We use almond meal in many of our recipes, it is a delicious and incredibly nutritious alternative to wheat flour and is a gluten free option! It has many potential health benefits, including improved blood sugar control and reducing heart disease.
So lets take a look at what almond meal actually is and what is does for us.
ALMOND MEAL – is typically made from ground, raw, unpeeled almonds. It is a plant protein that has become very popular and more important in baking items for those on low carbohydrate and gluten free diets. It adds moisture and a rich nutty taste to baked goods. It can replace wheat flour in most recipes although baked products made with almond meal are generally flatter and more dense because it has no gluten.
Almond meal has a lower glycemic index compared to wheat flour, so has fewer sugars and carbs. However, even though almond meal contains more fat and calories than wheat or coconut flour, it is nutrient rich, having many more vitamins and minerals per ounce, keeping you fuller for longer.
Almond meal is really easy to make at home, it only requires 1 thing….a blender or food processor. You can blend to the consistency you require, by pulsing the almonds for 10 – 15 seconds at a time. Shake or stir (depending on your device) the almonds between pulses to make sure you are getting an even mix. The blend can be sieved at the end in case there are any larger pieces that got missed. Usually you get around 1 cup of almond meal from 1.5 cups almonds.
Probably more cost effective than store bought, plus it is freshly ground, so it may taste better. Any extra that is left over can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a month or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
NB: Do not over blend your almonds as they may start to become more of an almond butter than meal!
It is also conveniently available in supermarkets.
ALMONDS ARE RICH IN – Vitamin B2, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and copper and they all play a role in energy production. Manganese helps the body clot blood, a vital function for healing after an injury. Manganese also plays a role helping the body to break down carbs and cholesterol. Almonds also contain high levels of magnesium which helps control blood sugar levels, balance the nervous system, supports muscle relaxation and contributes to a healthy heart.
VITAMIN E AND FAT – content of almonds helps achieve healthy glowing skin. Almonds are one of the best source of Vitamin E and contain good amounts of prebiotic dietary fiber which helps aid in digestion.
ANTI-OXIDANTS – almonds are a fantastic source of anti-oxidants, protecting the body against harmful free radicals and oxidative stress, which contributes to inflammation, ageing and certain disease.
You will get all of these amazing health benefits…..and a delicious treat to eat, when you use almond meal in your cooking instead of flour.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALMOND MEAL AND ALMOND FLOUR?
Almond Flour is made from blanched, peeled almonds, giving it a lighter colour. It is usually a finer consistency and is used where a lighter texture may be required.