Are you looking for a healthy and delicious alternative to wheat flour? Look no further than blanched almond flour!
But what exactly does “blanched” mean? Simply put, blanched almond flour is made from almonds that have had their skin removed, resulting in a smooth and delicate texture.
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between blanched and unblanched almond flour, as well as the nutritional benefits of using almond flour in your baking and cooking.
So grab a cup of coffee or tea, and let’s dive into the world of blanched almond flour!
What Does Blanched Almond Flour Mean?
Blanched almond flour is a type of flour made from ground-up almonds that have had their skin removed. This process results in a smooth and delicate texture that is perfect for baking and cooking.
The skin of raw almonds is typically coated in a red-brown layer, which produces a different texture when left on the almond. Blanched almond flour, on the other hand, contains no traces of the skin, resulting in a smooth and delicate texture that is perfect for cakes, muffins, and other recipes where you want no almond flavor whatsoever.
Blanched almond flour is a popular wheat flour alternative that is all-natural and delicious. It is made purely from almonds and has become one of the best choices for a healthy type of baking flour. It is gluten-free, low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, and a high source of protein. Almond flour is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E.
Blanched Vs. Unblanched Almond Flour: What’s The Difference?
While blanched almond flour is made from almonds that have had their skin removed, unblanched almond flour is made from whole almonds that still have their skin on. This difference in processing results in different textures and colors. Blanched almond flour has a fine, smooth, and fluffy texture, which makes it perfect for creating pastries. Its lighter color also makes it ideal for recipes where you want a more consistent appearance. On the other hand, unblanched almond flour has a coarser texture with darker brown specks throughout, which can change the appearance of baked goods. However, some individuals prefer its more natural look and richer, nuttier flavor.
From a nutritional standpoint, both blanched and unblanched almond flours are almost identical. However, blanching the almonds affects vitamin and mineral content slightly. Vitamin E content is slightly different between the two nuts, with unblanched almonds having slightly more vitamin E than blanched almonds. Additionally, unblanched almonds have slightly more calcium and iron than blanched almonds. Both iron and calcium are important nutrients that many people don’t get enough of, so using unblanched almond flour could be a good way to increase your intake of these minerals.
Another difference between blanched and unblanched almond flour is the price. Blanched almond flour is typically more expensive because of the extra processing required to remove the skin. Unblanched almond flour is cheaper because it doesn’t require this extra step.
Ultimately, whether you choose blanched or unblanched almond flour depends on your personal preference and the recipe you’re making. If you want a lighter color and smoother texture for your baked goods, blanched almond flour might be the better choice. If you prefer a more natural look with a richer flavor and don’t mind the darker color and coarser texture, unblanched almond flour might be the way to go.
How Blanched Almond Flour Is Made
Blanching almonds is the process of removing the skin from the nut. To make blanched almond flour, raw almonds are first soaked in hot water for a few minutes, then immediately transferred to cold water. This process loosens the skin and makes it easy to remove. Once the skin is removed, the almonds are dried and ground into a fine powder or flour texture.
The resulting blanched almond flour has a smooth and delicate texture that is perfect for baking and cooking. It is commonly used in gluten-free and low-carb recipes as a wheat flour alternative. Blanched almond flour is also a popular choice for those following a paleo or keto diet, as it is high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates.
In contrast, unblanched almond flour is made from ground-up almonds that still have their skin intact. This results in a coarser texture and a darker color compared to blanched almond flour. Unblanched almond flour is also rich in nutrients, as it contains all the vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds found in almonds.
The Benefits Of Using Blanched Almond Flour In Baking And Cooking
Blanched almond flour offers many benefits when used in baking and cooking. Its smooth and delicate texture makes it perfect for creating pastries, cakes, and muffins. Unlike unblanched almond flour, blanched almond flour does not contain the skin of the almond, which can change the appearance of baked goods. This makes it an ideal choice for dishes where you want to maintain a consistent appearance.
Additionally, blanched almond flour is a healthier alternative to traditional wheat flour. It is gluten-free, making it a great choice for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. It is also low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and aid in digestion. Almond flour is also high in protein and contains essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E.
Another benefit of using blanched almond flour is its versatility in cooking. It can be used as a substitute for traditional wheat flour in a variety of recipes, including cookies, breads, pie crusts, and even as a breadcrumb substitute for meatballs. Its neutral flavor also makes it an excellent choice for recipes where you don’t want the taste of almonds to overpower other flavors.
Using Blanched Almond Flour In Gluten-Free And Paleo Recipes
Blanched almond flour is a great choice for those following a gluten-free or paleo diet. Since it contains no grains, it doesn’t convert to sugar in your body the way white or whole-grain flours do. It also has a low glycemic index ranking, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar when you eat it. This makes it an excellent choice for people with diabetes or those looking to reduce their sugar intake.
When using blanched almond flour in gluten-free and paleo recipes, it is important to keep in mind that it has a different texture than traditional wheat flour. It is smoother and lighter, which can affect the overall texture of your baked goods. However, many people find that blanched almond flour produces a delicious and satisfying result.
Blanched almond flour is particularly well-suited for recipes that require a delicate texture, such as cakes and muffins. It is also great for making pie crusts and other baked goods where you want a light, flaky texture. When baking with blanched almond flour, it is important to follow recipes that have been specifically developed for this type of flour, as it behaves differently than wheat flour.
Where To Buy Blanched Almond Flour And How To Store It Properly
Blanched almond flour can be found in most health food stores, specialty grocery stores, and online retailers. When purchasing blanched almond flour, it is important to read the label and ensure that it is made from 100% blanched almonds with no added ingredients or preservatives.
One popular brand of blanched almond flour is Bob’s Red Mill. It is available in most grocery stores and health food stores, as well as online retailers such as Amazon. Another popular brand is Anthony’s Goods, which can be found on their website or on Amazon.
When storing blanched almond flour, it is important to keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Almond flour is prone to going rancid more quickly than regular flour, so it should be stored properly to ensure it can be used for months after opening. Sealed packages of almond flour can be stored in the fridge for up to six months or in the freezer for up to a year.
If you forget to store the flour in the fridge or freezer, smell it before using it in a recipe. You’ll be able to tell if it’s gone rancid. Ironically, almond flour increases the shelf life of baked goods because of its high-fat content.
Alternatively, making homemade blanched almond flour is very simple and cost-effective! It requires only 1 ingredient, 1 blender, and 5 minutes. Simply add blanched almonds to a blender and blitz until a fine, powdery flour is achieved. Homemade almond flour tastes fresher and can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to six months.
Tips For Baking With Blanched Almond Flour: Dos And Don’ts
If you’re new to baking with blanched almond flour, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure the best results. Here are some tips for baking with blanched almond flour:
DO use blanched almond flour for recipes that require a fine texture. Blanched almond flour is ground up finer and doesn’t have any bits of skin mixed in, making it perfect for delicate baked goods like cakes, muffins, and pastries.
DO let your baked goods cool before removing them from the pan. Baked goods made with almond flour tend to be extremely soft and delicate when they first come out of the oven. To avoid having them break or crumble, let them cool in the baking pan or on the baking sheet for ten to thirty minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
DO combine almond flour with other gluten-free flours or starches if you want a crispy or crunchy texture. Due to the high fat content of almond flour, baked goods made with only almond flour are generally more tender and cake-like rather than crispy or crunchy. However, you can still enjoy crisp cookies and crunchy breaded tofu and vegetables by using almond flour in combination with other gluten-free flours or starches.
DO store your blanched almond flour properly. Almond flour can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container or jar for up to six months. If you want to extend its shelf life even further, you can freeze it in a ziplock bag for up to six months.
DON’T confuse blanched almond flour with almond meal. Although they are both made from ground-up almonds, they are processed differently and have different textures. Almond meal has a coarser texture and is better suited for use as low-carb breadcrumbs.
DON’T overprocess your almonds when making your own almond flour. If you’re making your own blanched almond flour at home, be careful not to process the almonds too long, or you’ll end up with almond butter rather than flour.
By following these dos and don’ts, you’ll be able to bake with blanched almond flour like a pro and enjoy all the delicious and healthy benefits it has to offer.