As I work on putting blog posts up about recent crafts (skills!) I thought I would slip in some other types of posts as well.
Today I am working with the leftover almonds from almond milk I made yesterday. We don’t generally drink animal milk (my child only drinks breastmilk and has almond milk as a treat) but we always have an abundance of nut milks! It’s not that we are anti-animal milk…we just don’t crave it usually. The last time I NEEDED milk I was pregnant and it had to be whole milk or someone was going to get hurt by an upset pregnant lady. We buy heavy cream on occasion for soups and recipes that require it but other than that it tends to sit in the fridge and I am forced to use it in something before it goes bad. The only animal milk that doesn’t last here is raw goats milk. We are lucky to have a place to buy it locally (until we own milking goats) but the price and far drive deters us. Mostly, the drive as we are supportive of paying more to get quality food and support local people. #buylocal #shopsmall
The almond milk itself is so easy! The only problem is that I end up with a ton of chopped up almonds after that usually magically turn into cookies. Oops!
For the almond milk I use one cup raw almonds (we buy in bulk from Costco) to four cups of water. I let it soak for 24 hours. Then I blend it all, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then strain it using cheesecloth and a mason jar. Plain almond milk is used in cooking/baking in my home and now that my husband isn’t gone for work he most likely will use it in his protein shakes as well when he has little time to eat at work. For just drinking I usually add a dash or squirt of all natural almond extract and another of vanilla. I also add a heaping spoonful or two of sugar (though if you buy commercial sweetened almond milk this may be too little for your tastes). I usually use honey as a sweetener in most things but couldn’t feed that to my baby and although she’s breastfed she liked to share sips of whatever I am drinking. Now, she gets her own sippy cup of the good stuff! She is fine to consume honey now but not having to heat honey in water before mixing saves us much needed time. Once finished I keep the milk in large mason jars. As you can see from the picture it separates! One shows it shaken and the other is untouched. I have noticed the milk with sugar and extract doesn’t separate as much though. Just shake and pour before use! Super easy!
So now I am left with a cup of almonds. I tend to make my version of Mexican Wedding Cookies with them but with how much milk I make that is too many cookies! Today, I have two cups. I usually strain then roast the almonds (being careful about not letting them stick from sugar residue) on low before use. With this batch I am going to make almond meal for either kransekake (Norwegian stacking cake that we had at our handfasting) or a sweet almond bread. The meal still has the skins which isn’t as appealing visually in these things but I make food for nourishment and using as much of a product as I can opposed to tossing bits.
If you want to do this but not use your almond meal (or chopped almonds as pictured below before blending into meal) right away then store it in the freezer. I feel this effects the consistency somewhat but you can build up quite a supplying you make milk regularly like we do. Many people toss the almonds for this reason. If you don’t sweeten the almonds you can use them in savory foods as well to help use them up! Waste not want not!