I love nothing more than a glass of homemade almond milk. Like a lot of people, I have made a real daily habit of having a green smoothie every morning made with some of that delicious, creamy stuff. When you make almond milk from scratch, you are basically blending almonds with water and then straining off the grainy almond pulp to create the milk. It takes about 2 cups of almonds to make 6 cups of milk...but what do you do with all that pulp that's leftover? And if the answer is to throw it in the trash, perhaps it's time to revisit the cost that has on your wallet and the planet. Here are a couple fun facts about almond production.
Did you know that:
- "A new report from the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit research organization, finds that almonds (along with pistachios) are among the top consumers of water, at a rate of 1.2 trillion gallons a year"? (See the entire Take Part article this quote is from HERE).
- A 16 oz bag of almond flour typically costs between $10 and $12
- Honeybees are required to pollinate almond farms and they are dwindling in population at rapid speed due to a multitude of issues. Honeybees and the honey they produce are among our featured crops at Give Where You Take, where you can learn a lot more about whats happening with honeybees and how they can affect the growth of our precious crops - like Almonds. Read more about it HERE.
All that said, one really simple way to not waste those delicious and versatile almonds is to dehydrate the pulp and re-purpose it as flour in your baked goods, as crunchy bite to your granola, topping for cereal/yogurt/smoothies or a million other ways! Here's how!
Almond Pulp to Almond Flour
1. Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Dump out the almond pulp from your nutmilk bag and spread in an even layer on your parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Dehydrate in your oven for about 40 minutes, stirring the almond pulp around about half way through baking.
5. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
6. Use the parchment to help you slide the cooled almond flour into a clean, dry glass container and store in a cool/dry place for two weeks or freeze and use up 6 months.
*If the almond flour is too coarse, you can pulse it in your food processor or mini-chop just a few times until it becomes fine flour. Just be sure not to pulse too long or you will have almond butter! (Unless you want almond butter, then blend away.)