Almond flour is a popular gluten-free flour that’s made by grinding blanched almonds into a fine powder.
Not only is it a great option for those with dietary restrictions, but it also has a unique flavor and texture that can add depth and richness to your favorite recipes!
But what exactly is almond flour? Let’s find out…
What is almond flour?
Almond flour is a type of flour that is made by grinding blanched almonds into a fine powder. Blanched almonds are almonds that have had their skins removed. This process gives almond flour a lighter color and a smoother texture compared to almond meal, which is made from almonds with their skins still intact.
Commercially, almond flour is made by large-scale processors who first blanch the almonds in boiling water to remove their skins. The blanched almonds are then dried, either through air-drying or roasting, to remove any excess moisture. Once dried, the almonds are ground into a fine powder using a mill and then sifted to get a fine, uniform texture.
What’s the difference between almond flour and regular flour?
The main difference between almond flour and regular flour is the ingredients themselves. Regular flour is made from enriched/refined wheat, while almond flour is made from 100% ground, blanched almonds.
Since almonds are a nut and not a grain, almond flour is naturally gluten-free and lower in carbs compared to regular flour. However, almond flour is MUCH higher in healthy fats, which lends a denser texture and richness to baked goods.
Benefits of almond flour
Almond flour is naturally gluten-free, which makes it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It’s also lower in carbs and higher in protein compared to regular flour, making it a great option for those following a low-carb or keto diet.
Almond flour is one of the lowest glycemic index flours, which means it won’t cause sharp spikes in your blood sugar. And because it’s made from almonds, almond flour is suitable for both paleo and low FODMAP diets. Of course, if you’re on a FODMAP diet, always consult with your doctor before adding almond flour into your diet.
Almond flour is also a fantastic source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin E. These nutrients can help keep you feeling full and satisfied, support healthy digestion, and promote healthy skin and hair.
Plus, almond flour has a deliciously nutty flavor that can add depth and richness to your favorite recipes!
Almond flour nutrition facts
|Flour (¼ cup)||Calories||Carbs||Fiber||Sugar||Fat||Protein||Glycemic Index|
|Almond flour||160||6 g||4 g||2 g||12 g||6 g||Almonds = 15|
|All-purpose flour||120||24 g||1 g||0 g||0.5 g||4 g||85|
How to bake and cook with almond flour
Almond flour is incredibly versatile. It can be used as a substitute for regular flour in many recipes, including cakes, cookies, bread, and more. However, it’s best to stick to recipes that specifically use almond flour, since a 1:1 substitution can produce a greasy bake!
Almond flour also makes a deliciously nutty breading for meats or fish, or it can be used as a thickener for sauces and gravies.
When it comes to baking, almond flour can be a bit trickier to work with than regular flour because it doesn’t have the same binding properties as gluten. This means that you might need to use more eggs or other binding agents (xanthan gum, guar gum, psyllium husk) to keep your baked goods from falling apart.
Popular almond flour baked goods and dishes
- Pancakes and waffles
- Muffins and quick breads
- Cookies (macarons and shortbread)
- Brownies and blondies
- Pie crusts
- Pizza crusts
- Bread (sandwich bread and artisan loaves)
- Coating for chicken or fish
- Granolas and breakfast bars
How to make almond flour at home
With just a few simple steps, you can make your own fresh almond flour at home!
Follow these steps:
- Spread blanched almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Roast the almonds in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until they are lightly golden and fragrant. Be careful not to over-roast them, as they can easily burn.
- Allow the almonds to cool completely before transferring them to a food processor or blender.
- Pulse the almonds in the food processor or blender until they are finely ground into a powder. Be careful not to over-process the almonds, as they can turn into almond butter!
- Sift the almond flour through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any larger pieces that didn’t get fully ground.
How to store almond flour
Because of its high fat content, almond flour has a short shelf life and can spoil or become rancid if not stored properly. At room temperature, it lasts for about 2-4 months.
For longer shelf life, I recommend storing almond flour (store-bought and homemade) in the refrigerator or freezer, where it can last up to a year!
What are the best substitutes for almond flour?
The best substitute for almond flour is sunflower seed flour because it has a similar texture and nutty flavor. Both are high in fat, but sunflower seed flour is nut-free!
All-purpose flour will also work as a replacement using a 1:1 ratio, but you may need to add more liquid and butter, oil, or another fat to the recipe to achieve the same texture.
If you’re looking for another gluten-free substitute, coconut flour is a great option or a mix of 1/2 coconut flour and 1/2 cassava flour.
Not exactly. Almond flour is typically ground more finely and made from blanched almonds (without the skins), whereas ground almonds can be made from whole or sliced almonds (with the skins).
You can, but it may yield a greasy bake, so it’s best to mix almond flour with another type of flour, such as coconut flour, and consider using less fat or oil in your recipe.
Almond flour is high in calories and fat, which can be problematic for individuals on a low-fat or low-calorie diet. Some people may also be allergic to almonds or have digestive issues when consuming lots of almond flour.