Milking the Almonds
I’m trying to find a cheaper organic, dairy-free alternative that actually tastes good. I found it in Almond milk. The problem is that it is a little expensive to have everyone drinking it. Sure I could have them drink regular milk, but I don’t want to make two of everything. It is really easier to have all of the children on the same milk. I just tried making my own homemade almond milk…It is great! It is creamier, cheaper and healthier than the store bought. It cost $1.24 to make organic almond milk compared to $2.40 for non organic almond milk. In addition to that savings, you can use the almond meal that is left over. The meal can be dried and blended into a powder or I have been making Dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free power bars from the pulp. I like the milk and bars raw. Raw just means that it is not cooked at a high temperature. In that form, it maintains more of it’s vitamins and enzymes. So how do you milk almonds? (That is the question everyone asks.)
Homemade Almond Milk Ingredients:
- 1 cup Organic raw almonds
- 1 Tbsp agave
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 8 cups water
- Soak 1 cup of almonds in water over night. (use twice the water as almonds)
- Drain and rinse the almonds before using them.
- Blend the almonds, 1 Tbsp agave, 1/8 tsp salt, and 4 cups of water in the blender for 4 min. (until warm)
- Pour into a nut/sprout bag and squeeze into a large container/bowl (twist the bag hard) I use my large homemade sprout bags (Click to go to post).
- Add 4 more cups to the blender. Quickly blend, pour it into the bag and squeeze.
- Pour the milk into a half gallon canning jar to store in the refrigerator.
- Dump the pulp onto a cookie tray or into a mixing bowl depending on use.
- Clean the bag a soon as possible and hang to dry.
Different sweeteners: The first time I tried making almond milk I used 2 dried plums to sweeten it. I added them to the blender before I strained it. That was really a big disaster! I then had to add chocolate and sugar to counter act the acidic-like flavor, and even then, most of the family wouldn’t drink it. This time I tried 1 Tbsp of organic raisins, and it worked!!! I may even want to do that all the time. It adds just a mild sweetness. It definitely works for the Daniel Fast that I just started.
Add-ins: You can add additional sugar and cocoa powder for chocolate. (I add some stevia so that I don’t have to put to much sugar into the chocolate milk.) You may want to start with chocolate milk to allow them to get use to the new milk. Many people like their milk just the way it is. It may take some time to get use to the new milk. I also add vanilla and stevia to the cups. 6oz. milk, one drop stevia extract, and 1/4 tsp vanilla.
Dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free Power Bars (low sugar)
Almond milk pulp from 1 cup of almonds
3 Tbsp peanut butter
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Sweetleaf stevia
1 tsp instant coffee (I use herbal)
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
3 Tbsp coconut oil
Mix ingredients together and form bars. (It will be a little squishy.) lay them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for an hour on 200 degrees, flip and bake another hour. Flip and bake 30 min. on the first side, Flip and bake 30 more min. (3 hours total) The bars are really dried, not baked. They do taste better that way.
For the kids: I roll some of the dough into 1 inch balls and squish them to make cookies. The kids love them. They are like brownie cookies. They are done after the first 2 hours. (flipping in between hours) You can also leave them in another 30 min. (2 1/2 total) It doesn’t hurt. I kind of like them a little more crispy.
The dough makes about nine bars. If you were to buy organic gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free bars it would cost, at minimum, 2 dollars. The most expensive ingredient being the almond meal. To buy 9 bars and one half gallon of almond milk (not even organic), you would pay around 22.80. You have paid 2.48 for the half gallon of milk and 1.5 for the walnuts. The rest of the ingredients may have cost another dollar or so. For about 5 dollars you have half a gallon of organic almond milk and 9 organic power bars! Wow what a savings. I’m saving all the power bars to take on my mission trip, for now. If I make 2 gallons a week, I will save $71.20/week. The reality is that I couldn’t afford to buy that many power bars. So I just stick with the 3 gallons of milk/week. That is a savings of $13.92/ week or $55.68/month. The power bars are an added bonus, especially for someone who has to be dairy and/or gluten free.