Almond milk for milk. Sweet potatoes for fries. Kale chips for potato chips. The list goes on, proving that there's no shortage when it comes to healthy substitutions for some of our favorite foods.
Flour, while replaceable, is one ingredient that is often a staple in many of our homes. Most of us grew up using it in the kitchen to prepare some of our favorite meals. There are several different varieties, including all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, self-rising flour, and pastry flour.
If there are two foods that just might be capable enough to stand in for flour, it’s almond meal and almond flour, which are made from—you guessed it—almonds. Both are used in sweet and savory cooking. Unsure how to substitute them for flour? Here are some tips that will get you started.
Almond meal and almond flour uses
First, it's important to note that almond flour and almond meal are not the same thing. To put it simply, almond flour has a similar texture to flour (finely ground) and is typically made with blanched almonds. The uses for almond flour include making cakes and breads and especially as a main ingredient in French macarons.
Almond meal, on the other hand, has a coarse texture that contains the skin of the unblanched almonds. It is found in the bakery or gluten-free sections of most grocery stores and is typically used to make breads, cookies, pancakes, and crackers and can even be used as breadcrumbs for coating meats, vegetables, and casseroles.
While both are different, almond flour would still make a good replacement for almond meal since the two are pretty interchangeable.
How to substitute almond flour for all-purpose flour
Substituting almond flour for all-purpose flour involves getting the ratios right. If a recipe is calling for all-purpose flour, the general rule to follow is a 1:2 ratio. This means that if a recipe calls for using 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, use 1 1/2 cups of almond flour.
Since almond flour doesn't contain gluten, a binding agent, you will want to use eggs or some sort of vegan egg substitute as a way to firm up the recipe without compromising flavor.
How to substitute almond meal for all-purpose flour
While not much is said about how to substitute almond meal for all-purpose flour, if a recipe calls for almond flour, you can follow the 1:1 ratio. This means that if you need 1 cup of almond flour, simply substitute it for 1 cup of almond meal.
- Don't overpack a cup of almond flour; it's dense and heavier.
- Since almond flour burns more easily than all-purpose flour, aim to keep the oven's heat at or below 350°F and be sure to keep a close eye on it.
- Since almond flour tends to have a high oil content, it's more likely to go bad due to oxidizing. You will want to keep it stored in the refrigerator for six months or 12 months in the freezer to help it last longer.
- If you're new to a gluten-free diet, almond meal is a good choice to turn to in order to keep enjoying some of your favorite meals.
After giving almond flour and almond meal a try, you just might never go back to regular flour again.
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.