I make my own homemade almond milk. It's ridiculously easy and SO MUCH better than store bought. Honestly, I make mine on the thick side, so it is almost like cream. I use organic almonds as well, and I swear that increases the clean smell and flavor of the milk as well. It smells just like pure sweet almond oil.
Anyways, the only issue I have had when making almond milk is what to do with the leftover almond pulp. I hate to admit, I've thrown it away too many times. I have made a few recipes with it and haven't been pleased with how they've turned out....typically too soggy of results. The almond pulp has tons of moisture in it, so it doesn't work exactly the same as almond flour in every recipe. But for these bars specifically, the almond pulp finally worked well....without having to dry/dehydrate it first. Score.
So, I finally came up with these amazingly, delicious chocolate chip bars. The almond pulp makes them so moist and chewy. These have a slight crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside.
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, room temperature (coconut nectar, agave etc.)
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed (28 g)
- 1 cup almond pulp or blanched almond flour (107 g almond pulp)
- 1 cup gluten-free whole rolled oats, not quick oats (96 g)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
- ½ cup creamy roasted almond butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- This recipe does not require you to use a dehydrator or "cook" your almond pulp before using it! But because of this, there is more moisture in it than almond flour. You can use regular blanched almond flour as well for this recipe, just note that the baking times below are slightly different. They are delicious either way.
- Before following the recipe, if you are using homemade almond pulp, make sure you have squeezed out the excess moisture out really well, from preparing the almond milk. Papertowel dry it and store in the fridge overnight, as this helps to dry it out some. You do not need a dehydrator or to bake it to dry it out, but you also don't want it too wet or to use it immediately after making your almond milk, because it could make the bars too wet.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment paper hanging over the sides for easy removal later.
- Mix the syrup and flaxseed in a cup well with a fork and set aside for 10 minutes to gel up. Do not skip this step, as it is what acts as the "egg" and binds the bars to hold their shape.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond pulp (or almond flour), oats, cinnamon and salt and whisk well. Stir in the chocolate chips. I prefer mini because they disburse well and stay in tact better.
- After the 10 minutes is up for the syrup and flaxseed mixture, stir in the almond butter and vanilla until very smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir for a couple of minutes until very sticky and absorbed, pressing with the back of your spoon to help mix.
- Add the dough to the loaf pan and spread out evenly and flat with a rubber spatula. You can slightly dampen your fingers to help press it down around the edges, as it will be sticky.
- For dough using almond pulp, bake for 30-32 minutes until very golden brown and firm on top. For dough using almond flour, bake about 27-30 minutes until very golden brown and firm on top.
- Cool 1 hour before cutting, or they will fall apart. They firm up a lot as they cool. If desired, melt some chocolate chips and drizzle the tops for added sweetness or for presentation purposes. Honestly, they are plenty delicious without it, I just did it more for looks. Slice very carefully into 8 bars. Wrap each individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. They will hold their shape very well this way and it makes for an easy grab-and-go snack!
These would make somebody really happy as a gift too!