Arguably, almond has one of the tastiest flavors among its siblings in nut families. The usage of almond is varied from raw consumption, in flakes on top of muffin and breakfast bread, and in the form of flour. The latter is the way to enjoy almond in its organic and wholesome nutrient just like it comes down from its tree.
There are two terms that widely used to refer processed almond, which are almond meal and almond flour. The meal form is much coarser and still has the fruit skins, while the flour is resulting from a blanched almond with no skin on it, giving it a more refined texture.
Almond is certainly the most eaten tree nuts and a double jeopardy on its own on the fact of how healthy it is and how good it tastes. In just one quarter-cup of its serving, the flour contains 138 calories, 11 grams of fat which 7 grams of it are the monounsaturated fats for heart and 5 grams of protein. Added to that are 6 grams carbohydrates and 3 grams fibers, which are enough to energise us for the rest of the day and promote a smooth digestion.
The nut flour also provides us with antioxidant in a form of vitamin E. Vitamin E in almond reaches 40% of the recommended intake that means a protection against cell damage and an elevated immune system. Not only it is rich with vitamin E, almond flour also provides us with folate and niacin from the group of B vitamins.
When using it as baking flour, almond flour is usually a replacement for wheat flour and can compensate the need to be gluten-free that wheat can’t fulfil. The flour especially contains the best quality to eat healthy baked goods, being low in carbs, high in fiber and protein, low in sugars which makes desserts possible for diabetic people, and fully packed with vitamins and minerals. The highest calcium among other tree nuts is given by almond, and it will help carrying enzyme and hormones throughout the body as well as strengthening the bones.
Did you know that the famous delicate French macarons are also made of pure almond flour? That’s why it’s a art form if you can make amazing macarons, as almond flour or meal doesn’t rise, therefore timing and temperature are important elements in baking macarons. Yes those lovely macarons are gluten free, yet they are usually packed with powder sugar, making them a less healthy option. But of course, having them once in a while will hurt nobody.
Give almond flour a try yourself. You can buy almond meal or flour in health stores online and in regular healthy brick and mortar stores. Or there’s always the possibility to make it yourself.