Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Make it From Scratch Week, Day 1: Almond Milk and Almond Flour

Between the end of summer and beginning of school, I haven't been doing well keeping up with blogging, but when I saw Money Saving Mom's "Make it From Scratch Week" challenge, I thought it would be fun to participate . . . I make a lot of stuff from scratch anyway, so it shouldn't be too much extra work (maybe :))!   Probably most of my from-scratch projects this week will be food-related, but I may be able to slip something else in there too . . . we'll see. :)

Yesterday's project was one I've been making quite a bit lately: homemade almond milk and almond flour!  I didn't think to take any step-by-step photos of the process, but it's super easy.  All you need is almonds, water, and a blender. :)  I follow the directions in this post for both the milk and flour.
Now you may be wondering why in the world I am bothering to make almond milk and flour!  No one in our family has dairy allergies and we do use regular flour.  Well, the reason is simple. :)  I recently got this very interesting book called Trim Healthy Mama (hopefully I'll write more about that in a future post), and am working my way through it (it's a HUGE book with a ton of information), and starting to implement pieces of the eating plan.  One of the recipes (actually not in the book, but found on the THM Facebook page) is for a drink called "The Shrinker" and it calls for almond milk.  I was a bit leery of all the extra "stuff" added into commercial almond milk (although I believe that extra stuff makes it have a longer life in the fridge), so I decided to try making my own.  Since you can make almond flour with the leftover almond meal after the milk is squeezed out, it's more cost-effective than just making the milk itself, and I can use the resulting flour in various baked goods instead of regular flour.  

The only change I made to the recipe in the link above was using 1/2 cup of almonds to 8 cups of water (to stretch the almonds further--they're not cheap!).  That means I also end up with maybe about 1/2 cup of almond flour when all the milk is squeezed out.  (The container in the picture above is full, but I've been adding to it every time I make more almond milk.  You would also want to note that almond milk doesn't keep long in the fridge at all, only around 3-4 days, so if you can't use it up pretty fast, you would want to make a smaller amount.  I have used some that was beginning to "turn" in waffles or pancakes, and that has worked fine, though.

In case anyone is interested in my own version of "The Shrinker" recipe--which is yummy, healthy, and promotes shrinking of fat cells!--here ya go: 

3 oolong teabags, plus 1 chai teabag, steeped in 4 cups of boiling water, along with one small cinnamon stick (steep for around 5-7 minutes, then cool completely)
Combine the resulting 4 cups of tea in a blender with 1 cup of almond milk, 1-2 teaspoons vanilla, a sprinkle of stevia (or maybe 1-2 teaspoons xylitol, truvia, etc.), a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (if you don't mind some heat :)), and a few sprinkles of sea salt (or what I use--pink Himalayan salt).  Blend it all up together and store in a mason jar in the fridge.  Drink it straight (cold or warm if you are in the mood for a hot drink), or fill a mason jar with ice and then pour the Shrinker over it (this will stretch the concentrate farther :)).  

**This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

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