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Friday, April 8, 2011

Almond Flour vs Almond Meal


You can notice in some of my baking, that the baked products are a little darker.  That is because I grind my own almonds using my Cuisinart coffee grinder and I happen to use sliced almonds that still have a bit of skin on them around the perimeter. The resulting ground almonds is a product called almond meal.   Blanched almond flour, commercially available, will be superior and will impart a lighter color to baked goods.  It also has some of the fat removed and will have a finer texture (someone commented and asked about the texture).

None of my cookbooks are gluten-free (I should hasten to say, many of the recipes in my cookbooks are gluten-free anyway), however, with the gluten-free bake mixes, it is possible to convert many, many of my baking and dessert recipes to gluten-free without too much trouble.  At the same time, although I'm doing gluten-free and low-carb (always low-carb!) recipes for now, my famous Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix may be used instead of the gluten-free bake mix.  It is still a lovely bake mix and most low-carbers prefer it as it is grain free and only 9.9 grams of carbohydrate per cup.  About the grain issue:  The late Dr. Atkins said we could use soy flour and it is horrible for us (powerful goitrogen against the thyroid which can make our metabolisms tank and work against our weight loss efforts).  In contrast to that sad state of affairs, oat flour is almost as low in carbs as soy flour (please check Kent's comment below and my reply) and oats are generally good for most of us (think cholesterol lowering benefits)....so, hence my preference for the small amount of oat flour in my bake mixes.  Besides it tastes so much better than soy flour.  So, which would you rather use - soy or oat flour?

5 comments:

maryannedarner@gmail.com said...

Hi, Jennifer,
I'm not sure what the difference is between ground almonds and almond flour. Is there a difference in texture? I have bought pre-ground almonds fairly cheaply in the holiday season.

Also, I think you posted about how your son boils eggs. I haven't been able to find it again. Excuse me if I'm wrong about where I saw the method. I've used standard methods and am not happy with the results

Jennifer said...

Yes, there is a bit of a difference in texture; almond flour is finer in texture than ground almonds. I can't get almond flour in Central America and it gets too expensive to fly it in from the States at the rate I use it lately.

LOL I make my hard boiled eggs the way Dan taught me - all the time! Here is the link: http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/2010/12/simple-ways-with-hard-boiled-eggs.html If ever you wonder where something is, use the search engine for my blog. It works quite well - just put key words in. :)

Anonymous said...

As I'm allergic to soy I would use the oat flour.

Kent said...

Re: oat flour and soy flour,
I am leaning towards neither at this point. The statement "oat flour is almost as low in carbs as soy flour" is not accurate on the oat flour I can find. For one serving (1/3rd cup), soy flour is 6.7g, and oat flour is nearly triple at 18g. At this point, I am fortunate not to have a wheat sensitivity, but I'll probably stick with the low carb original.

Jennifer said...

Wise guy, Kent! :) I know you are just being your honest self though.

Sure, oat flour is more than I thought. I checked my food program and you're right. However, that is why I dilute the oat flour with almond flour and coconut flour. 1 cup of soy flour is 20.1 g carbs and 1 cup of Splendid Gluten-free Bake Mix is 19.6 g carbs. Unless one's metabolism is truly screwed up, I think it is okay to use this as a bake mix while low-carbing, especially in the later rungs of low-carbing Atkins-style. If you check my baking carbohydrate numbers, most of the recipes are pretty low-carb. To give you some idea my husband has been eating my baking and I've been crazy of late with all the baking and he has lost 6 lbs! Not bad. I didn't lose weight but I didn't gain weight either.

I'm a moderate low-carber, i.e. I can have 60 grams carbohydrates a day and still lose weight. I would be able to consume soy flour, but I choose rather to have my bake mix which is slightly lower in carbs, because soy flour messes with the thyroid.

People who are on induction forever and a day obviously will not want to use any of my bake mixes, other than maybe Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix or other desserts that don't involve bake mixes at all.

There is a wide range of carb levels that people use while low-carbing. For me, I like to stay lower carb because I believe it is healthier overall. I try to keep all my dessert servings under 10 grams of carbs and mostly under 5 grams of carbs and many more under 3 grams of carbs per serving.

Oat flour is very different to wheat flour. Wheat flour has been shown to cause people to become allergic to it and thus crave it. Oat flour, to my knowledge, does not do that. Some people become extremely grain-phobic on Atkins and it is understandable thanks to the bad effects of wheat flour, but poor old oat flour sometimes gets a bad rap as a result. I know other people love quinoa flour. I have suggested that people can try that instead of oat flour. It is low on the glycemic index and particularly high in protein apparently. Char from LCF's loves it! I have yet to try it. It is very pricey.