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.
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! :)