Making Upcycled Granola From *Almost* Wasted Almond Pulp
We’ve got two super cool new kids on the block: ALMOND PULP & GRANOLA!!!
First up is almond pulp. We are super in love with this awesome, nutrient dense byproduct and we’re excited to share with you why it’s important and what exactly we’re doing with it.
Have you ever made almond milk at home? It’s as easy as soaking and blending almonds and then straining out the liquid (milk) from the pulp. If you’ve done it before you would have noticed the huge amount of almond pulp leftover. Have you ever repurposed that almond pulp into something new (aka upcycling 😉)? Unfortunately, it isn't always used when producing commercial almond milk and that almond pulp can end up in a landfill as a wasted resource.
The market for almond milk has skyrocketed 250% in the past few years with the rise of dairy-free alternative products. We fully support this movement and love to see new alternatives becoming increasingly available but let’s get real for a moment and dive into the impact of almonds as well. Dairy milk is very resource intensive, which is why many have chosen to switch over to it’s dairy-free counterpart. The environmental impact of dairy milk includes water, greenhouse gas emission, and land usage. Land is continually being switched over from less resource intensive crops to cow grazing land which has a larger impact on the soil, the community and the earth. It takes about 140 gallons of water to produce a gallon of dairy milk. Most of this comes from the feed that is used for the cattle, which is about 100 lbs of feed per day. About 10% of the available cropland in the US is used to produce this feed. What about almonds?
You may already know that almond production utilizes a lot of water and it's reached attention recently because state that grows the majority of almonds worldwide, California, has been in a drought the last several years. Each almond requires about one gallon of water in production. This sounds like a lot, however many animal foods use a lot more than this. To put it in perspective, a single ⅓ lb hamburger uses over 600 gallons of water to produce which has an exponential impact on our water system when you look at how large the meat industry is.
Good news! We’ve partnered with our good friends over at Choice Juicery in Carlsbad to rescue all of their almond pulp. We already love Choice Juicery because they work with us to rescue the beet, carrot, ginger and turmeric pulp that we’ve been using in our cookies for some time now. This 100% organic almond pulp is similarly the byproduct of the juice making process. This means that when they make almond milk, most of the original almonds (the pulp) is not used. Unfortunately, many delicious food items also come with a lot of food waste. We dream of a food system that creates less food waste but since that’s not always possible (you can't make almond milk without making almond pulp), upcycling is our next best option.
Introducing: SOULMUCH upcycled granola.
This has been a project on the horizon for a long time once we realized that so much precious almond pulp was being wasted. We pondered for a long time what we could do with this extra almond pulp. On its own, it has a very gritty texture and doesn’t offer much flavor, but it does hold the nutritional benefits of almonds: fiber, vitamins and minerals. Nonetheless, it’s a hard ingredient to work with.
If you follow us on Instagram, we hope that you’ve felt a part of the journey with us as we worked to design this granola for YOU and your adventures. Nutrition and environmental sustainability are both at the core of everything we do at SOULMUCH. Therefore, we asked you all what you wanted in a granola (taste, texture, flavor, etc.) and we used this valuable input to perfect our recipe. We conducted a blind taste test with another similar granolas on the market and to our delight, SOULMUCH often came out on top! This was a huge win for us. Moving forward, we gave out samples to our VIP customers and those at the local Ocean Beach farmers market. Again, we collected feedback based on characteristics like taste and texture and factored this into our recipe. Through all of our hard work in the kitchen testing again and again, we finally have our first ever granola recipe, made for you. Our recipe uses this upcycled almond pulp in combination with our upcycled brown rice and quinoa. Plus we added some nutritional powerhouses such as oats, chia and hemp seeds, almond butter and almond slices. Stay tuned for our next blog post where we’ll dive into each of our ingredients and why we chose them.
We truly thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of the love and feedback we’ve received so far as we worked towards the incredibly exciting launch of our upcycled granola. We couldn’t do it without the love and support for our soul fam and cookie monsters. You all are the fuel that keeps our soul fire burning. Keep an eye out for more granola emails. We can’t wait for you to try it.
Kristian, Reyanne, & Dakota