Last week I had a muffin recipe that called for almond meal. Normally, I would scratch my head. But instead, I went downstairs to my work refrigerator and took out my freshly-made batch of almond meal, added it to my muffins, and felt very healthy indeed.
You, too, can make your own almond meal, as well as almond milk.
Almond meal--It's healthy, it's pure, it tastes great, and it can be used for so many things. In fact, one of my newest soaps, "Almond Joy," (shown here and available in my store) features both homemade almond milk AND almond meal.
Here's how you make both.
Take a bag of almonds. It doesn't matter what size. I use almond slivers, with the shell still on the slivers. You can also buy almonds that are missing their outer skin, or whole almonds with the shell still on. It depends on how much you want to pay and whether or not you are bothered by the shell. Some people say the shells are bitter, so if you are going to drink your almond milk and not use it exclusively for soap, go for the almonds without the shell or be prepared to separate the nut from the shell.
OK, so we've decided what kind of almonds we want. Put them in a bowl that is large enough to add water and allow them to expand. I would go for one that is at least twice as large as your amount of almonds. Add purified water to about 1 inch above the almond level. Lukewarm water is fine.
Cover the almonds with plastic wrap (to keep out dirt, etc.) and let them sit overnight out on your counter.
The next day, separate the shell from the nut (if you wish). Pour nuts and milky water into your CLEAN blender. Puree the almonds and water for about 2 minutes. Next, you'll need some cheesecloth (go to your local hardware store). Don't try to substitute. Nothing works better than cheesecloth. Cut off a section of cheesecloth large enough to drape over a medium sized bowl. It should also dip down into the bowl, but no more than half way.
Holding the edges of the cheesecloth so it doesn't slide down into the bowl, slowly pour your almond mixture through the cheesecloth into the bowl. When your blender is empty, pull up all the edges of the cheescloth and twist the top so that all your almond meal is inside the cheesecloth.
Squeeze the cheesecloth, getting as much of the almond milk as you can out of the meal. It should be moist, but not dripping. Put your almond meal in a ziplock bag and refrigerate it. I use mine within a week. If you are not going to be able to do this, freeze it. Ice cube trays work wonderfully for freezing small portions.
Now to the almond milk. You can also freeze your milk in ice cube trays to be used later for cooking or soap making. You can also refrigerate it and drink it like any of your other favorite milks. Taste it. Do you want it sweeter? Add honey or artificial sweetener.
That's it. Almonds are more than just a snack. And they are so good for you. Let me know how your own batch comes out.
Posted on Fri, April 26, 2013
by Daisy Woodside