Here’s your official guide to almond meal vs almond flour, so you know when to use which and why.
Because as similar as these two ingredients are, their slight differences in appearance, taste and nutrition may change the outcome of your low carb recipes. That said, many home cooks (me included) use the two low carb foods interchangeably.
Here’s everything you need to know about almond meal vs almond flour so you can decide which is the best option for you!
Your Guide To Almond Meal Vs Almond Flour
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Almond meal vs almond flour are both made from ground almonds — the only difference (ingredient wise) is that almond meal is made from whole almonds, skin included. Whereas almond flour is made from blanched almonds (almonds with the skin removed).
Believe it or not, this impacts the appearance, taste, and nutrition of almond meal vs almond flour, to a certain degree. Here’s how:
Almond Meal vs Almond Flour : Appearance
This is the biggest difference between almond meal vs almond flour — almond meal contains small brown flecks of almond skin, whereas almond flour does not. Because of this, almond flour is the prefered option for baked goods, as it most closely resembles wheat flour.
Almond Meal vs Almond Flour : Grain Size
If you’re making your own almond flour or meal, this doesn’t apply — but if you’re working with store bought products, it’s important to know that there’s often a difference in grain size — almond meal is a coarser grain, whereas almond flour is often finer.
Believe it or not, this can make a big difference in low carb baking, as coarser grain flours are heavier and can weight down the ingredients in a recipe. For example, my favorite low carb bread recipe uses a meringue technique to whip up the eggs, adding “fluff” to the bread. Using a heavy flour in a delicate recipe (such as this bread) would weigh everything down and take away the fluff!
Same with almond meal vs almond flour macarons, the outcome of these delicate cookies is made better by a fine grain almond flour.
For this reason, almond meal is often used as bread crumbs or as a coating. It’s great as a panko substitute, or anytime you’d like to add a crunch or crust to a recipe. If your recipe calls for almond meal due to its coarser grain size and you don’t have it on hand, a good almond meal substitute would be any other nut meal.
Pst, if you make your own almond meal, the grain can be as fine as you’d like.
Almond Meal vs Almond Flour : Taste
Some people find almond skin to be slightly bitter compared to blanched almonds. Personally, I can’t taste the difference in almond meal vs almond flour.
Almond Meal vs Almond Flour : Nutrition
Almonds are full of nutritional benefits — the skin in particular contains some nutrients not found in the flesh (such as polyphenols, antioxidants and flavonoids) — that said, how much of this almond meal nutrition do we actually benefit from in choosing almond meal vs almond flour?
Almond Meal vs Almond Flour : Cost
Prices vary, depending on where you buy your almond meal and flour from. It used to be that almond meal was significantly less expensive than almond flour, due to the extra processing almond flour goes through. But now, with the rise in popularity of gluten free and low carb foods, almond flour is more available and less expensive on Amazon!
To give you an idea, here are the cost differences according to the best priced Amazon products (when this article was written):
- Almond Meal = $0.53 / ounce
- Almonds Flour = $0.31 / ounce
If you’re looking for where to buy almond flour, Costco, Trader Joe’s and Amazon have the best prices! The almond meal Walmart sells is rather inexpensive as well.
How about making your own low carb flours? You don’t have to be a DIYer to follow these super easy tutorials — all you need is a food processor or blender and a handful of almonds.
How To Make Almond Meal
This tutorial is as easy as tossing whole almonds (skin included) in a food processor, and pulsing them using 1 second intervals until you’ve reached your desired grain size. Check out all the tips and tricks in this how to make almond meal guide!
As you can imagine, how to make almond flour from almond meal would be a complete nightmare, follow these instructions for almond flour:
How To Blanch Almonds
If you prefer the look of almond flour, use this simply how to blanch almonds tutorial. The process is super easy — just tedious.
How To Make Almond Flour
Now that you’ve got your blanched almonds, follow this guide for how to make almond flour — there are instructions for how to make super fine almond flour for your delicate baked goods as well! Hint: the instructions are extremely similar to making almond meal.
My Opinion of Almond Meal Vs Almond Flour
As you can imagine, I go through a lot of almond meal and flour in my kitchen. I make both of these low carb shopping list items at home, so I can adjust the grain size per my recipe — and I use them interchangeably.
When testing recipes or baking for personal use, I use almond meal (it pans out to be less expensive when making it from scratch). When I’m baking to photograph, I use almond flour, as it looks more similar to wheat flour, and is more appealing in photos.
I can’t tell a difference in taste, and the small brown flecks don’t bother me!
Almond flour vs almond meal are both awesome kitchen staples to keep in your pantry! I hope you found this guide helpful. Leave me a comment below and share your favorite of the two and why!