Almonds are rich in protein and an excellent healthy snack. Flour made from almonds, like blanched almond flour can be used as a baking ingredient. You may have heard of almond flour before but what is blanched almond flour?
Blanched almond flour is made from ground almonds with skins removed. It’s a gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour. Blanched almond flour is used for keto and low-carb diets because it contains fewer carbohydrates and a higher nutrient density than wheat flour.
This article will detail what blanched almond flour is, the benefits of almond flour and how it compares with wheat flour.
Keto Bread Tip: Great News! Did you know, you don’t have to give up your favorite bread, pizza or sandwiches to follow a 100% Keto diet. Find out more in the KetoBreads website by clicking here, Keto Breads.
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What Blanched Almond Flour Is
Blanched almond flour is ground-up almonds that have been “blanched,” which means they have had the skins removed by being boiled in water. Blanched almond flour can be made at home or found in many supermarkets 1.
Is Blanched Almond Flour the Same As Almond Meal?
Blanched almond flour is not the same as almond meal. Almond meal is ground-up unblanched almonds. Because the almonds in an almond meal still have their skins, the almond meal contains tiny red-brown flecks, whereas blanched almond flour is a fine white powder.
In addition, almond meal contains more fiber than blanched almond flour, which can cause digestive issues for people sensitive to fiber 2.
Blanched almond flour may be difficult to find in your local supermarket. Amazon sells a wide variety at decent prices. Check them out here, Blanched Almond Flour.
Blanched Almond Flour vs. Traditional Flour
Let’s compare blanched almond flour with other kinds of flour.
The first comparison one would naturally make to blanched almond flour is its traditional counterpart, wheat flour. We’ve already gone over some drawbacks of wheat flour, but it does have some advantages.
Wheat Flour Is Budget Friendly
All-purpose flour is less expensive than blanched almond flour per pound. Wheat flour is one of the cheapest ingredients available in most supermarkets. Almonds are far more expensive to produce than wheat, making almond flour several times more costly than wheat flour.
Wheat Flour Has Fewer Calories
The high-fat content and higher calorie density of blanched almond flour might be a dealbreaker for those on a calorie-restricted diet. However, the refined carbs of wheat flour can also cause spikes in glucose, which may lead to hunger and overeating.
A Recipe’s Flavor Is Not Affected
Blanched almond flour is made from ground-up almonds, which means it has a slightly nutty flavor, which can affect the taste of the food. While most baked goods have a flavor profile blending well with the nutty flavor, some savory dishes made with flour might taste “off.”
Wheat Flour Is Safe For Those With Nut Allergies
Gluten is a protein found in wheat that gives dough the ability to stretch. When an elastic dough is mixed with yeast, bread can rise. Blanched almond flour contains no gluten, so baked goods made with it can be denser if you don’t use the right accompanying ingredients.
Blanched almond flour is made from nuts and therefore is unsafe for consumption for people with nut allergies.
What’s the Difference Between Wheat Bran and Wheat?
Wheat bran is a byproduct in the production of white flour and is the only fibrous part of wheat. It contains high fiber, has a sweet taste and is popular with bakers as an additive in baked goods.
If you’re curious about baking with wheat germ 3, I like to use Kretschmer Wheat Germ. It’s hit or miss finding it in the supermarket cereal isle. Typically, I order it on Amazon. Check its current price, Kretschmer Wheat Germ.
Blanched Almond Flour vs Unblanched Almond Flour
Since blanching an almond to make blanched almond flour involves some processing, it’s typical to ask the question, does blanching almonds destroy nutrients?
Blanching almonds destroys some of the nutrients. A blanched almond contains less fiber, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium than an unbalanced almond.
Let’s take a look at the differences in nutrients between the two almond flours in the table below.
|Protein||6.1 g||6.2 g|
|Carbohydrates||5.6 g||5.4 g|
|Total fat||14.2 g||14.8 g|
|Fiber||2.9 g||3.3 g|
|Vitamin E||6.9 mg||7.3 mg|
|Calcium||60.5 mg||74.5 mg|
|Magnesium||77.0 mg||80.1 mg|
|Potassium||192 mg||209 mg|
As you can see in the table above, blanching almonds doesn’t result in a large difference between calories, protein, carbs and fat. The larger difference is in the fiber, minerals and vitamins.
Even though the difference is slight, every little bit makes a difference and adds up over time. This may be important to some and not others. The difference between blanch and unbalanced almond flour is not as large as the difference between blanched almond flour and wheat flour.
Therefore, to answer the question, is blanched almond flour healthy? Blanched almond flour is healthy although it contains less nutrients than almond flour unblanched. Blanched almond flour still contains a healthy number of fiber, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Blanching an almond may affect the taste slightly without having the skin. Many people use blanched almonds in their recipes to avoid having the skin separate from the almond while cooking, affecting the look and texture of the food.
How Almonds Are Blanched For Almond Flour
The following is how to blanch almonds for blanched almond flour:
- Boil a pot of water.
- Place the almonds into a bowl which can handle the boiling water.
- Pour the boiling water into the bowl with the almonds until they are barely covered.
- Wait one minute and drain the hot water from the bowl using a colander.
- Rinse the almonds under cold water.
- Dry the almonds by patting them with a soft absorbent cloth.
- Take one almond at a time and pick the end allowing the skin to loosen and separate.
How To Make Blanched Almond Flour:
- Place 1/2 cup of blanched almonds into a food processor or high speed blender.
- Pulse the almonds until they reach a flour like consistency.
- Repeat as needed.
- Be careful not to blend the almonds too much otherwise their oils will get released and it will become almond butter.
- Do not blend more than 1/2 cup at a time because they won’t ground evenly.
- Store the leftover flour in an airtight container.
- Place the container into a dark pantry, refrigerator or freezer.
Benefits of Blanched Almond Flour
There are many nutritional benefits to using blanched almond flour as an ingredient substitute for regular flour in your cooking.
It Has High Nutrient Density
Almonds are incredibly nutritious eaten whole, but almond flour concentrates the nutrients even further. Just one ounce of almond flour contains over 30% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin E and Manganese 4.
While that may not seem like a big deal, several studies show a link between an above-average intake of vitamin E and lower rates of old-age diseases like coronary heart disease and Alzheimer’s 5.
Making the switch to blanched almond flour now could help your long-term health down the road.
It’s Low in Carbohydrates
Another advantage of blanched almond flour is it has far fewer carbs than other types of flour.
Traditional refined wheat flour is almost pure simple carbohydrates, which can cause spikes in blood sugar. The exact amount of wheat flour contains 95 grams of carbs. One cup (28 grams) of blanched almond flour contains 5.6 grams of carbohydrates 6.
However, blanched almond flour also contains fat, making the overall calorie count higher.
That said, the higher fat and nutrient content could leave you feeling satiated for a more extended period, thus helping to reduce overall calorie intake.
Blanched Almond Flour Is Gluten-Free
If you have celiac disease, a gluten sensitivity or a wheat allergy consider switching to almond flour 7.
You can use blanched almond flour as a wheat-free and gluten-free substitute for regular flour. If you miss the taste of home-baked cookies, you can use blanched almond flour to enjoy all your favorite recipes.
Blanched Almond Flour Is Keto-Friendly
As stated before, almond flour has a higher fat content and far fewer carbohydrates than wheat flour, meaning it can be used in many keto-friendly recipes.
The Keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to utilize fats as energy rather than carbohydrates 8. Almond flour has a high-fat content and has relatively few carbohydrates, making it a popular choice in many Keto cookbooks.
One of the biggest reasons for failing a Keto diet is not having a plan. Simply follow this plan for only 28 days, The 28-Day Keto Challenge and you can Succeed!
It’s Easy To Substitute in Recipes
People love blanched almond flour as a substitute in baking because it’s easy to use at a simple 1:1 ratio in recipes. You can also use it to make gravies and create breadcrumb coating for meat.
Due to the higher fat content and lack of gluten in blanched almond flour, baked goods tend to come out more dense than fluffy. However, if you want to mimic the fluffiness of gluten in recipes, you’ll want to separate the eggs in the recipe and whip up the egg whites until they form peaks.
Then, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter. You will get a fluffier product without resorting to wheat flour.
For those on calorie-restricted diets, be aware blanched almond flour has a higher calorie count.
Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
BloodPressureExplained.com explains how almonds contains many nutrients proven by science to lower blood pressure and cholesterol 9. Those nutrients include magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and fiber.
After consuming a diet which consisted of one cup of almonds per day, study participants lowered blood pressure 11mmHg 10.
What is better for Keto, blanched or unblanched almond flour? Both are better for keto because the differences between the carbs and fat are too small to make a difference.
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- Nutritionvalue.org: Nuts, blanched, almonds
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: What bran: its composition and benefits to health, a European perspective
- USDA: Almond Flour
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men
- Nutritiondata: Nuts, almonds, blanched Nutrition Fats & Calories
- Celiac Disease Foundation: Sources of Gluten
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