Did you ever go to a grocery store to buy almond flour and find yourself wondering whether to buy blanched vs unblanched almond flour? Well, simply put, blanched almond flour is made from almonds that have had their skins removed, while unblanched almond flour is made from almonds with their skins still on. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of blanched or unblanched almond flour so that you can make an informed decision next time you’re at the store.
1. The differences between blanched and unblanched almond flour
If you’re anything like me, you love the taste of freshly baked cookies but hate the guilt that comes with indulging in a sweet treat. That’s why I was so excited to discover almond flour. Not only is it a healthier alternative to traditional wheat flour, but it also gives baked goods a deliciously nutty flavor. Of course, you can also use it in savory dishes (more on that in a bit!) But what is almond flour exactly? And what’s the difference between blanched and unblanched versions?
Almond flour is made from finely ground almonds with a naturally sweet and nutty flavor. It is a great alternative to wheat flour for people with gluten sensitivities. As mentioned, blanched almond flour is made from ground almonds that have been peeled to remove their brown skins. This results in a lighter-colored flour with a slightly sweeter flavor. It is also alternately referred to as Almond powder.
On the other hand, unblanched almond flour still contains the almond skins, giving the flour a courser feel, with a more robust flavor and a darker color. Unblanched almond flour is also more commonly called an almond meal. Either type of flour can be used in baking, but I prefer to use blanched almond flour for cookies and cakes since it gives them a fluffier, more delicate texture.
2. How to use almond flour in your cooking and baking
Almond flour is a valuable ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. Because it is high in fiber, unblanched almond flour is especially well suited for creating hearty chocolate or savory muffins and crustless quiches. It is also a great addition to curries and kormas. Blanched almond flour, on the other hand, has a finer texture that makes it ideal for creating delicate lace cookies or macarons. No matter which type of almond flour you choose, it’s sure to add a nuanced, deeper flavor and satisfying texture to your favorite recipes.
Most supermarkets and health food stores stock almond flour and almond meal (unblanched or natural almond flour). However, I often make them at home if I don’t have the time to run to the store. Watch this video on YouTube to see how simple and cost-effective the process can be!
3. The benefits of using almond flour in your diet
Unlike wheat flour, almond flour is gluten-free and high in protein, prebiotic fiber, and monosaturated fats. It also contains more vitamins and minerals than wheat flour. For these reasons, almond flour can be a great option for people with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
The vitamins like Vitamin E, calcium, iron, manganese, and magnesium in almonds provide important health benefits. According to WebMD, it can “help the body break down carbohydrates and cholesterol,” and promote heart health. It is also lower on the glycemic index than wheat flour, making it a good choice for people with diabetes or who are trying to manage their blood sugar levels. Whether you are looking for a nutritious alternative to wheat flour or simply want to experiment with a new baking ingredient, almond flour is a great option to consider.
4. The drawbacks of almond flour
While almond flour is a popular choice for those who are looking for gluten-free and vegan flour (Checkout our Beginner Vegan Tips), it is after all made from nuts and is relatively high in calories. So, like anything else, moderation is key. If you have a nut allergy, it is best to avoid both blanched almond flour and unblanched almond meal. Almond flour is also slightly more expensive than other types of flour. If you’re on a budget, you may want to stick to other options.
5. How to store almond flour
Almond flour should be stored in a cool, dry place. The best way to keep it fresh is to store it in an airtight container in the fridge, which will minimize the risk of the flour going rancid. If you’re planning on using it within a few weeks, it can be stored at room temperature. Almond flour can also be frozen for up to six months.
6. Sustainability of almond flour and substitutes
As the popularity of almond flour has grown, so has the concern over the sustainability of almond production. Almonds are a water-intensive crop, and California, where most almonds are grown, is in the midst of a severe drought. However, looking for sustainable and local brands will ensure that your almond flour is sourced responsibly.
If you’re looking for an almond flour substitute, there are a variety of other gluten-free and vegan flour alternatives such as coconut flour, cashew flour, and hazelnut flour. Each of these flours has unique properties that make them well suited for different types of recipes. For example, coconut flour is very absorbent and gives baked goods a moist and dense texture. Cashew flour, on the other hand, has a neutral flavor and light texture, making it ideal for use in delicate baked goods like muffins.
So which is better – blanched or unbalanced almond flour?
Almond flour is a nutritious and delicious alternative to wheat flour. It is high in protein and fiber, and low on the glycemic index. However, it is also relatively high in calories, so moderation is key. When using almond flour, be sure to look for sustainable and local brands. So, to settle once and for all – in the debate of blanched or unblanched almond flour… the answer is purely based on personal choice and the recipe you are following!