Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Almond Meal

Update: I broke my Kitchenaide. It took 4 years, but it finally happened. So the method works, just be very careful.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free flours and Arrowhead Mills are higher quality companies. The problem is the cost. Not that I believe they are being unreasonable. I have been involved with health food for 30 years. I'm aware that foods with higher nutritional value and specialty foods always carry a higher price.

It's my present low income and allergy difficulties that necessitates cooking from scratch. Despite the tax break given in the U.S. to those diagnosed with Celiac disease I find the high cost of these food items a hard expenditure to meet. With flours as the main ingredient in baking it's important to know how to use the various different kinds, and where to get the better prices.

Naturally low fat grains like rice, millet, quinoa, and teff are easily milled through my Kitchenaid grain mill. I grind 5 lbs. of millet and 10 lbs. of brown rice about every other week.

However, almonds are a trickier business. Because the grain mill is not made for nuts, I use my Kitchenaid food grinder instead.But,simply dumping the nuts into the hopper will cause the machine to bind-up. While the process is tedious, it is well worth the cost savings. The difference of $14 a pound for almond meal over buying Now brand almonds at $5.58 for 1 lbs. at my local health food store I'm willing to patiently make my own almond meal.

One big difference between home-ground almonds and the meal you receive from Bob's Red Mill is his almonds are blanched; the skins are removed. This makes a prettier flour for use in dishes which need a clean looking presentation, such as a yellow cake. Removing the skins is more work than I am willing to do for everyday use in such as bread or pancakes.
Here are my
Step-by-step instructions for grinding almonds
  1. Attach food grinder with the course grind disk and turn Kitchenaid to speed level 4.
  2. Drop one or two almonds at a time into the hopper. See video below. Out comes out will be *chunky.
  3. To make a finer almond meal switch to the finer grind disk, and then pour meal, in small amounts, back through the grinder.
  4. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until ready for use.

*Chunky almond meal is good in bread, pancakes, cookies, and muffins.

It a boring video, but you see how slowly I push the almonds through the hopper.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Few Things To Share

My daughter Lisa and I have entered a Scarecrow contest. The winner receives a $20 gift certificate. The scarecrow will be sold in a silent auction. The proceeds go to our county library.

Lisa is doing well with her homeschool. We are in transition as Dad takes over more of the teaching, so hopefully, I can develop a business. It's in very early stages so nobody hold your breath, I don't know how far I'm going to get.

I used shaving cream to clean my couch. Microfiber is good stuff, very washable. It looks a lot better, but as soon as there is warm weather this spring I'm going to clean it again.

I'm still as busy as ever.

I've been to a couple of prenatal office visits with my daughter-in-law. I was acting as navigator, for the forty mile trip to Grand Rapids.

My mock corn bread didn't taste like corn bread. The recipe needs a little tweaking and it'll make a good millet bread.

If I don't post about grinding my own almond meal this week I will do so on Monday the 26th. I have video to accompany it.

Check out my Fall Nature Pictures, click here.

I have a sore throat, but no resting now. It's time for me to go shopping.

Take Care and May God bless You.

Fall Nature Shots

I took a walk down the road to Little Bear Creek.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm Finally Cleaning My Couch Today

My home is so small I have a love seat instead of a couch.

This love seat is only 3 years old, but well used. As you can see by this picture it is over due for a real cleaning.