When it comes to baking, flour is the glue that makes a great dish. It is used in pretty much everything and helps contribute to a heartier meal. But what happens when you discover a wheat intolerance in yourself or someone in your home?
More and more people every year are discovering that it’s not normal to be super bloated after eating pasta or a bread bowl. What’s actually happening is the body is reacting to the wheat and causing discomfort. Unfortunately, wheat seems to be in just about everything.
As frustrating as that can be, it doesn’t mean a love for cooking has to change. You can still bake all your favorite treats with some adjustments. Almond flour is made differently than regular flour. Will it work as a viable substitution?
Yes, almond flour is similar enough that it can be substituted for flour at a 1:1 ratio. That basically means both quantities can be measured in the same amounts.
It will have the same result as if you used regular flour. The only thing to watch for is how well the flouter binds. Adding egg or a little more almond flour as you go might be necessary, depending on the recipe.
What is almond flour made from?
Instead of wheat, almond flour is made from ground-up blanched sweet almonds. Blanched is a term for skinless. If you were to run your fingers through the flour, the texture would stick out.
This type of flour is not as silky smooth as wheat flour. Almond flour is more comparable to corn meal, just a tad rigid.
Because the flour is made from almonds, it can give a hint of a nutty flavor when used. Other terms that refer to almond flour are almond meal or ground almonds.
Is almond flour healthier than regular flour?
Let’s put it this way, there are more health benefits to using almond flour in comparison to wheat flour. To begin with, almonds are already a healthy snack on their own. This nut is a great source of protein and doesn’t have as much fat as other types.
This translates to flour quite nicely. Almond flour has fewer carbs than traditional flour and has a wider array of nutrients. It’s considered one of the healthiest flours on the market.
Thanks to the lower carb content, it’s also a useful option in terms of weight loss. Also, being packed with magnesium, iron, and calcium doesn’t hurt.
Almond flour is also gluten-free. That’s often what gets diners interested in using it in the first place. Not having to worry after eating foods rich in flour is a win for many with wheat intolerance.
Are there any drawbacks to almond flour?
As with any ingredient, there could be reasons for some not to use it in comparison with others. With almond flour, it’s oxalates.
Chowing down on food that is heavy in oxalates could lead to a calcium oxalate crystal formation. That type of formation is the basis of a kidney stone. It’s also found as a culprit involved in gout and arthritis.
Realistically, you’d really have to be putting away the pastries for almond flour to create such an issue. Of course, that varies by person, but it’s more or less the same thought process.
Another unexpected element to find in almonds is cyanogenic glycosides. In excessive amounts, hydrogen cyanide is released from cyanogenic glycosides.
No one has heard of anyone being poisoned by cyanide from eating too many almonds, but it might be a good deterrent from gorging on something made with almond flour.
Are the almonds in almond flour processed?
Slightly, yes. The almonds are ground so insanely to reach as smooth a texture as possible. Blanching occurs during this process, which makes them not only skinless but keeps them white. The idea is that the flour closely resembles its predecessor.
Hearing that something is processed often gives the listener an image of fast food. Many processed foods get a deserving hesitation. Don’t let almond flour be one of those on the list.
The processing of almond flour has no impact on the quality or health benefits. It’s just the maker’s way of making almonds capable of becoming flour.
What’s the best type of food to make with almond flour?
Something else to consider when cooking with almond flour is the fat content. Wheat is a plant and almonds are nuts. Naturally, a fatty nut would equate to fattier flour than wheat.
The big benefit of a slight difference in flavor and fat content is that there are dishes that taste better using almond flour. For instance, sweets such as cakes and cookies are often rated as more flavorful when the change is made.
Almond flour is also great for certain kinds of bread. Popular uses of almond flour in bread are whole grain, nutty bread and sweet bread.
Can I batter and fry something using almond flour?
Almond flour can be used in all the ways wheat flour is but there are some slight differences in the way things are cooked. So, yes, you can use almond flour to fry up chicken or fish.
What you will want to stay on the lookout for is how high the heat is. Almond flour burns quicker than traditional flour. That means if the heat is on high, it would be unwise to leave the pan unattended. The cooking window is much shorter.