Almond Meal Overload?
“I’ve been making my own almond milk out of almonds & filtered water, then drying the meal that’s left in the cheesecloth. What would be the best way to use the meal without adding a whole lot of sugary stuff to it and making baked goods? Wonder if I could add it to the dogs’ food maybe...” asked a blog reader in an email recently.
While I agree with the concept of not wanting to waste, I wouldn’t recommend adding almond meal to food for the dog.
Actually, I wouldn’t recommend using it too often for anything, even for humans!
While making almond milk at home is the best way to go about ensuring you’re only getting almonds and water, and none of the additives you likely find in many of the commercially available brands (cane sugar, soy or rice milk, guar, xanthan and carageenan gums, for example), it’s still not something we want to partake of on a regular basis.
All nuts are high in inflammatory Omega 6s and low in Omega 3s. In addition, they also contain anti nutrient properties, that contribute to leaky gut, just like grains and legumes.
So why are some nuts ok but not some grains or some legumes?
It all comes down to quantity.
Consider how much pasta you might have eaten at a meal in pre Paleo days, or the amount of beans that you may have consumed in one sitting.
Now compare that to how many nuts one might have atop a salad.
We’re talking about cups versus a tablespoon or two.
As such, the occasional sprinkling of raw nuts can be Paleo acceptable for most people, but not as a primary fat source.
Superior fat sources include those rich in Omega 3s, such as wild salmon or black cod and grass fed meats.
Of course, there are exceptions; many who are following the Paleo autoimmune approach fare better without them. In addition some endurance athletes rely on certain seeds (yes- same goes for seeds, generally speaking), such as chia or hemp as part of their training.
But these are exceptions.
Most people aren’t logging tons of mileage on the trails.
Rather, it’s more common for someone to simply overdo in on the nuts as a result of the idea that they’re easy and require zero prep, both of which statements are both true, yet neither of which mean they’re a good idea to consume a lot of.
So, my advise to the reader’s question about what to do with the leftover almond meal would not be to give it to the dog as canines don’t need to eat inflammatory foods any more than we do.
Rather, I’d suggest getting creative with whatever it is you’re using the almond milk for and swap it out for other liquids.
Making a smoothie? Try chilled herbal or green tea instead of almond milk.
Want something in that cup of tea? How about a dash of cinnamon?
Looking for a go-to to drink with any given meal? You guessed it… drink more water!
If you’re using almond milk as part of your transition from Standard American Diet to Paleo, good on you! Let it be a temporary stepping stone as you ease away from dairy, to almond milk, to no milk at all… except the delicious, natural milk you’ll find in a fresh coconut!