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Most recipes that I see for soy and nut milks ask you to soak the seeds and discard the soaking water.

The only plant milk recipe I've used that keeps the soaking water (Scratch Soy Milk by Andrea Nguyen) turns out just fine.

I've also experimented with using the soaking water in almond milk, and this too is fine.

So why should I discard the soaking water? Is it just a matter of taste, or is there more to it?

  • Hello Porcupine, very nice first question! I had to remove the health part of it, because it is off topic for us - we don't have medical specialists, and hearsay health advice often turns out to be misguided. Sorry that I had to edit that out, I still hope you'll get good answers. Welcome on the site! – rumtscho Jun 25 '18 at 7:49
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Generally, we soak grains and pulses then throw away the soaking water. If we didn’t it would likely turn sour in a few days. Also soaking helps remove some of the phytic acid, therefore unlocking more nutrients. I suspect the phytic acid will be in the soaking water which we flush away. Phytic acid prevents absorption of a number of minerals.

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It's to remove all "extras" that could gather surface.
As we know everything gather dust, bacteria and we don't know where it have been before. That standing water is perfect for all little things to thrive.

BUT your almonds for example have been pasteurized, but with what? The cheapest method is to use polyphenylene oxide.

All of the above stay in that water if you don't discard it. It's not for taste purpose but rather healthy reasons.

Also I discovered that when making aquafaba from soaked chickpeas using soaking water make foam turn to water in matter of minutes. When boiling them in new water foam is much better and usable.

  • Could you please explain what you mean by “pasteurization”? Pasteurization means short time heating to 60-100 degrees C. That’s not a standard procedure for nuts. And what’s about the PPO? Polyphenylene oxide is a heat resistant plastic used for computer and auto parts, not a food ingredient? – Stephie Nov 3 '18 at 21:11

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