As a general rule, when baking with any type of gluten-free flour, don’t expect your batter to rise or to have the same texture as when using wheat flours. Wheat flours contain a protein called gluten that helps dough rise and become airy.
First of all, let’s point out the difference between almond flour and almond meal:
- to make almond flour you grind blanched almonds (peeled);
- to make almond meal, you grind almonds with their skins left on; the texture is coarser; almond meal can help baking products to confine their shape.
If you aim for a soft, fine texture of your baking product, then use almond flour instead of the almond meal when baking.
In terms of nutrition, almond flour and almond meal are close to identical. Both contain minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, calcium and manganese, vitamins as vitamin E and monounsaturated fat.
Almond flour and almond meal are a gluten-free flour and they can replace wheat flours at a 1:1 ratio when baking waffles, for example. It contains more calories than wheat flours because almond flour is low in carbohydrates and high in fats.
What we need:
- Whole, raw, unsalted and not roasted almonds;
- a high power blender, a grinder or a food processor. I use a coffee grinder.
How to make the almond meal:
1.Grind the whole almonds to get a flourish texture but be careful not to grind them too much as the almond meal will end up oily.
2. Remove the large pieces and repeat the process as long as needed.
3. Use almond meal straight away or store it in an airtight container for a few weeks.
Easy and healthy!
How to make the almond flour:
1.In a pot, boil some water and soak the unpeeled almonds for maximum one minute. Soaking the almonds more than one minute makes them softer.
2. Rinse the almonds with cold water.
3. Unpeel the almonds using your hand by gently squeezing them and remove the skin.
All of them:
4. Dry the skinlees almonds using a paper towel.
5. Add the unpeeled almonds in the high power blender (food processor, coffee grinder) and pulse until you get the flour texture. Keep in mind again not to process the almonds too much as they become oily.
6. Remove large pieces and grind the large pieces again; repeat the process as many times as needed.
7. Use almond meal straight away or store it in an airtight container for a few weeks.
Both almond meal and almond flour keep their natural taste and give a nutty and sweet flavour to baked goods.
P.S.: You might also find interesting this other healthy option: chickpea flour.