Celiac disease and gluten intolerance diagnosis is at an all-time high. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and hidden in MANY processed foods and sauces. The bodies of gluten intolerant individuals take a major health beating when it is ingested. Many inflammatory conditions, autoimmunity, nervous system disorders, skin conditions, digestive disorders, arthritis, and even ADHD have been connected to gluten intolerance. Unsurprisingly, creative culinary minds have been hard at work perfecting recipes using gluten-free flour alternatives.
Almond flour can be used in place of wheat flour and is arguably healthier for gluten-free and gluten compatible dieters alike.
Almond flour benefits
- Better for blood sugar. Almond flour is primarily fat and protein whereas grain-based flours are primarily carbohydrates. On the glycemic index, a measure of how high a food raises blood sugar; almonds have a rating of 15 versus wheat flour ‘s rating of 85!
- Lower in carbs (which helps keep blood sugar stable, cortisol & your waistline down). Many gluten-free flours and products are even higher in carbohydrates than wheat flour (potato, rice, and tapioca flour).
- High in magnesium, calcium, fiber, B-vitamins, Vitamin E, and healthy fat! These nutrients help combat all sorts of health disorders: Magnesium deficiency is associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, fatigue, pain, insomnia, nerve dysfunction, muscle spasms, cardiovascular disease and hypertension (high blood pressure). B-vitamins help us combat stress and are vitally important to the nervous system.
- Gluten-free (as mentioned), so can be enjoyed by anyone whose body bursts into inflammation when they ingest gluten.
- Mood boosting. Almonds contain tryptophan, an amino acid required to make serotonin (our natural anti-depressant).
Blanched or unblanched almond flour?
Depending on your cooking goal, blanched versus unblanched almond flour will be appropriate. Most almond flour is made from unblanched almonds with the skins left on. Blanched almond flour is lighter in color (such as Bob’s Red Mill) than unblanched flour (found at Trader Joe’s and many other grocery stores).
Blanched almond flour works better for most baked recipes since it creates a softer texture. Unblanched almond flour can be fine as a thickener to sauces and stews, in cookie recipes and for protein pancakes.
For delicious gluten-free and lower carbohydrate recipes using almond flour and other gluten alternative flours, check out: