Is something organic if it is shipped across the country? What about the fuel that is used and how that affects our environment, not to mention the freshness of the food and a myriad of other factors. Over the last few years i have been reading everything i can get my hands on to help me answer these and other questions so sit back, relax and explore where my quest has taken me thus far.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Magical Soybella Machine

I finally got a chance to play with a new toy of mine.  As a wedding gift we got a Soybella machine which I was super excited about.  I got it because I wanted to be able to make my own almond and coconut milks at home, they are rather pricey in the store.  When I was flipping through the instruction manual I learned that this machine it truly multi purpose.  It can make soy and nut milks, but it can also make soups, broths, purees, chunky soups, rice paste (whatever that is) and grind things like coffee, nuts etc.  Well now I am ecstatic about this little device.  It is smallish and light weight, surprising for all the tasks it can perform. 

I made three items today.  1. Coconut milk, 2. almond milk and 3. potato leek soup (c'mon, an Irish girl just cannot resist!)  A brand of coconut milk I particularly like is "SoDelicious"  It is very thick and creamy which I love in my coffee, I looked up what makes it thick and found that the magic ingredient is guar gum, a natural food thickener. 

I followed the instructions to make coconut milk and then after 15 minutes heard a glorious little BEEP and knew I may have made by first batch of "milk."  I transferred the liquid to another container and added the guar gum, cane sugar and vanilla flavoring.  I then put the lid on and proceeded to try to shake this lava hot concoction up......BIG, BIG, HUGE MISTAKE!  The lid popped off and I got burnt, I think I will survive but if you have never had to rip a scalding hot shirt off your body be thankful and just take my advice to not shake hot liquids.  After my quick recovery and generous application of aloe vera gel I decided to whisk my mixture because the guar gum kind of became a guar ball instead, mixing it helped but I recommend putting it in a little at a time and whisking.  But hey, guess what?  It worked and tastes pretty good too!

Well now I am on a roll, I cleaned my new toy up and started my almond milk recipe, I followed the same steps then transferred the liquid to a container DID NOT SHAKE IT and slowly added the guar gum as I mixed, it worked much better.  I also added almond flavoring and maple syrup, it's pretty good but I think the coconut milk is the winner for me.

Ok so for my last item of the evening the potato leek soup, this device makes it so simple it's just scary, literally I had to cut up some potatoes, onions, garlic and add some spices......then press "paste"......I am sitting here impatiently waiting for my new favorite sound....BEEP!!!!

While I wait I will share my recipes since, as always I make changes to fit my needs.

Coconut milk
1 cup* shredded unsweetened coconut  (there is a special measuring cup included)
fill vessel to .8 L (there are markings on the inside of the container)
press the "mill" button  I don't think I needed this step since the coconut was already shredded and will skip it next time
next press the "milk" button and the machine takes it from there
15 minutes later BEEP and there was a milk like liquid in the container
transfer to another container and add:
1 tsp of guar gum slowly as you whisk - this is my first time using guar gum, next time i will try 1/2 tsp.
1 tsp of vanilla (i think i may skip this altogether to see what it tastes like without)
3 TBSP cane sugar (i will cut this down as it was a little too sweet for me)

All in all I like it very much and will continue to tweak the recipe to see what flavors I can coax out of this mixture.

Almond Milk
1 cup almonds
fill vessel up to .8L
"mill"  i pressed this about 5 times, the book said the more times pressed the thicker the mixture
this mixture had a sort of thin, watery smell to it
1 tsp guar gum
1 tsp almond flavoring
3 tbsp real maple syrup

mix and enjoy.  It thickened up nice and tasted pretty good, like i said, though, i do like the coconut milk a little better.

Potato Leek Soup
2 smallish potatoes diced
1 shallot, diced (i confess i don't have any leeks in the house)
3 garlic cloves chopped
sea salt
dash of cayenne pepper

place all into the machine, put lid on and press "paste" 

It beeped a few minutes ago and I opened 'er up.  While it does not look as thick as some cream based soups would, the potatoes should thicken the mixture up nicely, I did add more salt and think that I put just a tad too much cayenne pepper in it to begin with, hopefully that will dissipate a bit.  All in all it tastes great, I really cannot complain, I just made a fabulous soup in 20 minutes total! 

Well ta-ta for now!  If anyone has any recipes that they would like to share please feel free to post or email me.


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