Activated almonds are awesome. We’ve been soaking and low heat drying almonds for about 4 years now and have not looked back. You can taste and feel the difference. I’ve got a whole post on them from a couple of years ago here if you fancy checking out some flavours. In my first week back from holidays I bought a few ‘packet’ organics with a view to buying me some time to replenish my home made stocks of various things like fermented veg, activated nuts and nut spread, stock. I was shocked! I paid my bill and looked at the receipt later…
$9.50 – Small packet of organic activated almonds, 100g
$10 – chicken stock, house made, 500ml
$10 – tiny jar of almond butter, NON activated nor organic
These were the 3 items that really shocked me – so inexpensive to make your own! Plus, when you make your own you avoid g.s.t with single, whole ingredients. When it comes to the stock, check out my post on stock making if you’ve not made your own – you’re in for a delicious, nutrient packed treat that costs very little! And as for almonds, I thought a little experiment was in order.
So I bought 1.2kg (about 8 cups) of pesticide free Australian almonds for $20.50 and brought them home. I wanted to test the bang for buck on taking a few minutes to do something for oneself and show just how much more you could get out of a simple purchase like almonds, over buying nut butter, milk or snacks.
1. Soak the almonds in a big bowl with filtered water and a teaspoon of sea salt. Leave 12-20 hours
2. Rinse them well and spread 3/4 of them out onto two baking trays and pop in the oven on 150F / 80C. 10-12 hours OR dehydrate in a dehydrator as per manufacturer instructions.
3. To make 750ml Almond milk. Take 2.5 cups of the soaked almonds – not oven dried, just freshly soaked) and pop in your blender or Thermomix. Add 1 litre of water, 2 pinches green stevia or a tablespoon your preferred sweetener (honey, riuce malt, maple) and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder. Blend on Speed 8 for 30 seconds (on high for the blender) and strain in a nutmilk bag or muslin, although a nut milk bag will allow you to wring out the last of the milk and be much finer, less gritty result. Decant into a couple of jars and refrigerate for 3 days. You can use this for smoothies, adding to tea coffee / making a fortifying tonic with a pastured raw egg yolk and a tbsp of molasses syrup whisked in, add to baking… whatever you fancy for your dairy free needs!
4. With the activated almonds ready and completely cooled down (Best done in the oven, switched off and cooled there. Makes them nice and crispy). I took just under 3 cups of almonds and make assorted flavours as per the almond post or whatever ideas you fancy exploring!
5. With the remaining ready-activated almonds I made a nut butter. Blend about 2.5 cups on high until they start to turn into wet sand and then add a little macadamia oil (depending on how dry they are from the activating step, you might need up to 4 tablespoons) and a little pinch of salt and pop into a jar. For a luxury treat, I added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder. Scrumptious!
Could I have changed tense or person more in a few short sentences? Probably not! But you get the drift. My point is, study that receipt. Look at what you’re buying GST charged packets of, buying things that take literally minutes here and there to make.
Many people ‘swap’ to organic and are horrified at the price change, and it’s understandable if you swap from a packet of regular almonds and then buy an activated organic packet – triple the price in fact. Chicken stock is the same, yoghurt is the same… All things we can make easily once we get the courage up and the habit happening. They’re not time suckers either. Just a little minute or two here and there to get things started / check on them, blend them up. It’s doable!
3 big jars of almonds, a big jar of nut butter and 750ml of nut milk (with pulp left over for banana bread or biscuits down the track so I’ve popped that in the freezer) all pesticide free and activated, so all lacking the enzyme inhibitors to boot.
Make your own cost – $23 (I’ve added $1.50 for incidental pinch of stevia here, teaspoon of macadamia oil there)
Buy all of that in an organic, activated and additive free state? $68
There was another jar of almond milk… It mysteriously disappeared into a near by tummy before a photo could be taken!
Where have you found the best saving by making your own version? This is the start of a series where I’ll focus on the savings that can be made with a little home made effort. This is stuff you can do while chatting, listening to tunes… It’s not hard concentration stuff and it will save you a lot of money indeed!
Real Food. Real Savings. Happy People!