ALMOND FLOUR – A PALEO-FRIENDLY WHEAT ALTERNATIVE

ALMOND FLOUR – A PALEO-FRIENDLY WHEAT ALTERNATIVE

Almond flour is a popular paleo ingredient made by grinding briefly cooked almonds. It is rich in protein, healthy fats, and essential micronutrients. Since the paleo diet involves avoiding all types of grains, and with that wheat flour, nut flours such as almond flour are seen as suitable alternatives. Almond flour, in particular, is popular among paleo diet followers because it is nutritious, tasty, and easy to use. You can use almond flour for baking cakes, pancakes, and cookies, while its coarser cousin almond meal works best for making bread. This article will teach you what you need to know about almond flour.

Introduction

Wild-matured almond trees originate mainly from the Mediterranean. Ancient societies from about 3000-2000 BC first grew almond trees while occupying and living on those islands. Almonds were reportedly found in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen, around 1525 BC. However, almond trees are cultivated in California in recent times due to the shore state having a similar climate to the Mediterranean islands.

In a gluten-free or grain-free diet, almond flour is an excellent addition to the diet. Gluten-free cornmeal is a delicious, gluten-free alternative to major grain options. For baking, it can be used to replace most flour choices. Since ancient times, almond flour has been used in cooking. Early cultures first used almond flour for cake and bread, as seen in most societies today. Its popularity has not waned in modern times. It’s used in pie fillings, pancakes, pastries, pastes, muffins, and pastes, among other things.

Almond Flour

How to make almond flour

Almond fruits are shelled before being ground to make almond flour. Grounding can be done with a food processor, blender, or with a mortar and pestle in a more local approach. In the modern cuisine world, however, kitchen gadgets like bean grinders and nut grinders are employed. These modern appliances make this processing easier and faster. Almond flour is also readily available from supermarkets, grocery stores, and health food stores.

Benefits

Because of the denseness of almond flour, the calorie count is high for a single 1 ounce serving. It is a good source for iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, fiber, magnesium and vitamin E. It also contains minimal quantities of protein, making it a part protein that when combined with another part protein, can provide a healthy ingredient for use by grain/gluten allergy and Celiac sufferers.

Other than being a more enriched choice in terms of nutrients when compared to wheat flour, almond flour has also been associated with less risk of several chronic diseases. The vitamin-E rich type of flour can be very helpful in reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes and heart attacks. This is simply because vitamin E tends to reduce inflammation in the human body by dealing with free radicals.

Other significant benefits of almond flour include:

  • It is naturally free from gluten, which makes it an awesome alternative to wheat flour for people dealing with wheat intolerance or celiac disease
  • Almond flour contains a low glycemic index and may be better option for managing your blood sugar.
  • The nutrients contained in almond flour may be helpful in the reduction of LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • It is very nutritious in view of its rich magnesium and vitamin E content. These are two essential nutrients for a healthy body.
Benefits of Almond Flour

Drawbacks

However, almond flour does come with its setbacks. Almond flour is on the costlier side so expect to spend more money on your almond flour recipes. Other than that, almonds are much higher in calories than wheat flour. A cup of almond flour is produced from over a hundred almonds, while the usual daily recommendation is to consume around ten almonds. There is a counterargument in the paleo community against this. Since almonds are highly satiating due to their high protein and fat content, it shows that by eating a breakfast made with almond flour, you are less likely to eat more food later in the day, thus not increasing your total daily calorie intake.

One more drawback of almond flour is that it harbors more moisture than its supposed substitute, wheat flour. This can be disastrous, especially for almond flour muffins, of which frozen blueberries are a vital component. Muffins will not be able to stay solid after preparation. A suggested remedy to this is to mix coconut flour with almond flour. This helps with the moisture issue without taking away the desired taste. Also, using dried-out (instead of frozen) fruits solves this conundrum.

Almond flour recipes

Some of the best uses for almond flour are as a secondary flour in sweetbreads and for making almond paste, commonly known as marzipan. Marzipan can be used as a topping for cakes or making marzipan snacks. Alternatively, it can be added with other gluten-free flours and grains to produce hot cereals. In fact, it makes a tasty addition to nut-based stews and soups. Examples of almond flour recipes are almond flour pancakes, almond flour banana bread, almond flour cookies, and almond flour chocolate chip cookies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How is almond flour made?

A: In contrast to almond meal, which typically contains the skins and has a coarser grind, almond flour is typically made from briefly cooked almonds that have been stripped of their skins.

Q: Is almond meal the same thing as almond flour?

A: There is no difference between almond meal and almond flour other than how they are ground. The finer and closer it is to orthodox wheat flour in terms of baked goods, the better. For breading or cooking, the coarser the flour substitute, the better.

Q: How many carbs in almond flour?

A: A common flour option low in carbs, a serving of almond flour (twenty-eight grams) has around six grams of carbs, three grams of fibers, and a hundred and sixty calories.

Q: Is almond flour keto?

A: Richer and denser than other keto-friendly flours (like coconut flour or psyllium husk powder), almond flour is a great choice. Keto cookie recipes benefit greatly from its use as a result. If you want to use it in place of regular flour in an even ratio, you will need to combine it with another keto flour, like coconut flour.

Q: Is almond flour gluten-free?

A: If you’re looking for a gluten-free or lusciously nutty flour substitute, almond flour is the answer. In addition to replacing wheat, finely pounded almond flour adds a unique flavor and texture to any baked product, from macarons to rich pastries and cakes and everything in between.

Conclusion

Almond flour should not be seen as that awesome flour choice that, unlike wheat flour, turns baked products into totally nourishing and healthful delicacies, although overall, there is a significant difference. Even the taste doesn’t seem different with the addition of almond flour as compared to wheat flour. While in some instances, textures can be noticed, it is considered negligible.

The flour is vital for fluffy, tasty, and soft dishes while also providing a range of health benefits. On the other hand, the satiating effect of almond flour may counteract its calorie density. All in all, it’s safe to say that the health benefits of this paleo-friendly flour outweigh any risks making it a perfect choice for the paleo foodie.

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Sam Kramer, MS, RD, CSSGB, LDN, CISSN

Sam Kramer is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, Six Sigma Green Belt Certified, and Certified Sports Nutritionis

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