Nuts for almonds
By Gisele Turner | Mon, 03 September 2018


Home improvement vegetarian cooking

While freshly made cashew milk is super creamy, freshly made almond milk gets the prize for nutrients. Almonds are not as soft as cashews and so making milk from them needs a longer soak to soften them and the grounds are not as smooth, so it’s essential to strain the fresh almond milk. You need to get whole raw almonds, with their skins on and it’s a good idea to shop around for sell-by-date specials and buy in bulk. Keep all nuts and seeds in the freezer for longevity.

Soak a cup of raw almonds in water for at least 8 hours; the water looks a bit milky and you can discard it and run cold clear water over the nuts. Place the almonds in a high powered blender, add two cups of filtered water and blend until thoroughly smooth. Strain by pouring the milk through a fine strainer or a muslin cloth. Add a little vanilla extract and a little maple syrup to the strained almond milk and consume within 4 days. Scrape the almond grounds (pulp) off the muslin and you can either freeze them, or use them within 4 days if kept in a glass jar in the fridge.

ALMOND PULP MUFFINS

This super easy recipe can be either savoury or sweet. The basic recipe is: 1 cup of almond pulp (grounds); 1 cup of almond milk; 1 cup of stone ground brown bread flour; ½ cup of mixed seeds; 2 flat teaspoons of baking powder. This amount gives you 12 small muffins. For a savoury mix you can add salt, cayenne pepper and finely chopped herbs, and for sweet, you can add 1 tablespoon of sugar; a dash of vanilla extract; some cinnamon powder; and finely chopped dried fruit. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the almond milk and mix thoroughly and quite quickly. Spoon the mixture into your muffin pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds and pop into a pre-heated oven at 180 o C for at least 15 minutes. I prefer them well-baked so I wait until the tops are golden. These are really delicious; they freeze well, toast up beautifully and, work well whether savoury or sweet.

ALMOND MILK SPINACH & MUSHROOM LASAGNE WITH ALMOND PULP TOPPING

Start by frying onions and garlic with Italian herbs (if you have fresh marjoram and oregano, that’s even better) and add a punnet of sliced mushrooms. Cook until they are nice and golden then season well and put aside. Strip the green leafy part of the Swiss Chard and chop quite finely. Pour boiling water over the spinach strips and allow them to wilt for at least 5 minutes. Discard the water and squeeze the spinach very well to get rid of excess liquid. Place two heaped teaspoons of cornflour in a cup and add enough cold water to make into a smooth paste. Top up with almond milk and stir well. Now reheat the mushroom and onion mix on low heat and slowly add the cornflour mixture, stirring as you go. The sauce will thicken and become very creamy. Add more almond milk to get the right consistency.

Make a tomato sauce by frying finely chopped red onion, with 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced, and a hint of fresh ginger. Add a can of chopped Roma tomatoes, or use fresh ones if you can get them nice and ripe. Cook until soft then add salt, pepper and a teaspoon of brown sugar.

To assemble your lasagne start with a little tomato sauce, then a layer of your favourite lasagne sheets, then the creamy mushroom sauce, then the wilted spinach. Repeat until you end with a top layer of mushroom sauce. Sprinkle the almond pulp (well-seasoned with salt, pepper - cayenne if liked, chopped herbs etc.) over the top and bake at 180*C until the pasta is tender and the top is brown - it’s a good idea to cover for the first 30 minutes and uncover for the browning. Yummy!



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