Almond Flour Basics

Dessert can be quite a challenge for low-carbers. Firstly, there's the sugar issue, but happily, a selection of artificial sweeteners is available. However, once you have decided on the sweetener you want to use, the next most difficult ingredient to substitute is flour -- and this is not such an easy choice.

Blueberry Muffins

Why cook with almond flour?

Like sugar, there are several options for replacing flour, including combinations of soy or whey protein powders, ground flaxseeds and also soy flour. I prefer to use as many natural and whole ingredients in my recipes as possible. I like to use nut flours -- and almond flour (or "ground almonds," as they are known in England) works excellently in many recipes. Not only is it high in protein and low in carbs, it's a good source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, shown to be essential for brain and heart health.

>>Almond flour recipes!

How to cook with almond flour

Almond flour works very well for practically all cake and muffin recipes, pancakes and some cookie recipes, too. It can also be used to make "pastry" tart shells for sweet or savory dishes. The only types of dessert which do not lend themselves well to the use of almond flour are yeasted or bread-based recipes.

Almond flour can either be bought direct from the store ready-ground or it is possible to grind your own at home from natural almonds in a coffee grinder or similar. It doesn't even matter if you don't like almonds because, strangely enough, baked goods made with almond flour do not taste of almonds unless you deliberately add almond flavoring.

How to substitute almond flour in your recipes

To convert any regular baked recipes to low-carb using almond flour, experiment by simply replacing the volume of flour in the recipe with the same volume of almond flour. Use slightly more raising agent than the recipe suggests, allowing for the heavier weight of the almond flour.

Also be sure to butter and line your pans with baking paper to help prevent sticking. After baking, recipes made with almond flour do well to be left a few minutes and loosened carefully with a knife before turning out because the texture is generally more fragile than regular recipes made with flour. Here are a few of my favorite dessert recipes involving almond flour.

Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins

This recipe can be made with any fresh or frozen berries, and you can add as much as 1 1/2 to 2 cups of berries, if you prefer, though it will change the nutritional counts.

My particular favorite is raspberries, although they are also delicious with the more traditional blueberries. If you are using frozen berries, there is no need to defrost them -- in fact, they hold their shape better during cooking if you add them to the mixture whilst still frozen. You can also add a teaspoon of cinnamon, for variation.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 rounded tablespoons Splenda
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

  1. Butter and line 12 large muffin pans with muffin tin liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. In a larger bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (but not the berries). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not beat). Finally, add the berries and briefly mix again.
  3. Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen, golden brown and set in the middle. Leave in the pans on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, and then loosen carefully with a knife before turning out to cool completely. Makes 12.

Per serving (one muffin): 8g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 7.25g protein; 24.8g fat; 273 calories


>>Up Next: Almond Flour Cream Cake and Almond Flour Pancakes

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Comments

Comments on "Cooking with almond flour"

Carole Wurtz February 05, 2014 | 12:04 PM

I'll try this recipe but I will use Xylitol instead of Splenda. Splenda is not something anyone should be using if you want something healthier. It's chemicals.

Debbie February 02, 2014 | 1:40 PM

I would use everything in this recipe except the slpenda, just regular sugar. Nothing in this will kill you or make you fatter, just don't all 12 at the same time...I need to use the almond flour cuz I get sick off of regular flour. Geez ppl....

Helen January 16, 2014 | 9:03 AM

I made these this morning and they are delicious. People have to stop worrying about the fat content. It is foolish to not use real eggs, heavy cream and butter! They are totally healthy for you as long as you are in ketosis! The fat is what satiates you and causes you to eat less :)

Connie January 10, 2014 | 10:25 PM

Do you have to reduce the oil in a recipe when using almond flour due to the fat content of the almonds?

Catherine Elgie-Peters December 18, 2013 | 3:54 AM

This recipe was absolutely delicious. After having many flops with Almond Flour it was fantastic to find a recipe that actually works!! Thankyou.

Mary Fran December 06, 2013 | 2:13 PM

I agree with Ketoman. Fat, the right kinds of fat, are GOOD for you!!! Among other things, they are necessary for hormones, for the brain, for getting certain vitamins into your systems. The only time they are NOT good for you is if you are also eating a high carb diet. On a low carb diet, fats (including cream and real butter) are great for you.I will be making this recipe as is.

Joyce November 24, 2013 | 1:21 PM

Try using half coconut crystals (sugar) and half stevia

Keto Man November 20, 2013 | 11:20 AM

Man, nothing wrong with fat. If you think fat is something you need to avoid you're in for a life of over-sugared or over-salted food because most flavor comes from fat. Also, if you think fat is what makes you fat, your ignorance is showing. If you think gluten-free is inherently healthier, your ignorance is blatant. Almond meal is low-carb, high in protein. It's perfect for a keto diet, and heavy cream and butter and eggs make these the perfect keto breakfast(maybe minus the berries, a little sweet for me)

Nancy October 04, 2013 | 2:39 PM

This may seem like a healthy recipe because it's gluten free, but it is very high in fat. The butter, heavy cream and Splenda make me want to avoid it and just eat a small portion of a regular blueberry muffin which will, no doubt, taste much better.

Gayle J September 15, 2013 | 6:27 PM

Baked these with a few adjustments to reduce the fat - used chia seeds to replace the eggs and part of the butter (which contributed Omega 3 fatty acids). Did not add the cream since the chia seeds are steeped in water, and used Trader Joe's dried wild blueberries. I also substituted baking stevia for the splenda. The berries really ramped up the sweetness. The muffins came out a little dryer without the extra fluid added, but all in all they came out great. Thanks for posting this recipe!

DebbyS June 23, 2013 | 10:45 PM

Hey Bets, first hit on google, worked great! Will share recipe with list ;)

Courtney June 10, 2013 | 8:40 PM

I love almonds, and they are chocked full of nutrition, but they actually DO NOT contain Omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds do, but not almonds.

MJ Popowski June 07, 2013 | 2:05 PM

FYI: Splenda does not contain aspartame. It contains maltodextrin and sucralose.

Sue April 12, 2013 | 9:25 AM

What a great recipe! Since I was using homemade almond flour, and I was afraid it was too course, I increased the baking powder to 2.5 tsp. I also baked it in a "muffin tops" pan for 20 minutes. I probably could have cut that back to 15-18 as they did get a little too dark on the bottom. But they are delicious. Thanks for the great recipe.

Sarah March 25, 2013 | 3:50 PM

Trivium I have found is an excellent replacer for splenda, no aspartain, all natural. Also honey.

LaVona February 19, 2013 | 1:57 PM

I have the same problem as the first post. I live at 4800 feet and when I use almond flour, the product is dough === even after a long time. Suggestions.

Sherry January 22, 2013 | 10:08 AM

I keep trying to bake with almond flour but find that the items don't cook through - any suggestions?

Vicki Taylor December 15, 2012 | 3:02 PM

Thanks for your tips. Have you tried a primarily almond-flour Biscotti yet? I'm curious how it will work...

maryann October 08, 2012 | 4:35 PM

I have a heart issue and want to bake with almond flour. I am looking for a healthy breakfast muffin something with cacoa would be nice....any suggestions?

Mindy W October 07, 2012 | 9:15 AM

I tried this recipe this morning and the muffins turned out great but the flavor lacked a tarterness that regular blueberry muffins have. I will keep this recipe because it was good but I think i will add more lemon juice to see if it will give a tarter taste and maybe use real blueberries instead of frozen to have more blueberry taste.

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