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Dehydrating (and Rehydrating) Almond Milk to Use at Home and on The Trail

Eating well in the woods is an oxymoron for most backpackers, especially for a Paleo slow foodie who also tries to be lococentric in their eating efforts.  Trying to stick to a diet on a vacation with access to a grocery store and good local produce is definitely challenging, even with modern conveniences like refrigeration and a kitchen.  Venturing out in the backcountry in the middle with everything on your back, and sticking to an eating plan is down right nerve wracking, if not impossible.  

One aspect of Paleo is dairy free.  Fortunately, alternatives abound for milk substitutes these days;  coconut milk, soy milk (not paleo, I know), rice milk (also not paleo), or my current favorite, almond milk. Nothing tastes better than homemade almond milk, made from whole raw almonds, soaked and then blended and strained.  Add a touch of vanilla and honey and you have ambrosia in a glass.  But I am not about to lug a carton of milk into the wilderness in my backpack. This post focuses on a dehydrated solution for dairy milk.  Read on by clicking the "read more" button...


Mason Jars Keep it Fresh

Perform a web search for dehydrating almond milk and the pickings are slim. Unlike soy and rice milks, you cannot buy an instant almond milk powder.  Laurie Ann March, writer of Another Fork in the Trail (2011) has a recipe for dehydrating almond milk.  My first attempt was a major disaster, with almond milk pooling all over the bottom of my dehydrator. 

Fortunately necessity is the mother of invention, and following the almond milk debacle I came up with a better way of drying liquids and posted the results in another post: Dehydrating Liquids in the Excalibur Dehydrator.  

For the purpose of this post, I am using store-bought Almond Breeze, the low sugar vanilla variety, because I like it in my morning coffee.  Drying foods usually causes them to take up a fraction of their pre-dehydration space, because the water content is a big part of most foods, but the almond milk dehydrated to a shockingly small amount.  One gallon of liquid milk was reduced to less than a half-pint jar!

1 Qt of Milk Net Weight 92 oz.

Make a bowl for your liquid with a Paraflexx or silicone drying sheet and a binder clip at each corner. Folding the corners at different angles can make the bowl deeper or more shallow.

After drying, break up the flakes in a blender.  I like my Ninja because of the smaller blender option.

Pulse the flakes in the Ninja!
Store the pulsed almond milk flour in a mason jar with a well fitting lid to prevent bugs and off odors from other foods.

92 Ounces dehydrates to 2.2 oz..

1/2 cup Milk = 7 grams = 2 teaspoons powder

I divided the starting weight with the weight of the finished product to determine how much to package.  I made packets using the method described in this post, prepackaging my daily almond milk and evaporated cane juice sugar together, for my morning coffee.

As always, I enjoy your feedback. Please feel free to leave me a comment!

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