The first time I baked a recipe with almond flour it was not at all what I expected. And then I discovered that almond flour can mean a lot of things: almond meal, ground almonds, blanched almond flour, and so on.
Since then, I’ve found that for many recipes, finely ground, blanched almond flour works best (organic is even better, but hard to find and even more expensive). Blanched almond flour works especially well in recipes that are designed to produce lighter, cake-like or cookie-like results. Almond meal works well is hardier recipes where you don’t mind it being a bit denser and slightly grainy.
Almond meal can be purchased (ground up almonds with the skins on), or you can make it yourself by grinding almonds (raw or roasted) in a food processor or other tool for creating whole grain flour.
Here are some sources for blanched almond flour:
- Hughson Nut, Inc.
- Honeyville Food Products
- Lucy’s Kitchen Shop
- SunOrganic Farm
- Digestive Wellness
- Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour
- Buy Almond Flour
- Benefit Your Life
- JK Gourmet
- Benefit Your Life
Some of the recipes on Comfy Belly can be made with other flours besides almond and nut flours, however the amounts of flour required will most probably vary, as will the other ingredients. If I have tried a recipe various ways, I will offer the measurement for another type of flour. I like to experiment with other flours, so I’ll post a recipe using other types of flour when I think they work well and are received well on the home front.
Why do I use blanched almond flour? I started out using it because I wanted to eliminate all wheat and gluten for a while to see if it would help my son. And then I found that it eliminated my underlying anemia I have had on and off since giving birth to my each of my sons, and gave me a good boost of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron and calcium and vitamin E. It also has a higher protein content (and lower carbohydrate content) than other flours and baked goodies. So baking with almond flour is quite healthy – a nice bonus.
What about other nut flours? There are other nuts that make great flours, such as cashew, hazelnut, peanut, and pecan. I use them sometimes, but I mainly use almond flour due to it’s mild flavor and that fact that I have it on hand. Nut butters are also good in some recipes, such as baked goods that are softer and/or denser, such as cookie bars, cakes and breads.
How do you store almond flour? I store it in a refrigerator (sealed in plastic) for a few months at a time. I purchase 25 pounds of almond flour at a time and it lasts me about 3 months or so. It’s obviously cheaper to buy it in bulk, but you can buy it in smaller increments, such as 1 and 5 pound bags. I would still store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container or bag, since it does tend to absorb odors from other food if exposed. I know some folks freeze it, but I haven’t found it necessary to do so. I imagine you could freeze some of it (tightly sealed) and defrost it as you use it.
Can you make your own? Yes, but I’ll admit up front that I don’t do it. You can use a blender or a food processor, but you must first blanch the almonds to remove the skin. And don’t go too far, or you will end up with almond butter (which it not a bad thing, but not what you were after). So watch it closely. If you don’t blanch the almonds and remove the skins, you will have almond meal when you are done processing the almonds. Another way to make a small batch of almond flour is to purchase sliced blanched almonds and then process them until you have flour.