Top positive review
37 people found this helpful
Great product, but a few things you should know...
on December 30, 2007
I've had the SDZ-5 for about nine months now, making 2-5 batches a week. I agree with all the favorable assessments posted here about ease of use and quality of contruction, but I do have some tips for its use. Here are my top 5:
First, my family and I found we didn't like plain "undoctored" soymilk, at all. You'll find that there are plenty of recipes on the internet for making soymilk that approximates what you buy in the store. We add 2T uncooked oatmeal to the soybeans in the machine before cooking. After cooking, we add 2 T sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 T vanilla to the finished product. Very tasty!
The end product still won't taste exactly like the brand of soymilk that you're currently drinking, but give it a couple of weeks and it'll probably become your new favorite. If you're like us, you may remember that it took you a while to get used to soymilk when you switched from dairy. Same thing here.
Second, we filter the cooked soymilk/oats through a piece of cheesecloth rubber-banded to the top of the unit, before adding flavorings. If you don't, you end up with with a fine, somewhat grainy sediment (okara) when you get to the bottom of the batch. You can get cheesecloth in a lot of grocery stores and kitchen shops. My machine came with cheesecloth for use in making tofu, but I found it so tightly woven that it tried my patience waiting for the soymilk to drain. Regular cheesecloth does the trick just fine. I rinse the cheesecloth and throw it into the laundry so it can be re-used.
Third, make sure to give filter a good scrub after each use (I throw it in the dishwasher afterward for good measure). The mesh is very fine, so it's easy for it to get gummed up, and easy not to notice.
Four, use a nice big piece of cheesecloth in a nice big colander to filter out the "whey" when you make tofu. As mentioned above, the included cheesecloth is too finely woven and too small to be of use.
Five, once you run out of the little packages of tofu "coagulant" that come with the machine, you can use 1 tsp of Epson salt as a fine alternative. Epson salt is a naturally occuring mineral salt (magnesium sulfate). It's perfectly safe to consume epson salt -- it's sold for internal use as a, ahem, laxitive. Happily, the small amount that remains in the finished tofu is too small to have this effect!