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Waste not almond milk - where we chat about making almond milk and using up what's leftover  RSS feed

 
master steward
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Let's have a big old thread about making almond milk and using up the leftovers in yummy recipes!

I've been making almond milk lately.  This drink was extremely popular in medieval Europe, I think in part because it is versatile and delicious, but also because nuts whole store better than fresh milk.


More on this recipe here

After experimenting a bit, the perfect almond milk recipe for my morning coffee is 2/3 cup almonds (skins on is fine)  to 1/2 ltr (two cups) of water.  I set the almonds to soak in the morning, in the evening I give them a rinse, then add the almonds and half ltr (I use my milk jug to measure) of water to the blender, puree for about one minute while I set up somewhere to strain it.  Pour the mix into the cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as I can.  Stir up the milk and pour it into the jug then promptly put the almond meal onto the dehydrator to dry overnight.  The milk is ready for the morning coffee and in theory keeps about 4 days (but I usually drink it before then).  Total time (including cleaning up after): under 3 minutes.  For drinking or baking, 1/2 cup almonds per 2 cups milk works well; but for coffee, I want a stronger, more creamy almond milk.


An almond milk variation I really enjoy in winter is caudle of almonds, from the book Cooking and Dining in Medieval England by Peter Brears.  My variation is from my blog (for more details feel free to stop by for a visit).



A pint of white wine or wine and water mixed
a large handful of almonds  (I used raw)
Honey to taste (or for vegan version, a different liquid sweetener)
Poudre Forte or you could just use cinnamon and/or nutmeg mixed.


  • Bring the wine to a boil, take off the heat and add almonds, about half a teaspoon of honey, and a generous pinch of spice.  Leave to steep for an hour or so to cool. 
  • Take the almonds out (keep the liquid) and smash them well.  Mortar and pestle is fine or use the Blitzer.  The aim is a fine mush.  Add the liquid back to the almonds and pound or mash again - this is the tricky part for me.  apparently, my Blitzer does not fit a full pint of liquid and makes a huge mess all over the kitchen when I ask it to try just this once.  Also, the blades aren't sharp enough to mash the almonds fine enough.  So I did about half way in the Blitzer then transferred small batches to work in the mortar. 
  • Strain the milk through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Flavour with more honey and spices if needed, and sprinkle a few spices on top.


  • This is best when served warm on a winter evening. 

    These days, I'll often peel the almonds first when making caudle, by covering them with boiling water for 10 minutes or so, then putting them into cold water and slipping their skins off.  Saffron was also a very popular spice for this drink back in the middle ages.  It was nearly as expensive as nutmeg, that's during a time when one nutmeg nut could buy you a small farm and a lovely little house to live in.  So, basically saffron was the poor man's nutmeg.



    Now I know how to make almond milk, I'm haveing a devil of a time figuring out what to do with the leftover ground almonds.   

    When I asked on a cooking forum what to do with my leftover over almond meal, I was met with a very well intending person who informed me I was using the wrong word and that I shouldn't use it as it will shorten the shelf life of anything I put it in.  They meant well, I suppose.  I'm not sure how it is supposed to spoil, at least how it is supposed to spoil faster than regular ground almonds, but I don't know everything.  I'm guessing that by quickly removing the moisture in the dehydrator, it would prevent the almond meal from spoiling.  I also figure, that if I wanted an almond flour, I could take my dry almond mush and put it through the mill.

    I also got some interesting recipe ideas for granola bars.  All of them seem a bit crunchy for me, so I'm going to try experimenting with them to make something I like to eat (maybe oats, dry apples and plums chopped up small, sesame seeds, honey and vanillia). 


    What other uses of almond meal/flour/waste product can you guys think of?  What's your favourite almond milk recipe?  Has anyone here tried one of those fancy electric nut milk makers? 
     
    Posts: 3364
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    Hmmm.  What is left in the meal? Is it mostly protein or fiber or fat or relatively balanced? I don't know, and it could help figure out the best use for it.

    I would expect it to be a flour to mix in with your usual flour for non bread things like pancakes or biscuits.  Probably makes a wicked good shortbread.

    It also could be a good in something like a frittata or quiche.





     
    r ranson
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    I don't know if this is officially a crumble, but here's a topping I've been making for my stewed fruit.

    dry almond meal
    oats
    poudre douce
    mix and cut in butter to make something between a crumb and a powder
    add drizzle of maple syrup to make a clumpy mess
    put on top of chopped fruit, bake until brown on top and fruit cooked.

     
    Posts: 22
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    Could we also talk about what device(s) to use to make Almond Milk as well as where to source the almonds?  I would love to make my own but cannot find a source.

    Thank you.
     
    gardener
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    I used to make almond milk. I did not want the pasteurized almonds for my milk.  There is something tricky about "raw" almonds that have been pasteurized.  I found this farm

    http://www.organicalmondsraw.com/About_Us.html

    my memory is that they are organic.  In any case their almonds are high quality and unpasteurized.  I bought 35 pounds or something like that.  Including the shipping the cost was cheaper than the by the pound price at the "natural foods" market, and for a superior product.

    Less packaging too.  I used those almonds for more than a year.  They did not spoil or get rancid
     
    John Bass
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    Thekla McDaniels wrote:I used to make almond milk. I did not want the pasteurized almonds for my milk.  There is something tricky about "raw" almonds that have been pasteurized.  I found this farm

    http://www.organicalmondsraw.com/About_Us.html

    my memory is that they are organic.  In any case their almonds are high quality and unpasteurized.  I bought 35 pounds or something like that.  Including the shipping the cost was cheaper than the by the pound price at the "natural foods" market, and for a superior product.

    Less packaging too.  I used those almonds for more than a year.  They did not spoil or get rancid



    Awesome information, Thekla.  Thanks very much!
     
    Thekla McDaniels
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    You are welcome!

    About devices and recipes,

    I started with some specific instructions and ingredients, but ended up putting the almonds in the vita mix ( must be a very high powered blender type machine for this) with water.   I think I used aobut 1/3 cup to a quart.  I just used highest speed til "smooth", maybe a minute.  I did not strain it, just poured it straight into my morning beverage.  It lasted a few days in the frige, and there was some settling of sediment, I either letf the dregs in the bottom or ate them with a spoon or shook them back in.

    You could make nut milk out of any nuts.  I like brazil nuts made into milk or cream.  Just experiment with the proportions.  Start with too many almonds, because you can add water.  In fact, if you want a specific starting place for proportions, put a 1/2 cup of almonds in with a quart of water.  When you get done, add more water til you get to your desired "milk".  Note how much extra water you added, and next time add the quart plus that extra water and again use 1/2 cup of almonds.  That will be your personal recipe.

    There are proponents of adding various things, calcium in one form or another, salt, vanilla, honey, I just made it straight, and did the customizing in the tea.

    I finally quit making almond milk while I still had a few pounds of nuts.  I had the fresh goats milk in the frige and decided I could just try it, instead of "going to all the trouble of making almond milk".  That's the only reason I quit.  I have fresh goats milk every day, and I am milking anyway, so why not use it.  Now I love it, it is my favorite snack, but that's a topic ofr another thread.
     
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    If you can, do dry the pulp out, you can store it frozen until there is enough to justify turning on your dehydrator or oven. Once dry, blend it again so it is not lumpy but fine like flour.  Then it will be ready to cook with like normal ground almonds. Keep in mind it has no binding qualities, so do use it with egg, gluten flour, psyllium, banana, or whatever turns on your binding desires when baking!
    Great used in pie crusts, with either a spoon of salt or sugar if you want to go either way, like a quiche, or fruit pie, so roughly 1 egg per cup of dry pulp, precooked and then filled

    Use it in smoothies, or, as Thekla states, don't strain it at all (though better blenders make it more smooth so will make it better in drinks)

    Lots of "raw" food recipes can use nut pulp, my favourite is super simple, food processor or mix in a bowl the dry pulp with a liquid sweetener, like honey, oh maybe 1 or 2 tablespoons per cup of pulp, til you can form firm balls. Mix chocolate chips (or cacao nibs) or yummy currants or any dried fruit in by hand, roll into balls and squish flat into cookies. 3 ingredients and super tasty easy raw sweets
     
    pollinator
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    Unless I use honey as a bit of sweetener, I find that almond milk goes bad a bit too quickly for my interest and was wondering about the following fix.  Given that I mostly use it for coffee or in other small doses, can you make it rather thick and pour it into an ice tray to make "mylk cubes"?  If this does not cause denaturation and curdling of the thickened milk due to freezing, I would consider using this as a way to extend the life of each batch of almond milk.  Anyone know if this might work for "almond creamer"?  Thanks!
     
    r ranson
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    John Weiland wrote:Unless I use honey as a bit of sweetener, I find that almond milk goes bad a bit too quickly for my interest and was wondering about the following fix.  Given that I mostly use it for coffee or in other small doses, can you make it rather thick and pour it into an ice tray to make "mylk cubes"?  If this does not cause denaturation and curdling of the thickened milk due to freezing, I would consider using this as a way to extend the life of each batch of almond milk.  Anyone know if this might work for "almond creamer"?  Thanks!



    Interesting.  I found one litre was too much for us and it starts to sour before it's done, but half a litre we can drink in four days. 

    It would be neat to try the icecube tray (only I don't have an icecube tray, so I would have to beg you to try it and report back).

    I'm curious how many almonds to water do you use?  How long do you soak?  I'm curious about other recipes in case there's a better way than I do it. I don't want to miss out.

    At the moment, our recipe is to soak half a cup of almonds for 24 hours, drain, blits with two cups-ish of water, squish out the almonds.  This keeps changing.
     
    John Weiland
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    r ranson wrote:

    I'm curious how many almonds to water do you use?  How long do you soak?  I'm curious about other recipes in case there's a better way than I do it. I don't want to miss out.



    I sheepishly admit that I don't really know quantitatively how much almond and how much water I use.  I put almonds in the Vitamix up to about the 1 cup mark....but cheating, I use the slivered almonds that are free of the skins.  I don't soak them, just add water up to the 2 or 3 cup mark (~ 500 ml total?) and let it rip at high speed for about 1.5 to 2 minutes.  This gets poured through a conical, moderately tight-weave strainer into a pan (if I wish to heat for making soft cheese).  Otherwise, it goes into a glass jar for the fridge.  If  I'm making it more milky and less creamy, I add more water while still in the blender and mix briefly (~30 sec) while maybe adding a touch of sweetener and salt.  This gets poured through the conical strainer into a french coffee press and finally any remaining fines are gently pushed to the bottom of the container with the pressing screen.  I just store the pressed milk in this coffee press and use it as needed

    With hazelnut milk, I do roughly as you do and soak the nuts (with skin) overnight in salted water, then rinse them a few times before blending.  (With cool weather approaching, hazelnut "hot cocoa" milk is pretty awesome!)

    So I will try blending some almonds today to the thicker cream and freezing it in ice cube trays and report back soon as to how it works, stores, ...... and does or does not curdle upon thawing.
     
    John Weiland
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    John Weiland wrote:
    So I will try blending some almonds today to the thicker cream and freezing it in ice cube trays and report back soon as to how it works, stores, ...... and does or does not curdle upon thawing.



    The photo below of 1 week old almond "cream" frozen in ice cube trays.  Recipe was 2/3 c. slivered almonds (unsoaked) and 1 c. of water, blended on high in a Vitamix 7500 for 1.5 min.  This was filtered through a fine mesh stainless steel colander and then transferred to the cube molds of the tray and frozen in a standard chest freezer (~ -20C). 

    The first attempt at using the cubes did not work well.  In this attempt, two cubes were immersed directly in the hot cup of coffee.  As they quickly thawed I could see that they were curdling pretty badly.

    Next attempt worked better:  2 cubes were thawed at room temperature in the cup and the hot coffee made in a separate cup.   The hot coffee was slowly added to the thawed almond cream while mixing.  Much better.....little to no curdling and the body of the cream was retained.  Repeated this approach with an iced coffee and it worked well also. 
    AlmondCremeCubes.jpg
    [Thumbnail for AlmondCremeCubes.jpg]
     
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