERVING WATER WHEN MAKING HOMEMADE SOYMILK OR TOFU; EASY VEGAN POPSICLES-- NOT JUST FOR KIDS!

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A Vegan Pineapple Sherbet Pop about to be eaten, in front of a new batch of Vegan Orange Creamsicles

Last week all temperature records were broken in BC-- it was HOT! Popsicles and salads were the order of the day, and I'll get back to those popsicles very soon. A prime concern for many people, even in our rain forest, is water-- or the lack thereof. We had a dry winter and spring, and now a dry summer. Forest fires are raging in parts of the province; wells are drying up. You see trucks with huge water tanks waiting in the ferry lineups to bring water to fill island wells. (We are lucky-- we have a back-up deep well to fill up our well in the summer.)


A reader pointed out the problem of how much water is used in soymilk making some time ago, and I addressed that on my page about soymilk making. But I recently began to use a more efficient way of utilizing water during the soymilk-making process, and I'd like to share it with you.

If you make your own soymilk and/or tofu and you are having water problems, here are some ideas to conserve water during the very water-intensive process:

You can use the same 2 quarts or so of water to:
a.) float the skins off the soybeans;
b.) scald your equipment;
c.) wash your equipment after making the soymilk;
and d.) water your plants or garden!



While rubbing the skins off of the beans before making the soymilk (removing the skins results in a product with a less "beany" taste), strain the water in which you are floating off the skins through a seive into a pot or bowl each time. Re-use the same water for each round of rubbing off and floating off the skins and save the water after the last round. (NOTE: I have found that the age of the soybeans makes a difference in terms of removing the skins.  For older, more shrunken soybeans, it takes me about 7 minutes to remove the skins; for nice plump newer soybeans it takes only about 3 minutes.  I soak them in the refrigerator first for a few days.  Freezing the soaked beans also helps the skins come off more easily.)

Now you can
boil that same strained rinsing water and use it to scald your equipment in a basin. After making your soymilk, you can re-use the same water (in a washing basin and reheated) to wash out your straining cloth and clean and rinse your soymilk-making equipment. If you use dish soap, use a biodegradable one. You can then use this washing and rinsing water to water your plants or garden, or even flush your toilet, if water is very scarce. I hope that helps!

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Now, those popsicles! Sure, I keep them around for treats for my grandchildren, but DH and I like them for a cold treat, too. And the ones I make are low in calories, fat, and even sugar. I don't have any of those fancy, flat Popsicle molds (UPDATE Aug 3 2011-- I do now! Great Canadian Superstore has some at a very reasonable price.)-- I like the small ones you can buy in a large supermarket just because they ARE small. These small molds make a popsicle that's only around 50 cool calories and about 1 WW point!

(PS: here is an article with links to all sorts of popsicle molds. This site sells many different kinds of popsicle molds. Tupperware sells molds, in Canada, too.

If you are looking for BPA-free molds, here are three: Tovola molds [doesn't say they are BPA free, but I according to this site, they are]; Norpro molds ; and Soft landing molds . Stainless-steel popsicle molds are also available. You can also use wooden popsicle sticks [buy them at craft stores if you can't find them elsewhere] with tiny glass jars or drinking glasses. Because it is a cold mixture that goes into them, and they can be removed from the mold as soon as they freeze, and the plastic is never heated, I personally don't worry too much about this.)

For special occasions, you can make "adult popsicles" by adding a little liquor or liqueur to the mix!

Here are two of our favorite popsicle recipes, and I'll share some more of our favorites in the weeks to come.



Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S VEGAN ORANGE CREAMSICLES (WITH GROWN-UP OPTION)
Servings: 16
Yield: 16 small popsicles

1 cup non-dairy milk
(you can even use soymilk that has turned to "buttermilk"!)
1/ 12.3 oz. box firm or extra-firm SILKEN tofu (use soft or medium tofu if silken is not available)
6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
1/3 cup unbleached organic granulated sugar (or agave nectar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch salt
GROWN-UP OPTION: 3 tablespoons citrus vodka or orange liqueur

Blend until smooth in a blender or Vita-Mix, fill your popsicle molds, put the sticks in place, and freeze solid. To remove, turn the mold upside down and run under hot tap water for a a few seconds, until the popsicles loosen in the molds enough to slide them out.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
54.2 calories; 9% calories from fat; 0.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 39.3mg sodium; 142.5mg potassium; 10.2g carbohydrates; 0.2g fiber; 9.7g sugar; 10.0g net carbs; 2.3g protein; 1.1 points.

Nutrition facts with the vodka or liqueur added: Nutrition (per serving): 60.3 calories; 8% calories from fat; 0.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 39.3mg sodium; 142.6mg potassium; 10.2g carbohydrates; 0.2g fiber; 9.7g sugar; 10.0g net carbs; 2.3g protein; 1.2 points.

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Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S VEGAN PINEAPPLE SHERBET POPS (WITH GROWN-UP OPTION)
Servings: 18
Yield: 18 small popsicles


1/ 12.3 oz box firm or extra-firm SILKEN tofu (use soft or medium tofu if silken is not available)
1/3 cup unbleached organic granulated sugar (or agave nectar)
4 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
19 oz canned unsweetened crushed pineapple packed in juice (with the juice)
GROWN-UP OPTION: 3 tablespoons vodka, rum, pineapple liqueur or coconut liqueur

Blend until smooth in a blender or Vita-Mix, fill your popsicle molds, put the sticks in place, and freeze solid. To remove, turn the mold upside down and run under hot tap water for a few seconds, until the popsicles loosen in the molds enough to slide them out.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
43.6 calories; 8% calories from fat; 0.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 12.5mg sodium; 68.1mg potassium; 8.9g carbohydrates; 0.3g fiber; 8.2g sugar; 8.6g net carbs; 1.6g protein; 0.9 points.

Nutrition facts with the liquor added: Nutrition (per serving): 52.4 calories; 6% calories from fat; 0.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 12.5mg sodium; 68.1mg potassium; 9.7g carbohydrates; 0.3g fiber; 8.2g sugar; 9.4g net carbs; 1.6g protein; 1.0 points.

Keep cool!


5 comments:

Yaelian said...

Here in Israel we have serious problems with water or lack of it, and I have been trying to do my best to save water,by using a lot of "grey" water.Your tip about reusing the water for soybeans is very good, I will use that next time I make soymilk.
Your popsickles sound so yummy! Unfortunately we don't have silken tofu available here, although there are many tofu producers.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Yaelian, I have just amended the recipes to say that you can use a soft or medium tofu if silken is not available. The Mori-Nu silken tofu is very nice because it's in tetra-packs and I can keep it around all the time without worrying about it going sour (we live on an island and don't go shopping very frequently). You should approach your supermarket or health food store and ask if it's possible to get it.
http://www.morinu.com/product/products.html
Another brand is Nature's Soy:
http://www.naturesoy.com/products02.htm

Some Asian shops have other Chinese and Japanese brands.

Vegan Epicurean said...

Adult popsicles .... what a brillant idea (she says as she smacks her forehead). Thanks so much for sharing the idea. I can't wait to tinker with the concept!

Have you tried to make silken tofu? I assume it is the same process only with less coagulant. Right?

Alicia

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Vegan Epicurean-- actually, it is a different process making silken tofu and one that is hard to duplicate in a home kitchen. It is set in the container it is sold or served in and set with a product (it is vegan-- see this FAQ from the Ener-G Foods page http://www.ener-g.com/Faq/productfaq.aspx#22 ) called Glucono-delta-lactone or GDL. This is very hard to obtain in small quantities outside of Asia.

The closest thing we can come to it making it at home is to use a soft regular tofu (make sure you take the skins off the beans for a more neutral flavor), or "Tofu Fah", which is used as a dessert tofu, but could be used in place of silken tofu.

Here are some recipes and notes on making tofu-fa:

This recipe is very detailed and shows how to make it with gypsum (Gypsum is just calcium sulphate or sulfate-- ask for it at your pharmacy), or with Glucono Delta-Lactone:
http://ieatishootipost.sg/2009/07/how-to-make-tau-huay-tofu-fa-featuring.html

http://www.soymilkquick.com/tofudessert.php
utilizes gypsum and both potato and corn starches.

The soymilk is at a rolling boil in this recipe when you add it to the gypsum powder and starches, and that should be sufficient cooking for the starches.

This recipe uses only potato starch, which cooks on contact with hot liquid:
http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2008/06/tofu-fa-recipe-chinese-dessert.html

This Malaysian recipe uses cornstarch only, but the milk is at also a rolling boil when added:
http://chowtimes.com/2006/03/21/sweet-soy-pudding-tou-foo-fa/

(You will notice that some recipes use unsweetened soymilk and some use regular that has a little sweetener in it, so my guess is that you could use plain homemade soymilk or commercial soymilk of any kind to make this.)

Vegan Epicurean said...

Thanks for all the information. I will definitely give it a try; I love to learn new things.

Alicia