What is almond meal?
Almond meal is made from sweet whole almonds that have been blanched to remove their outer skin before being ground to a light ‘meal’. Similar to almond flour but perhaps not quite as finely ground, almond meal works well as a gluten-free flour in both sweet and savoury recipes. Generally in NZ, you’ll find almond meal readily available instead of almond flour.
Produced in an allergen controlled facility, almond meal is a wonderful option to keep on hand for anyone who is gluten-free, soy-free or following a Paleo diet. It offers up a sweet nutty flavour that heightens the taste of many recipes.
Nutritional Benefits of Almond Meal
Almond meal is a healthy, gluten-free flour alternative that is high in protein and fibre while being low in carbohydrates, therefore is both nourishing and satiating.
Naturally rich in vitamin E, calcium and manganese, almond meal – consumed in the right quantities – will also promote healthy skin and strong bones.
Almond Meal Uses
For breakfast, add almond meal to your smoothies, oats, porridge or muesli as a satiating, nutty add-on. Use it as an ingredient in pancakes as an alternative to flour.
Almond meal is an effective substitute for other grain flavours in raw treats and baked goods, including cakes, muffins, cookies, loaves and more. An extra egg or two may be required to bind recipes that have the wheat flour replaced.
Almond meal also works well in savoury foods such as wraps, fritters, patties, breads and pies.
Combine almond meal with breadcrumbs and cheese to make a yummy crusty topping for vegetables, pasta bakes and stuffed capsicums. Drop the cheese but keep the crunchy topping when making seasonal fruit crumbles.
Use almond meal to make your homemade pastry gluten-free.
Almond Meal Recipes
Apricot, Almond & Poppyseed Cake – An incredibly light, summery created in collaboration with Jordan Rondel from The Caker. Using almond meal and spelt flour as the base, this recipe is a beautiful, light, summer recipe to impress all your friends and family.
Tamarillo & Apple Crumble – With an almond meal base accompanied by whole almonds, hazelnuts and fresh fruit, this crumble is nutty, gluten free and delicious! Serve to guests for dessert, or divide it out into containers or jars for a grab-and-go breakfast.
Peanut Butter, Banana & Raspberry Loaf – Step your banana loaf up a notch with this almond meal-based recipe that includes a generous dollop of peanut butter and fresh raspberries.
Banana Crumble Chocolate Chunk Muffins – Can you get a better muffin flavour? A quick and easy recipe the whole family will love. Trust us, these won’t last long!
No Bake Cookie Dough Slice – Step back in time to your days of licking cookie dough straight out of the cookie bowl! This chickpea-based recipe is accompanied by a combination of almond meal and oat flour, providing a rich source of plant based protein.
Fun Facts, Tips & Tricks
Almond meal and almond flour are both finely ground almonds and with no official difference between them, the terms can be used interchangeably. However, almond flour is often more finely ground than almond meal and has a more uniform consistency. Almond meal can be blanched or unblanched, while most almond flours are blanched.
You can make your own almond meal by whizzing whole almonds in the food processor until finely ground. If you prefer a finer consistency to your ground almonds, you can sift your homemade almond meal a few times to remove any larger pieces of almond.
Storage of almond meal is critical to avoid rancidity. A cool, dry place in a tightly sealed container should do the trick. During the warmer months, the container may even be moved to the refrigerator or freezer.
For those baking solely with almond meal, eggs may be relied on to add structure to the baked good, and you’ll notice many recipes reflect this.