Thursday, September 22, 2011

Making my own almond milk and a rice n' bean loaf

I finally decided to go ahead and make my own almond milk! I've been buying unsweetened almond milk for ages and since I always have large bags of raw almonds on hand, I thought I'd try my hand at it.  So this isn't really a recipe, as I just tried to gather as much info as I could from various sources online and in books,to see what a good ratio would be. Here's what I came up with:

Unsweetened Almond Milk:

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
4 cups filtered water
pinch of salt
Vitamix (or other powerful blender)

Put the almonds and 1 cup of water into your Vitamix (or other powerful blender). Blend on highspeed for several seconds until the almonds are mostly pulverized. Add the rest of the water and the salt. Blend again for another 10-20 seconds. Put your sieve over your bowl, and pour the milk into it slowly. Stir with a spoon, to help the liquid come out more quickly. Keep this up until all the milk has been poured and you just have almond pulp in the sieve. I only did this process once, but you could do it twice if you really want to. It should keep in the fridge for a few days.
Mine was just a little gritty still, but I don't mind it. I only use it in oatmeal, in smoothies, and with granola. Some people use cheesecloth. I might try that next time, since I have some. You can also add dates or some other sweetener, if you prefer sweeter almond milk. And here's a recipe that uses some of that leftover almond pulp!

Rice N' Bean Loaf:
-makes 1 large loaf

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can navy beans, mashed up
3 stalks celery, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup almond pulp (from the almond milk,or you can use juice pulp if you prefer)
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 cup oats
1 TB flaxseed meal (ground flax seed)
1 TB vegan worcestershire sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano or basil
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Put parchment paper into a loaf pan and spoon the mixture into it, pressing it into all the corners. Smooth the top and bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for another 10 minutes. I served it with a red tomato sauce on top. Some sort of mushroom gravy might be nice, as an alternative.

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Coming up: A book review of Robert Cheeke's Vegan Bodybuilding, perhaps a recipe for raw cream cheese, stewed tomatoes/okra, and more talk about Vitamin B12 and D.

Eat smart,

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