Archives for posts with tag: almonds

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These are gooey black bean brownies from a recipe by Ella Woodward. Some of Ella’s recipes appeared in the paper when I was last in the UK, nearly 18 months ago, and my mother-in-law showed them to me. I was intrigued by this particular recipe, which uses black beans to make brownies. I finally got around to making them, and I’m still not entirely sure what I think of them, to be honest.

The recipe is… odd. It calls for an enormous amount of apple puree, an enormous amount of milk and quite a lot of maple syrup. I cut back on all of these, because I was worried about how sloppy the mixture was getting, and I didn’t want it to be too sweet. I had already messed with the recipe by using almond pulp instead of ground almonds, as part of my eternal quest for ways to use up almond pulp.

Perhaps I should have used a smaller sized baking tray, given that I’d reduced the volume, so it’s not surprising that my brownies turned out quite flat. They’re certainly gooey: mine are so moist that I had to use baking paper to stop them sticking together when I packed them into a container. (Maybe I should have cooked them longer?)

I kind of like these brownies, but they really are a little odd.  Maybe they’re just too moist for me. Ella is right, you can’t taste the black bean, even with the reduced amount of maple syrup that I used. I’m not entirely sure that I’d make this recipe again, though it was an interesting thing to try.

 

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Well, this changes everything! I’m always looking out for ways to use the almond pulp that is the by-product of home-made almond milk. It was really hot last week and I didn’t feel like baking my fruity seedy almond pulp biscuits. In fact, I was craving mini raw vegan cheesecake. Suddenly I thought, why don’t I try making the base with almond pulp, instead of almonds? Dear reader, it worked!

So now I have another option for using up almond pulp: my guess is that this substitution should work for most raw vegan dessert recipes which involve nuts and dates as a biscuity base. My reasoning here is that the dates provide the moisture that holds everything together, and the nuts are there to provide bulk and protein, which is still there in the almond pulp. Hooray!

Fruity and seedy biscuits

This is my new favourite way to use up the almond pulp which is produced when I make almond milk. (A couple of other ways here and here.) I take the pulp from 1 cup of almonds (which has been squeezed out well when I make the almond milk, but not dried out), put it into a food processor and add:

  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour,
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit (I used a mixture of apricots, cranberries and sultanas for this batch: dates are also good),
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder,
  • pinch of salt.

Process this to mix the flour through and break up the fruit. I think it’s also OK if some of the almond pulp turns to almond butter, but you don’t want to turn the whole lot into a paste, so don’t overdo it: you still want some smallish chunks of fruit in there. The mixture should be a little moist and hold together if you press it. Then, transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in:

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats,
  • 1/4 cup mixed seeds (I use pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds),
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or canola oil,
  • a tablespoon (or more) of apple sauce, if the mixture needs help sticking together.

Mix well, then press together into a big ball. From this, rip off biscuit-sized pieces and roll into balls, squish down a bit, and put on the tray. Bake in a moderate oven (180 C/350 F) for 12 – 15 minutes or so, until golden brown on top. Leave to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes, then transfer on a cooling rack.

The biscuits turned out really well: the seeds give them some structure and crunch. I took them to work for an afternoon snack and ended up sharing them with a colleague, who enjoyed them too. A nice boost of energy to see us through to the end of the day. Also, no added sugar: sweetness provided by the dried fruit.

NOTE: when I first posted this recipe, all the quantities were approximate because I was trying to remember how I had first made the biscuits (which I had done by feel). The next day (which is today) I made another batch and wrote down the quantities: I just adjusted the flour up a bit and the amount of dried fruit down a bit, and reduced the cooking time a bit. Feel free to experiment though.

Berry slushy

I haven’t managed to get my kids to try a green smoothie yet, but when I make myself a berry smoothie, my daughter often asks for “one without the green stuff”. I use frozen berries, some frozen banana and homemade almond milk. It turns out more like a slushy than a smoothie! For her, it’s a delicious treat, and I’m happy to see her enjoying my almond milk.

Almond pulp crackers 

Since starting to make my own almond milk, I’ve been on the lookout for ways to use the resulting almond pulp. These almond pulp crackers are very tasty and easy to make (shown here with beetroot dip). I’ve also made almond pulp hummus, which was fun. If you have any favourite ways to use almond pulp, please leave a comment below!

 

Homemade almond milk!

Now I have a high speed blender, I can make my own almond milk! I can’t believe how easy it is. There are lots of recipes online, but the general gist seems to be: soak 1 cup of almonds overnight. Blend with 4 cups of water. Strain through a fine muslin or nut bag, squeezing out all the liquid. That’s it!

The first time I tried it, I removed the skins and made almond pulp crackers with the almond pulp. The next time, I didn’t bother removing the skins, which made the process a lot quicker, the milk was just as delicious and the crackers were nicer.

Raspberry Almond Torte

My daughter loves raspberries and I wanted to try some gluten-free baking, as my niece is coeliac. So I made this torte from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan. The topping is prepared on the stove using fresh or frozen raspberries, and the base involves almond meal and millet flour, some yummy flavourings, all held together using xanthan gum. It made a very nice dessert, and I also enjoyed it as a mid-afternoon snack.