When it comes to finding a gluten-free flour to use in your baking, almond flour is a very wise choice.
Almonds have many health benefits—using almond flour in your baking is a great way to get a little extra nutrition into your diet. Almonds can lower cholesterol, reduce heart disease risk, improve complexion, improve how food moves through the colon, and help to prevent cancer. They are high in monounsaturated fats, magnesium, and potassium and low in carbohydrates and sugars. They have vitamin E, antioxidants, fiber, and protein.
When you bake with almond flour, you end up with baked goods that are delicious, moist, and have a rich, nutty flavor.
Here are some tips and tricks for baking with almond flour…
- It can be used in hundreds of different recipes. Often, some extra eggs should be added when you use almond flour for baked goods, in order to add more structure. Almond flour works well for muffins, pancakes, nut breads, and for sweet pastries and confectioneries. It can also be used for breading fish.
- Purchasing it online is generally much cheaper than getting it at the grocery store.
- If you buy it in bulk to save money, almond flour can be refrigerated or frozen for 6 months. You can store the flour in glass jars—just make sure you leave one out of the freezer so it is ready to use when you need it (without having to wait for it to thaw).
- You can make it yourself! If you would like to try to make your own almond flour, but aren’t sure when you might get around to it, you should get almonds that are still in the shell—these will keep the longest. Look for almonds with shells that are intact, and not moldy. They should have a sweet, nutty odor—that’s how you know they are fresh. When you get them home, make sure you store them in a container that is tightly sealed. Put the container in a cool, dry place out of the sun. If you store them in the refrigerator they will keep for months, and stored in the freezer they will still be good after a year. When you’re ready to make your almond flour, shell them and then take off the skin. Put a small amount in a blender or food processor and use the pulse setting, checking often to make sure it isn’t getting ground up beyond flour!
- If you want to substitute another type of flour with almond flour when baking, it is easy—just replace the volume of flour with the same volume of almond flour.
- Goods baked with almond flour can be a bit fragile—make sure you butter your pans and use baking paper so your treats don’t stick to the pan. It will also help if you let your baking sit for a few minutes before you try to remove it from the pan.
- When baking with almond flour, be careful! Almond flour (like other nut flours) can burn easily. Your baking may need a lower cooking temperature and a longer cook time—or at least just keep a very close eye on the oven when baking.
Besides its many health benefits, almond flour adds a delicious layer of flavor to your baked goods. And, unlike other kinds of flour, it is easy to make your own almond flour at home. You may have to take a bit of extra care when your treats are cooking, but once you taste the results you’ll quickly decide it was all worth it!
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