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    Archive for the ‘almond meal’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Nutritional Content of Homemade Almond Milk

    Measure-and-soak-almondsIs there any possible way to calculate the nutritional information (calories, fat, fiber, etc.) when making homemade almond milk?

    It’s been asked across the web a few times and I was wondering if maybe you knew of a way to do so.

    — Daniel Clausen
    Location Unknown

    Here is how I would calculate it:

    1. Look up nutritional information for whatever amounts of almonds you put into blender (i.e.: 1 cup)
    2. Measure how much almond meal is left at end of process.
    3. Look up nutritional information for that amount of almond meal, keeping in mind that since there is some water in that meal, figures are going to be slightly lower (ie: 1 cup of almond pulp may be 80% meal and 20% water or so).
    4. Subtract nutritional values of almond meal from whole almonds and, voila, you have estimated nutrition facts for your homemade batch!

    Let’s do an example right now!

    Let’s suppose you made 6 cups of almond milk using 1 cup of almonds.  That amount of whole almonds amounts to:

    • 827 calories
    • 72 grams of fat
    • 17 grams of fiber

    Let’s say you then have one cup of almond meal left.  One cup of ground almonds contains:

    • 549 calories
    • 48 grams of fat
    • 11.2 grams of fiber

    However, since this is almond pulp (almond meal with some absorbed water) let’s decrease those figures slightly to 500 calories, 40 grams of fat, and 9 grams of fiber.

    That means the batch almond milk you just made contains:

    • 327 calories
    • 32 grams of fat
    • 6 grams of fiber

    Divide those figures by six (since you made six cups and we want to determine how much you are getting per cup) and you come up with:

    • 55 calories
    • 5 grams of fat
    • 1 gram of fiber

    Commercial almonds milks have a higher almond to water ratio, so they offer half the fat content.

    To put that “5 grams of fat” figure into context, it’s equal to half a tablespoon of almond butter.

    One of the wonderful things about making your own batch of any nutmilk is that you can tailor it to your palate and nutritional needs.

    PS: A higher-fat version of almond milk is a wonderful way to add heart-healthy monounsaturated fats to your diet!

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    Quick & Healthy Recipes: Almond “Milk”

    july-09-almond-milkAlthough almond milk is becoming widely available in supermarkets across the country (especially now that Silk sells its own variety), nothing beats the taste of a homemade batch.

    Almond milk recipes have been around for decades and can be found in a variety of books and websites.  By no means is this an original concept of mine.

    That said, the version below is the one I have found to be ideal for me in terms of taste and texture after much experimentation.

    YIELDS: 4 cups

    INGREDIENTS:

    1.5 cups soaked raw almonds (see note about soaking after recipe)
    4 cups cold water
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Combine almonds, water, and salt in blender.  Process for at least one minute.

    Place a cheesecloth, fine sieve, or nutmilk bag over a large container.  Pour “milk” into cheesecloth, sieve, or nutmilk bag.  For smoothest results, repeat this step one more time.

    That’s it!

    VERY IMPORTANT NOTES:

    • You can make this with any nut or seed.  I have made pecan milk (delicious!), cashew milk, hazelnut milk, and hempseed milk.
    • The ratio of nuts/seeds to water determines the texture and consistency of the final product.  For a creamier milk, decrease the ratio.  For a thinner liquid, increase it.  Experiment!
    • Try different flavorings!  One of my favorites for this recipe is to add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and half a teaspoon of cinnamon before blending.  For chocolate nutmilk, add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.  Strawberry milk?  Throw in a small handful of strawberries into the blender after you’ve made the milk.  Other sweet suggestions that I have used in the past: half a banana; one or two figs/pitted dates.
    • The fat and fiber content in this milk is not equal to the amount in the number of almonds used to make it.  After you strain the milk, you will have a significant amount of solid almond lump left behind (which, by the way, you can combine with cocoa powder, a tablespoon of the sweetener of your choice, and some shredded coconut in a food processor and then spread over a baking sheet and bake for a delicious granola-like snack).
    • For easier blending in conventional blenders (and for better flavor), I highly recommend soaking the almonds in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours first (any container will do, just make sure to completely cover the almonds in water).  If you are using soaked almonds, drain the soaked liquid from the container, rinse two or three times, and then go ahead and make your milk.
    • Almond milk lasts 3 days in the refrigerator.  It is super versatile; I have used it in coffee, over cereal, and in smoothies.
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    Healthify Your Baked Goods!

    toolsI find that certain weekend mornings are practically tailor-made for a muffin-and-coffee breakfast.

    Sipping freshly brewed coffee and biting into homemade baked good on a cloudy autumn morning, watching the colorful foliage slowly float down from tree branches, is simultaneously comforting and delectable.

    While many commercial baked goods are nutrition horror cliches (copious amounts of white flour, sugar, and unhealthy fats), homemade varieties can get a nutritional boost in a variety of ways.

    These tips can be used when making muffins, brownies, and cookies:

    1) Go whole or go home

    Gone are the days when “whole grain baked goods” meant a dense, rubbery concoction akin to an E-Z Bake Oven creation.

    The key to making light and fluffy 100% whole grain baked goods is to utilize either whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat white flour.

    You can fully replace a recipe’s white flour with either of these varieties.

    Not only will the end result be higher in fiber, it will also contain more selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

    2) Go alternative

    Alternative flours can be quite pricey, but they’re a lot more affordable if you make them yourself!

    Instead of purchasing oat flour (which, depending where you live, can be hard to track down), make your own by processing quick oats in a food processor.

    FYI: One and a half cups of quick cooking oats yields one cup of oat flour.

    Oat flour is high in soluble fiber (the kind that helps lower cholesterol and provides a feeling of fullness more quickly) and rich in phytonutrients.

    One other FYI: oat flour can only replace, at most, half of the wheat flour in a given recipe.

    Another favorite alternative flour of mine is almond meal.

    You can also make this at home by pulverizing raw almonds in a food processor or coffee grinder until they achieve a powdery consistency.

    Like oat flour, almond meal can replace up to half of the wheat flour in a given recipe.

    Like whole almonds, almond meal is a good source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

    You can even replace half a cup of flour in a recipe with half a cup of pure wheat germ for added fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

    3) Get saucy

    Unsweetened applesauce is a healthy baker’s ally.

    You can replace anywhere from one half to three quarters of the fat called for in a recipe with unsweetened applesauce and no one will be the wiser.

    The applesauce won’t disrupt flavors, but will add plenty of moisture to your baked goods.

    4) Sprinkle away

    Whenever I make pancake or muffin batter, I like to add two or three tablespoons of oat bran and ground flaxseeds.

    Not only do they impart a hearty and nutty flavor, they also add extra nutrition in a pinch.

    5) Sugar?  Think Beyond The White Stuff

    When it comes to sweetening, think natural first.

    Raisins, blueberries, bananas, and fresh pineapple add sweetness — and great flavor — to recipes while also delivering nutrition.

    In my experience, you can halve the added sugar (whether in the form of white sugar, brown sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup, etc.) in conventional recipes and still have a tasty baked good.

    When reducing sugar, make up for it by adding nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla, almond, and/or coconut extract to the batter.

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