Oat and almond flour are both popular healthy alternatives to wheat flour offering a range of nutritional benefits, but when it comes down to it – which is the better choice? In this article, I’ll compare oat flour vs almond flour in terms of nutrition, taste, baking properties, and more to find out which is the better choice.
Comparing oat flour vs almond flour
|Oat flour||Almond flour||All-purpose flour|
|Substitution ratio (vs all-purpose flour)||1.3:1||1:1*||N/A|
|Common Allergens||None||Tree nuts||Wheat, gluten|
|Pantry shelf life||2 months||2-4 months||6-8 months|
|Best for||Pancakes, muffins, cookies, fruit crumbles and crisps||Cookies, pie crusts, cupcakes, muffins, macarons, and sandwich bread||Non-yeast recipes, cookies, biscuits, and some breads|
*Technically, almond flour can replace 100% of all-purpose flour but will often yield a greasy bake, so I don’t recommend it. If you have to, just make sure to reduce the amount of fat (butter, oil) called for in the recipe by a third or half and add extra wet ingredients if the batter seems too dry.
As you can see, both almond and oat flour are naturally gluten-free – and in fact, almond has won the distinction of being one of our best gluten-free flours for baking. This is in part because almond flour is really flexible for lots of different diets – it’s one of the best paleo flours, one of the best Keto flours, and just in general does a great job as a replacement for all-purpose flour so long as you can balance out the high oil content.
One area oat flour really shines, though, is that it’s super allergy-friendly. Unlike almond flour, it contains no tree nuts (and unlike all-purpose flour, it has no gluten or wheat), so it’s one of the best flours for allergies. (Especially because, if you have an allergic kiddo like I do, you have to be worried about cross-contamination among tree nuts. Not an issue for oat flour!)
Differences between oat flour and almond flour
The biggest difference between oat flour and almond flour is in their ingredients. Oat flour is made from rolled oats, while almond flour is made from ground-up almonds. This difference in ingredients has significant downstream effects – it changes the taste, the taste and texture, and how each of these flours interacts with other ingredients for baking. Let’s dive in.
When it comes to taste, oat flour has a mild, slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with sweet and savory dishes alike. (Especially fruit crumbles, which are great any time of year.) Almond flour has a more noticeable, slightly sweeter flavor, so it is best for baked goods like almond flour cookies, muffins, and macaroons.
Since oat flour has a lighter taste and texture, it’s more versatile for baking. I love using oat flour for pancakes, pancakes, bread, cookies, and more! Almond flour can also be used in a variety of baked goods but it tends to produce heavier textures and denser cakes.
Baking with oat flour vs almond flour
When baking with oat flour, you may need to use more liquid because it absorbs much more liquid compared to wheat flour. Make sure you add extra moisture in the form of milk, applesauce or oil to make sure your baked goods come out light, fluffy, and moist. (Otherwise they can be a little dry.)
Since gluten-free flours have different properties than all-purpose flour, it’s not always easy to substitute one for another. Because of its higher fat content, almond flour is heavier and produces a denser product with less rise. On the other hand, oat flour is a medium-weight flour that would make a better substitute for all-purpose flour. To substitute, you need 1 ⅓ cup of oat flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose.
Ingredients in oat flour vs almond flour
The ingredients in oat flour and almond flour should be simply oats or almonds.
Oat flour is made from oats that have been ground into a fine powder. It can be found in most major supermarkets and health food stores, but I love making my own homemade oat flour by blending rolled oats until they form a smooth powder.
Almond flour is made from blanched almonds that have been finely ground. I don’t recommend making your own almond flour from almonds at home, as it’s difficult to get the texture fine enough and if blended too long, you could end up with almond butter.
Oat flour and almond flour nutritional facts
|Per ¼ cup serving||Oat flour||Almond flour||All-purpose flour|
|Glycemic index score||44||Almonds = 15||85|
Almond flour is higher in calories and healthy fats, and lower in carbs compared to oat flour, making it a good option for those on a low-carb or keto diet. Almond flour also has slightly more protein per serving compared to oat flour.
However, oat flour is packed with soluble fiber (although not as much as oat fiber), B vitamins and essential minerals such as iron and magnesium.
Both flours have a significantly lower glycemic index than all-purpose flour (GI = 85), but oat flour has the potential to raise your blood sugar a bit more than almond flour. The glycemic index score for oat flour is 44 compared to 15 for almonds (and, I assume, a similar number for almond flour since it’s literally just ground-up almonds) is much better.
Almond flour is a low FODMAP flour and oat flour can be considered low FODMAP if eaten in small quantities. Of course, if you’re on a FODMAP diet, always consult with a physician before adding almond flour or oat flour to your diet.
Oat flour vs almond flour storage
When it comes to storage, oat flour and almond flour both have a relatively short shelf life of a couple of months if stored in a cool, dry place. However, almond flour is best kept in the refrigerator or freezer due to its higher fat content. This will help prevent it from going rancid over time.
(You can always tell if flour has gone rancid by smell and texture. If either have changed significantly, it’s probably time to toss it out.)
Oat flour vs almond flour: The better choice
So, which one is the better choice – oat flour or almond flour?
Personally, I prefer baking with oat flavor because it acts more like all-purpose flour compared to almond flour. If you’re new to gluten-free baking, I would definitely start with oat flour. It’s also packed with minerals and fiber, and it’s nut-free.
However, there’s no doubt that almond flour is better for low-carb or keto baked goods! With lots of protein, fat, and fiber, it keeps you full and satisfied. If you choose to use almond flour, I recommend sticking to recipes that call for almond flour instead of substituting, as that can get a bit tricky.
It depends on your dietary needs and goals. Oat flour is a good source of fiber and nutrients and is suitable for those with nut allergies, while almond flour is higher in protein and healthy fats, and is low-glycemic, making it better for low-carb, keto, and paleo diets.
Among the healthiest substitutes for regular flour include almond flour and coconut flour, which are higher in protein and healthy fats than all-purpose flour, and contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also gluten-free and have a lower glycemic index.
You can – however, it’s important to note that oat flour does not provide the same texture as almond flour and may result in slightly less crunchy macarons. Additionally, altering the ratio of ingredients used with oat flour will be necessary. Therefore, it is best to stick with almond flour or look for recipes specifically designed for oat flour.