Almond flour, or almond meal, is made from whole, untreated almonds. It is a wonderful substitute for wheat flour when people are trying to avoid allergens or glutens. Almond flour is now readily available at most grocery stores, but many people are unsure how to use it. Here is our guide for using almond flour:
Substituting For Wheat Flour
If you are going to cook or bake with almond flour, it is best if you use a recipe that calls for it. Many gluten-free or raw food cookbooks have almond flour featured as a staple because it is so easy to use and compatible with many taste profiles. You can also use almond flour as a simple thickening agent instead of flour or cornstarch. For this purpose, you can substitute in equal amounts.
Almond flour does not have the same food or chemical properties as wheat flour, so equal substitution will not always work. Most recipes will call for a combination of flours in order to reach the same effect as wheat flour alone. You will often see almond flour blended with potato flour and rice flour with a small amount of xanthan gum. The xanthan gum is important to replace the elasticity of the gluten found in wheat flour. Coconut flour is also an excellent addition to almond flour when baking.
How To Make Your Own Almond Flour
For super fresh almond flour, make it yourself in a food processor. Simply fill a blender, food processor or coffee bean grinder with whole, unsalted almonds. Pulverize until you reach the texture you want – from grainy to a superfine powder. If the almonds start to clump, add one-half cup of sugar for every two cups of almonds. The sugar will absorb the moisture and prevent clumping.
Add To Smoothies, Ice Cream or Cookies
Use half of a cup of almond flour in a smoothie. You can also sprinkle on sugar cookies or into ice cream as an unexpected treat.