Have you taken a spin down the baking isle of a grocery store lately? How about the baking isle of a natural food store, like Whole Foods?
What you can be sure to find is about 15 different types of “healthy” baking flours, perhaps even 20-30.
Are you confused by all of these flour options? I sure as heck have been.
Although it is quite wonderful to have so many healthy options available, you may need to spend years in baking school to understand how to properly use a sprouted grain flour vs. gluten free vs. whole grain vs. white whole wheat flour, etc. etc.
Let me make this really easy for you.
When I began my transition into clean wholesome eating I was so extraordinarily overwhelmed by the baking world that I spent years simplifying all the nutrition theories into one pillar of wisdom:
The closer the food is to its original state the better it is for you.
How many processes does a shaft of wheat go through to become silky white flour? A lot.
So using this simple theory what then is the best alternative to silky white flour? The best alternative that is most nutritious AND that will still produce tasty treats? (please note, I said tasty. Not sandy, gritty, overly whole wheat-ey tasting dry treats. I don't know about you, but I have had my fill of these gut bombs and I have no interest in recreating them at home)
Almond Flour is my choice.
Simply ground up almonds.
Nothing added, nothing funky. Just ground up almonds.
Through the years I have tried just about every brand of almond flour and religiously I choose Honeyville Almond Flour. It is by far the best price (and I LOVE a good deal!) and without a doubt yields the best results.
Here are the most frequently asked questions I get about almond flour:
Q: Can I sub it 1 for 1 in recipes?
A: No, I wouldn't suggest it. It is a very different product than white flour. I would suggest searching for recipes that use almond flour and then feel free to experiment once you have a template.
Q: Aren't almonds fattening?
A: Do almonds contain fat? Yes. Would I suggest sitting down and consuming 80-100 almonds? No. However, when dealing with desserts, or baked goods I firmly believe that if you are enjoying a cookie or a muffin that is made with all whole food ingredients you will be more satisfied and actually consume less than if you deprive yourself and end up over indulging in heavily processed desserts. So you still must treat these treats like treats. They are not to be consumed in large quantities every day, but should be consumed as a once in awhile whole food/clean food indulgence.
Q: I am gluten free, can I consume baked goods made with almond flour?
A: In theory yes. almond flour is absolutely gluten free, but check the rest of the ingredients in a recipe to be sure there isn't any other source of gluten.
Q: If I bake with almond flour will my baked goods taste like almonds?
A: Surprisingly no. I often add almond extract to my baked goods to amp up the almond flavor.
So what kind of things can you make with almond flour? Just about anything; cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes, crackers, etc, etc.
I would suggest starting with my most recent creation:
This was a huge hit with my family! Full recipe at the bottom of the post.
Are you intrigued? Ready to jump on the almond flour wagon? Well I've got a BIG surprise for you.
The folks over at Honeyville are very generously offering to give away a 5 lb. bag to one lucky Nutritious America reader! Woop Woop!
Thanks Honeyville! Enter below. Winner will be announced in one week.
I can't wait to share the deliciousness that is almond flour! Don't worry, if you aren't the lucky winner it's simple enough to order almond flour, click to order: Honeyville Almond Flour
Gluten Free Upside Down Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Dip a paper towel in melted coconut oil and generously grease a bundt pan. Add 2 cups of fresh blueberries to bottom of pan, set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk to combine all dry ingredients (almond flour, brown rice flour, sea salt, and baking soda)
- In a large bowl cream together butter and honey using an electric mixer.
- Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture, continue beating until well incorporated.
- Add lemon zest to butter mixture, stir to combine.
- While beating, add dry ingredients to wet little by little until fully incorporated.
- Pour batter into bundt pan with blueberries (the batter will be thick, you may need to spoon it out and place it in pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Carefully flip out onto a cake pan.
- Scatter cake with fresh blueberries and whipped cream (if desired)
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