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Food Matters

All about fresh, flavorful food


3 DIY Pantry Staples

homemade hummus

1. HELLO HUMMUS. Drain and rinse 2 cups canned chickpeas. Add to a blender with 1⁄2 cup tahini, 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon paprika. Blend until smooth. Taste, adjust oil and seasonings as needed, and blend again. Serve or refrigerate.

cheese 

2. SAY CHEESE. To make a simple paneer (mild cheese), let 1 gallon milk sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Pour milk into a stockpot and heat on medium to 200 degrees, stirring often. Reduce heat if milk sticks to pan. At 200 degrees, add 1⁄2 cup lime juice and stir. The milk will coagulate in seconds. (If it doesn’t, add more lime juice 1 tablespoon at a time until it does.) Reduce heat, stirring gently, 2 minutes. Spoon curds into a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Stir in 2 tablespoons flake salt. Gather cheesecloth around curds and squeeze to release liquid. Press cheese bundle into strainer and top with a plate weighted with a water-filled milk jug. Let cheese press for 15 minutes, unwrap cheesecloth, wrap in plastic for storage and refrigerate overnight.

fresh almond milk 

3. AHOY ALMOND MILK. Cover 1 cup raw almonds with water and soak uncovered, 8 to 48 hours. (The longer they soak, the creamier the resulting milk.) Drain and rinse almonds. Place almonds in blender with 2 cups water. Blend mixture, then pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a jar, squeezing to extract all the milk. Sweeten to taste with vanilla extract, maple syrup or honey. Put lid on jar and refrigerate milk for up to two days. (Add the leftover almond meal to baked goods.)