Flour is used in many foods, from breads and pastas to cookies and snacks. Flour made from wheat is the most common type, but for people who can’t eat wheat because of allergies or dietary choices, almond flour is a popular and healthy alternative. Because almond flour is gluten-free, it is also a helpful option for people with celiac disease.
Almond flour is made from ground almonds and can replace wheat flour in just about any recipe. It’s easy to make at home, or you can buy it in supermarkets and health food stores.
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in almond flour can provide important health benefits. For example, manganese helps the body properly clot blood, allowing it to heal after injuries. Manganese also helps the body break down carbohydrates and cholesterol.
Almond flour is also rich in magnesium, which can help you better control your blood sugar levels.
In addition, almond flour can provide other health benefits like:
Almond flour is rich in monounsaturated fat, which can help keep cholesterol under control. Reducing cholesterol significantly lowers the risk of heart disease. One study showed that women who consume 50 grams of almonds daily have lower cholesterol than women who do not.
Almond flour is a low glycemic index food. Compared to wheat flour, almond flour has fewer sugars and carbohydrates. Switching to almond flour can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels more effectively.
Almond flour contains a lot of prebiotic dietary fiber. This type of fiber is digested by bacteria in your small intestine. Getting enough prebiotic dietary fiber leads to a healthier, more efficient digestive system.
Lower Risk of Cognitive Diseases
Almond flour is full of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant known to help your brain. Getting enough vitamin E reduces your risk of developing cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Almond flour is rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
It’s also an excellent source of:
Nutrients per Serving
A ¼ cup serving of almond flour (the amount typically found in a single serving of a baked good) contains:
- Calories: 180
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fat: 15 grams
- Carbohydrates: 5 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
Almond flour is a useful ingredient, but it’s still made with nuts, which are relatively high in calories. Compared to wheat flour, almond flour has about 50% more calories in the same volume. Moderating your portions and keeping your servings to a quarter cup or less will help keep you from consuming too many calories.
How to Prepare Almond Flour
Almond flour is often found in the gluten-free section at many grocery and health food stores. You can also make your own almond flour at home.
To prepare almond flour at home, boil almonds until the husks float to the top of the water. Sift off the husks and let the almonds cool and dry. Once they’re dry, put them in a food processor and blend until you have a fine powder. Homemade almond flour can be frozen for six to nine months in an airtight container.
Almond flour is easy to use when you’re baking. In most cases, you can simply replace wheat flour with almond flour in any recipe. Just note that some baked goods made with almond flour may not be as fluffy as those that contain wheat flour. Without gluten, baked goods rise less and remain dense.
Here are some ways to use almond flour in recipes:
- Make pancakes with almond flour instead of wheat flour
- Bread fish with almond flour and make fish fillets
- Bake banana bread with almond flour
- Add almond flour to cookies
- Use almond flour in meatballs
- Make homemade almond flour pasta
- Try making macaroons, which are traditionally made with almond flour
Add almond flour to smoothies for a protein boost