This recipe is so versatile and healthy. When savory herbs and garlic are used it replaces commercial spreads and dips and sauces and yet if berries and soft fruits are added, it becomes a sweet topping or light pudding with all sorts of applications for healthy desserts. My refrigerator is never without this mixture and I have come to rely on it for wraps, as an emulsifier of ingredients in sandwich fillings, salads and sauces, to finish canapés and as a substitute for mayonnaise.
Yield: Makes 2 cups (500 mL)
1 cup whole almonds (unblanched) (250 mL)
2 cups water, divided (500 mL)
2 tbsp olive oil (25 mL)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 25 mL)
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp salt, optional (2 mL)
1. In a small bowl, mix almonds with 1 cup (250 mL) of the water. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. Drain and rinse almonds well. Place remaining 1 cup (250 mL) of the water in a blender. Add almonds, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt, if using, and process for 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice, if required. Use right away or store, tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
In Step 2 after processing, fold in ¼ cup (50 mL) chopped toasted almonds.