Almond flour is not only very nutritious, but it is also one of the most common grain and gluten-free flours.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of almond flour and how to cook with it.
What is almond flour?
Almond flour is made from finely ground, blanched almonds after the husk has been removed. How is this different from almond? meal†
Almond flour is usually made from raw, unpeeled almonds and has a coarser texture. Almond flour is finer in structure and lighter in color.
Both are gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, and add a rich and nutty flavor.
Almond Flour Nutrition
Almond flour is denser than all-purpose wheat flour, and so is the nutritional profile.
It contains more calories, fat, protein and fiber compared to regular all-purpose flour.
According to Samantha Thoms, MPH, RD, “If you’re looking to avoid gluten or substitute flour for a lower-carb option, this could be a good choice.”
Gram for gram, almond flour contains more calories than wheat flour.
And if you look at your fat intake, almond flour contains significantly more fat than traditional flour.
However, that doesn’t make it an unhealthy flour choice. Despite the higher calorie count, almond flour contains many beneficial nutrients.
What are the benefits of almond flour?
Why is almond flour healthy?
Thoms explains, “Because almond flour is made from blanched and ground almonds, its nutritional value is comparable to whole almonds.”
The same goes for the benefits.
1. Almond Flour Is Nutritious
Since it is made from almonds, this nutritious flour also contains valuable vitamins, minerals and magnesium.
Magnesium is vital for maintaining a healthy metabolism and plays a key role in bone, cell and chromosomal structures.
2. Almond Flour Can Help With Fullness
Both fiber and protein are known to increase satiety and keep you feeling full for longer.
Almond flour has much more fiber and protein compared to regular wheat flour. This can be helpful for whipping up foods that taste good and feel more satisfying too.
3. Almond Flour May Help With Heart Health
Almond flour contains heart-healthy unsaturated fats that can help promote better cholesterol levels.
In particular, the good fats in almonds can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
4. Almond flour is gluten free
Gluten is a protein present in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you will have an immune reaction to gluten, which can cause inflammation and other digestive problems.
Improving these symptoms means following a gluten-free diet and giving up bread and other baked goods. Gluten-free baking with almond flour can ensure that you can still enjoy the foods you love.
How do you make almond flour at home?
If you buy whole almonds in bulk, you can make a range of almond-based ingredients, including almond flour, almond flour, almond butter, and almond milk.
To make almond flour, you’ll need blanched almonds and a food processor or power blender (think: Vitamix or Blendtec).
Blanched almonds are almonds without the skin. To remove the skin, simply soak almonds overnight in cold water.
Then drain the almonds and squeeze them until they come out of the skin. Let your almonds dry overnight as a single layer on a baking sheet.
Finally, place your dried blanched almonds in a food processor or blender.
Be careful not to mix too long or you will end up with almond butter!
- food processor: Use the pulse mode, 1 to 2 seconds at a time, until you get a fine powder. This may take several minutes.
- Powerful Blender: Blend on high for 10 to 15 seconds until you get a fine powder.
Tips for cooking with almond flour
You can use almond flour instead of wheat flour in sweet pastries – pie crusts, cookies, cakes and bread.
Its coarser cousin, almond flour, can also be used in baked goods, but will not yield the same fine texture.
You can use both almond flour and almond flour as breadcrumbs in savory dishes such as meatballs, meatloaf, or as a coating on fried fish or chicken.
Unfortunately, you can’t use almond flour to thicken liquids like soups, but if you want a grain-free flour that can do that, try banana flour.
Almond flour contains more moisture than all-purpose flour, so you can’t substitute it in recipes as a 1:1 ratio.
It is usually mixed with other flours because of its high calorie and fat content, and your baked goods may be denser than if you made them with any other flour.
If you don’t like this, try reducing the amount of almond flour by mixing your flour of choice.
It may take some experimentation before you find almond flour recipes that you like.
But you can find many almond flour recipes on the internet, such as:
- Shoemakers and chips
- Pie bases