Ever since stumbling across Elana’s Pantry, a blog devoted to gluten free, grain free and sugar free recipes, I immediately fell in love with baking and cooking with almond flour. Of course, like many, I had no idea you could bake using nut flours, but I didn’t negate it–anything made without white flour, and even wheat or other high carb grain flours suits me. Using gluten free blanched almond flour works well in many recipes, from baked “fired” chicken, to cookies and cakes. This superfood nutritional powerhouse is full of antioxidants and nutrients to support your healthy cooking.
I have written before on how I like to soak my nuts and seeds, as it helps neutralize and break down the phytic acid that surround the food nut or seed, which prevents absorption of valuable nutrients, like calcium and iron. Grains and legumes also contain these anti-nutrients, so it is always valuable to soak and sprout these foods in order to “unlock” the nutrients hidden within them. Plus, it makes the nuts, seeds, grains and legumes more easily digestible, which can help you keep on track with you weight by not backing up your digestion after consuming them.
You can purchase almond flour at the health food store or various supermarkets that carry alternative flours and health foods. This is the most expensive way of getting your hands on almond flour, and I have to tell you that I don’t advise doing this unless you’re in a pinch. Why? Because there are so many smarter ways to get almond flour without paying the high price. Elana Amsterdam, of Elana’s Pantry has a great source for where you can purchase almond flour online, and at a much cheaper price.
I, however, love making my own blanched almond flour. Making your own gives you the chance to soak the almonds, which manufactures don’t do for their almond flour. This will make your final product easily digested, allowing you to take in all the nutrients within. Cooking the almond flour will break down the phytic acid somewhat, and it will also denature and destroy some nutrients. This won’t be the case if you are using it for raw foods. However, soaking the almonds before making your own almond flour will help give you a special healthy edge over already made almond flour, whether you cook with it or not.
So, how do you make your own soaked and blanched almond flour? It is really quite easy. A college student on a budget knows that almonds in the bulk section only cost $4.95/lb, meaning he/she can have a pound of super food, easily digestible homemade almond flour, which is healthier and savings of over a couple of dollars from regular online almond flour.
You can buy already blanched almonds (skins removed) for this recipe, are you can blanch them yourself after soaking them. Regular almonds are cheaper, if that is what you are focusing on; plus, blanching the almonds after soaking can be kind of fun–or time consuming, so find out what works for you.
Homemade Soaked and Blanched Almond Flour
2 cups raw almonds, regular or blanched
2 cups water
Place the almonds in a bowl and combine with water. Let soak for 8-12 hours, or overnight. Blanch the soaked almonds, if not already. Dehydrate the almonds in a dehydrator or underneath the sun until completely dry.
Pulverize the almonds in a food processor or another device until a find powder.
Voila! Homemade, nutrient packed (and completely available) almond flour!
This is The Healthy Advocate.