The Do’s, Don’ts, and Whys of Almond Flour

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Today’s post is a guest column from Beverly Meyer, a Clinical and Holistic Nutritionist.  Check out her website, On Diet and Health, and her popular podcast, Primal Diet – Modern Health.

Did you ever make pinatas as a child? You mix flour and water to make the paper mache glue, then apply to a cute wire frame covered with newspaper and let it harden into a form. Add colored paper or paint and you have a pinata! (Candy optional!)

So what is flour and water?  Not food, but GLUE!  (Did I hear someone say “Oh…. as in constipation”?)  Yep, that’s glue for you…

Consider instead the lovely almond, and flour made from almonds and other nuts. Properly prepared almonds are high in protein and good fat, both of which are sorely lacking in grains. Nuts are basically a perfect food (IF you can handle them – more on that on a moment), being about equal in protein, fat and carbohydrate. Almond flour, pecan flour or other nut flours can be used to make high protein pancakes and muffins that won’t make your blood sugar unstable.

Almond flour is a finer texture than almond meal, so watch your recipes carefully for what they call for.  There are many free recipes on the web, and many in the extraordinary Paleo cookbooks of the last few years. Given the price of almonds, it is not surprising that almond flour is roughly $7 – $10 a pound.  Honeyville is one good brand of almond flour, and is the one I carry in my offices.

Almond meal is generally not blanched and is darker and a heavier consistency than almond flour.  Bob’s Red Mill calls their product Almond Meal/Flour and is about $9 a pound.  And it is sold in clear plastic bags stored on the grocery shelves without refrigeration.  Oxidizing under those big glowing fluorescent lights! I’m not a big fan of this.

Simple pan-cakes can be cooked up, frozen, and popped into the toaster when “bread” is desired, mostly as a good excuse to have some nice Organic Ghee, Coconut Butter or Nut Butter slathered on. The flour can be used to coat foods before baking, and it makes a good crust for quiche. It won’t rise like wheat flour, but makes excellent muffins, crusts, and small loaves leavened with baking powder. Keep almond flour refrigerated or frozen, as with all other flour, nuts, cereals, etc.

Two things about nuts… First, as seeds, they contain strong defenses to protect against being eaten, digested, molding or sprouting prematurely.  These seed toxins are part of what make wheat, beans, oats and other seeds bad for humans. They need to be soaked to get those toxic coatings off.  Nourishing Traditions cookbook has easy guidelines for proper soaking and drying of nuts, and you can buy them already prepared from Wilderness Family Naturals or Living Nutz. Get the soaked and dried, sprouted nuts, not the regular raw ones unless you want to do this yourself which is easy.

Secondly, if you struggle with any of the Retro Viruses such as Herpes, Shingles, AIDS or Epstein Barr, the high dose of Arginine in nuts, coconut MEAT or BUTTER, (not the OIL), and chocolate will aggravate the virus.  Take L-Lysine, away from food to counteract the Arginine on the day you choose to eat nuts. Or avoid them.

If you have chronic immune problems, don’t eat quantities of nuts or nut flour daily.

For more on Nuts and Seeds, their preparation and uses, listen to my ”Primal Diet – Modern Health” podcast titled “Nuts & Seeds: Benefits, Drawbacks and Preparation” on iTunes or on my website at www.ondietandhealth.com. Or read my blog post titled “Nuts and Seeds; The Good and The Bad”. If you enjoyed reading this article, please share it, and subscribe to my newsletter!

If you want to read my fun blog post on “eating” a pinata, check out my June 2011 post titled “Have You Eaten A Pinata Today?”  You’ll never look at a bag of flour the same way again!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Beverly Meyer is a Clinical and Holistic Nutritionist who has been in practice for 25 years. 

She also hosts the popular podcast “Primal Diet – Modern Health,” blogs at On Diet and Health, and has the only DVD on the Ancestral Diet, “The Diet for Human Beings.”

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Comments

  1. Very interesting! Thanks for posting!

  2. Bernie Chen says:

    Cool, I’ll have to dl her podcasts to listen to this week. I’m interested in the nutritional value of nuts.

  3. Amanda L says:

    Nuts and but flours are far from a “perfect food.” I’m actually really surprised to see this article. You’ve really minimized the issues surrounding nuts (phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors), you haven’t even mentioned the dangers of PUFA’s. Cooking with nut flours will most likely oxidize the fats. Baked goods made from but flours allow you to completely overeat nuts by hiding the number if nuts you’re eating. Nut flours are an OK grain-free substitute to eat on occasion as a treat, but please don’t make it a staple. Coconut flour is way better for you! Again, good for treats, shouldn’t be a staple, but it’s a better option then but flour. But it is more difficult to bake with.

  4. Angie says:

    Wow! Thank you for this. I have been getting cold sores/fever blisters weekly ( herpes virus). I have been eating almonds almost daily with my breakfast and will cu back now and see if it helps with my cold sores. I usually would only get one a couple times a year.

  5. Karla says:

    Thank you so much for this info. With my chronic auto-immune issues, I’ve had to specifically avoid almonds due to the reactions I would get from them. Switching to the Paleo diet has helped me tolerate them more, albeit in small amounts and infrequently but now I know, thanks to you, how I can enjoy them more frequently!

  6. Mary TItus says:

    So is your brand of almond flour, Honeyville soaked ? I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking with almond flour and I want to make it in the healthiest way possible..

  7. Courtney says:

    I wasn’t aware that my almond flour had to be refrigerated…ugh! If I keep it in the cabinet is that bad? I put mine in a glass jar as soon as I buy it, and then i store it in a kitchen cabinet. Same with my coconut flour. Should I move them to the refrigerator now or is it already too late since they’ve been sitting in there for a least a month. I’m also sad to read that you don’t like Bob’s Redmill brand because that’s what I have :(

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