The simplest way to describe what almond flour is, is ground almonds. To be a little more precise, however, we will add that almond flour is a combination of blanched, peeled and ground almonds, which means that it is pale in color and has a mild taste, without the bitterness that can come with the shell of the raw nuts. Here's everything you need to know about almond flour.
Making almond flour is a fairly easy process, so it can actually be done at home.
The composition of almond flour
Almond flour is used by people who eat properly, exercise and in general - stick to a healthy lifestyle. It is low in fat, but rich in plant based proteins, which are important for building muscle and tissue, as well as for bone and skin health. In combination with all the useful properties of almonds, which are transferred into the flour, it fully deserves its place in the kitchen of many chefs.
Health benefits of almond flour
We have already mentioned the protein content and the lack of fat, which makes it great when following a diet or a healthy diet. In addition, almond flour contains vitamins, minerals and extremely few carbohydrates.
Another useful element found in the composition of almond flour are omega-6 fatty acids. In addition to helping with weight loss, they have a positive effect on the brain activity and heart function.
Almond flour is the ideal choice for people suffering from gluten intolerance, as it does not contain gluten. In addition, this type of flour lowers the blood sugar and maintains insulin levels, making it suitable for people with diabetes or a tendency to develop diabetes.
If you need an additional source of energy during the day, you will find it with almond flour or more precisely in the products prepared with it.
However, it should not be overused. Although it has beneficial properties, it is a high-calorie flour. You can consume it with a clear conscience in large quantities, only if you follow a keto diet. In all other cases, stick to moderate use, as there may be a slowdown in the metabolism or other digestive problems such as bloating, pain or heaviness in the stomach.
The body's reaction to almond flour is strictly individual, depending on each person's body. Using it in moderation, as well as anything else, is recommended!
How to make almond flour?
Start by blanching whole raw almonds. Boil them for about 1-2 minutes. After blanching, they should be peeled. Strain and rinse them with cold water until they're cool enough to handle. The skin will slide right off, so just peel them off and throw them away.
Place the almonds on a clean kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels and allow them to dry completely (at least a few hours or overnight). Put them in a food processor and grind them.
The shelf life of homemade almond flour is from 4 to 6 months. If you store it in the freezer, it can be extended up to 1 year. In case you have to cook with frozen flour before you start, it should reach room temperature.
It is good, if you can learn to make a new dose of almond flour every time you need it, because the characteristic taste and aroma will be preserved and will ultimately reflect whether it is a savory or sweet dish.
Note: Almond flour will never be as fine as wheat flour. The nuts will actually turn into almond butter instead of powder.
What does almond flour taste like?
Because the nuts are blanched and peeled, the flour does not have a very strong, distinctive almond flavor, but at the same time it is not completely absent. The best way to describe it is perhaps to say that it adds a slight walnut flavor to the dish you are cooking. Unlike most flours, it can be eaten raw. But this can be a bonus when making almond cookies, almond cakes, pastries, small treats, shortbread cookies and any other desserts with almonds.
Cooking and baking with almond flour
Cooking with almond flour is not difficult. In gluten-free recipes, in order to create structure, you can often replace almond flour with wheat flour.
This is especially good for simple desserts such as cookies. The structure of the final product is often heavier and the dough may require extra liquid, but a little experimenting can often lead to excellent results.
Although tasty and nutritious, almond flour does is not exactly like wheat flour and cannot be used as a substitute in all classic recipes. So you need to keep in mind some peculiarities when cooking with almond flour.
For bread and other pastries, depending on the structural integrity provided by gluten, almond flour can only be used to replace a small portion of wheat flour. This flour is perfect as a breading when frying meat or for a stew thickener.