Almond meal and almond flour are simply ground almonds. This is a wonderful gluten-free flour that is high in protein, low in carbs, and far more delicious to my taste than other flours. These two terms are often used interchangeably, however almond meal is generally a slightly coarser grind, and almond flour is usually finer. In my recipes I use either almond meal or almond flour the same.
Where to buy:
I like organic blanched almond flour at Nuts.com. I also buy almond meal in my local healthy grocery or online at Bob’s Red Mill. Blanched almond meal is preferable as it has no skins – thus eliminating the hard-to-digest seed coatings. Yay! If you use the skins, my recipes will work, however you might notice a hint of bitterness and/or digestive challenge.
Best Choices to Optimize Health with Almonds
Many people recommend raw organic almonds. But they’re almost impossible to find, since most almonds are pasteurized. I actually prefer organic sprouted almonds that are lightly toasted. Almonds, like all grains and nuts, contain powerful anti-nutrients found mostly in the skins. Soaking or sprouting dissolves the anti-nutrients, and makes them more easily digestible. Soaking nuts is an important consideration for anyone with digestive problems or food sensitivities. Many natural food stores sell organic sprouted almonds, often called “awakened almonds”. It’s also easy to soak or sprout almonds yourself – see my post All About Nuts. Another option is blanched almonds, which have been cooked to remove the skins, so the pesticide and anti-nutrient levels should be lower. Almond flour stores well for about six months in a sealed dry container at room temperature, and crispy nuts will keep indefinitely.
You can grind almonds into almond meal.
Use a super blender (Blendtec or Vitamix) or a home coffee grinder. However it takes some time and patience. To do this, first prepare “crispy nuts” by soaking, rinsing and drying the nuts. Then pulse the dry almonds over and over until the consistency is fine, stopping and starting the machine, and then sift them. Repeat this process until it is a fine flour. Do not just blend the almonds continuously, or you’ll have almond butter.
The particle size is important.
If your almond meal is too coarse, then the surface area and absorbent quality of the flour is much lower, and your baked goods will be mushy or thick. A smaller particle size is pereferable as it will absorb moisture better and create finer quality baked goods. My recipes will work with Bob’s Red Mill almond meal, but no coarser. So the success of your recipe depends on using a grind that is fairly fine.
Flavor is Everything.
I love almond flour. However I love pure coconut even more! My favorite flour is sweet coconut powder (not coconut flour). It is made by grinding shredded unsweetened coconut flakes with a granulated sweetener in a food processor. To order Almond Meal, click below.