Almonds are originally from the Middle East who introduced them to Europe through a cookie. They are extremely nutritious and energy-dense, they are plentiful in monounsaturated fat, fiber, α-tocopherol, and minerals for such as magnesium and copper, and phytonutrients. Almond consumption is ideal due to their fat composition and fiber help with cholesterol reduction. Almonds also provide benefits regarding diabetes and cardiovascular illness, they aid in body weight, stress and inflammation.
The health benefits of almond flour have been known for a few years but it also a well-known fact that almond flour is not the easiest to maneuver. It does however have a great nutty flavor that is gluten-free and adds a rich flavor to foods.
Almond flour and almond meal.
The process of creating almond flour is very simple and can be done in a food processor. You need to be careful not to over process them and instead of almond flour be left with almond butter. To make flour you need blanched almonds which are another way of saying boiled and peeled. The almonds are then ground and sifted to create a fine flour.
Almond meal is similar in flour with the difference of the peels being kept making it more course in texture. Almond flour is perfect for crumb toppings, crusts, cookies and tarts.
They can be used alternatively in most recipes, if you decide to buy make sure to check the appearance before purchasing. They are perfect for gluten-free, Paleo diet, Whole30, or soy-free diet.
USDA Nutrient Database, almond flour nutritional profile 1/4 cup serving :
- 150 calories
- 6 grams of protein
- 11 grams of fat
- 6 grams of carbohydrates
- 3 grams of fiber
- 1 gram of sugar
- 60 mg of calcium
- 2 mg of iron
For educational purposes lets compare this to White wheat flour as per the USDA :
- Calories: 114
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Protein: 3.2 g
- Carbs: 24 g
- Fiber: 0.9 g
- Sugar: 0.1 g
- Sodium: 0.6 mg
- Calcium: 4.7 mg
- Iron: 0.4 mg
- Potassium: 33.5 mg
Cooking and baking with almond flour
Some delicacy is needed in order to maneuver almond flour. It takes some patience to master but the results are worth the time. This flour is denser than wheat flour and gluten-free which makes it harder for it to bind. Bakers using almond flour repeatedly say that creating a flour mix is advisable.
They don’t hold their shape and need finer flours such as coconut flour that provides structure and soaks up the moisture as well as arrowroot which helps in baking to lighten to dough.
Although almonds have oils they aren’t heat stable.
This is a great flour for bread crumbs for casseroles, vegetables, as crust for meats or as crunchy toppings in desserts.
Additional health benefits
Keeps blood sugar stable
-Due to it having low levels of carbohydrates and it’s high fat content help slow down sugar absorption of sugar and carbs
-Studies show almonds reduce bad cholesterol and improve high cholesterol, while keeping your heart healthy and less congested. Help prevent blood clots in arteries from forming
Less carbohydrates than most other flours while being packed with nutrients
The density keeps people more satisfied and the nutrients help the immune system strong
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Kamil, A., & Chen, C. Y. O. (2012). Health benefits of almonds beyond cholesterol reduction. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 60(27), 6694-6702.
Miller, Marissa (2020) Women’sHealth: Almond Flour’s Nutrition Makes It A Great Low-Carb Flour Alternative, According To RDs https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a30667380/almond-flour-nutrition/