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Benefits of Almond Flour
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Benefits of Almond Flour

By Patricia Cherasard, PA-C, MBA

 

One of the most widely consumed food products is all-purposed flour. It’s no secret that flour has many drawbacks from a health and fitness standpoint; however, there are several healthier flour replacements available that can keep you healthy while also helping you succeed in your weight loss goals. Almond flour is a popular alternative as it is low in carbs and has an extremely low glycemic index. It releases sugar slowly into your blood to provide a sustained source of energy and ultimately leading to weight loss.

 

Using blanched almond flour helps to provide more health benefits than all-purpose flour by having a higher concentration of protein, healthy fats, Vitamin E, iron, calcium, and magnesium. For those who are keen on a gluten-free diet, there’s good news as almond flour is completely gluten-free with only ingredients being ground whole almonds with the skin removed. In addition, the nutrients in almond flour may help reduce LDL cholesterol (aka bad cholesterol) and lower blood pressure.

Almond flour is easy to bake with and can be used in place of all-purpose flour in most baking recipes. Almond flour can be a viable alternative to all-purpose flour in many baked goods such as cookies, cakes, quick breads, and pancakes. However, it may not the best alternative for yeast bread. There is no standard conversion when using almond flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour.

The downside of using almond flour over all-purpose flour is that baked goods tend to be more flat and dense due to the lack of gluten. Almond flour is also higher in calories than all-purpose flour, containing 163 calories in one ounce (28 grams), while all-purpose flour contains 102 calories. However, it makes up for this by being incredibly nutritious.

Here are some helpful tips for baking with almond flour:

  • Make sure you are using blanched almond flour and not almond meal. Be sure to verify that the almonds are processed into flour without the skin.
  • Ingredients such as whole eggs or egg whites are useful to help bind the ingredients and help to add moisture. The bonus of using eggs is the additional protein you will get when baking.
  • Be sure to butter and line your pans with baking paper to help prevent sticking.
  • After baking cookies with blanched almond flour let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.

The bottom line is that if you're looking for a low-carb flour that's rich in nutrients, almond flour is a great choice. It's incredibly nutritious and provides many potential health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and improved blood sugar control. With patience it is really easy to use, and is a healthy alternative for baked goods.