What to Do With All that Pulp: 3 Almond Meal Recipes

So… you made your own almond milk… now what?

I’ll admit, I don’t make my own almond milk nearly as much as I know I should. Not only is it the only way to guarantee exactly what goes into your nut milk, but the homemade variety is far more healthful, economical, environmental-friendly and delicious than the store-bought version. Plus, if you’re following a Paleo or gluten-free diet, learning how to make your own almond milk also yields a surprise bonus: Almond meal. That’s right, all that left over almond pulp can be turned into a staple baking ingredient in just a couple of steps, saving you time and a great deal of money, too (have you seen how costly almond meal is?!). This two-for-one personality is what makes creating your own almond milk truly worthwhile. Almonds aren’t always the cheapest ingredient, but when you can stretch them to make milk, meal, and then a tasty treat, well, the benefits far exceed the cost. Plus, no waste. You can’t argue with that.

Feeling inspired to finally make whipping up a regular batch of almond milk a priority, I decided to put the pulp to work. After following this recipe for the milk, I followed the steps below to dehydrate the leftover pulp:

How to Make Almond Meal

Heat your oven to 100F — you want it as low as it will go — and line a cookie sheet with parchment. Press as much liquid from the meal as possible and spread it in an even later on the parchment. Pop it in the oven and dehydrate the meal for about 5 hours, being sure to watch it so it doesn’t toast or burn. Once it’s dried out, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Give it a couple of pulses in your food processor to break it up a little before transferring to a resealable container. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

Once you have your almond meal, all you have to do is decide what to make. Today I’m sharing three recipes that put this versatile ingredient to work. First up, a Paleo-friendly grain-free granola that’s just begging to be paired with your morning smoothie bowl. Then it’s on to raw cacao energy bites, which are the perfect snack to eat before or after a workout, or to tote with you on a hike. And finally, coconut-banana “magic” bars, inspired by the real Magic Bars that my mother made when i was a kid. While nothing can replace those coconut-y, caramel-y dream bars, my version is far healthier and just as tasty. Sunday mornings call for baking, so be sure to try them out, or let me know how you plan to use your pulp in the comments!

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Paleo Grain-Free Granola

Ingredients:

1 cup almond meal/flour

1 cup unsweetened coconut flake

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raw pecan pieces

1/4 – 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds

1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

Pinch or two of sea salt

Recommended spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg,  pumpkin pie spice, ginger

Note: The great thing about this recipe is that you can throw just about any nut, seed, or dried fruit into it, which means it’s the perfect way to use up any small amount of ingredients you may have lying around.

Pre-heat the oven to 275F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, toss all ingredients together and add any spices you may be feeling inspired by. Spread mixture in an even layer on the cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden, being sure to stir every 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before transferring to a jar. This keeps for about two weeks.

Use to top smoothies, fruit, or toss in a bag to keep with you when hunger strikes.

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Raw Cacao Energy Bites

Ingredients:

1 cup almond meal/flour

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

2 heaping tablespoons raw cacao (unsweetened cocoa powder also works)

5 pitted Medjool dates

Handful raw almonds

1 tbsp coconut butter

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup raw hulled hemp seeds, for rolling

Combine all ingredients except hemp seeds in a food processor and pulse until well mixed and almonds are broken up. The mixture should be moist enough to hold together when pinched. If it feels too crumbly, add more coconut butter or coconut oil. Roll the mix, two tablespoons at a time, between your palms to make balls. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for 10 minutes. Once hardened, remove from the freezer and place the hemp seeds in a small bowl. Roll each ball in the seeds to cover. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

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Coconut-Banana Magic Bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 cup almond meal/flour

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 cup melted coconut oil, melted

For the top:

1 very ripe bananas

1/4 cup almond meal/flour

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flake

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1 tbsp almond butter

Preheat oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix all crust ingredients together. Press in an even layer in the bottom of the loaf pan and bake for 20 minutes. While the crust is baking, make the top.

Whir the bananas in a food processor until liquefied. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse until mixed. Add the shredded coconut, vanilla, and pecans, and pulse until mixed and the nuts are finely chopped.

Remove the crust from the oven and pour the topping in an even layer over it, smoothing it out with an off-set spatula if needed. Top with large unsweetened coconut flake, chocolate chips, and a drizzle of almond butter and pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until coconut is toasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before using a sharp knife to cut into bars.

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+ More almond recipes from BLDG 25

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