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Is Soy Milk Gluten-Free? Important Info About The Delicious Dairy Alternative!

is soy milk gluten free

As the popularity of plant-based milk increases, it is even more important for us to know the answer to this question – Is soy milk gluten-free? I stopped drinking cow’s milk a long time ago, after realising that it’s not exactly as healthy as what we have been led to believe. My first foray into the world of plant-based milk was when I ordered my weekly Starbucks latte one fine day. This time with soy milk, after a recommendation by the barista. Well, I’ve never looked back since. With more health-conscious individuals like me opting for milk alternatives such as almond milk, hazelnut milk and even pea milk, I believe it is essential to know whether these alternatives will make or break your gluten-free diet. But first, let’s focus on soy milk since it is one of the most popular plant-based milk options out there. 

What is Soy Milk?

In the most basic sense, soy milk is just soybeans soaked in water, blended, and strained. The resulting liquid can then be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated. You can use it with your morning cereal, to cook your pancakes with, or just as an early morning drink. 

See Also: Is Soy Lecithin Gluten-Free?

Is Soy Milk Gluten-Free?

So, is soy milk gluten-free? Thankfully, yes! However, do check the labels. Soybeans, like all other legumes, are gluten-free. That’s why they make awesome substitutes for wheat pasta in a gluten-free diet. Think red lentil pasta, black bean spaghetti and chickpea penne. So, since the ingredients in soy milk in the purest sense are essentially soybeans, water and a little bit of salt, soy milk is naturally gluten-free.

Commercialised Soy Milk – Always Check the labels! 

Soy milk made this way, however, will unfortunately not last very long in the fridge. You will be hard-pressed to find store-bought soy milk that contains only these three ingredients – most soy milk that comes in a carton have, besides these three main ingredients, some other stuff that makes them, well, stay fresh in a carton longer. 

This means that we need to scrutinise the ingredients to make sure that they are indeed gluten-free as they vary (some quite significantly!) from one another. For example, Pacific Foods Organic Soy Original Unsweetened Plant-Based Beverage contains only two ingredients – water and organic soy – making them naturally gluten-free. If you’ve ever tried pure unsweetened soy milk, you’ll probably realise that the taste is much milder and subtle than cow’s milk. Therefore, some companies include sweeteners or flavours in their soy milk to cater to the taste preferences of those who prefer something stronger, or more similar to cow’s milk. So, taking the example of Eden Original Soymilk, it contains wheat and barley extract as a sweetener, making it a no-go for people with gluten intolerance. 

See Also: Is Dextrose Gluten Free?

Gluten-Free Store-bought Soy Milk 

Here’s a list of some brands of soy milk which are gluten-free:

●     Silk Soy Milk: All Silk products are gluten-free. The company has also stated on its website that there are allergen protocols to prevent and detect contamination by gluten or gluten components. With silk being the best-selling soymilk brand in the first half of 2023, taking up a 77.7% chunk of the market share in the United States, one can be confident of the quality and gluten-free assurance in its products. 

●     West Life Soy Milk:With over 35 years of history, West Life (previously known as West Soy) has committed itself to providing only the best quality plant-based products for its customers. With 7 variations of soymilk, including a soymilk chocolate option (they taste really good!), you’ll be glad to know that all of them are certified gluten-free.  

●     Pure Harvest Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk: I have a soft spot for family-owned establishments. They’re usually less commercialised and are committed to producing quality products, just like what you’d put on the table for your family. For those watching their sugar intake, you can also opt for the original version, which is a tad sweeter, with the addition of rice syrup as a sweetener. Although not all rice syrups are gluten-free because some producers use barley enzymes in the production process, the ones in Pure Harvest are gluten-free. And I like it that Pure Harvest deliberately added some plant calcium in their soy milk – perfect for those growing kids! 

Homemade Soy Milk – Much Easier than you think! 

As you can see, each manufacturer of soy milk alters the ingredients in their recipe based on what works for them and their target audience; some includes sweetener (and the type of sweetener varies greatly); some prefer to offer a more wholesome natural taste; some include lots of preservatives to extend the shelf-life. It depends on what you’re looking for. 

But I’d understand if standing at the supermarket aisles and peering at the ingredient list at the back of a soy milk carton provides you with zero appeal. Hence, why not make your own soy milk? It is so much easier than you might think. When I first discovered the wonderful taste of soy milk, I tried making it at home and found out it could be done in 20 minutes or less – although the soaking of soybeans took about 8 hours, or overnight. I soaked the soybeans overnight, watched some Netflix, went to bed and blended the soybeans the next morning. 

See Also: Is Spam Gluten Free? 

Soy Milk Recipe 

Here’s a simple recipe on how to on how to make homemade soy milk, yielding about 5-6 cups:


1 cup dried soybeans

5 cups of water (or filtered water)

A pinch of sea salt


A few pandan leaves, tied into a knot

A pinch of cinnamon powder 

Half a fresh vanilla bean 


  1. Rinse the dried soybeans and soak them in a bowl of water overnight. Make sure there’s at least 2 inches of water above the soybeans to ensure that the beans are evenly soaked. 
  2. Drain the water using a strainer. 
  3. Combine the soaked soybeans and water in a blender. 
  4. Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth. 
  5. Boil the strained milk in a pot for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan. I like to use a double boiler, just to make sure that the milk boils evenly. 

Now, this is where the magic of homemade soy milk lies. You are not stuck with one variant all the time. You can add any of the optional items in the mixture – pandan leaves, vanilla, cinnamon, or whatever you fancy – to tweak the flavour. My personal favourite is to add cinnamon because it simply reminds me of Christmas in a cup!)

Cool down the mixture, remove the foam and pour the liquid into a mason jar or air-tight container before refrigerating it. It can last up to 4 days. Mine never lasts long because it’s usually all gone by Day 2. 

See? It really isn’t that difficult to make your own homemade soy milk. It’s free of preservatives, good for your wallet, and it’s customisable. Best of all, it’s definitely safe for people with gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivities. 

Conclusion: Is Soy Milk Gluten-Free?

Soy milk, in the most basic and purest sense, is gluten-free. The confusion comes in when manufacturers include whatever they think best suits their consumers. The next time you pick up a soy milk carton from the supermarket shelves, you will need to look at the ingredient list and do your due diligence. However, if you’re up for it, try making your own soy milk at home!  

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