I hadn’t made almond milk for, well, a few years. It’s easy to make, it tastes better than store bought, I can buy the ingredients (simply almonds) in bulk rather than ready-to-drink milk in a wasteful Tetra-Pak, it goes well with homemade granola…
But the leftover pulp always stressed me out. When I make almond milk, I also commit to cooking or baking something with all that pulp because how can I possibly waste it, especially during those devastating drought years here in California? I started to dry it out and run it through my food processor to make “flour.” I really like this solution. I either use the flour immediately or store it in the freezer in a glass jar to use later. Now this isn’t the same as almond flour you buy in the store—much of the fatty goodness has been drawn out of it. But the stuff is useful.
To make almond milk, you soak a cup of almonds in water for up to a couple of days. Drain the almonds. Rinse them. Puree them with 2 cups fresh water. Strain the liquid. Drink the milk. That’s it.
I took some lovely pictures of the pulp straining process (not easy with one hand) but sadly, the photos disappeared…
After you remove as much liquid from the pulp as possible, break up the pulp with your hand and drop it onto an ungreased, unlined cookie sheet. Break it up further with a fork. Deyhdrate the pulp in the oven at about 225ºF for two hours, or until completely dried out. During dehydration, stir the pulp every 30 minutes or so to break up lumps and prevent it from sticking to the cookie sheet. Run the dried pulp through a food processor. Use immediately or store in the freezer.
When you bake with your pulp flour you’ll have to fiddle around with the recipe a bit—as with all freestyle cooking. For this blog post, I made oatmeal cookies. The recipe calls for 3 cups oats and 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. I substituted 1 cup of my pulp flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose flour. The cookies turn out a tiny bit more crumbly than they do following the standard recipe. But other than that, they taste delicious. I’m all for rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste but my efforts must taste delicious.
- 1 cup almonds
- water for soaking
- 2 cups water for pureeing soaked almonds
- Place almonds in a jar and cover with water by a couple of inches. Place the lid on the jar and set the jar aside for between 12 and 48 hours.
- Strain the almonds and rinse them very well.
- Add the almonds and 2 cups fresh water to a blender or food processor and blend for a couple of minutes.
- Over a large bowl, place a sieve or colander lined with a fine-mesh cloth. Pour the almond mixture through. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to strain out most of the liquid.
- Gather up the edges of the cloth to form a ball and squeeze out as much almond milk as possible.
- If you wish to sweeten your almond milk, stir in sugar, maple syrup or honey, etc. To sweeten with a pitted date, return the milk to a clean blender, add the date and puree once again.
- Store almond milk in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a few days.
Nuts contain phytic acid, and anti-nutrient that bonds to minerals. That bond prevents your body from absorbing said minerals. So, don't consume the water you soak your nuts in. Your plants can drink it however.