There are many gluten-free flours and baking mixes available on the market today. These ingredients can make the transition to going gluten-free so much easier, because it means that we can still have some of our favorite comfort foods. Unfortunately, many of the gluten-free alternative flours are very refined and don’t contain much in the way of nutritional content. What’s more, these flours can send many susceptible individuals on a blood sugar rollercoaster for the rest of the day, the symptoms of which include fatigue, foggy thinking, shakiness, and emotional instability. We can’t deny ourselves all of our favorite foods, so what’s a person to do? Luckily, Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal Flour and Coconut Flour are becoming widely available.
Almond flour is made from ground up almonds, so the nutritional profile is similar to that of whole almonds. Almond flour is low in carbohydrates and contains plenty of protein, fat, and fiber to balance blood sugar, plus vitamins and minerals to boot. You may also hear the term “almond meal” thrown around. While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, the main thing that distinguishes almond flour and almond meal is that almond flour often has a finer consistency and is made from blanched almonds that have the skins removed. Almond meal tends to have a consistency that is slightly more coarse and is not blanched.
Coconut flour is made from dried coconut meat. The wonderful thing about coconut flour is that it is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. It is also versatile and can be used in many recipes. Due to the high fiber content, coconut flour absorbs liquid quickly, and therefore recipes with coconut usually have more water, eggs, or other type of wetting agent. Coconut flour can be combined with almond flour to create flavorful, moist desserts that will make you forget about the gluten you have left behind.
The almond flour and coconut flour available from Bob’s Red Mill are both tested and shown to have less than 20 ppm of gluten, so there is no risk of cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains. These flours will cost you more than wheat flour. A 1 lb. bag of the almond flour retails for around $12, while the coconut flour runs about $7.50 for a 1 lb. bag. These high prices may mean that you are keeping these ingredients only for the individuals in your household who are restricted to a gluten-free diet.
Tiffany Godwin, MNT