Monday, February 28, 2011

Almond Delights

So, after more reading and research, I really feel as if I need to cut out more dairy (or at least cow dairy). No, I'm not going to totally give up my Perrydell ice cream or Organic Valley raw cheese, but try my best to lessen my intake. I have been drinking less and less milk anyway, mostly just on cereal or baked oatmeal in the morning and then only water, hot tea or Cafix the rest of the time. I was still left wondering if I would be able to cut it out completely, and if it would make any difference in how I feel. When I found this recipe from the Gorgeously Green site, I knew I had to try almond milk. I had some this summer at the beach, and also tried coconut milk but all of the commercial ones (even organic) had additives that could be problematic. How else should I go but with homemade? This recipe is based on the Gorgeously Green one, but I made changes to make a little more milk and without using dates as a sweetener (since I don't have any on-hand right now!). Also see below to find out what I made with the leftover ground almonds (hint- includes chocolate!).

Almond Milk
1 c raw organic almonds (really important to use raw, as roasted nuts are not as nutritious and non-organic almonds are riddled with pesticides)
4 c water
1/2 T vanilla
1 tsp Sun Crystals

Place almonds in glass bowl and cover with cold water. Cover and store in refrigerator overnight (or for a few days, it won't hurt if it has to wait :). Drain almonds. Place 1/2 c almonds and 2 c water in blender or magic bullet and blend about 1 minute. You will still have some almond pulp. Pour into a cheesecloth (unbleached if possible) covered sieve or strainer that is in a large bowl. Blend the rest of the almonds and water and strain. Gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze to get out as much milk as possible. Save almond puree in refrigerator. Rinse blender. Pour half of the milk back into the blender and add half of the vanilla and half of the sugar. Blend a few seconds and pour into glass container for storage. Repeat with second half (you can do the whole batch at once depending on the size of your blender.). You may want to taste test for sweetness and vanilla amount and add more if necessary. The milk does get frothy in the blender.

I have used the milk in my baked oatmeal recipe as well as to pour over it. I have also eaten it over Kashi Go Lean cereal.

I used about 1/2 c of the puree in my baked oatmeal instead of whole or chopped almonds.

I used the other cup of puree in this Chocolate Almond Torte recipe. I will not repost it as I followed it (almost) exactly. It turned out well, although I cut the baking time by 5 minutes and it was still too long if you want it gooey in the center. It was still good, but I think I will actually like it better cold (I'm strange like that). 

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