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soy milk as substitute for cream in sauces?

alkapal Jan 19, 2009 03:13 AM

i heard this cookbook author, george stella,
say that soy milk can give you a creamy (and low-fat, healthful) sauce, instead of using the high fat cow's cream. yea or nay?

(when i have tasted soy milk, i didn't care for it at all. i can't recall now if i though it had a weird sweet flavor?).

(maybe this belongs in home cooking....)

  1. Soop Jan 19, 2009 04:39 AM

    Yeah, you can get imported (from Hong Kong or Japan?) those soy milk drinks. The malted one is not bad, although it is a subtle sweet taste. I can imagine that making a nice sweet sauce.

    Think coconut milk

    1. Caralien Jan 19, 2009 09:45 AM

      I'm not a fan of soy milk, but a lot of people love it. You may want to also try rice, almond, peanut, and some other milks (the unsweetened versions).

      I use evaporated skim as a replacement for cream (and don't tell the recipients) if I'm making something less fatty but just as dense. This works really well in pumpkin pie.

      If it's something savoury, simmer some smashed (but kept whole) garlic in the milk first, and strain before using to mimic a buttery flavour for sauces, mashed potatoes, etc.

      Even regular skim milk is sometimes fortified with dried skim milk powder to provide density, but I haven't found skim milk to be very good for anything but drinking or pouring on cold cereal as it separates quickly when heated.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Caralien
        alkapal Jan 19, 2009 09:56 AM

        really like the evap-skim ideas!

        1. re: alkapal
          goodhealthgourmet Jan 19, 2009 10:21 AM

          alka, definitely try evap skim - i use it in everything from ganache to custards to mashed potatoes...and no one can ever tell the difference from full-fat recipes.

          for the record, most soy milks have a lot of sugar added to them, so your memory that you found it unpalatably sweet is probably accurate. it also has a slight "beany" flavor (i just noticed that dmd_kc also pointed that out, but i think it's worth repeating).

      2. d
        dmd_kc Jan 19, 2009 10:02 AM

        Soy milk is probably the ingredient that varies most from producer to producer of anything you'll ever use. Some of them have an extremely unpleasant, beany flavor, while some taste as sweet as candy, even the unflavored ones. I think they're impossible to generalize about.

        They substitute variably. Sometimes you'll get an untirely unexpected result. For instance, cornstarch will not thicken at all with some kinds of soy milk (also rice milk).

        Added at the end in a sauce, I think you'd get an acceptable result as long as you like the flavor of the soy milk as it comes out of the container. But I wouldn't be shocked to get an unexpected result, either.

        1. kchurchill5 Jan 19, 2009 10:09 AM

          Personally I do not like soy milk. The evaporated idea is a great substitute. I have only tried it once but it seems to work out. I don't mind using skim milk or low fat milk and with some additional seasoning and sometimes the use of dried potatoes flakes as a thickener for sauces you can make up some of the flavor.

          However, you just can't completely substitue heavy cream for some dishes. I love using wine, broth, vodka and other sources for flavor and thicken slightly with just a bit of heavy cream. It cuts down on the fat with even more taste and a depth of flavor. Contact me at kchurchill5@comcast.net if you want any exact recipes. Good luck!

          1. n
            nemo Jan 19, 2009 10:16 AM

            Silk soy milk is the best tasting that I've found. I used it once as an experiment in a cream sauce, but it turned sort of beige and unappealing. I think I tossed it. It sort of worked in a lemon sponge pie. While the pie tasted and looked fine, it was a bit runny. I wonder if you could use silken tofu?

            The skim evaporated is good in quiches and mac and cheese, too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nemo
              addicted2cake Jan 20, 2009 04:11 PM

              You can try Silk or 365 (Whole Foods) plain, unsweetened, full fat soy milk and see what you think. I use both as a cream sub in my pumpkin pie. You should also look up Mimcreme and see if that might work for you. It's not low fat, but probably lower in fat than cream and can be used in savory as well as sweet dishes.

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