|Did You Know?
Sunflower seed flour can be used as a substitute for almond flour in many baked goods. Sunflower seeds are loaded with protein, fiber, phytosterols, vitamin E, copper, manganese, selenium, various B vitamins, phosphorous, magnesium, and folate. They can improve your health in several ways.
People on low-carbohydrate diets prefer finely ground almond meal or almond flour for cakes and cookies. Almond meal is made from both blanched and whole almonds. Usually, blanched and pasteurized almonds (almonds without skin) are used to make almond flour. It adds a delicious nutty taste to baked goods. Moreover, it is gluten-free and Kosher. Replacing about 25% of wheat flour with almond flour helps decrease the carb content of the food. So, almond flour is a good choice for diabetics. Consumption of low-carb food doesn't lead to severe fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Those who are allergic to wheat or are diagnosed with celiac disease need to avoid all gluten-containing foods. Nutritious and flavorful almond flour is used along with wheat flour (to reduce the carb content of the food), or it is used as a substitute for wheat flour (where just a small amount is called for) in some recipes. It is commonly used in French macarons, cakes, cookies, muffins, nut breads, pancakes, and pie fillings, such as Sachertorte. However, it comes with a high price and those who are allergic to nuts cannot consume the flour. If they can tolerate wheat, they can use wheat or all-purpose flour as an almond flour substitute. Those who don't like the almond flavor, may try other nuts like cashew or macadamia.
Almond Flour Substitutes
1. Wheat Flour
Almond flour can be substituted with regular, easily available whole or refined wheat flour. This may increase the carb content of the food. The flavor will also be reduced. Besides, almond flour is heavier than wheat flour, so you may have to adjust the quantities.
2. All-purpose Flour
Instead of almond flour, you can use all-purpose flour. You may use 1 cup all-purpose (white) flour for 1 cup almond flour (1:1 substitution). But the quantity may vary depending upon the recipe. Almond flour typically requires more egg or binding agent, and you might have to reduce that quantity if you are using all-purpose flour.
3. Cashew Flour
Finely ground nut flours made from blanched nuts are commonly used in gluten-free baking. Those who like the cashew flavor may use cashew flour as a substitute for almond flour. It is great for elegant cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. It blends well into sweet and savory baked goods.
4. Macadamia Flour
Macadamia nuts contain less carbs than almonds. 100 g of blanched almonds contain 18.67 g carbohydrates, while 100 g of macadamia nuts contain 13.82 g carbs. The low-carbohydrate macadamia flour is great for Paleo diet (complete elimination or drastic reduction of cereal grains like wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, rye, and millet, refined or whole, in regular diet), gluten-free diet, and a variety of healthy and specialty diets. It can give you the most similar results.
5. Sunflower Seed Flour
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 g of sunflower seed flour (partially defatted) contains 326 calories, 48.06 g protein, 1.61 g total fat, and 35.83 g carbs. Besides, it is packed with fiber (5.2 g), various minerals, and vitamins. So, this nutritious flour is a perfect nut-free substitute for almond flour. Use finely ground and sifted flour. You may have to use half the specified quantity of baking soda in the recipe. Similarly, you may have to double the amount of cream of tarter. The acidic cream can prevent the food from turning green due to chlorophyll present in the seeds.
6. Oat Flour
You can grind rolled oats in a food processor or high-speed blender until they are finely ground. You can make ¾ cup oat flour from one cup of rolled oats. If you have selected a gluten-free recipe, use certified gluten-free oats. You can substitute almond flour with oat flour. It can give your cake a wonderful lightness and nuttiness.
7. Combination of Tapioca and Coconut Flour
Like almond flour, coconut flour is a great non-grain gluten-free flour. This flour has a wonderful sweet and fruity flavor. It is rich in protein, good fats, and fiber. Tapioca flour is made from cassava root and is stretchy like gluten. It may not be nutritious, but it is a good binding agent. You can use 1 cup of tapioca flour (heaped) and one cup of coconut flour (slightly scant) in place of 2 cups of almond flour or wheat flour in a recipe. As coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid (almond flour, in fact, introduces extra moisture), the batter may look like a mass of hardened cement. To keep the batter soft and moist, you may have to use 5-6 eggs (double the amount of eggs in a recipe), or other liquids like apple sauce, mushed up banana, coconut milk, fruit juice, etc. This can require a lot of experimentation.
Every flour has its own set of pros and cons. If you are replacing almond flour with a gluten-free flour, it won't always be a cup-for-cup replacement. Amounts may vary, and other chemical agents like xanthan gum or guar gum may be needed. With trial and error method, you will know the correct proportion of the almond flour substitute, eggs, baking soda, other flours, and liquids. The bake time also needs to be adjusted. Gluten-free cakes may not be as fluffy as the traditional wheat-based cakes, but they will be full of amazing flavors and textures.
Although baking is a science, it is best to approach it with an open mind. Beginners may stick to some tried recipes or may choose recipes with less than 2 cups of flour. Adept culinary cooks may start experimenting with recipes that call for more flour. After all, culinary masterpieces emerged because someone experimented at some point in time.