What the heck is that? It is ground almonds. Simple as that… almond flour is ground blanched almonds, and almond meal is just ground almonds. Not just chopped nuts… but ground into a consistency somewhere between cornmeal and wheat flour.
Why? As I have mentioned I am trying to remove grain from my diet as much as possible and almond
meal allows me to hold on to a few favorite foods.
Breaded pork chops –
I bread my marinated boneless pork loin chops in almond meal and then either fry or bake
Pie crust –
Instead of using a traditional pie crust or a graham cracker crust, mix 2 cups almond meal
with 3 tbls melted butter and 2 tbls sugar. Press the mixture into a sturdy pie pan and prebake for 10 minutes. I added a pumpkin pie batter to the crust and baked into a delicious grain free pumpkin pie.
Banana bread – this was delicious. I made a quick bread with almond meal in place of flour and the
results were so amazing. The family loved it and it was devoured fairly quickly.
Well almond meal is very calorie dense, it carries a load of fat, protein, and fiber that is greater than
regular wheat flour…but it is very low carbohydrate.
¼ cup almond meal
14 grams of fat (1 gram saturated)
6 grams of carbohydrates (only 3 are sugar)
3 gram of fiber
5 grams of protein.
¼ cup all-purpose white flour
.25 grams fat
24 grams of carbohydrates (0 sugars)
.6 grams of fiber
3 grams of protein
Although almond flour has a higher total fat content, the fat is made up of fatty acids that were shown to reduce cholesterol levels in a 2002 study conducted by Canadian researchers.
So which one is better? That is up to you, but for me having a lighter carbohydrate load is excellent for my diabetes.
Here is a quick and easy banana bread that I made this weekend. My only warning is to watch the bread closely; mine was very done on the edges (almost burnt) after about 50 minutes.
Almond Flour Banana Bread from The Wannabe Chef
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 55 minutes
Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf):
1 1/2 cups almond meal or almond flour
1/4 cup oil (I used butter)
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
3 medium bananas, mashed(about 3/4 cup banana puree)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (was out of nutmeg, substituted cinnamon)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts(optional) ( I added some delicious local walnuts)
1/2 cup chocolate chips(optional) (maybe next time)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, eggs, oil, sugar, mashed bananas, vanilla,
cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt until there are no clumps.
Fold the walnuts, chocolate chips, or any other mix-ins you might want into the batter.
Lightly grease a 5 x 10 or similar sized loaf pan and pour in the batter.
Bake for 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. (watch carefully)
Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing.
The bread was delicious and I cannot wait to try again.
Happy new year!