To Drink

Read the label on your grocery-store-variety almond milk. Chances are, there will be preservatives, thickeners, emulsifiers, salt, maybe even added flavoring. My point is, if you’ve never tasted fresh almond milk (without all those additional ingredients), you’ve likely never tasted it at all. Shelf stable does not equal delicious.

Arielle is the owner of Beber (pronounced be-behr), which in Spanish means, “to drink.” She produces fresh and absolutely delicious raw almond milk and flour made from the abundance of nuts grown in Chico.

Arielle 2, beber almond milk

This girl ain’t messin’ around. As a key member of the kitchen staff at Leon Bistro, she works hard on her passion for delicious food. “I’ve always been a foodie,” she said. “I was the kid who, growing up, watched Food Network instead of Cartoon Network.”

It’s not only a passion for flavor that drives Arielle to create. “I want to be involved in all aspects of the food chain,” she explained. That desire led her to travel as a WWOOF-er, a member of the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms organization that connects workers with farm internships where labor is traded for food and accommodations.

Arielle learned to make almond milk, and
to use the by-product (almond meal) to make flour, while working on a permaculture farm in Israel. She brought the process home, opened Beber, and has quickly become a necessary stop at Chico’s Saturday Farmer’s Market. You can find her under the cow-print tent.

Visit Beber online: beberalmond.weebly.com for products and recipes (like Arielle’s favorite brownies, below) or to submit your ideas for Beber’s flavor of the week.

Chocolate Espresso
Almond Flour Brownies

Ingredients (makes 1 8×8 pan):

3/4 cup almond flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

1/2 cup butter

7 oz semisweet or bittersweet baking chocolate, divided OR 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the almond flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, melt together 4 ounces of chocolate or a scant 1/2 cup chocolate chips with the butter.

While the chocolate is melting, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and coffee granules if using.

Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg/sugar mixture while whisking until fully incorporated. Don’t go too fast so that the raw eggs don’t cook upon contact.

Add the chocolate mixture in with the dry ingredients and mix completely. Pour the batter in an 8×8 pan.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate and gently press it into the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let these cool completely before cutting in.

Source: http://www.thewannabechef.net/2011/08/18/almond-flour-brownies/

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Jen Cartier misses Chico! However, she has taken to the great beyond (er...The Bay Area) to be some kind of chocolate maven while simultaneously figuring out how the hell to navigate her long-ass work commute, and still kick ass at raising three munchkins, loving one soon-to-be husband, and keeping one rascally Brittany Spaniel in the damned yard. She loves Nutella, red wine, and American Spirits. She takes her dog along on runs to wear him out (sometimes he shits in someone else's yard - bonus!) and also to balance her own general consumption of all the fine tasty things life offers, ciggys included. Follow her blog at riceflourmemoirs.com