I love making my own “milk” drinks out of oat, hemp, rice and nuts. Yes, a little patience is required, but only while waiting for the ingredients to soak, but the making itself takes but a few minutes, because it involves only blending and straining the pulp. Hemp milk is my favourite, because it has a unique, nutty flavour and is reassuringly nutritious, as well as being rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. That said, after straining the liquid, you’re left with a gunky, fibrous pulp that usually ends up in the bin, and I’ve long wanted to come with a way to use it up.
Oats, cashews and coconuts produce very little pulp, and this can be easily stored in the fridge for stirring into pancakes, porridge or smoothies. The pulp from other nuts and seeds, such as hemp and almonds, meanwhile, can be dried to make flour, or used in combination with ground almonds in cookies, pastry and cakes. To make flour, squeeze all the liquid out of the pulp, spread it out in a thin layer on a baking tray,then leave somewhere warm, stirring occasionally, to dry out completely (or put it in a just-turned-off oven, to save energy).
Nut and seed pulp granola
This is my go-to granola, based on a recipe I developed for my first cookbook, The Natural Cook, which I have since updated to include surplus nut and seed pulp left over from making your own plant milk, though it works without the pulp, too. Collect nut and seed pulp in the freezer until you have enough, or dry it out as outlined above.
Makes About 10 servings
150g rolled oats
100g mixed seeds (eg, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)
100g mixed nuts (eg, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
½ tsp sea salt
50g nut and/or seed pulp (ie, leftover from a large batch of plant milk; or 50g ground almonds)
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp honey or maple syrup
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
150g roughly chopped dried fruit (eg. goji berries, raisins, dates, etc.)
In a bowl, mix the oats, mixed seeds, mixed nuts and sea salt. In a second bowl, mix the pulp, vanilla extract, honey and olive oil, until you have a paste, then rub this into the nut and seed mixture.
Scatter evenly over a baking tray and put into a 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 oven for 20-25 minutes. Halfway through, stir in the mixed chopped dried fruits, then return to the oven. The granola is ready when it starts to colour a little and firm up. Remove, leave to cool, then jar.
To serve, fill a breakfast bowl with a few spoons of nice thick yoghurt and a couple of spoons of chopped fruit and/or berries. Scatter over a decent helping of the granola and, if you have a sweet tooth, finish with a drizzle of maple syrup.