2 gluten-free, sugar-free ways to use almond meal (from making almond milk)

I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I found commercial (sugar-free) almond milk. But with all my blissful consuming, pouring almond milk over everything, I had overlooked the ingredient carrageenan. There is research showing its potential harmful effects including gastrointestinal inflammation and it's in the brand I was drinking (Earth's Own). It's often found in other milk substitutes too. Not sure how I feel about that, so until I find a better alternative I make my own.

My almond milk recipe: 1 cup (soaked overnight) raw almonds + 3-4 cups water whirred like crazy in the Vitamix (you can add a little maple syrup and or vanilla if you wish). Squeeze the milk through a cheesecloth. What you are left with is lovely creamy almond milk and what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-it, almond meal.

These leftovers can be guilt inducing; expensive ground up almonds, what to do with them? Sure you can just eat them, or hide them in smoothies. Something amazing would be better. A search turns up many options including dehydrating (I might try that). But I discovered some tasty alternatives this weekend and wanted to share.
These muffins are the perfection in my quest for the perfect apple muffin. After creating many litres of applesauce last fall, I've been honing several variations. These are made with xylitol and taste truly amazing. Moist, fluffy, sweet (enough).

Sweet & spice apple muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients
1 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/2 cup xylitol
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tbsp coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
1 cup gluten-free flour (I use Bob's)
1/2 tsp zanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

Instructions
1. Mix applesauce, eggs, almond meal, coconut oil & xylitol in a medium bowl
2. Mix flour, z-gum, powder, soda and spices in another bowl
3. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix until well combined
4. Spoon into lined muffin tins (parchment is best)
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (until pressing gently on the top of muffins feels slightly firm)

Try spread with: coconut oil, peanut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Ok, on to the next thing......Almond meal crackers
Seed crackers. A little garlicky, crunchy and totally savory. Would hold up to dips, spreads and pretty decent on their own. The recipe is from the I Quit Sugar cookbook by Sarah Wilson.

Very, very good. I would recommend trying them at least once. Kind of addictive.

Ingredients
1⁄2 cup each chia seeds, sunflower and sesame seeds
1⁄2 cup almond meal 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon dulce flakes (optional)
1 cup water
2 teaspoon fresh herbs (I like sage for these)
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine the seeds and meal in one bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients in another. 
3. Pour the liquid mixture onto the seeds and stir until thick and combined.   
4. Spread the mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper until it’s 1⁄2 cm thick.  
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool a little. Slice into crackers, flip over and bake for another 25 minutes

2014 Update: another idea, Snicker balls! 

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