Almond Trifecta

As promised, I bring you my almond filled post.  First you will have to humor me in some brief ramblings (unless you just scroll down the page).  Today has already been filled with many errands which I suppose is what happens when you wake up at 5:45 AM.  I took Neil to the airport and did an Insanity workout when I got home. It always amazes me that I am able to wake up and function at an early hour because it was so atypical for me in the past.  Thanks to healthier eating and regular exercise, my body is ready to go!

So I have done a previous post on how to make almond milk at home which you can get to by clicking here.  I am also going to recycle the picture because it’s pretty sweet.  What I did not do before, though, is strain the milk and save the pulp to dry and make almond meal/flour.  Well that has been remedied.

I also made almond butter which I have done in the past as well, but when I made it before it was the texture of play-doh.  I wanted to be able to make it without the use of extra oil which I have found to be possible, but I did not do enough research before I impromptu decided to make it at 8pm in order to procrastinate writing my speech.  It was a crazy 2 hour battle.  Details to follow.

First thing’s first:

ALMOND MILK

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  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3 cups water
  1. Soak one cup of almonds in water for a number of hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. Drain the water and rinse the almonds, then add them to your high powered blender.  Add 3 cups of water and BLEND for about a minute until smooth.  I have a Vitamix so this is done rather quickly, but I have read that this can be done in a good quality blender as well.
  3. Use a nut milk bag* to strain the milk into another container.  Make sure to squeeze the pulp in the bag to get all of the liquid out.  Wash the bag afterwards so that the almonds do not crust and ruin the bag.
  4. You can also add other flavorings such as a tsp of vanilla or dates if you prefer a sweeter/flavored almond milk, but I’m honestly fine with plain almonds.

* You can purchase a dedicated nut milk bag for somewhere around $8, but I went to the fabric store and bought my own for about $2.  I bought some organza fabric (think bad bridesmaid dress) that was 100% nylon (polyester works too).  You will only need about a 20×20 inch square.  I got enough for like 3 bags should my current one wear down.  I was going to get a plain cream colored one, but then realized that I am fancy and opted for bright blue.  Just make sure to wash it before using it.

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ALMOND MEAL

  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting it will go.  Mine was 175 degrees.  Taking the leftover almond that you get from straining the milk, spread it out on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  2. Bake at the lowest temperature until it is dry.  Mine took about 3 hours.  If you don’t have time to sit around the oven, you can keep the pulp in the fridge for a couple of hours if needed.
  3. Once dry, put in a blender and blend until a flour like consistency is achieved.  Make sure the container you are using is dry!

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ALMOND BUTTER

*This will not work in a regular blender.  Almond butter should either be made in a high powered blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec or a food processor.

Before completing the research I should have done, I battled with this almond butter for 2 hours.  What should have taken maybe 15 minutes took 2 HOURS.  Also the result was a coconut almond butter which Neil loved and inhaled in a matter of days, but I am not a huge coconut fan.

The key to making almond butter in the Vitamix without adding extra oil is to ROAST THE ALMONDS.  This helps to release the oils when they start blending.  I did not do this the first time and achieved the same play-doh consistency and blended it until steam came out (of both the blender and my head).  Here is my recipe for no oil added almond butter, but if you enjoy coconut flavor I will add that variation in too.

  • 3 cups almonds (no less in Vitamix or you won’t have enough volume to tamp down)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roast almonds for approx 10 min. Remove.
  2. Let the almonds cool for a few min, then add them to the blender.  Turn on, then to 10, then high all within a matter of seconds.  It will be loud and frightening, but keep tamping down on the almonds.  You may have to turn it off and scrape down the sides, but after a few min, it should heat up and become smoother.

I tried this in the smaller container and it did not work.  You will have to use the 64oz container.  If you want to use raw almonds and not roast, add about 1/4 cup of coconut oil and follow the same procedure of tamping and scraping.  I think that a food processor might actually be easier than the Vitamix just in terms of cleaning and reaching the nuts.  I don’t have one, but I think I would make a million nut butters in it if I did.

You can flavor the butter with whatever you want: salt, maple syrup, etc.  The possibilities are endless!  I am going to go on a mad nut butter rampage soon so stay tuned.  Here is what came of my first attempt:

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It is far worse than it looks.  There was almond butter on the counters and everywhere.

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Let’s just stick the spatula right in the Vitamix when we get impatient with the results.

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After coconut oil addition.  If you use unrefined coconut oil, there is a coconut taste.  If you use refined, there is not. Your call.

The second time I had this in a matter of minutes:

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The roasted almond one looked just like the finished coconut oil one, so I’ll spare you a picture.

So there is my almond trifecta.  I love being able to make things at home because I know exactly what is in them.  Plus I can play around with different flavor combinations. I’m like a scientist. No big deal.

Question of the day: Are there any things that you make at home?

 

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12 Comments

  1. April 8, 2014 / 11:00 pm

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing, girl. Will be bookmarking this page in a second for future use.

  2. April 9, 2014 / 9:10 am

    This is very helpful Erin thank you for sharing 🙂 Would you say homemade almond milk is different from the store bought? I can’t get used to it maybe its the store one, or at least I’m hoping, lol. I feel it’s too .. slimy almost from the bottle not sure if that’s the consistency in general. I’m trying to not drink cows milk but it’s proving to be a challenge. Happy Hump Day! -Iva

    • April 9, 2014 / 9:20 am

      The silk brand almond milk tastes horrible in my opinion. Not sure what brand you have, but homemade definitely tastes better than that one. Plus you can add flavors if you want to suit your tastes. The main downside is it only lasts about a week bc it’s not full of preservatives but as long as you use it regularly it shouldn’t be a problem. Let me know if you try it out!

  3. April 10, 2014 / 4:12 pm

    This is so awesome!! I’ve never tried making any of these things, but I drink almond milk, eat almond butter, and cook with almond meal/flour all the time! So I really should get on that…

  4. April 10, 2014 / 4:19 pm

    This seems so much easier than I thought!! I always thought it would be super difficult, but you made it seem so easy! What do you think the cost savings is? Since I know almonds are pretty pricey.

    • April 10, 2014 / 6:35 pm

      I think it depends on how often you eat/drink them. First I would buy the almonds in bulk bc you get a better rate. I haven’t done the exact math, but I know it is definitely cheaper in terms of almond butter.

      For the milk it depends on how often you drink it since it doesn’t have a very long shelf life (a few days). If you plan on making it often then there probably won’t be a big savings and it may actually cost a little more. If you end up tossing the pulp then you lose even more money. I’d I like knowing that there aren’t any added preservatives in it, so for me I don’t mind paying a little more. I also don’t have it every day like I did when I was eating oatmeal on the reg 🙂

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