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How to Make Almond Flour
Almond flour or almond meal consists of ground up almonds. It is gluten-free and has multiple health benefits compared to other flours. Also, for those of you on the paleo diet, it is an alternative to refined flours that can be used to bake anything from pizza crust to cookies. While you can buy almond flour from the store, it's a little cheaper to make it yourself. A pound of almond flour the store can cost anywhere from $8-$12. You can buy a pound of almonds for around $6 in the bulk section of many stores. All you need then is a high quality blender or food processor and you are ready to go. You can also use an coffee grinder, but these are smaller so it will take a little longer.
- Almond trees are deciduous and grow to be 13 to 33 feet tall.
- The flowers are white or pale pink and bloom in early spring.
- After three years they produce an economic crop, and they are fully mature five to six years after planting.
- Almonds mature after seven to eight months of flowering.
- Technically, an almond is a drupe, not a nut, which means there is an outer fleshy skin that encloses a shell with the seed inside.
Almond Tree Blossom
History of the Almond
- Almond trees are native to the Middle East, particularly the Mediterranean Sea.
- It was possibly one of the first domesticated tree nuts as early as 3000 BC.
- Wild tree nuts are toxic so distinguishing between mutant nuts that were not was one of the first steps of domestication.
- It was spread by humans to North Africa and southern Europe by 1300 BC and much later to California and other areas in the world.
Health Benefits of Almonds
While almond flour is higher in calories versus other types of flours, in all other regards it is just better for you.
- Almond flour is gluten-free.
- It's low in carbohydrates.
- Almonds are a good source of fiber which can lower LDL cholesterol levels.
- They do not raise your glycemic index which means your blood sugar doesn't spike after you eat them. High blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
- Almonds are full of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and even calcium. Magnesium helps improve oxygen flow and potassium is essential for heart function.
- The monounsaturated fat found in almonds has been associated with lower risks for heart disease.
Comparing Types of Flours
Nutritional Info (100 grams)
White Wheat Flour
- 1 cup raw almonds
- Place almonds in blender or food processor.
- Blend at high speed, stopping periodically to evenly distribute almond flour stuck to corners.
- Stop once flour consistency has been achieved.
How to Make Almond Flour
Almond Flour Nutritional Info
|Serving size: 1 cup|
|Calories from Fat||450|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 50 g||77%|
|Saturated fat 4 g||20%|
|Unsaturated fat 40 g|
|Carbohydrates 20 g||7%|
|Sugar 4 g|
|Fiber 12 g||48%|
|Protein 20 g||40%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
How to Use Almond Flour
- You can use almond flour as a substitute or in combination with other flours.
- It has a nutty flavor so it tastes great in baked goods like bread and cookies.
- Because it does not contain gluten, the consistency is going to be different if you switch entirely. Cookies tend to be little flatter and grainier and bread will have more the consistency of corn bread versus white wheat bread.
- I have thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with it in different foods. The link to the cookie recipe below is a recent favorite!!
Mom's Almond Flour Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Mom's Almond Flour Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These gluten-free chocolate cookies are made of almond flour, dark chocolate, and honey so you really can have your dessert and enjoy it, too!!