Friday, February 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Scones and Almond Milk

This is my new favorite snack/dessert! Chocolate chip scones and homemade almond milk.

The scones recipe I got from Elana's new cookbook, "The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook." I reduced the amount of chocolate from 1 cup, and the original recipe calls for chopped dark chocolate, but enjoy life chocolate chips worked great!

Chocolate Chip Scones
2 ½ c blanched almond flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1/3 c olive oil
¼ c agave nectar
2 large eggs
¾ c chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together wet ingredients. Mix in dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop out onto parchment lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart (8 per sheet). Bake for about 13 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets for half an hour. Serve. Makes 16 scones.

These are great reheated from the freezer. I like to microwave them until just barely warm, then throw them in the toaster oven for a minute or two to firm up again.
I love the flavor of these scones. To me, there is even a hint of a coconutty flavor...probably from the almonds. I love it!

On to the almond milk....

I've been dairy free (mostly) for 2 1/2 years. I haven't had a drink of milk in that entire time. Usually I'm okay with that. But once in awhile, I get the craving to just chug a glass of ice cold milk. Substitute milk products just never wowed me. I'd drink some chocolate soy milk occasionally, and buy whatever's on sale (usually almond breeze) when I needed something to use in cooking/baking.
This recipe is really simple. I've made it several times in the past few weeks, and I love it. To me, it's not exactly milk, but it's definitely a close substitute. I feel like the texture is the same, and when you take a drink, it feels milk-like in your mouth. The almond aftertaste is what throws it off. It isn't bad, but for those looking for a REAL milk-like substitute, this may not wow them. I was pretty impressed though!
The greatest part is, it's healthy, doesn't have any weird additives, and it's cheaper than buying the stuff at the store. I stock up on my almonds when they're $3-$4 a pound at the HFS. 1 pound equals about 2 cups of almonds....which equals about 2 quarts of almond milk. For $3-$4!! That's about what I pay at the store for ONE quart of almond milk. Plus, I feel like the stuff at the store is a bit thinned out. I like how rich the homemade stuff is.

Anyway, enough trying to sell you on the idea :) Try it out for yourself. Then you'll see what I'm talking about! Visit Amy at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free for more info. She's the one who turned me on to this amazing discovery!

Homemade Almond Milk
1/2 c almonds
Enough water to cover (for soaking)
2 cups water
Optional: salt, vanilla and choice of sweetener (I haven't tried adding anything to my milk. I've enjoyed it the way it is).

Put the almonds in a glass jar or bowl. Cover with water, then cover bowl. Soak overnight (or for a few hrs) at room temperature.
Drain water, rinse almonds well.
Pour 2 cups of water into a blender. Add almonds. Blend on high for 2 minutes. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve (I did this in portions. I would pour probably 1/2 c liquid in, then let it drip a bit, then gather the cheesecloth together and gently squeeze until all the liquid's out. I then scooped out the almond grinds and threw them in a ziploc bag. Still haven't figured out what to do with them. Then I rinsed the cheesecloth, and relined the strainer).
Keep refrigerated and covered. Lasts about a week. If you don't drink it sooner!!


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