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Discover the Nutritional Benefits of Almond Flour

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β€œFor individuals practicing a low-carbohydrate eating style or want to try an alternative flour, can incorporating almond flour help in their wellness journey?”

Almond Flour

Almond flour and almond meal are gluten-free alternatives to wheat products in certain recipes. They are made by grinding almonds and can be bought prepared or made at home with a food processor or grinder. The flour is higher in protein and lower in starch than other gluten-free flour.

Almond Flour and Almond Meal

The flour is made with blanched almonds, meaning the skin has been removed. Almond meal is made with whole or blanched almonds. The consistency for both is more like corn meal than wheat flour. They can usually be used interchangeably, although using the blanched flour will produce a more refined, less grainy result. Superfine almond flour is great for baking cakes but is difficult to make at home. It can be found at grocery stores or ordered online.

Carbohydrates and Calories

A half cup of commercially prepared flour contains about:

  1. The glycemic index of almond flour is less than 1, which means it should have little effect on raising blood glucose levels.
  2. The high glycemic index of whole wheat flour is 71, and rice flour is 98.

Using Almond Flour

It is recommended for making gluten-free quick bread recipes, such as gluten-free:

  • Muffins
  • Pumpkin bread
  • Pancakes
  • Some cake recipes

Individuals are recommended to start with a recipe already adapted for almond flour and then make their own. A cup of wheat flour weighs around 3 ounces, while a cup of almond flour weighs almost 4 ounces. This will make a significant difference in baked goods. The flour is beneficial for adding nutrients to foods.

Almond Meal

  • Almond meal can be cooked as polenta or grits such as shrimp and grits.
  • Cookies can be made gluten-free with almond meal.
  • Almond meal biscuits can be made, but pay attention to the recipe.
  • Almond meal can be used to bread fish and other fried foods, but it must be taken care of so as not to burn.
  • Almond meal is not recommended for breads that require true dough with a developed gluten structure, like wheat flour.
  • More eggs are needed when baking with almond meal to provide the structure gluten in flour creates.

Adapting recipes to substitute almond meal for wheat flour can be a challenge that requires plenty of trial and error.

Sensitivities

Almonds are a tree nut, one of the eight most common food allergies. (Anaphylaxis UK. 2023) While peanuts are not tree nuts, many with peanut allergies can also have an almond allergy.

Making Your Own

It can be made in a blender or food processor.

  • Care must be taken not to grind it too long, or it will become almond butter, which can also be used.
  • Add a little at a time and pulse until it is ground into meal.
  • Store unused flour immediately in the refrigerator or freezer because it will go rancid quickly if left out.
  • Almonds are shelf-stable, and almond flour is not, so it is recommended that you grind only what is needed for the recipe.

Store Bought

Most health food stores sell almond flour, and more supermarkets are stocking it as it has become a popular gluten-free product. Packaged flour and meal will also go rancid after opening and should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer after opening.


Integrative Medicine


References

USDA FoodData Central. (2019). Almond Flour. Retrieved from fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/603980/nutrients

Anaphylaxis UK. (2023). Allergy Factsheets (Anaphylaxis UK A brighter future for people with serious allergies, Issue. www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/factsheets/

Atkinson, F. S., Brand-Miller, J. C., Foster-Powell, K., Buyken, A. E., & Goletzke, J. (2021). International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values 2021: a systematic review. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 114(5), 1625–1632. doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab233

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The information herein on "Discover the Nutritional Benefits of Almond Flour" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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