Friday, January 14, 2011

Almond Joy

Fresh Almond Milk

Mmmmm... almonds. I'm allergic to cashews and brazil nuts (they contain urushiol, the same oil as poison oak, and ivy). So sad. But almonds to the rescue! Delicious, healthy, this nut is super versatile. I use it in some form almost every day and had to give it some props.
For those of you pulling away from soy (milk) and dairy milk, almond milk is a healthier alternative. It also tastes amaaaazing.

It is SO easy to make! Don't even think about buying premade!

Almond Milk
1/2 -3/4 C Almonds(soaked overnight-skins stay on)
3-6 C Water
Pinch of Salt

Optional:
1 Tbs dates/ syrup etc.
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1/2 Tsp extract)
2-5 cups of water ( I use 2 1/2-3)

*About vanilla- If I have leftover husks I use those. I usually just make it plain and unsweetened so it's more versatile.*

Sometimes you are in a hurry, but making practice of soaking all nuts and seeds will make them more digestible. Ever see whole sunflower seeds after you finish your business camping? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Here is more info. In this case, it also makes the nuts way more blender friendly!

1)Rinse Almonds well. I rinse 2 or 3 times.
2)Blend the almonds first, with a little water, adding as needed to keep it moving.
3)Add salt and water (and sweetener/flavor if preferred).
4)Blend for a few minutes on high until pretty smooth. You can drink it like this leaving the fiber in. It is thicker.


However, I like to strain mine to get a real milk consistency. I use a little cotton pouch (shown), the texture of a pillowcase. However, I have ripped a couple of these and I find a true nut milk bag, usually nylon, lasts longer (it's also a sprouting bag-so sometimes it's "busy"). You can buy them here and here if your local HFS doesn't carry them. They aren't always easy to find. Cheesecloth works in a pinch. 

I personally like a ratio of 1/2 heaping C almonds and about 4 cups water (thick and rich), but sometimes stretch it farther by adding water until it fills the blender.

It last about 5 days or so in the fridge (the salt helps I've discovered). You can flavor it with chocolate (cacao), strawberries, vanilla, hazelnut (hazelnut milk alone is delicious) use it in smoothies, puddings, baking, soups, ice cream... whatever you can think of. 
Now, you will open up your 'pouch' or whatever you strained with, and inside will be luscious, buttery smooth almond meal. You can do a lot with this. Use it on a sandwich, in raw breads,  crackers, cookies, pie crusts, freezer desserts and in baking. I threw in some cocao, maple syrup, and pecans with the pulp, rolled balls of this in coconut flakes, dehydrated for about 2 hours and voila! 

Brownie cookies! SO good. I topped some homemade coconut vanilla ice cream with them and it was a crazy indulgent (healthy!!) dessert.

Almond Joy Smoothie:
1 Cup Almond Milk
1-2 Tbs Coconut milk (meat blended with water or out of can)
2-3 Tbs Shredded Coconut
1 Tbs Cocao or Cocoa
a few almonds

Blend all ingredients. Pulse in almonds at the end for an extra crunch.. you could add in some chocolate chips too! Yum!

The wind chill is forecast at 35 below. So, another day on rest from running :( But that's okay. I'm training to keep my muscles ready!

4 comments:

  1. Delish! I just made almond milk this weekend too. Love the cookie idea, you can never have enough cookies.

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  2. This looks delicious. Yes- I drink soy or almond milk, although I tend to gravitate towards the "Vanilla" flavored. Coconut vanilla ice cream sounds amazing too. Thanks! Hope you keep warm!!

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  3. Great idea of what to do with the leftover almond meal! And I recently switched to almond milk, so you have given me some motivation to make my own now! Thanks!

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  4. Rachel, if you love almond milk you'll L O V E fresh made ;)! I was always intimated by it.. but once I tried, I was hooked.. so good!

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Thanks for your input!

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