Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a waste not want not kinda gal. I can't stand wastage and I'm constantly trying to find ways to improve the sustainability of our little house and cut down on unnecessary rubbish - easy to say but hard to do! One super easy, great way of not only cutting down on waste but saving money at the same time is making your own nut milk. You can use this process with any variety of nut, but some really great options include almond, cashew and macadamia.
Nut milks are not just trendy but are actually a very healthy alternative to the real deal (moo milk). Better yet, if you make it yourself you know exactly what is in it and it's free of added thickeners, preservatives and sugars as well as the biosphenyl A (BPA's) that can be found in the lining of the carton.
Waste Free Ways
To cut down further on waste you can use that leftover pulp in recipes as you would use regular nut meals. Simply dry out the nut pulp on a tray in the oven set to around 50 degrees Celsius. It will take a few hours to dry out but it's worth using because it's still full of protein and fibre, plus nut meals are expensive to buy. If you don't have the time to dry out the nut pulp, you can still use it wet but you may need to alter the recipe slightly (add extra flour for example).
"So what do I use the almond pulp in?" I hear you say! Well absolutely anything that you would use almond meal in but below are a few ideas:
- My Comforting Spelt Choc Chip Cookie Recipe - I just leave out the desiccated coconut and add in extra almond pulp as the pulp is a little lighter than regular almond meal.
- Stir through porridge as you are cooking it.
- Use in my Easy Overnight Oats Recipe instead of or as well as the coconut.
- Add protein to smoothies by adding in the almond pulp.
Anyway, you get the gist. You can use it in anything, just use your creative cooking powers and you'll find a way.
- 1 cup almonds or other nut of choice ie. cashews, macadamias
- 4 cups water
- 1 medjool dates pitted
- 1 tsp pure organic vanilla essence
- Soak nuts overnight in a bowl filled with water plus 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
- After soaking the almonds overnight, tip them plus water into a leak proof container and shake vigorously. Rinse the nuts off under fresh water. This helps to remove the phytates that inhibit absorption of essential nutrients.
- In a high powered blender, place the almonds plus 4 cups of (preferably filtered) water, medjool date, vanilla essence and a pinch of salt and blend on high for approximately 5 minutes.
- Holding the nut milk bag over a large bowl, carefully pour the contents of the blender in to the bag and squeeze the bag to remove as much milk as possible from the pulp. If using cheese cloth, place a sieve over the bowl and line with cloth. Pour the contents of the blender very slowly into the sieve so that it doesn't overflow. Once the contents of the blender have been emptied, pick up the four corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze until as much milk is removed as possible.
- Pour the almond milk into a bottle with a lid. Use within 4 days.