Almond powder, also known as almond flour or almond meal, is made from blanched, finely ground almonds. It has become a popular gluten-free alternative to regular wheat flour and is used in a variety of baked goods and recipes.
Almond powder is nutritionally dense and provides a number of health benefits. Keep reading to learn all about the nutrition facts and health benefits of almond powder.
Almond powder is rich in several important vitamins, minerals and nutrients:
Key Takeaway: Almond powder contains high amounts of healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium.
Almond powder is high in fat, with over 90% of the calories coming from fats. However, the predominant type of fat in almond powder is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). MUFAs have been associated with improved heart health and cholesterol levels. Almond powder also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6.
A serving of almond powder contains a good amount of dietary fiber, approximately 3-4 grams per ounce. The fiber content comes from the almond skins that are ground up during processing. Fiber supports digestive health and keeps you feeling full for longer.
Almond powder contains moderate amounts of plant-based protein, providing approximately 6 grams per ounce. The protein in almond powder contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the body.
Almond powder is an excellent source of vitamin E, providing approximately 35% of the recommended daily intake in just 1 ounce. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage and inflammation in the body.
Almond powder contains high levels of the trace mineral manganese, providing around 65% of the recommended daily intake in a single ounce. Manganese plays a key role in nutrient metabolism and bone health.
Around 20% of the recommended daily magnesium intake is provided in a serving of almond powder. Magnesium is an important mineral for nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood glucose control and more.
Consumption of almond powder has been associated with the following health benefits:
Eating almonds regularly has been shown to improve heart health by reducing LDL "bad" cholesterol levels. The monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, fiber and phytonutrients in almonds support cardiovascular function and may lower heart disease risk. The antioxidants in almond skins are particularly beneficial for heart health.
Blood Sugar Control
Almond powder has a low glycemic index, meaning it does not cause sharp spikes in blood sugar. Studies show almond consumption can improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. This makes almond powder a good flour option for those managing their blood sugar levels.
The protein, fiber and fat content of almond powder helps promote feelings of fullness and satisfaction after eating. This may prevent overeating and subsequent weight gain. Replacing higher calorie flours with almond powder can also aid in weight loss.
The fiber in almond powder promotes regularity and healthy digestion. Fiber adds bulk to stool and helps food pass more quickly through the digestive tract. Almond skins provide insoluble fiber while the nutmeat provides soluble fiber.
Almond powder is rich in manganese and magnesium, two minerals that play essential roles in building and maintaining strong, healthy bones. The phosphorus content also supports bone strength.
Uses in Cooking and Baking
Almond powder can be easily incorporated into recipes in place of regular flour:
- Cakes, cookies, muffins, breads
- Pancakes, crepes
- Pizza and tart crusts
- Coating for chicken, fish, veggies
- Thickening agent for sauces, stews
- Smoothies, shakes
When baking, you generally need to use more almond powder than regular flour since it is denser and absorbs more moisture. A general substitution ratio is 1 cup almond powder + 1 tbsp starch per 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Buying and Storing Almond Powder
When purchasing almond powder:
- Opt for blanched almond flour over almond meal, which contains the gritty almond skins
- Look for coarsely ground flour for more texture
- Avoid added sugars or preservatives
- Store in an airtight container in the pantry or freezer
Properly stored almond powder will keep for several months in the pantry or up to a year in the freezer. Use your senses to check for freshness and discard any rancid smelling almond powder.
Almond Powder FAQs
Is almond powder gluten-free?
Yes, almond powder does not contain any gluten, making it a safe flour option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Does almond powder have carbs?
Almond powder contains around 6 grams of net carbs per ounce. The total carb content is higher but over half comes from fiber, which does not impact blood sugar.
Is almond powder high in calories?
Almond powder is very high in calories, providing over 160 calories in a single ounce. The calories come mostly from the high fat content.
Can you use almond powder instead of almond flour?
Yes, almond powder and almond flour can be used interchangeably in recipes. They are both made from finely ground blanched almonds.
What is the difference between almond flour and almond meal?
Almond flour is made from blanched almonds with the skins removed, giving it a very fine texture. Almond meal contains the almond skins and has a coarser, grittier texture.
Can you use almond powder for baking?
Almond powder works very well in baked goods like muffins, cakes, cookies and more. You may need to experiment with adjusting amounts or adding binders since it behaves differently than regular flour.
Almond powder is rich in healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Replacing traditional flours with almond powder provides a boost of nutrition and health benefits. With its mildly sweet and nutty flavor, almond powder makes an excellent addition to a variety of baked goods and other recipes.
Just be mindful of portion sizes since almond powder is very calorie-dense. Overall, almond powder makes a tasty and nutritious gluten-free flour option.