Check out this great blog on Almond Flour and Almond Meal by TheKitchn.com.
Both almond flour and almond meal have long been pantry staples of avid gluten-free bakers, and right now it’s more popular than ever. From the surge of gluten-free baking recipes to our undying love for French macarons, almond flour is an ingredient you’ll want to keep on your radar.
We’re starting at the very beginning, introducing you to almond flour and almond meal, the similarities they share, and what sets them apart. We’ll walk you through all of the irresistibly delicious ways to use them, and exactly what you can expect from treats baked with these gluten-free products.
How are almond meal and almond flour different?
You may have seen almond flour and almond meal sitting side by side on the grocery store shelf. In fact, some bags are even labeled as almond flour/meal. Both look remarkably similar — because they are!
When it comes to flavor, both almond flour and almond meal retain much of their natural flavor, and lend a sweet, nutty aroma to baked goods. Overall, it’s their texture that sets them apart.
- Almond flour is finely ground almonds typically made using blanched almond with no skins. It’s commonly used in baked goods, like cookies, cakes, and quick breads, and perhaps most famously in macarons. It has a finer texture than almond meal.
- Almond meal: Has a more coarse texture, and it typically (although not always) contains the skins.
Using Almond Flour and Almond Meal in Your Baking
Almond flour and almond meal can largely be used interchangeably, although there are some exceptions. Since the two have a different texture (almond flour is more fine, and almond meal is more coarse), it can have an impact on your recipe.
For example, if you’re making delicate macarons or a light, airy cake, you’ll want to reach for finer almond flour so your baked goods retain the light texture you’re looking for. However, if your recipe is more forgiving, like quick bread, tart crust, or cookies, either is acceptable.
Almond flour or meal isn’t a direct substitute for wheat or whole-grain flours, as almonds don’t contain the gluten found in flour.
Store almond flour in the refrigerator or freezer.
Like whole-grain flours, almond flour has a high level of oil, making it more prone to oxidizing and going rancid. Almond flour can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months, or in the freezer for 12 months.
Not sure if your almond flour is still good? If it has an off smell or bitter taste, it’s gone bad. Fresh almond flour should have a sweet yet nutty aroma and taste.