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Difference Between Almond meal and Almond flour

Difference Between Almond meal and Almond flour

Almond meal by hand

Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour

Almond meal and almond flour are two baking items that often stir confusion even among baking enthusiasts who have been using either for some time. Most people who are already familiar with these would nonchalantly say they are one and the same – and generally speaking, they are. However, there is one minor but tricky preparation step that is often missed out that, incidentally, is also what makes almond meal and almond flour not quite the same.

Almond flour is a term pertaining to ground blanched (without the skin) almonds. It is produced by discarding the thin layer of skin from the almonds and grinding them until the mass forms a consistency similar to regular flour. The use of almond flour can be traced back to as early as the medieval ages. It was as an alternative to wheat flour, used as a thickener or base for cakes, puddings, and other European pastries. Today, almond flour is becoming more popular, especially with health-conscious consumers. Its unique selling property is that it is gluten free. It has a highly favorable glycemic index, as it is low in carbohydrates and sugars but high in protein. It is a good source of iron, calcium, vitamin E, fiber, and cholesterol-lowering agents.

Almond meal is also produced through grinding almonds. However, instead of using blanched almonds, the skin is left on. Because of this, almond meal is slightly rougher in consistency as compared to almond flour. In most cases, especially when produced commercially, almond meal is made with solid almond residue derived through the almond oil extraction process. Because the oil, separately sold as almond flavoring, has mostly been taken away, the end-result is drier and courser than almond flour. Nevertheless, it is also a healthier alternative to wheat flour and shares almost the same gluten-free nutritional value as that of almond flour. It suits pastries that call for drier and courser texture, such as cream puff and crisp wafer bases.

Difference Between Almond meal and Almond flour-1

Blanched Almond Flour

Both almond flour and almond meal can be purchased in supermarkets. They are also widely available and mostly more affordable in online stores. Baking experts don’t greatly recommend commercially produced variations as these may already contain unwanted extenders such as wheat flour. Instead, they prefer to use homemade almond flour or meal. Almond flour can be made by carefully removing the almond skin and whizzing the almonds into a food processor or blender until they’re finely ground. The procedure requires precise timing as grinding them for an extended period of time can result in almond butter. Almond meal production entails similar steps; however, the almonds don’t need to be blanched.

Commercially produced or homemade almond flour and meal can be stored up to approximately 3 months. It is best to keep them refrigerated and tight-sealed in plastic bags or containers, as they tend to absorb odors from other food items. In addition, freezing them while tightly sealed can extend their shelf life.

Summary

  1. Almond flour and almond meal are baking ingredients used as healthier alternatives to wheat flour.
  2. Almond flour is made from finely ground, blanched almonds, while almond meal is made from finely ground almonds including the skin.
  3. Almond flour is best used for cakes, cookies, and other pastries requiring finer, moister texture. Almond meal best suits dryer and courser pastries, such as cream puff and wafer bases.
  4. Both are gluten-free, high in protein, and low in carbohydrates and sugars. They include essential nutrients like iron, calcium, vitamin E, and fiber.
  5. Both can be purchased at supermarkets and online stores. They can also be homemade.
  6. Tight-sealed and refrigerated, they can have a shelf life of up to 3 months.

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1 Comment

  1. “But there is one minor but tricky preparation step that is often missed out that, incidentally, is also the reason that makes almond meal and almond flour not quite the same.”

    I did not see this reference explained it the article.

    Read more: Difference Between Almond meal and Almond flour | Difference Between | Almond meal vs Almond flour http://www.differencebetween.net/object/comparisons-of-food-items/difference-between-almond-meal-and-almond-flour/#ixzz2GkzACe7m

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