Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Almond milk and almond four

Today I feel very proud of myself - not only did I make my own almond milk, but I made almond flour too! I made the milk following instructions from Diet, Desserts, and Dogs, an awesome blog full of recipes for people dealing with various food allergies. I couldn't find the recipe again when I went back to look for it, but it is super easy. Just soak 2 cups of raw almonds in a pot full of water overnight. In the morning when they are nice and plump, drain and rinse them, then put in a food processor with a fresh 1 3/4 cups of water. Blend the heck out of it, then, working in small batches, wrap up blobs of your almond mixture in cheesecloth and squeeze out the "milk." This almond milk is much thicker, richer and sweeter than any almond milk you can buy at the store. In fact, it is more like cream. I think I will water this batch down just a tad to make it last longer and make it a bit less rich.
After squeezing as much juice out of the almonds as I could, (and my hands are SO soft now - a pretty great and unexpected side-effect of the whole process) I put the remaining meal on a baking sheet. Then I baked the whole lumpy soggy mess in a 250 degree oven for several hours. I was just winging it at this point, so my instructions are to take the almond meal out now and then and feel it to see if it is dry. It will get kind of crunchy, but that's ok. When it is all dried out it will still be pretty coarse and lumpy. You could save this "almond meal" as-is if you want (I have some in the freezer from my last batch of almond milk) or you could put it in a coffee grinder to get the fine texture of almond flour. There - nothing went to waste! And while it would probably be much easier and less messy to just go to the store and buy almond milk and a bag of almond flour, then you wouldn't feel so proud of yourself, would you?


Jen Mc. said...

I am totally proud of you!! Can you speak to the cost-effectiveness of it? I use almond milk constantly, but almonds are pretty pricey too, right? What a fun project!!

Heather said...

That's a good question Jen. I realized today when I used some of my home made almond milk that it really does need to be watered down quite a bit - otherwise it is just way too thick and rich. So I think that 2 cups of almonds can yield more than 2 cups of milk quite easily, and if you use the almond flour that will increase the cost-effectiveness of the whole thing. I'll pay attention to how much I pay for almonds next time and crunch some numbers.