There are plenty of reasons to switch from wheat flour to almond flour and vice versa. Maybe you want to eat healthier since swimsuit season is coming up, or you simply have no other choice because you have a gluten intolerance or even celiac disease.
On the other hand, wheat flour is a kitchen staple that is used in both sweet and savory styles of cooking. Then again, almond flour is the star ingredient in tasty macaroons. Suffice to say that the battle over which flour is the kitchen champion could go on for days. Instead, we've found the top differences between the two so you can make up your own mind.
Get to know almond flour
Almond flour is made from—you guessed it—almonds. Blanched almonds, that is (with the skin removed). From there, they are ground until they form a fine texture that is great for baking. Here are some of the ways it is different from wheat flour.
- It doesn't contain gluten. When going gluten free first became a mainstream thing, many believed that it was just a fad. While that may have been the case for some who tried it and then ditched it for the next diet, for most, it's absolutely necessary to be gluten free for specific dietary reasons, namely celiac disease.
- It's healthier than most flours. Those who are paleo or trying the Whole30 diet will love almond flour for the simple fact that it's a healthier alternative to many different flours out there. According to Healthline, almond flour is high in protein, but because almonds are relatively high in healthy fat, almond flour does have a higher calorie content than wheat flour. Regardless, it's healthier overall than wheat flour, as it reduces bad LDL cholesterol and insulin resistance.
All about wheat flour
Wheat flour is one of those kitchen staples that many people have sitting in their pantries right now. After all, it's an essential ingredient that lets us enjoy some of our favorite treats such as freshly baked bread, delicious cakes, cookies, and so much more. Excuse us while we drool.
Unlike almond flour, gluten is the main protein in wheat flour. It's what causes dough to become elastic when kneaded. Here are some of the ways it is different from almond flour.
- It can be used in cooking and baking. Wheat flour is an essential component of both savory and sweet dishes. You can use it in so many recipes. Almond flour, on the other hand, is better prepared in baking. This means that the options for using it in savory meals are limited compared to wheat. For example, it doesn’t get much farther than using almond flour as a healthier coating for meats and vegetables.
- It doesn’t alter a recipe's flavor. Since almond flour is made from almonds, it has a nutty flavor that might only work with recipes that call for that flavor profile. Wheat flour, on the other hand, is super versatile.
How to swap almond flour for wheat and vice versa
To swap almond flour for wheat flour, simply follow the 1:1 ratio. For example, use the same amount of almond flour as you would wheat flour.
The same goes when substituting wheat flour for almond flour: Use the 1:1 ratio. Keep in mind that recipes may need to be altered since almond flour typically requires binding agents such as an egg.
In the end, it’s a tight race over which flour is best. It all comes down to your specific baking or cooking needs. For example, needing more flexibility means choosing wheat. For those who are gluten free, well, the choice is very simple: Almond flour all the way.
Sarah is a multi-platform writer and editor. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Vital Proteins, Healthline, Diply, and more. When she's not writing, she's trying to keep up with her border collie, Emmy.