Almond flour or almond meal is powdered almond made from superior quality sweet almonds by the process of grinding to a desired consistency – coarse or fine. Almond flour is usually made using blanched almonds after their skin has been removed; whereas almond meal can be made using either whole or blanched almonds. In terms of consistency, it is more like corn meal (slightly grainy) than very fine like wheat flour. Almond flour may be hand pounded or pulverised by machine.
Almond flour is widely used these days in the baking industry, in the production of cakes, pastries and other confectionery items. For e.g., it is employed in the manufacture of almond macaroons and other sweet pastries, as filling in cakes and pies, such as ‘Sachertorte’ and happens to be one of the two primary ingredients in almond paste and marzipan.
In France, almond meal is referred to by the special name “frangipane” and forms a key ingredient in the traditional “Galette des Rois” cake.
Almond flour has recently gained prominence in baked products especially catering to the requirements of those on low carbohydrate diets as well as gluten-free diets.
Almond flour is valued for it adds a certain moistness and a different grainy texture as well as a rich nutty taste to baked goods. Further, items baked with almond meal tend to be calorie-dense and hence serve as a good source of energy apart from quality protein.
Almond Flour Recipes
Almond flour works out well in "quick-bread" kind of recipes, such as muffins, nut breads, and pancakes. However, it may not be the best option for food such as regular bread that requires a strong dough (one cannot knead it owing to the lack of gluten). It has been found that usually more eggs are needed while baking with almond flour in order to provide it greater structure. Almond meal may also be used sometimes in breading fish or poultry, but it calls for utmost care to be taken to prevent it from burning.
Some healthy almond flour recipes are-
- Microwave Apple Almond Dessert
- Chopped apple pieces
- Sugar-free syrup, like Da Vinci's caramel, or water + sugar substitute
- Cinnamon powder
- Almond flour /meal
- Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
The chopped apple is put in a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkled with cinnamon and the sugar-free syrup poured over the top to about half an inch after which it is covered and microwaved for few minutes.
The almond flour/meal is then sprinkled over the top, along with just a pinch of salt. Chopped walnuts or pecans may be added if desired. After dotting the surface with butter, it is set to microwave, uncovered for another few minutes and then served warm.
Each serving provides 169 calories; 9 g total carbohydrate with 4 g dietary fiber and 4 g protein.
Carbohydrates in Almond Flour/Meal
Half a cup of ground almond flour contains-
· about 273 calories
· 23 g of fat
· 10 g carbohydrate, 6 g of which are fiber, for a net carb count of 4 g of carbohydrate and
· 10 g of protein.