So, my ROW80 goals have gone by the wayside this week. And last week. I’m kind of writing, definitely blogging, but mostly just thinking (although I think my husband would call it, “sulking”).
Today I made Pumpkin Pie Muffins from Elana’s Pantry.
They’re not vegan but they are dairy-free and grain-free, and they might be Paleo-friendly. I’m not at all sure, though, because I know practically nothing about the Paleo diet except that it seems to be the next big thing that people are all holier-than-thou about, which makes me want to actively avoid knowing about it. I have an inkling that I’m eating at least on the edges of this particular fad already since I keep encountering Paleo people when I look for recipes that contain no refined sugar and no grains. Some of the comments I’ve read suggest that at least some Paleo people think that almonds (and perhaps all nuts?) are evil and consider the term “agave nectar” to be worse than the F-word, so this might not be Paleo-friendly at all. You probably ought not to trust me on this one.
The important things for me:
- They taste incredible.
- My whole family loves them.
- They don’t make my stomach hurt.
- They’re easy to make.
- They make the house smell awesome.
- They give me another use for the 21 cups of pumpkin puree in my freezer (and I still have two pie pumpkins and a hubbard squash to cook up).
- They help me use up the almond pulp stuff leftover from when I make almond milk.
That last one might require a little more explanation.
This is the second recipe I’ve used my almond pulp in place of “almond flour.” I can’t for the life of me remember what I made with it a few days ago. If I remember, I’ll let you know. I do know it worked out fine, though, because if it hadn’t, I’d definitely remember it.
Here’s how I do it:
1) Make almond milk. I wrote about how I do this way back in 2011, in a post sophomorically titled, “Put Your Nuts in the Blender: Making Nut Milk with my Inner 12-Year-Old.”
2) Freeze the pulp until you find a recipe that calls for almond flour or almond meal.
3) Put the pulp on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven at some temperature for some amount of time. I’ve done 250F on my oven’s convection setting and forgotten about the pulp for 30 minutes or more, and I’ve done 375F on the regular “bake” setting looking in at it every two minutes, afraid the stuff is toasting, and both seem to accomplish my goal, which is to dry out the pulp without cooking it. A dehydrator would probably do this job very well. If you have one, I encourage you to try it and report back.
4) Pulse the almond flour (I change its name once it’s dry) in a food processor 10-15 times to smooth out any lumps remaining.
5) Store in an airtight container in the fridge until you find something in which to use it.
That’s probably not the way you’re supposed to do it, but it seems to work well for me. Also, “pulp” is almost certainly the wrong word for this leftover almond stuff, but my husband calls them “the turds in the bag in the freezer,” and “pulp” has to be better than that so I’m going with it.
And I will be making these muffins for my special Thanksgiving dessert while everyone else is enjoying the super-awesome pumpkin pie that would make me ill if I ate it. (That recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated, if you want to go looking for it. That’s not its title, though.)
Maybe by Wednesday I’ll have something exciting to report about ROW80. Or maybe I’ll have another recipe to share. Or maybe I’ll just ramble on about whatever’s on my mind. You never know what you’ll get. But then again, neither do I until I sit down to write.
It’s nice to know we’re in this together, isn’t it?