Almond (Flour) Joy!

Almond  (Flour) JoyWhen on an anti-inflammatory diet, you have to give up wheat flour, which means no traditional bread, muffins, cake, etc. However almond flour can come to the rescue if you find yourself craving bakery treats! And fyi, almond flour wasn’t something newly created just as a trendy substitute for wheat…the French have traditionally used almond flour for some of their most popular treats, including favorites such as macaroons and marzipan.

Here at Feed Your Vitality, we have a special baking room and use almond flour to make brownies, muffins, fruit bread, rosemary bread, even a special little chocolate cake! Check out our website www.feedyourvitality.com if you would like to try some almond flour products without having to bake them at home…or get in your kitchen and try baking with almond flour yourself – let us know how your creations turn out!

I thought I would pass along some “scoop” about almond flour!

Almond flour vs. almond meal – The flour is made from blanched almonds – no skin. The meal is ground from whole almonds. Almond meal has a stronger taste and is similar in consistency to cornmeal; it may be better to use as breading or topping on casseroles than in baking. Some people are extra sensitive to the lectins in the skin of the nut and it can actually increase inflammation in the body…if this is an issue for you, be sure to use blanched almond flour.

There can even be a big difference between different brands of almond flour and you may need to experiment. Many bakers believe the finer the grain, the better your baked goods will turn out. You can get almond flour from so many sources, from Bob’s Red Mill, to our local supermarket, to ordering online. It can be expensive. Online options may provide a better price, especially if you buy in bulk.

Cooking with almond flour is different than cooking with wheat flour, so you are better off using recipes specifically calling for almond flour. Don’t just substitute almond flour for wheat flour in a recipe. Due to its different consistency, almond flour can’t absorb liquid in the same way as wheat flour. It also tends to burn easier, so the recipe may require a lower oven temperature and need to bake longer.

Just because almond flour is paleo doesn’t mean it is low calorie. In fact it has more calories than wheat flour (but the calories you’re eating are full of protein and vitamin E.) Blood sugar doesn’t tend to rise as fast after a meal made with almond flour because it is lower in carbs and sugar…this makes it a better option for diabetics. But moderation is key with these treats if you are worried about calories.

And lastly, I want to suggest a gluten free flour option for people who have a nut allergy (like me!) and can’t use almond flour. Think.eat.live is a local St. Louis company that has developed Sunflour™ – a flour made from sunflower seeds, and it is gluten AND nut free. In addition to their flour, they also sell product mixes for brownies, muffins, pancakes, etc. And oh by the way, they are delicious! (Just be sure to double check the ingredient list to make sure the product you choose is paleo friendly if that is important to you.) Check out their website www.thinkeatlive.com for more information…and keep in mind that Feed Your Vitality carries some Think.eat.live products, and we would be glad to deliver them to your door!

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