Friday, June 1, 2012

How to make almond flour

I have experimented with a lot of gluten-free flours, and almond is my absolute favorite. It's pretty amazing what some crushed up nuts can turn into. At times, almond flour works great as a direct substitute for all-purpose flour, such as in muffin and quick bread recipes. It's high in protein, which makes it a super healthy option for vegetarian.

I first got inspired by using almond flour after discovering Elana Amsterdam's blog, Elana's Pantry. She has tons of recipes which call for only almond flour, and made me want to try them all! However, I soon discovered that could be an expensive hobby. Almond flour is some pricey business, that is no joke.

I did some research and realized how incredibly easy it is to make almond flour. Buy in bulk and blend those puppies up!

First, I want to clear up the almond flour and almond meal differentiation. Almond meal includes the brown skin from raw almonds, while almond flour is made out of blanched almonds and contain only the inside whites of the almond. I've read that almond flour is finer and generally more "flour-esque" than almond meal, but I really can't tell a difference in either the texture of the final product or the taste.Since it's more engrained in me to call almond meal, almond flour, I just roll with "flour."

I highly recommend going to your closest bulk foods department and load up on almonds to blend into a fine meal. It's cheap and easy!

So, onward:

Step 1: Introduce your almonds and your blender.

Step 2: Add one cup of whole almonds at a time to blend. If you add any more, you'll get almond butter! Which is delightful, but not our goal.

Step 3: Pulse the almonds a couple times to get them in the blade, and then switch to blend for about 15 seconds.  I shake the blender the entire time to make sure all the almonds get to the bottom to get sliced up.

Step 4: The transformation.

Step 5: Baggie it up and enjoy!

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