- 1 What are the Benefits of Almonds?
- 2 What is Almond Powder?
- 3 How to Make
- 4 Almond Meal vs Almond Flour
- 5 Why I Prefer Almond Powder With Skinned Almonds
- 6 11 Ways To Use Almond Meal
- 7 Why Make Almond Powder At Home?
- 8 Detailed Method
How to Make Almond Powder At Home? Well, Almond powder, also referred to as Almond meal, easy to make at home but the only trick is that it should remain dry and not sticky.
It is gluten-free. grain-free and is rich in protein and is, therefore, the most preferred choice in Keto diet, Paleo diet as well as a gluten-free diet,
Almonds, a powerhouse of nutrition, is the best thing to go for every day. Since ages, its importance has been emphasized. All mothers want their children to have at least 5 almonds daily but most of the children don't like it. I think this tussle is there in every generation. Don't you agree with me?
However, everything said and done, almonds are high in calories so do keep a check on their intake.
What are the Benefits of Almonds?
- Almonds, rich in unsaturated fats, are good for everyone, as they lower the overall cholesterol levels. As they lower the cholesterol levels they are also good for the heart.
- High in antioxidants and thus fight free radicals in our body.
- The best source of Vitamin E.
- Almonds are low in carbs but high in protein, healthful fats, and fibre, thus excellent for people having high blood sugar levels.
- Calcium and other minerals in them help strengthen the bones.
Learn how Almonds work as a wonder food to make you and your loved ones healthier.
Now that we have learnt about the benefits of Almonds, how can we include them in our daily diet in a tastier manner? The answer is the Almond Meal. Let's learn more about it below.
What is Almond Powder?
As the name says it all, almond meal is nothing but powdered almonds in which either blanched or skinned almonds are ground to fine powder form. It is also referred to as almond meal.
The process of grinding almonds is generally easy, but it requires to be done in a way that the oil in the almonds doesn't come out. This is because, if the oil comes out then we will be left with a sticky almond dough or almond butter due to the high-fat content in them. This also means that we are losing on the valuable and healthy oil in them.
How to Make
If the Almond powder is just powdered almonds, then you might be wondering as to what's special in sharing this process? Let's deep dive into it.
Yes, making an almond powder is very easy but slightly tricky too. I myself ended up having a sticky almond mix at the first few times which led me to experiment and come up with the right process.
When you make Almond powder, make sure that it's in dry and powdered form and not sticky and moist. This also ensures that the healthy fats of almonds are retained and are not lost in the process of grinding.
Wondering why your Almond Powder gets sticky and moist?
Well, the reason is the richness of fat and oil in almonds. If you just pound the almonds in the grinder then due to the heat of the mixer this oil is released in the process making the end result moist and oily.
So, how to Grind Almonds so that they remain dry?
Take care of the following and you will have an amazing dry powdered almond flour.
1. Pulse Mode
Use the PULSE mode in your mixer grinder for processing almonds
In Pulse mode, the mixer blitzes in short spurts and the motor of your mixer don't rotate fully and thus it doesn't heat up. If you grind it in normal mode, then due to the heat of the motor only, almonds release oil and thus becomes moist and mushy.
Where to find Pulse mode?
Have a look at your mixer, it is there in all the mixers. It is either shown by displaying Pulse or as a red button.
If nothing is displayed and you have a knob then rotate it anticlockwise, but only for few seconds at a time. Do this multiple times for 2 minutes approximately.
When you press/rotate the PULSE button then the processor runs only till you have your fingers on it. The moment you remove your fingers from the pulse knob/button returns to its original position and thus stops.
2. Quantity at a Time
Second, the important thing is that always process a few almonds at a time (not more than 100g). So, for example, if you need to process 300g almonds then do it in three batches. This is because more almonds cause friction among themselves and thus lead to the release of oil.
3. Prefer Food Processor
If possible, use the food processor instead of a grinder. I just want to say that I tried this in my grinder too but results were not good, whereas, in the food processor, these were just excellent.
Once powdered, you may sift it to separate any bigger particles therein, which can further be processed separately.
This is an easy and full-proof method to make almond meal. Making almond flour is also easy but it does require some planning. Interested in knowing how does the almond meal differs from almond flour?
Almond Meal vs Almond Flour
Both almond meal and almond flour are made from almonds only and can be used interchangeably. Then what's the difference between the two?
- Almond meal can be made with blanched as well as from unblanched almonds.
- Almond flour, on the other hand, is made only from blanched almonds. Almonds are soaked overnight or are boiled in water for 3 to 4 minutes. Then, these are peeled and after peeling, you need to dry them for an hour or so as you want powder and not paste. Lastly, the blanched and dried almonds are powdered in the food processor.
- Almond meal is slightly dense whereas almond flour is as fine and light as any other flour.
- Almond meal is slightly dark in colour and has certain flecks of almond skin. Whereas, almond flour is bright in colour and is creamish.
Tip: Keep the almonds in the freezer for half an hour or so before putting them in the food processor. This is because then they will not heat up quickly while grinding them.
Why I Prefer Almond Powder With Skinned Almonds
Unless the recipe demands otherwise, I prefer making an almond meal with skinned almonds only. Want to know, why I prefer this?
- The first and foremost reason of my using almond meal with skinned almonds is that it is easy and quick without any advance preparations.
- The other main reason is that it is the skin of the almonds which carry all the antioxidants. Removing the skin means losing on its benefits.
11 Ways To Use Almond Meal
- In Keto Diet: Being low in carbs, Almond meal is the most preferred flour in the keto diet. 1/4 cup of almond flour contains 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, and just 2 grams of net carbs, making it one of the best keto flour alternatives.
- In Paleo Diet: Almond flour, being grain-free, is also preferred in the Paleo diet.
- In Baking: When it comes to gluten-free baking, almond meal has its own importance. In cakes, cookies, pies etc, almond flour is used to replace the normal refined or wheat flour.
- In No-bake cakes, brownies etc: As almond flour is edible without any cooking too, therefore it is preferred for making raw cakes. I recently used this flour in my NO-BAKE BROWNIES and was really stunned by the outcome. The brownies tasted so good and it was so easy to make. Just everything goes into the food processor bowl, another 30 seconds and the brownie is ready to be set.
- Almond flour is known for making excellent marzipans.
- For making Macarons.
- And then, pancakes are also made using this amazing flour.
- Energy Powder: Just add some raw cane sugar to the almond meal and mix nicely. It tastes so good and you can have a spoonful of it at breakfast. It is especially good when children throw tantrums in eating almonds, then just give them a little of this powder or a piece of ENERGY BAR and you are done!. For making this Energy powder, you can keep the almond meal coarse too.
- For Thickening Gravies and curries: Just like cashews even almond meal can be added for thickening gravy. Just add it while sauteeing spices.
- Energy Chapati: Add little almond meal, say 1/4th, to your regular flour while kneading and make chapatis. An excellent way to feed almonds to your loved ones.
- Mouth-freshener: Add coarsely ground roasted fennel seeds, rock sugar, and cardamom powder to almond meal, and a healthy and tasty mouth-freshener is ready which can be had after the meals as a digestive.
Why Make Almond Powder At Home?
Almond flour or almond meal is also easily available in the supermarkets. Go to any online shopping portal and you will find it listed there. Then why make our own? To answer this, I have not one but many reasons, and I am sure you will agree with me, once you go through these.
- Quality Assurance: Almonds are available in many varieties ranging from inferior to superior. Seeing in the powdered form you just don't know what type of almonds have been used for making it. But when you make your own, you know exactly which almonds you are using.
- Preservative-free: Homemade almond powder is free of any preservatives whereas store-bought one may have some preservatives to ensure its long shelf life.
- Quantity: At home, you can make the almond meal in little quantity as well and can repeat it often. But, if buying then you have to buy whatever packs are available and then arises the problem of storing it without it going rancid.
- Cost-effective: Making an almond meal at home is much more cost-effective. You compare the prices and will be clear to you all the more.
- The easy way: And the main reason is that when it is so easy to make then why purchase from the market? Seriously, it hardly requires any time, labour or skill, then why not?
- If possible, put the almonds in the freezer for an hour or so, before starting the process to make almond meal. The reason for doing this is that almonds release oil when they get heated. Frozen almonds take time to heat up and thus do not release oil quickly.
- Do not process more than 100 or 120 g almonds at a time. So, put roughly, 100 g almonds in the bowl of the food processor.
- And now, PULSE it multiple times for 2 minutes approx. When you press PULSE button then the processor runs only till you press (or rotate) it. The moment you remove your hands the knob/button comes back to its original position.
- After about one and a half minutes only you will see that the almonds have been grounded and are dry too.
- You may now put it through a sieve so that any bigger particles are sorted out.
- Process the next batch exactly in the same manner.
- Collect all the bigger pieces of almonds from the sieve and process again in the last. By now, everything would have powdered well. If at all, any big pieces remain then you may add them to your Milk masala or Thandai Powder or just eat them.
- Once sifted, almond meal is ready. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 15 days or so.
How To Store Almond Flour?
Storing almond meal or flour depends a lot on the weather. In winters, you can keep this at room temperature for 15 to 20 days. But as the temperature rises, store it in the refrigerator up to 15 days easily. For longer storage, keep it in the freezer. It is advisable to make it in smaller quantities and consume fresh only.
Making Almond Flour With Blanched Almonds
- You may use blanched almonds too for making an almond meal. To blanch almonds easily, boil whole almonds in water for 3 to 4 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it cool down completely. By now, the skin of almonds gets soft and comes out easily. Hold the almond in your hand, push the skin and it will easily slide off. Like this, blanch all the almonds.
- Now, put all the blanched almonds on a napkin and let it dry completely for an hour or so.
- When completely dried then process these in the food processor.
So, what do you say now? Do you still want to buy it from the market? Do share your views.
I hope you have liked this easy way of almond meal and will surely try it out for making yummy treats for your loved ones. I will be happy if you share your creations on Instagram and tag me #samirasrecipediary there.
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