Right at the beginning, I must confess that I simply adore almond flour. Almond flour is a true superfood – it is low-carb, high in proteins and it contains plenty of the good fats. It is far more nutritious than other kinds of flour you can find. What I also love, it is easy to use, and it tastes delicious. It is a great choice for my family because of its nutritional values, taste, and versatility in cooking and baking. Almond flour can be used in a similar way that the wheat flour but health benefits of the switch are huge.
So what exactly is almond flour?
Simply said, almond flour is blanched almonds (boiled in water for an extended period) that are ground, and then sifted into a fine powdery flour. You can even make your own almond flour at home! If you are interested, check out these great instructions: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Almond-Flour-or-Meal
For many people, of course, almond flour may not be the preferred choice. We all have to decide what is best for our bodies and alter our dietary priorities accordingly. There are also many people who are allergic to nuts.
Nutrition facts of almond, coconut and wheat flour
In the table below is a comparison of the macronutrients found in both coconut flour and almond flour. Measurement is 1 cup (approximately 3.5 ounces or 100 grams). Source: http://nutritiondata.self.com
- Calories in one cup of almond flour: 580 vs. 480 in coconut flour.
- Fat: almost the same.
- Carbs: a lot less in almond flour, which is great.
All things considered, almond or coconut flour is not overall better than the other. Almond flour is extremely healthy, but has a bit more calories and fat, while having fewer carbs and grams of fiber. The higher calories and fat content isn’t a bad thing at all. This makes it a better choice for those following a ketogenic diet, or an LCHF (Low Carb-High Fat) diet. Coconut flour has far more carbohydrates than almond flour. It really comes down to your specific needs and preferences.
I must add, that I don’t believe in dieting. I believe in choosing the way of eating that is best for your body and adhering to it. I’ve been playing with eating almost entirely grains-free for extended time periods since 2009. I ruled out rice, corn, or potatoes and that is a choice that has worked very well for me. I do this because eating this way makes me feel great and it is what motivates me in my overall goals for my healthy life.
Can you substitute coconut flour for almond flour?
Coconut flour is my second best favorite. However, you need to slightly alter the recipes, because of the main difference between almond and coconut flour. That is, coconut flour absorbs a much more of liquid than almond (and other kinds of) flour does. My suggestion would be to use recipes that are built specifically for coconut flour (especially when you are just starting out). Simple substitution will not work in recipes made for nut flours. They are different and coconut flour requires a lot more liquid. Coconut flour soaks up all the moisture and baking time should be slightly reduced.
The other replacements for almond flour include corn, rice, potato, or tapioca. These are much more starchy.
Tip: If you are affected by a tree-nut allergy, you might try SUNFLOWER SEEDS instead of almonds. (If you’re safe with those – make sure your source doesn’t contain any trace of nuts). It works wonderfully as an almost one-to-one substitute for almond flour. Sunflower seeds are also loaded with vitamins and minerals! To make the sunflower seed flour at home, just grind them up into a fine powder in a blender or a food processor.
Recommended brands of almond flour
There are certain brands of almond flour that work in my recipes, and other ones that don’t. And I mean, they just don’t work at all (for me). And I am not trying to play favorites with different companies. I just figured all out by trial and error and by talking to my friends who were also into a healthy lifestyle.
Below are the brands that work very well in my recipes:
Honeyville almond flour
This flour is really great. Very cheap, at less than $8 per bag and easy to work with. Is the much probably best and my favorite now.
Trader Joe’s almond flour
Very fine textured flour. The grind is fine and consistent which makes for more fluffy cake when baking with it.
Wellbee almond flour
Recommended product for people with nut allergies. This flour comes from a strictly almond plant. There is no risk of contamination from nuts or other allergens.
King Arthur almond flour
Gluten-free certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. It is more expensive.
Bob’s Red Mill almond flour
Very popular flour in the gluten-free baking community. It was my first choice when I started with substituting wheat flour.
You can buy almond flour in your local shop, but often the best deals and greater variety can be found online.
How to make homemade almond flour
You can make your almond meal by grinding whole almonds in the food processor until finely ground. If you need a finer consistency, just sift your almond meal a few times to remove the larger pieces of almond and that’s it to it!
Watch the video to see the difference between the almond meal and almond flour and learn to make your almond flour at home:
Difference between almond flour and almond meal
Both almond meal and almond flour appear in ingredient lists. But what is a difference between them?
Almond meal and almond flour are both finely ground almonds. Technically, there is no official difference between the two of them.
In practice, almond flour is much more finely ground than the almond meal is. It also has a more uniform consistency than almond meal.
Almond flour vs. almond meal
- is always blanched
- has finer consistency
- is always blanched
- has finer consistency
My favorite almond flour recipes:
Low carb almond flour pancakes
Tasty gluten-free pancakes made from almond meal. Serve them with butter and organic pancake syrup.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 medium pancakes
• 2 cups almond flour
• 4 eggs
• 1/2 cup water (use sparkling water for puffier pancakes)
• 1/4 cup of oil
• 1 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 teaspoons of brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons butter to oil the pan
- Mix ingredients together in a bowl or in a blender.
- Let the mix sit for about 15 minutes.
- Pour onto the hot pan on butter over medium-high heat (about 350 deg F).
- Flip them when the edges start to dry.
Almond flour brownies
Totally gluten- and grains-free version of my daughter’s favorite snack. Forget the supermarket mix, made them with only a few simple ingredients. Makes 12 brownies.
• 5 tablespoons butter
• 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
• pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup of natural Dutch cocoa powder
• 3 organic eggs
• 1 1/2 cups almond flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8″ square pan that is 2″ deep.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan set over low heat, then add the sugar and salt and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the mixture is hot but still not bubbling.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl from the saucepan. Stir the mixture for a few minutes until it cools down. Let it rest for 10 minutes. It should still be warm, but not so hot it’ll cook the eggs in the next step.
- Mix in the cocoa and then vanilla. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs and mix into a shiny, smooth mixture.
- Blend in the flour with the baking powder.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan. Spreading it carefully to the edges.
- Bake the brownies for approx. 35 minutes. Test if the cake is baked with a toothpick inserted in the center. It is finished if the pick comes out clean or with just a few wet crumbs at the tip.
- Remove the pan from the oven and cut the brownies after 15 minutes of cooling down. Store them at room temperature packed in plastic for several days or freeze for longer storage.
Almond flour pasta
A company called Castello’s offers a range of gluten- and grain-free pasta. While it is delicious, it is not that complicated to make your own homemade pasta! All you need is four simple ingredients, a pasta maker and little free time.
• almond flour (blanched, finely ground for smooth pasta)
• tapioca flour
• free range eggs
Tools: A rolling pin, mixer (KitchenAid) and pasta maker for cutting pasta. I recommend the KitchenAid pasta attachment; it is excellent.
For instructions, check out this helpful video:
Almond flour chocolate chip cookies
You will love these luxurious incredible gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-carb alternative to the classic chocolate chip cookies.
• 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
• 3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
• 1 large free range egg
• 1/2 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
• 2 cups almond flour or almond meal (up to your preference, both works well)
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• Pinch of fine sea salt
• 1/2 cup mini organic chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 deg. Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the coconut oil with the maple syrup. If the oil is too hard, microwave it for a few seconds. When both are mixed together, add the egg and vanilla and combine.
- In another bowl, stir the almond flour, salt, and baking soda together. Add this flour mixture to the ingredients in the first bowl and stir together until all is well combined. At the end stir the best part of chocolate chips in.
- Form cookies on the baking sheet, spacing them about two inches apart. Place a few additional chocolate chips on top of each one.
- Bake until set and the edges are golden brown. This will take about 8-9 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for couple minutes.
- Place finished cookies in a plastic container or freeze them for later.
What are your favorite recipes? Let me know in the comments 🙂