Customers will notice that almond flour is way dearer than all-purpose, and certainly almonds are dearer to develop than wheat or different grains, requiring extra water and extra cautious tending, so it’s greatest to make use of it judiciously. That stated, almond flour may be very versatile, and employed creatively, it could add taste, texture and vitamin to your cooking, whether or not candy or savory.
Almond flour or almond meal? The 2 varieties of almond flour you might be almost definitely to seek out on the grocery retailer are almond flour, which is finely floor blanched (peeled) almonds, and almond meal, which is finely floor complete, unpeeled, almonds. The one distinction is that almond flour is pale in colour and almond meal has a speckled brown tint. They can be utilized interchangeably generally, although almond flour is usually most well-liked.
Don’t consider it as a alternative. No nut flour, together with almond flour, can exchange an equal amount of all-purpose or wheat flour. As a result of almond flour is finely floor nuts, it doesn’t comprise the identical dietary or chemical make-up as flour milled from grains. Wheat flour comprises gluten, a set of proteins present in wheat which might be liable for springy bread dough and the spongelike texture of baked bread. Gluten, working in live performance with liquids and leavening brokers, supplies construction to baked items. Almond flour comprises no gluten, so it’s not potential, for instance, to make a loaf of bread with simply almond flour.
It’s good for pastry. Alternatively, not each baked good must be as powerful, crisp or dense as bread. Typically tenderness is what you’re after, particularly in truffles or muffins, and that’s the place almond flour shines. Used alongside all-purpose or complete grain flours, it could lighten a batter or dough, including depth and softness with out heft.
“I have a tendency so as to add almond flour to all-purpose at a low ratio,” says Michelle Lopez of the weblog Hummingbird High and creator of the e-book “Weeknight Baking: Recipes to Fit Your Schedule.” She says the finely floor nuts, whether or not flour or meal, give baked items a “texture and taste you wouldn’t get should you simply use AP. … It helps give a domed prime to my muffin recipes, with out making the batter too dense.”
It’s extremely nutritious. “From a dietary perspective, it’s nice to swap some all-purpose or whole-grain flour with almond flour,” says nutritionist and Nourish columnist Ellie Krieger. “Almond flour enhances wheat flour, as a result of it comprises extra protein, extra wholesome fats, extra fiber, vitamin E, a considerable quantity of magnesium, calcium and iron.”
Krieger explains that wheat and different grain flours are largely composed of carbohydrates and don’t comprise practically as a lot protein, although they do comprise a variety of B nutritional vitamins, whether or not as a result of they’re enriched like all-purpose or milled from complete grains.
“Utilizing complete grain flour and almond meal collectively gives you an almost full spectrum dietary profile,” Krieger says, “and meaning extra power, particularly for individuals wanting so as to add extra wholesome fats and protein to their diets.”
Baker Roxana Jullapat, of Buddies & Household bakery in Los Angeles, provides almond meal to her granola to maintain it “crisp and stop it from getting soggy.” The added floor nuts additionally give the granola a lift of protein and taste. Jullapat usually makes her personal almond meal, and it’s simple to do: Merely grind almonds (blanched or unblanched) in a meals processor till tremendous, stopping earlier than they flip to right into a paste. Jullapat makes use of the freshly made almond meal in shortbread and buttery financiers.
It’s stuffed with taste. Jessica Craig, the pastry chef on the appropriately named Almond Restaurant Group in Lengthy Island, N.Y., additionally makes use of almond flour in truffles, muffins and cookies, however makes certain to toast it first. “Individuals suppose to toast nuts however don’t at all times suppose to toast nut flours,” she says, noting that toasting deepens the nutty notes and richness so she doesn’t have to make use of as a lot of the costly ingredient to get its full taste.
It’s a intelligent thickener or coating. Shilpa Uskokovic, a New York-based pastry chef and co-founder of the microbakery Extra Helpings, makes use of almond flour in her cooking simply as a lot as in her baking. “I’ll pull it out to thicken sauces, which is a trick we use quite a bit in India,” she says, noting that floor cashews are sometimes added to sauces and curries to thicken them and add protein and vitamin. The bottom nuts soften into boiling or simmering stews, including richness and physique. “I additionally use almond flour as a breading for hen or fish. Often I’ll combine it with floor oats, so it’s somewhat nubby, and pan fry it till crisp.”
Good storage. One factor all the cooks and bakers I spoke with famous was that almond flour, due to its comparatively excessive fats content material, can spoil pretty rapidly. Maintain it recent by storing it in a cool, dry place in an hermetic container, minding the expiration date on the bundle you bought. For longer storage, freeze it in an hermetic container, defrosting as a lot as you want whenever you want it.
Listed below are a number of recipe concepts that can assist you dissipate that bag of almond flour. For extra, search the Recipe Finder.