I had the most amazing experience this week as I made my own almond milk for the first time, and I was shocked that it was actually delicious. As I thought about all that I learned, lessons remained quite simple but brought amazing clarity that by trying one new thing, we open doors for another. Thus, every action will always have a result, and it is using those results for good without letting the good go to waste.
You see, my friends, that after squeezing all of the delicious milk out of the almonds, I was left with a concentrated pulp filled with healthy goodness. I just couldn't let it go to waste, so I researched ways to use it, and I came upon an exceedingly simple recipe for almond crackers.
Isn't life the same way? When we begin something healthy for us or for others, it will have something left over that can also be repurposed. We make one thing, and it miraculously turns to a double blessing. There is always something left over that can be shared with others.
For those on a vegan, vegetarian, or paleo diet, this is a great cracker. It has no sugars or harmfully processed ingredients. What shocked me even more was my 5-year-old nephew liked them.
As I reviewed the recipes I used that I will be sharing with you in this blog, I realized that each simple step represents simple steps we can take with our lives that provide double blessings for us and others. As you see each step, ponder how this helps us create, renew, and repurpose to share and serve.
Almond Milk with Almond Crackers - I created a variation of two published recipes. The original recipe links/sources will be below the recipe.
Almond Milk: Click here for the original link. Makes about 2 cups
1 cup raw almonds, preferably organic
2 cups water, plus more for soaking
Flavorings or Sweeteners like honey, sugar, agave syrup, or maple syrup (optional)
Blender or food processor
Fine-mesh nut bag or cheesecloth (I used cheesecloth; it worked fairly well; I am on the hunt for a nut-milk-bag.
Soak (to remove impurities) the almonds overnight or up to 2 days. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand on the counter, covered with a cloth, overnight, or refrigerate for up to 2 days. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.
Drain and rinse (to remove inhibitors) the almonds. Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. At this point, the almonds should feel a little squishy if you pinch them. (It's best to discard the soaking water because it contains phytic acid, which inhibits the body's ability to absorb nutrients.)
Combine the almonds and water in a blender or food processor. Place the almonds in the blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment and cover with 2 cups of water.
Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes. Pulse the blender a few times to break up the almonds, then blend continuously for 2 minutes. The almonds should be broken down into a very fine meal and the water should be white and opaque. (If using a food processor, process for 4 minutes total, pausing to scrape down the sides halfway through.)
Strain the almonds. Line a fine-mesh strainer with either an opened nut milk bag or cheesecloth, and place over a measuring cup. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
Press and squeeze all the almond milk from the almond meal. Gather the nut bag or cheesecloth around the almond mixture and twist close. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much almond milk as possible. You should get about 2 cups.
Sweeten to taste. (I add a few drops of organic vanilla) Taste the almond milk, and if a sweeter drink is desired, add sweetener to taste.
So when you are all finished, you have almond milk with a cheesecloth filled with pulp. KEEP the pulp. You can dry it out by drying it on a very low temperature in your oven or use it right away (which is what I did). There are loads of recipes out there, but I wanted something simple, so here is the cracker recipe I found. Note: I added sesame seeds on top and used Penzey's Bavarian Spices for flavor.
Easy Almond Pulp Crackers (Vegan, Paleo)
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
An easy cracker recipe to re-purpose the almond pulp leftover from making almond milk!
COURSE: APPETIZER, SNACK
CALORIES: 181 KCAL
1 scant cup wet almond pulp (the amount leftover from making 1 batch of almond milk)
3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil (I used olive oil)
1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds (I used ground flax).
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt - I used Himalayan Sea Salt.
2 tablespoons fresh herbs , or 2 teaspoons dried herbs, such as chives, rosemary, or parsley (I used Penzey's Bavarian spices)
1 garlic clove , minced (optional)
Water , as needed
Nancy's variation: both black and white sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond pulp, oil, ground flax or chia seeds, salt, herbs, and garlic, if using, and stir well. If the dough looks dry, add water one tablespoon at a time, just until it can easily be pressed together between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to a sheet of parchment paper and place another sheet of parchment paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the cracker mixture about 1/8-inch thick, or as thin as you'd like your crackers to be. (The thinner they are, the crispier they'll be.)
Use a large knife to score the rolled dough into square shapes, making about 20 crackers. I added sesame seeds here. Poke the middle of each cracker with a fork to help them dry and bake evenly. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, then flip each cracker (they should separate easily where you scored them) and bake until they are crisp and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Mine took longer on both sides.
Cool the crackers completely before serving. They will keep at room temperature for a few days, but they'll last even longer in a sealed container in the fridge.
As I said, I used the recipes I found on the internet (sources listed on the links), but they had enough leeway that I could personalize them for my family's personal tastes.
I was amazed that what began as a single task produced double the fun, taste, and products. Add your comments below, and if you find a tasty combination add it below.
Picture: What is left of the almond milk, almond pulp crackers, and because the milk and crackers are already almost gone, I am already soaking my next batch!