Ground Almond vs Almond Flour vs All Purpose Flour

Gound Almond vs Almond Meal vs Almond Flour

Ground almond is what is says on the tin, they are just coarse ground almonds. Almond meal is when you grind them finer. What is almond flour then?
It is a little different, because it is "blanched" almonds (meaning without skin) that are finely ground and can be used to replace normal wheat flour.

So how is it different from the normal all purpose flour? Usual  flour is made of wheat while almond flour is of course made of almonds! 
 
The main nutritional difference between almond flour and all purpose flour is that the former is lower in carbs, which helps with weight lose or diabetes, for example those on a keto or paleo diet or a very low carb diet. The fat and protein content is higher than wheat flour, though.

Is Almond Flour Healthy?

As mentioned above, it is considerably lower in carbs than usual flour. Here is a comparison of nutritional content that I found on this website: buywholefoodonline.co.uk. I just took 2 screenshots from these products and placed them next to each other.
Notice that the fat content in almond flour is much higher than self raising flour. 
 
This is good for keto diet. The argument here is that these are healthy fats that are actually good for you (mostly unsaturated fat). However, the general rule that also applies here is that moderation is key. Too much fat of any kind might end up affecting your cholesterol levels. So, whatever diet you are following, remember to keep it balanced.
 

 Here is also a photo of my own groudn almonds (right) and all purpose flour.
 
 
More on the possible benefits of almond flour:
 
  • It is low in carbs
  • High in fat, protein
  • Contains vitamin E
  • It is naturally gluten free, however, make sure you read the labels carefully to make sure it says "gluten free" 
  • It is vegan
  • Almond is a nut, so it is not suitable for people with nut allergy. Always check the labels!
You can also get "defatted" almond flour these days so check online or check your nearest healthy food shop.
 
This is how it ground almond looks compared to all purpose flour: notice how the color is different and also the texture is different.
 


What can you make with almond flour?

You can just about use it to replace usual flour: for baking, making waffles, cakes, bread, etc but you will need to keep in mind the increased fat content. 
I find it is more oily and softer than normal flour. In most cases, I use the same amount (so a 1:1 ratio) but sometimes I find I need to use more almond flour. It also needs less heat than normal flour so take that into consideration, this will take some trial and error but it is going to be ok to just treat it as normal flour.
 
 

Save money, make your own almond flour

This is a little tip I found helpful. As I don't mind having a brownish colour, I first got ground almond and just made them finer in my blender and used it as flour. You can also sift it when baking to make sure there are no chunks.
You can also make it from scratch to save money, just buy almonds, and then I like to use my Nutribullet because is is really powerful so I can use its milling funciton to get it as fine as I want! Want it blanched? Easy! Just boil them in water for a few minutes then peel by hand. Someone has actually gone through the numbers to prove it is cheaper if you do this regularly.

What can I use instead of almond flour?

For some, almond flour might be too soft or high in fat. Another low carb flour that you can use is oat flour. The good thing is that you can also make it at home from normal rolled oats and sift as above. Remember that oats are natually gluten free but you must check to make sure there is no contamination with grains, etc. Another new option is coconut flour which in some shops is even cheaper but I don't consider it a low carb one because it has about 60g per 100grams.
 
I hope you found this helpful. Have you tried any of the differnet flours mentioned and what have you made with it? Share with us in the comments :). Any lovely recipes are welcome.

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