Almond Butter

Our house is never without homemade almond butter - shop bought just not the same.  We use it on GF breads and pancakes, in brownies for a protein kick, mashed with bananan for pudding (little ones) and we dunk oatcakes, apple wedges, dates in it for a snack.  Much higher in protein than the peanut, so a great alternative to peanut butter. 

 

Makes 1kg

1kg raw almonds (organic)

large pinch of himalayan salt

High powered blender/food processor


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. I don’t increase the temperature beyond this to avoid burning the almonds and turning the oils rancid. Spread the almonds out over a tray lined with baking paper and roast in the oven until they turn a golden colour. You don’t want to roast for too long as they will produce a butter which is too dark in colour and this can give a bitter taste - burnt! At the same time, you want to roast them long enough to ensure the butter making process is as easy as possible, as the roasting releases the lovely oils. I normally roast for around 30 mins and turn the nuts regularly to ensure an even colour.


Transfer the almonds to a high powered blender or food processor - I use a vitamix machine, add a pinch of salt. For the vitamix, you will need to use the plunger for making the butter.  Start at variable 1 and increase to variable 10, using the tamper to push the almonds down into the blades.  I like my butter runny and oily in appearance as oppose to thick and buttery so I blend until I get the right consistency.


Transfer to a glass jar or container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months (although I tend to keep mine for around a month).

Tip: I buy all my nuts online in bulk for the best price: buywholefoodsonline

Fermented Almond Yogurt

makes 2.5 cups, around 4 servings


1 cup of raw almonds (to make 2 1/4 cups of almond milk)
2 1/4 cups of filtered water
1 Probiotic (20-50 billion) capsule 

1 tsp unflavoured grass fed gelatine/collagen
1 tbsp raw honey

First make the almond milk - see my dairy free milks page
Once you have the almond milk, place a ¼ cup of the milk into a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatine/collagen; leave to bloom. Be very careful to measure the collagen out precisely. Too little makes the mixture running and too much, like jelly!

 

Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan on medium heat until around 150 F. Remove from the heat and whisk in the collagen/milk mixture and the raw honey.  Allow the milk to cool to around 110 F and whisk in the opened probiotic capsule.  Place in a sterilised glass jar and cover with a mesh sieve, secured with a band.


Dehydrate on 120 F for 8 hours, then refrigerate overnight. Do not be tempted to stir the yogurt before refrigerating. The yogurt needs to set in the fridge. Once set, whisk with a spoon to a smooth consistency. I keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you do not have
a dehydrator, you can use a slow cooker. Switch the slow cooker on high for 2 hours before fermenting the yogurt. Switch the slow cooker off when you add the almond yogurt container. Ferment for 12 hours and then refrigerate.

Tips: If the yogurt has solidified and looks more like a jelly, it is more than likely that you added too much collagen/gelatine. If this happens, don’t worry, just add it to a blender to give it a more smooth consistency. I soak, rinse and dehydrate all my nuts prior to use to
make them more digestible. For the collagen I use Great Lakes which is grass fed.
http://greatlakesgelatin.com/storefront/

Dairy free Mylks

 

Why make your own dairy-free mylks when you can buy them? The simple answer is, tins and cartons almost always contain additives and fillers. Quite often these additives can be hidden sources of gluten.


Below describes the process needed to make three types of dairy free mylks that I use regularly in cooking.

Almonds should be soaked 12 hours overnight piror to making, cashews need less time, around 4 hours.


Almond Mylk


It is very easy to make Almond Mylk! Simply add 1 cup of soaked almonds to 2 and a 1/2 cups of filtered water and blend until smooth. Use a nut milk bag to sieve out the pulp and you will have a lovely creamy milk remaining. Add a pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt, a pitted mejadool date and a tsp of vanilla extract (optional) and blend again.


Coconut Mylk


You can use shredded coconut to make coconut mylk but I find it is less time consuming to make coconut mylk from coconut cream or butter. My favourite brand is by Tropical Traditions as it tastes incredibly fresh in comparison to other brands. I have a lovely friend who gave me a jar from the states and after tasting this brand I would highly recommend it.


I dissolve 50g of coconut cream/butter in 100ml of warm water. This makes a similar consistency and thickness as tinned coconut mylk. You can make the mylk lighter if you wish by adding double the liquid. Once dissolved add the mixture to a vitamix or high speed blender and blend until smooth. If your blender is not equipped at making the milk very smooth you might wish to strain the mixture using a nut milk bag. I find with the vitamix I don’t have to strain the mylk.


If you prefer to use shredded coconut to make coconut mylk, simply soak 1 cup of shredded coconut for 2 hours in hot filtered water. Blend until smooth and sieve out the pulp using a nut milk bag.


Cashew Mylk/Cream


Cashew mylk is my favourite as it is incredibly creamy. You also don’t need to strain the pulp as the cashews are fatty by nature and they don’t have any pulp remaining.

To make the cashew mylk, add 1 cup of soaked cashews to 4 cups of water for skimmed consistency, 3
cups of water for semi-skimmed consistency, 2 cups for whole consistency or 1 cup for cashew cream.  I flavour with 1 tsp of vanilla extract and a pitted mejaool date during
the blending.


Tips:

Dairy free mylks in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep the pulp and use it for other recipes if you don’t wish to throw it away.

 

I use the universal nut milk bag available on
Amazon which is very durable.


I find a blend of all three mylks is a great alternative for cows milk. 

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