Thursday, June 17, 2010

Homemade Almond Milk and Birthday Frivolities.

Long week, folks. I actually started this post the day after my birthday because I was being so organized and responsible, but then a massive windstorm knocked out our power for most the day and I haven't touched it since.

So, as promised, this is how you make almond milk.

First, soak some raw almonds for a few hours then drain, rinse, and pick off any skins that came off. I usually do about a half cup at a time.

Dump the almonds and fresh, filtered almonds in a blender. You want a ratio of four parts water to one part almonds. I use one-half cup of almonds and two cups of water. If you want vanilla almond milk, add a couple dates and a few drops of vanilla.

Blend for a minute or so until the mixture is white and fairly smooth.

If you have a nut milk bag, like this nifty won I snagged in a giveaway at Almost Vegan, this will be easier.
If not, use a clean, thin, undyed cloth. I've heard of people using panty hose, but before the nut milk bag arrived I just used unbleached cloth.

Open up the bag and push some of it into a jar or other container and wrap the rest around the jar, using the drawstring to tighten it. If you're using a cloth, push some of it inside the jar so there's a well and secure the cloth around the mouth of the container with a rubber band.

Yes, that is a reused peanut butter jar.

Slowly pour in the almond milk. Let it sit for an hour or two. I usually screw the lid on the jar, bag and all, and stick it in the fridge. You don't have to strain the milk of course, but I prefer it strained because it's much smoother.

When all the liquid is in the bottom of the jar, pull the bag or cloth out and keep the pulp. You can dehydrate this into raw crackers or dehydrate and blend it into almond meal. Get creative with
this stuff. Use it in a raw nut pate, in fudge babies, etc. Does anyone have and good ideas for using up almond pulp?

This stuff doesn't keep as long as commercial almond milk, a few days usually. Also, you'll need to shake it up before using because it will settle. I might try using an emulsifier someday, but for now I'm happy to give it a little shake.

I apologize for the ugly pic. I have very few photogenic surfaces in my apartment, and virtually no natural light. No bueno for picture taking.

Almond milk can be substituted for cow's milk in virtually every case, but I don't really like drinking it straight, especially the homemade stuff. It's wonderful for cooking, baking, smoothies, oats and smoothies though.

Also, I had a great birthday. We ate at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Cafe Sabor in Logan, Utah. I had the shrimp enchiladas, which I'd never had before. Amazing, and something pretty simple to recreate at home.

I only ate about half, but it was sooo good.

After dinner, we stopped by a park where we took some wedding pictures (over two years ago!) and Sam let me feed the rest of his tortillas to the duckies. That's love.

The B & B was wonderful, as usual. We actually got locked out on one of the balconies and Sam had to climb onto another one to get inside to rescue me! Neither of the balconies was attached to a private room by the way.

I wanted to go to another park on my actual birthday, but it was raining like crazy, so we bummed around Logan for a few hours. We did a little shopping and Sam bought me my first-ever real bottle of perfume!

Clinique Happy :) He says it suits me.

Then my nerdiness reared it's bespeckled head and we hit Borders, because Ogden is hopelessly devoid of good bookstores. I picked four cookbooks off the bargain rack right away, and a cheap copy of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, a must for every writer.

I don't know why the bargain rack is always full of cookbooks. Sam says it's because everything one could ever want to cook is on the internet, but I love browsing through cookbooks to find things I never would have dreamed of making, things I didn't know existed. Do you still use cookbooks?

This is what the light in my apartment looks like. Yuck.

We stopped by Firehouse Pizzeria for lunch and I ordered a personal chicken and artichoke. Looked yummy, but sadly disappointing. I wished the toppings were chunkier. I ate half, and it actually tasted better the next day reheated in the microwave. Some stuff is just weird like that.

Then I decided I wanted cheesecake, so I ordered the turtle cheesecake, which came out looking pretty, but overall disappointing. It wasn't bad at all. In fact, I finished the whole piece. That's the problem though. I like my cheesecake to be rich. My general rule is that if I can finish a whole piece, it's not rich enough.

We drove home in a downpour and wrapped up the night with a cuddle and Julie and Julia. We loved the first half when it was all lighthearted and fun, but then stuff started getting sour and it just wasn't what we wanted. Overall disappointed.

Wow, disappointed three times in one post. Am I just too hard to please?

And yes, I didn't feel guilty about a thing, even though I haven't exercised much or eaten very healthfully since. I just feel kind of yucky, but not guilty at all. This is progress.

Overall, great B-Day. I like being 22 so far.

See ya!


1 comment:

  1. YAY! It may be silly, but it makes me happy to see the first winner of my first ever giveaway making good use of her prize :D I'm glad it's working well! I like your idea of letting it drain naturally for awhile through the bag before straining it. I'm usually too impatient...I could probably get more milk out if I waited a bit to strain.
    I also like the idea of using the leftover pulp in fudge! I've been relegating mine to smoothies and oatmeal, but I did mix one batch into some no-bake cookie balls.

    I'm with you on cookbooks. Yes, most everything is online, but to me, there's nothing like browsing through a good cookbook, stopping on pages that catch your eye, ogling yummy pictures, and bookmarking favorite recipes.

    I'm glad to hear your birthday went well. It's too bad the pizza and cheesecake weren't very good, cuz they LOOK great! (The shrimp enchiladas do too.) Bravo, too, for not having any guilt over your b-day indulgences. You deserved it!