Category Archives: Guest Posts

Waste not, want not: Using Almond Paste

When I agreed to write a guest post for October Unprocessed, I knew I’d have fun. I’ve loved the project the whole way through! What I didn’t expect though was how much I’d enjoy the dialogue that would come about via the comment section. As of now, there are 37 comments on the post and with so many fantastic tidbits of information in them from some pretty savvy, whole foods-eatin’ readers, I just had to share! They’ve taught me so much! I had no idea I could love my almond milk making even more!

Did you know there are nut milk bags (Nut milk Bag 1 Quart) that you can use for straining? Me neither! We can strain the second mason jar of milk through one of those and make it even smoother! I wonder if the jelly bag I have will work…I think so!

Did you know there are tons more uses for the almond paste bi-product than just a protein boost to smoothies? Me neither! Here are some things we can do with the paste:

  • Almond “cheese” – Sounds like a hummus-type concoction to me – delicious on sandwiches or with veggies for dipping!
  • Almond paste cookies – Add some lemon juice, unsweetened coconut and agave into the pulp, form it into cookies and dehydrate for a nice healthy treat with a cup of tea. (Thanks, Deborawh!)
  • Dehydrated almond paste – In her comment, Sarah said that leftover almond paste dries quickly in a dehydrator. Just spread on parchment paper and dry at 110 to 135 until dry. Store covered in the refrigerator and add up to 1/4 of almond meal for flour in most recipes.
  • Toasted almond paste – Linda taught me that another good way to use the solids that are left is to spread them out on a cookie sheet and toast them. She said she’s taken the toasted grains of almonds, added a bit of almond oil and an even smaller bit of almond flavoring and mixed thoroughly with her hands. This, along with some sugar and egg, makes a great base for fruit tarts and gallettes. She said she’s planning to use it for her almond carrot cake and macaroons. Love the sound of that!

Don’t like your almond milk plain? You can jazz it up with lots of different additions. These were some of the suggestions:

  • Add a splash of vanilla
  • A spoonful of honey or two
  • Blend in 2-3 dates
  • Add agave for sweetness
Why limit ourselves to just almond milk? Maybe we should give some other nuts a try! People were raving about cashew milk, saying it’s super delicious and creamy. Maybe that should be the next thing on the agenda. Summer said her favorite right now is DIY cardamom brazil nut milk and you know how I feel about cardamom. This will be happening in my kitchen. Soon. Deborawh said her daughter loved the cashew chocolate milk she made. She said the pulp can be left in for a thicker milk with added raw cacao and agave or honey to taste. You can bet I’ll be making this as well.
Making almond milk was like opening Pandora’s box, but in a good way. Had it not been for the collective knowledge of this inspiring and thriving community, I might never have known what other amazing things I could be making with this one recipe! All of this goodness right under my nose! Thank you, my friends and readers! You inspire me!
* This post is linked up on Fresh Food Wednesday

Video: DIY Almond Milk Guest Post

Happy Monday, everyone! I am in an especially good mood this Monday because my guest post is up at EatingRules.com today! On the first day of October Unprocessed! I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the unprocessed train and share my experience! When I met Andrew earlier this year at a blog conference, I went up to him and gushed about how much I enjoyed the challenge. I couldn’t help but share how many things I learned from the month’s challenge that are now part of my daily life. I hope you’ll check out my guest post today about one of those things. I even filmed a video to go along with it ’cause that’s how I roll. Check it out!

And I meant it when I said that Karen Solomon’s books, both of them, are so worth having on your book shelf. Just watch out – they’ll make a kitchen nerd out of you. Consider yourself warned.

Kristy is Back for Spring

I love this post, the latest in our series of seasonal guest posts on each other’s blogs. And it just goes to show how far I’ve come. A post about beets that made me swoon? Kristy did me proud. I wanted to reach into the photos and grab one of those little toasts. I bet you will too! Enjoy!

I Need a beeting (please)…?

…C’mon, I asked nicely!

I know, I know. This isn’t that kind of blog. And I’m not that kind of girl….(again, unless you ask nicely)…

But Spring time is the time of year we dole out a few beatings, isn’t it?

Those rugs get hauled up off the floor and have the Winter batted out of them in the crisp Spring sun…

Drawers filled with dust and trinkets and a whole lot of stuff we could really do without get shaken upside down…

Our bodies get put through the ringer trying to lose the Winter 10 …or 20, in my case. I love me a good bowl (or 2) of this in the Winter time…each week.. What? …..

And Spring seedlings start to pop up in back yard, front yard, and side yard gardens all over the city! Now, you may be asking…what does this have to do with getting a beating? Well, nothing. Unless you want to talk about “beeting”. Oh yeah.

Spring beets make my little heart happy. They’re tender, and earthy and sweet. They’re also the first sign in our CSA (community supported agriculture) that Spring is upon us. Get on me Spring! And while you’re at it – throw a little bruschetta my way!

Those of you who have CSA programs you belong to, patronize your local farmer’s markets, or grow your own veggies know that it’s too early in the year for tomatoes and fabulously fresh basil. So instead, why not make a Spring version? No one is gonna throw a bruschetta rule book at you and say “you can’t do that!”… Unless of course, it’s the bruschetta police. But then, they don’t know what they’re missing.

Fresh, earthy, sweet, delicate beets. Pungent, crisp mint. Savory melt in your mouth goat cheese. Creamy toasted pine nuts. A hint of spice. And a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

Be still my beeting heart – greetings, Spring. (and wonderful followers of Stacy’s blog)… I’ve missed you.

 Spring Golden Beet Bruschetta

(printable recipe)

Ingredients:

 4-6 Fresh Spring Beets – any variety, washed & well dried.
Handful of Fresh Mint, roughly torn.
6 Oz Chevre.
1/3 C Pine Nuts, toasted.
1/2 Bird’s Eye Chili, finely diced.
Couple Tbsp Balsamic Reduction.
Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
2 garlic cloves, peeled & cut in half.

What to Do:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Throw the clean beets into a medium sized roasting pan along with a couple good glugs of olive oil. Toss well to coat.

Roast in the oven for 20-45 minutes, or until beets are fork tender. Depending on how new your beets are and the size of them, their cooking time will vary greatly. I find most fresh beets, about 2 and a half to 3 inches in diameter cook in about 25 minutes. If they’re older or larger, they’ll take longer.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool to touch. Chop off the bum and the tip of the beet and peel the skin off with your fingers. If it sticks (sometimes happens) you can gently use a veggie peeler to remove the skin – careful not to take off too much flesh though.

Allow to cool completely before continuing.

Once cool, dice the beets into 1/2″ cubes. Place in a bowl and mix with the pine nuts, mint, chili, and a Tbsp of olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Top off with crumbled goat cheese, a couple sprigs of mint, and a good drizzle of balsamic reduction.

Serve with some crusty home made sourdough bread (or favorite bread or crackers of your choosing). Heat/Toast them in the oven and rub with the sliced garlic. It doesn’t seem like a big move but it adds a dimension of flavor that you just can’t do without.

 Eat.