Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal

Bob's Red Mill Almond MealAfter another blogger told me she hadn't heard of almond meal, I thought it might be a fun thing to spotlight for Kalyn's Kitchen Picks where I talk about ingredients and kitchen items I love. I think it was my friend Georgette who introduced me to almond meal, which is nothing more than blanched almonds ground to a consistency like that of cornmeal. It's used to replace flour or bread crumbs when the goal is to reduce the carb count or make a dish gluten-free, and it's a wonderfully low-glycemic ingredient for South Beach Dieters. It is a calorie-dense food, and not inexpensive either, so this is something I use in relatively small amounts.

Wikipedia talks about almond meal vs. almond flour. I've never seen almond flour around here, but I've noticed that the names are sometimes used interchangeably in recipes. (Edit December 2009: Here's some information about almond flour and where to buy it online. Almond flour is more finely ground than almond meal, which I'm guessing does make a difference in some recipes.)

There are probably other brands, but Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour is the only brand of almond meal I've purchased. I always have this in the freezer where I store it in a glass jar (with the label taped on so I have the information from the package.) In Utah I can find Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour at Whole Foods, or even my local grocery store, with all the other Bob's Red Mill products. You can also buy Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal at Amazon.com if you can't find it where you live, but you have to buy four packages at a time. (Full transparency: Kalyn's Kitchen does earn a few cents on the dollar if you follow that link and buy it at Amazon.)

I've seen instructions for using the steel blade in the food processor and making your own almond meal, although I've had trouble getting the almonds as evenly ground as they are in the pre-ground almond meal. But whether you make your own or grind the almonds in the food processor, this is a wonderfully versatile ingredient. Here are some of the dishes where I've used almond meal:

Cookies with Almond Meal:
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Cookies with Almonds and Flaxseed Meal
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Triple Almond Cookies
Flourless, Sugar-Free Pistachio Cookies

Desserts with Almond Meal:
Low-Sugar and Flourless Apple Cranberry Crumble
Low-Sugar Pumpkin and Apple Crumble

Almond Meal Used to Replace Breadcrumbs or Flour:
Baked Chicken Strips with Mustard, Almond, and Parmesan
"Breaded" Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce
Almond and Parmesan Baked Tilapia
Baked Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Sage-Pecan Pesto and Feta

Almond Meal in Savory Baking to Reduce or Eliminate Flour:
Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins with Bacon and Green Onions
Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins with Ham and Cheddar
Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins with Mushrooms and Feta
Gluten-Free Breakfast Muffins with Zucchini, Feta, and Quinoa (all phases)

More bloggers' Recipes with Almond Meal from Food Blog Search.

Click Here to see other products I've featured for Kalyn's Kitchen Picks.

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16 comments:

  1. I used a product from the Indian market the other day to make a Pear Almond tart - I think it was almond meal, but didn't turn out exactly the same as when I used a product labeled almond flour. The only thing I can determine from various experiences is that they are ground at different consistencies.

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  2. I've been fascinated with almond meal for some time, but never tried it - definitely will now with one of your recipes.

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  3. T.W., thanks for that info. I'm curious about almond flour, so maybe I need to check at the Indian market here. Pear Almond Tart sounds wonderful!

    Cora, I love using almond meal, especially in cookies. You could also use it in a recipe to replace some of the flour for a richer results.

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  4. Trader Joe's has an inexpensive package of this in the pasta / baking aisle.

    It makes a phenomenal low-carb crust for desserts.

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  5. Scott, thanks for the tip. No Trader Joe's in Utah though, sigh.

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  6. Our local discount store, Job Lot, carries the entire line of Bob's Red Mill products, but I confess that I've never tired almond meal. Must rectify that oversight immediately.

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  7. I use a coffee grinder to make almond meal--it is more consistent than a food processor.

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  8. TCL, great tip to use a coffee grinder! Thanks for sharing. Now I need to try that myself.

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  9. I just saw some cookies that called for this and I was wondering where or how to make it! Perfect timing!

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  10. I believe the difference between almond meal and almond flour has to do with how finely it is ground (flour being finer).

    My package of Bob's red mill calls it "almond meal/flour" so who knows.

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  11. I like this product too, but can never afford it! Just did a blog post on making almond meal in a Magic Bullet (best method) or food processor. Goes down much more easily when it's not $12 a pound.

    Love your blog, Kalyn! I eat and bake low carb, so I find a lot of your recipes useful. :)

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  12. Lauren, thanks for the tip to use a Magic Bullet to make almond meal. I don't have one, but it's a great suggestion for people who do.

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  13. From my experience, almond meal is from whole almonds while almond flour is from blanched almonds. Flour is also ground at a finer consistency, but I don't know.

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  14. Jude, I think you're right, at least that's kind of what Wikipedia says too.

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  15. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-many-uses-of-almond-meal/

    "Almond meal is just ground up almonds, usually with the skin still on. Almond flour is ground up blanched (skin off) almonds. The two can basically be used interchangeably. I can’t really notice a difference, but try both to see which works best for you. Personally, I like to use the meal, but not because of any qualitative deductions on my part: my local Trader Joe’s sells almond meal at a great price."

    I just called my Tj's and it is in the nut aisle...

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  16. Nicole, we don't have Trader Joe's in Utah though, darn!

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