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Avec Amour : May 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

DIY Almond Milk + Almond Milk Cinnamon Sugar Coffee Creamer + Almond Meal (or almond flour)

I've been drinking almond milk for years, because i've always been weary of too much dairy in my system. And to be completely honest, i'd rather save my dairy consumption for cheese.

I always thought drinking the unsweetened, 40 calories, plain almond milk was healthy, and most likely only included almonds as the ingredients! I also was wondering how to "milk" an almond.......

Turns out my unsweetened almond milk wasn't as healthy as i thought (and i won't lie.... i tried to turn Matt from regular milk to almond milk since i'm kinda convinced he's lactose intolerant and i thought it was better for him!)

i can't say most of those words.
Low in calories, and the fat included is of course good fat from nuts! But what is D-alpha-tocopherol....?


Well, you learn something new every day.

So i decided i was going to milk my own almonds.... somehow.

I did a little research, and learned about something called a cheese cloth. They also make ones for nuts, called nut milk bags. I bought mine here.

The entire process is so easy, you aren't going to believe it. It would actually take you longer to *go* to the store and buy almond milk, except one part that involves time overnight. This recipe makes 2 quarts of almond milk. I chose to make 1 quart of milk, and dffffhhvvvvvvvh1/2 quart of almond milk creamer instead.

Ingredients

1 cup of raw almonds (none of this dry roasted or salted business!)
8 cups of water, additional 4 cups / 2 cups of fresh water.
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Optional ingredients for coffee creamer:
3 tbsp. agave
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

Almond Milk


First, take your 8 cups of cold filtered water and put it in a bowl (i actually put mine in the blender to soak. Hey, one less dish to do!) Add your cup of almonds. Add your salt. Allow to soak overnight. So do this process right before you to go bed, and you can make your milk in the morning! Or throw them in before you go to work, let them soak throughout the day, etc. But 8-12 hrs of soaking is great, up to 24 hrs is fine.


Once your almonds have soaked, drain and rinse them. You don't want to use that water, because the salt breaks down acids and builds enzymes in your almonds. I don't necessarily know what that means, but everything i've read suggests this is beneficial! Anyway, once you've rinsed your almonds, take half of them and put them in the blender with 4 cups of water. Put the lid on, and blend like crazy for about 2 minutes. Once your almonds are pulverized, take your cheese cloth or nut milk bag and put it over your pitcher or a bowl. Pour the pureed almonds into the cloth, and allow the milk to sift through. Use your hands to squeeze it out, so all the liquid is in the bowl/pitcher, and the dry almond meal is left in the cloth. PLEASE DONT THROW THAT AWAY! Set in a tupperware for later. We'll get there :)

That's it. Put in a pretty jar and enjoy! I'm using a 1 quart mason jar.

Coffee Creamer

Take the remaining portion of almonds and add to blender with half the water you used for your milk (i used 2 cups last time, and i think next time i'll use about 1.5 cups to make it a bit creamier!). Blend water and almonds for 2 minutes.


Same as last time.... strain the milk through the cloth, save the almond meal.
This time, return the milk to the blender and add 3-4 tbsp of agave, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Blend for 1-2 minutes until well mixed. continue to sweeten to taste.

This is the flavor combo i used, but the sky is the limit! If you have pure vanilla or pure hazlenut, go for it! I also thought pumpkin spice would be easy to make with pumpkin pie seasoning. My only advice is to add a little less than you think, and just continue to sweeten by adding a little more and blending for another 30 seconds,

Now you have gorgeous, chemical free, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and did i mention DELICIOUS almond milk and creamer, just waiting for your breakfast.

Almond milk and creamer last about 5-7 days in the fridge.
Note: They will separate in the fridge. Totally normal. Just give it a shake before you use it!


Now, what to do with that almond meal

If you don't have some time to be around the house right now, have no fear - you can put this in an air tight container in the freezer for a few weeks.

Put your oven on 170 while you prep. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle the almond meal over it evenly. Pop it in the oven for about 2-3 hrs, or until it's totally dry. I left my oven cracked just a little to help this process.

Once it's dry, put it in the food processor or blender to make sure its very fine in consistency. Now you're ready to bake with almond meal! Which if you haven't done before, is delicious.

Not to mention, it's crazy expensive in the store. and by using the milk and the meal, you're creating NO waste and totally getting your money's worth!

Do you think i'm crazy? Try it.... way easier than you think! :)


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