February 2, 2011

Humpastry Day - Almond Milk and Random Granola Bars!

Almond Milk
O-kay, I know almond milk doesn't really fit with the whole "humpastry day" theme, but it will all make sense in the end...I promise! :)  A LONG time ago, I won a nut milk bag from Amber at Almost Vegan.  I was so excited about it, but I'm afraid to say I kind of forgot about it.  That is, until we had an arctic blast come into Denver bringing temps. down into the negative digits!  Needless to say, I haven't really ventured out of my house and I had a lot of time on my hands.   I have been meaning to try making my own almond milk for awhile now, but something always seemed to come up and it would get put to the side.  Finally, I decided to give it a go! Although it takes some preparation, it is super easy to do.  The final product not only tastes great, but it doesn't contain any extra chemicals that you find in store bought milk.  And, it is definitely more cost effective then buying it in the store!  Woohoo!

(Makes about 4 cups of almond milk)
*  1C raw almonds
*  water for soaking
*  4 cups of water for the milk
*  vanilla, agave, honey to taste.  (These are totally optional.  I didn't use either because I figured I would be using it for different things.  It came out great, but I could see how adding a little agave or vanilla would be good too!)  

1.  Put the almonds in a good sized bowl and fill the bowl with water until the almonds are covered well.
2.  Cover the bowl with a towel or lid and let sit in a cool place for ~24 hours.  *Note: you could probably do less time, but the point is to make sure they are nice and soft.  When they are done soaking, they will be nice and plump.

3.  When they are done soaking, pour off the water, and rinse the almonds well.
4.  Put the almonds and 4 cups of water into a blender.  *Note:  I used my VitaMix, but I'm sure any blender would work.
5.  Blend for a couple of minutes until well blended.  You can add sweetener at this time if you want.  When it's done blending, it will have a lot of froth on the top.

6.  Using a nut milk bag [HERE]or a fine mesh sieve, strain the almond milk into another bowl or container.
7.  As you are straining it, you will get a lot of almond meal.  Some people just throw it out, but I don't like wasting food, so I saved it.  *Note:  There are a lot of things you can do with the almond meal.  You can freeze it in ice cube trays and use a cube or two in your smoothies.  You can dehydrate it or dry it in the oven to make almond flour.  You can use it to make bread, muffins, or granola bars.  You can even add it to cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal.  Like I said, there are a lot of things you can do with it!

8.  After you finish straining it, you will get about 4 cups of almond milk.  :)  It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.  *Note:  You will need to mix the almond milk every time you use it because some grounds will settle to the bottom. 
9.  Enjoy!  I like to use mine with my homemade granola, cereal, or in my oatmeal!  Yum!

Random Granola Bars:
 This is where "Humpastry Day" really comes into play!  With the left over almond meal, I decided to use it to make some granola bars!  Basically, I just gathered some random ingredients (hence the name) and baked them in the oven.  The result was awesome!  They are super yummy, healthy, and make a great snack!  If you don't have almond meal, you could definitely ground some almonds up to make almond flour instead.  Or, you could add more oats.

Makes 12 granola bars
*  1C rolled oats
*  1/2C almond meal
*  1/2C unsweetened coconut (you can leave this out if you're not a coconut fan)
*  1/4C sesame seeds
*  2 dates- pitted and chopped
*  1/4C raisins (or any other dried fruit you have on hand)
*  1Tbl. Chia seeds
*  3/4C natural peanut butter (or any kind of nut butter)
*  1/3C honey
*  1/2tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Lightly grease a 9x5" baking pan and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350degrees.  *Note:  Although I didn't try this, I'm sure you could eat these raw too.  
2.  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.  Set aside.
3.  In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.  Microwave for 1 minute, then stir the ingredients together.
4.  Pour the peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined completely.
5.  Press into a 9x5" baking pan and bake for 12-15minutes.  *Note: If you decide to eat these without baking them, I would put them in the freezer/fridge for about 15 minutes to let the ingredients set.  
6.  Take them out of the oven and let cool.  Cut them into 12 rectangles and store in the refrigerator.
7.  Enjoy!

P.S. I added a print button on the bottom of my posts in case any of you want to print out the recipes.  :)

P.P.S.  With the help of these lovely antibiotics I am happy to say that I am FINALLY on the road to recovery and feeling better every day!  Woohoo! :)


Matt said...

OK I am totally going to try that! I have been buying almond milk every week lately!

Heather said...

This is a great post!! I've thought about making my own almond milk but wasn't sure how hard it would be. I've got lots of almonds at home and you've made it look so easy! I am going to make the granola bars too. Thanks!!

p.s. that's awesome that you added a print button, very cool.

Heather said...

...also, glad you're feeling better :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

As always, another great recipe, Chef BDD off to the kitchen this weekend

Barbie said...

I am not a big fan of almond milk or any milk but I used to make it all the time for the clients at the healthspa I worked at. I used to add honey and they loved it.

Christi said...

You are a cooking genius!


Looks good, I need to turn over to the wifey to whip up (even though I am the head chef, she is the sous chef)

Jon said...

OMG This is an A+ post, Aimee! I have this yummy all natural cereal granola but I am trying to go milk free. Now I can have the best of both worlds since Almonds have turned into one of my FAVORITE foods over the past two years.

Julie said...

That looks way to good....I don't think I can make it as I have no self control...or did you say that was one serving?

Jessica said...

Looks awesome! I'm curious where you got your almonds? I need a good source for raw almonds, as it's my understanding that the "raw" almonds in the store come from California, where they are actually pasturized, but still labeled "raw". Thanks!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Look at you! I'm impressed. See, good things can come from being snowed in right? :)

Running and living said...

Glad you are feeling better!And those granola bars look awesome. I am not a big fan of almond milk, I love regular organic low fat milk, but I'll def make the bars! Thanks!

DRog said...

nice bars and
GR8 news on the upswing with the antibiotics!

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

Hooray, you used the bag! :D Glad to hear it. I know how stuff can get buried and forgotten about sometimes :) Sounds like your almond milk (and granola bars) turned out great!

Cynthia O'H said...

You are such a chef! I wish I had more time to cook, and I wish I didn't have such picky eaters. Honestly, the number of times I cook only to have noses turned up before they even try it!
I'm going to save that almond milk recipe for a "What are we doing today, Mom?" day. The boys will love it!

Jill Costantino said...

The almond milk looks like a fantastic kitchen project for kids - actually both do. Thanks for the recipies and glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery:)

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

nice, and nice that you added a print button feature. Thank you!!;-)

Kevin @ Half TRI-ing said...

I will have to try making the almond milk. It sounds really easy. I also need to conquer the art of making granola bars. Mine always become loose granola. I blame it on FL weather.


Kelly said...

I need to try making almond milk. It seems so easy. just have to get a sieve or a bag! Glad you are feeling better.

Deb said...

Those look fabulous. I've actually never had almond milk, but now I want to try making it. I just made granola bars last night, but I'm always looking for new variations.

Anonymous said...

Yum! How you do it with two boys and a dog cooped up I'll never know - my boys don't leave me alone long enough to go pee! Anyway! You ARE awesome, and so happy that you are finally feeling better. XOXO

Heidi Austin said...

wow you are so dedicated and patient! looks like a lota work but the granola bars look super yummy :)

Jason said...

I am so making almond milk. That looks so good and easy to make plus better on the wallet and the body. And the additional almond meal is a bonus. Oh thank you.

Caratunk Girl said...

Oh oh oh YAY for Humpastry Day!!! This looks awesome.

Alisa said...

MMmmm granola, I'm making some right now!

Regina said...

Thank you, thank you thank you!! I have been wanting to know how to make Almond milk as it is the only 'milk' I drink. I suppose I could have googled it...but I am lazy.

Thanks for the bonus recipe for the leftover almond 'stuff'.

Julie D. said...

I'll have to try both the almond milk and the bars. I just started buying almond milk from the store and like it, but it is expensive.