When on an anti-inflammatory diet, you have to give up wheat flour, which means no traditional bread, muffins, cake, etc. However almond flour can come to the rescue if you find yourself craving bakery treats! And fyi, this flour wasn’t something newly created just as a trendy substitute for wheat…the French have traditionally used this nutty flour for some of their most popular treats, including favorites such as macaroons and marzipan.
I thought I would pass along some “scoop” about almond flour!
Almond flour vs. almond meal – The flour is made from blanched almonds – no skin. The meal is ground from whole almonds. Almond meal has a stronger taste and is similar in consistency to cornmeal; it may be better to use as breading or topping on casseroles than in baking. Some people are extra sensitive to the lectins in the skin of the nut and it can actually increase inflammation in the body…if this is an issue for you, be sure to use blanched almond flour.
There can even be a big difference between different brands of almond flour and you may need to experiment. Many bakers believe the finer the grain, the better your baked goods will turn out. You can get this flour from so many sources, from Bob’s Red Mill, to our local supermarket, to ordering online. It can be expensive. Online options may provide a better price, especially if you buy in bulk.
Cooking with almond flour is different than cooking with wheat flour, so you are better off using recipes specifically calling for almond flour. Don’t just substitute almond flour for wheat flour in a recipe. Due to its different consistency, this flour can’t absorb liquid in the same way as wheat flour. It also tends to burn easier, so the recipe may require a lower oven temperature and need to bake longer.
Just because almond flour is paleo doesn’t mean it is low calorie. In fact it has more calories than wheat flour (but the calories you’re eating are full of protein and vitamin E). Blood sugar doesn’t tend to rise as fast after a meal made with almond flour because it is lower in carbs and sugar…this makes it a better option for diabetics. But moderation is key with these treats if you are worried about calories.
And lastly, I want to suggest a gluten free flour option for people who have a nut allergy (like me!) and can’t use a nut flour. Think.eat.live is a local St. Louis company that has developed Sunflour™ – a flour made from sunflower seeds, and it is gluten AND nut free. In addition to their flour, they also sell product mixes for brownies, muffins, pancakes, etc. And oh by the way, they are delicious! Check out their website https://thinkeatlive.com/ for more information.
If you’re looking for recipes with almond flour, try some from our website, including:
- 7 cups almond flour
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- Add the almond flour to the food processor and turn on.
- Pour the coconut oil into the top while processor is on. Process for about 5 – 10 minutes until you have a smooth butter. You will need to scrape down the sides occasionally.
- Store in an airtight container or one of your old almond butter jars for up to 3 months.
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