I’m Nuts About Almonds!

I’ve been maintaining a (mostly) dairy-free diet for a number of months now. I’m eating some yogurt, and the occasional dairy ingredient in something I eat outside of my home, but that’s pretty much it. I do like milk, and need the calcium, so I’ve tried to keep some sort of milk in my diet, trying lactose-free, almond, almond/coconut, soy, and flax. Nothing tastes quite like regular milk, but I’ve come to appreciate other qualities, like the awesome taste of almond milk with chocolate syrup – much richer tasting than regular milk because of the nutty almond flavor. I saw this recipe in Thursday’s Pioneer Press “Eat” section and decided to give it a shot, with adaptations to fit ingredient availability and the like

Homemade Almond Milk

Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of  ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Place the almonds in a large bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Soak the almonds for 8 to 12 hours.
  2. After the almonds are good and soaked, bring a kettle of of water to boil.
  3. Drain the almonds and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of room temperature water to the almonds, and process for 1 or 2 minutes, until you have a thick paste. You can add a bit more water if the mixture seems really dry or isn’t moving around in the processor/blender very well.
  4. Transfer the almond paste to a medium bowl and add 2 cups of boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes.
  5.  Working in batches, ladle almond milk  into a medium- to fine-mesh metal strainer over a bowl. I HIGHLY recommend lining whatever strainer you use with a few layers of cheesecloth, because I found that using only a strainer resulted in bits of almond in my milk. You can use the back of a spoon to press out most of the liquid, then gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze out whatever is left. If you’re going to be making your own nut/seed milks on a regular basis, it’s probably worth investing in a sprouting bag (here’s a recipe that uses a sprouting bag, complete with pictures).
  6. Add vanilla, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Other suggestions I’ve seen: a vanilla bean instead of the vanilla, dates…
  7. Store milk in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days, stirring or shaking before each use. Store ground almonds in refrigerator or freezer for future use. I used some of the ground almonds in the recipe below.

Note: At the end I had a bit more than 2 cups of almond milk.
 

Almond Crescents 

Almond Crescents


Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup Earth Balance (vegan buttery goodness), softened slightly
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup ground almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using an electric mixer (handheld or standing will work), beat the Earth Balance, gradually adding sugar until everything is light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts and mix for one more minute.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour and ground almonds. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Spoon about one tablespoon of dough onto a baking sheet. Shape into a log and bend into crescent shape. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Cool slightly;  roll in confectioner’s sugar while still warm.

Source: Recipe adapted from Cooks.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s