If you’re gluten-free or paleo, chances are you’re familiar with almond flour. Made from ground blanched almonds, this flour is a low-carb option for baked goods.
True almond flour is made from blanched almonds that have had their skins removed. The result is a fine texture with a nutty aroma.
While almond flour seems like a relatively new, trendy ingredient, it’s been the primary ingredient for macarons since the 16th century.
As almond flour is made from ground almonds rather than milled cereal grains, it’s naturally gluten free and high in omega-6 fatty acids.
Almond flour is high in polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids. While I won’t go deep into fats (check out this post for the details), there is a concern in the nutrition world that eating too many omega-6’s may increase inflammation and risk of chronic disease. However, as the research continues to unfold, the key is keeping a balance between omega-3 and omega-6’s.
One other nutritional highlight is that almond flour is high in vitamin E (an antioxidant), with 2 tablespoons of almond flour providing 15% of the daily value.
As far as calories and macros go, 2 tablespoons of almond flour contains approximately 80 calories, 5 grams fat, 5 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Note, these amounts can vary slightly by brand of almond flour.
How to select
Almond flour can be found in the baking section of most large grocery stores; although you if your store has a gluten-free section it’s worth checking there as well. Before buying, make sure that your recipe calls for almond flour and not almond meal. Unlike almond flour, meal has a coarser ground as it’s made from almonds that still contain the skins.
Next, take a look at the ingredients. The only one you should see is blanched almonds.
How to store
Due to the fat content, almond flour should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. It’ll last about 6 months in the fridge and 12 months in the freezer, but always do a smell-check before using to make sure it hasn’t gone rancid.
How to use in cooking/baking
SInce almond flour doesn’t contain gluten, it won’t act like traditional flour in baking. The biggest difference is that it won’t absorb and bind the liquid in a recipe the same way. To help with this, you can play around with different combinations of gluten-free flours, add protein powder, or increase the number of eggs.
From personal experience, I’ve also noticed that almond flour results in a much more moist, delicate texture. All of this is getting to the key point that you can’t just sub almond flour in for all-purpose flour. You’ll need to also adjust the oil, eggs, and likely leavening agents as well.
While macrons are the traditional use for almond flour, there are many more less fancy-sounding applications. Cookies, pancakes, shortbread crust, quick breads, muffins, croissants, and cakes are all good places to start. Just remember, the texture will likely be lighter and airy, so avoid baked goods that should be chewy and on the denser side.
One more thing to note is that, due to the higher fat content, batters with almond flour will brown more quickly in the oven. So for baked goods that take longer to cook, such as quick breads, you’ll want to cover with foil about half-way through.
While I usually think of baking when talking about almond flour, it can also be used to make no-bake cookies and bliss balls as well as to coat chicken or fish before baking or frying.
Have You Baked with Almond Flour?
Do you have a favorite almond flour recipe? I’d love to try it out! Share a link in the comments below. And be sure to check out these simple Matcha Bliss Balls using almond flour as well!