Ask Shelley Case: Using Almonds in Gluten-Free Baking & Cooking – A Healthy Addition!
Question: I’ve been hearing so much about using almond flour, almond meal and almonds in gluten-free baking & cooking. Can you tell me more? It would be great if you could provide some recipes too!
Answer: Almond flour is made from blanched ground almonds. Almond meal is made from natural ground almonds with the skin on and has a coarser texture than almond flour. Both are very nutritious and are high in fiber, protein, and other nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium and manganese. This is especially important because many of the gluten-free flours and starches such as white rice flour and starches (tapioca, potato and corn) are low in protein, iron, B vitamins and fiber.
Almond flour and almond meal can be found pre-packaged- available in grocery or natural food stores, from various gluten-free companies and internet stores. You can also grind your own in a small coffee grinder or food processor using blanched or natural almonds. Be sure to grind finely as possible but be careful not to over process or you will end up with almond butter! Due to its higher fat content remember to store almond flour or meal in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it fresh.
Using almond flour/meal in baking adds a rich texture, nutty flavor and nice golden color to baked goods. But thinking beyond baking, almond flour/meal also makes a great gluten-free coating for chicken, meat, fish or seafood.
In addition to almond flour or meal – almond butter, almond milk and almonds (whole, sliced, slivered) are great additions to the gluten-free diet. There are many ways to enjoy the benefits of almonds, and numerous ways to incorporate them into your diet. And don’t forget… almonds are also a great way to boost your breakfast’s nutritional value!
I have been delighted to work with the Almond Board of California to develop these gluten-free resources for health professionals and consumers. Anyone concerned with the gluten-free diet will find them very informative and worth checking out.
Almonds are a smart choice for baking for Valentines Day. So makes sure you check out this delicious cake recipe – perfect for Valentine’s Day – from Carol Fenster:
Ask Shelley Case is a feature of BeFreeForMe.com. It is published the second Tuesday of each month. Shelley Case is a Registered Dietitian, Consulting Dietitian, Speaker and Author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Visit Shelley and get more gluten-free tips & info at: www.glutenfreediet.ca