Almond powder is made from ground almonds and can be a nutritious addition to one's diet.
This fine, gluten-free powder can be used in cooking and baking as a substitute for wheat flour.
Almond powder contains various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats that provide an array of health benefits.
What is Almond Powder?
Almond powder is made by blanching whole almonds in boiling water to remove their skin, then grinding the nuts into a fine powder. It has a slightly coarse texture and nutty flavor.
Almond powder should not be confused with almond meal, which is made from almonds ground with their skins on. Almond powder is smoother and better for baking lighter textures.
Almond powder is highly nutritious and packed with vitamins, minerals and healthy fats:
- Protein: 6g per 1⁄4 cup
- Fiber: 3g per 1⁄4 cup
- Healthy fats: Over 90% are unsaturated
- Vitamin E: 37% Daily Value
- Magnesium: 20% Daily Value
- Manganese: 32% Daily Value
- Copper: 15% Daily Value
The high fiber and protein keep you feeling fuller longer, while the healthy fats help lower LDL cholesterol. The bounty of vitamins and minerals provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Key Takeaway: Almond powder provides a powerhouse of nutrition including protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese and more.
Health Benefits of Almond Powder
Adding almond powder to your diet can provide many benefits:
1. Lowers Bad LDL Cholesterol
Almonds contain monounsaturated fatty acids that help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Several studies have found almonds reduce LDL cholesterol while maintaining HDL (good) cholesterol. One analysis showed LDL cholesterol dropped an average of 5.79 mg/dL with increased almond intake.
The skin of almonds contains polyphenols that prevent LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Oxidized LDL leads to plaque buildup in arteries. Almond powder made from blanched almonds still provides cholesterol-lowering plant sterols.
2. Controls Blood Sugar
Magnesium is essential for blood sugar control, and just 1⁄4 cup of almond powder provides 20% of the recommended daily intake.
25-38% of people with type 2 diabetes are deficient in magnesium. Correcting this deficiency improves insulin response and blood sugar control.
The high monounsaturated fat content in almonds may also improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels after meals.
3. Reduces Blood Pressure
Almond powder is abundant in magnesium, providing 20% of the RDI per serving. Magnesium deficiencies are strongly linked to high blood pressure.
Multiple studies show that getting adequate magnesium reduces high blood pressure in people with and without hypertension.
The vitamin E in almonds also provides blood pressure-lowering antioxidants.
4. Aids Weight Loss
Even though almonds are high in fat and calories, research shows almond consumption reduces belly fat and weight.
This is attributed to almonds’ high protein and fiber keeping you feeling full, and magnesium helping control blood sugar and hunger hormones.
One study had participants eat almonds daily for 6 months. Those eating 3 ounces of almonds had significantly decreased belly fat.
5. May Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Almonds provide several heart-protective benefits:
- Lower LDL cholesterol
- Raise HDL cholesterol
- Reduce blood pressure
- Lower oxidative stress and inflammation
- Improve blood flow
These effects likely contribute to studies showing eating almonds daily reduces overall risk of heart disease.
6. Helps Control Blood Sugar in Diabetes
The magnesium in almond powder aids in blood sugar control. And the low carb, high fiber, high protein makeup help prevent sharp spikes and drops in blood sugar.
Almond powder can be used as a wheat flour substitute in baked goods to further reduce their glycemic index.
7. Good Source of Antioxidants
Almonds contain antioxidants like vitamin E, flavonoids and polyphenols that fight oxidative stress in the body.
Oxidative stress contributes to aging, cancer, heart disease and other conditions. The skin of the almond is where most antioxidants are concentrated.
8. May Improve Brain Function
The riboflavin and L-carnitine in almonds helps stimulate brain activity. They also provide nutrients that support proper brain development and neurotransmission.
Some research shows almond consumption may improve memory and delay cognitive decline. More studies are needed, but the vitamin E in almonds is promising for preventing Alzheimer’s.
9. Promotes Bone Health
Almonds provide a number of bone-beneficial nutrients:
- Calcium for bone structure and strength
- Magnesium for bones and muscle function
- Phosphorus for bone formation
- Manganese for bone building and repair
These minerals in almond powder help prevent bone fractures and loss of bone density as you age.
10. Good for Skin Health
Almonds are used topically for improving complexion, reducing inflammation and fighting acne. Eating almonds provides similar skin-enhancing benefits:
- Vitamin E protects skin cell membranes
- Zinc repairs tissue and fights acne
- Fatty acids keep skin hydrated and plump
Applying almond powder mixed with yogurt or honey scrubs away dead skin cells for glowing skin.
Uses for Almond Powder
There are many ways to incorporate almond powder into recipes:
- Substitute for a portion of wheat flour in baked goods
- Use in place of breadcrumbs to coat meats
- Make homemade almond milk
- Prepare almond flour banana pancakes
- Add to smoothies to increase protein
- Mix into yogurt, oats or cereal
- Create almond flour energy bites
- Prepare almond biscotti, muffins, scones
- Add to curries, soups or stir fries
- Make homemade protein bars
- Use in homemade facial and body scrubs
Almond powder works well in both sweet and savory recipes. Get creative with adding this superfood powder into meals and snacks.
How to Make Almond Powder
It’s easy to make almond flour at home:
- Blanch whole almonds in boiling water for 2 minutes then drain and rinse in cold water until cool enough to touch.
- Remove the skins by pinching the almonds between your thumb and index finger.
- Lay almonds out to dry completely.
- Process the dried, blanched almonds in a blender or food processor until a fine powder forms, about 2-3 minutes.
- Sift to remove any large chunks.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
You can also purchase premade almond powder from grocery stores, health food markets or online. Opt for blanched almond flour without any additives. Store in the refrigerator or freezer to maximize freshness.
Almond Powder vs. Other Flours
Almond powder stacks up nicely against alternative flours:
Almond Powder vs. Coconut Flour
- Almond powder has slightly fewer calories and carbs
- Coconut flour has less fat than almond powder
- Almond powder has more vitamins and minerals
- Coconut flour absorbs more moisture which can dry baked goods
Almond Powder vs. Oat Flour
- Almond powder has more protein, fiber and fat
- Oat flour has slightly fewer calories than almond powder
- Oat flour contains gluten, almond powder is gluten free
- Oat flour has a mild oat taste, almond powder is nutty
Almond Powder vs. Brown Rice Flour
- Almond powder has more fat and fewer carbs
- Rice flour contains gluten, almond powder does not
- Rice flour tends to make baked good lighter and fluffier
- Almond powder has a coarse, grainy texture
Almond Powder vs. Quinoa Flour
- Almond powder has a lower glycemic index
- Quinoa flour contains gluten, almond powder does not
- Quinoa flour has a grainy texture, almond powder is smooth
- Almond powder has a sweet nutty flavor, quinoa flour is earthy
Almond powder works wonderfully in recipes as a standalone flour or combined with other gluten-free flours.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Almonds are generally safe, but some people may experience side effects from overconsumption:
- Bloating, cramping, diarrhea from too much fiber
- Weight gain from excess calories
- Allergic reactions - nausea, hives, breathing issues
- Medication interactions with blood pressure or diabetes drugs
Eating about 1 ounce or a small handful of almonds daily should not cause problems for most people. Those with nut allergies need to avoid almond powder.
Is Almond Powder Healthy?
Almond powder provides a powerhouse of nutrition and health promoting compounds like vitamin E, magnesium and antioxidants.
Replacing wheat flour with almond powder increases protein, fiber and healthy fats while reducing carbohydrates and gluten.
The many benefits of almond powder make it a smart addition to one's diet. Work this versatile flour into breads, baked goods, smoothies, cereals and more.
Just be mindful of portion sizes as almond flour is high in calories. Enjoy almond powder as part of an overall balanced diet for optimal wellness.
Is almond powder good for weight loss?
Yes, almond powder can support a weight loss diet. The protein, fiber and fat provide satiety, keeping you feeling fuller longer. Almond powder is low carb, which helps stabilize blood sugar and prevents hunger spikes.
How much almond powder should you eat per day?
1-2 tablespoons (about 1⁄4 cup) of almond powder daily provides a good amount of nutrition without excess calories. Limit to 1 ounce or about 1⁄4 cup for weight loss. Those watching calories may want to eat only 1-2 tablespoons.
Is almond powder gluten free?
Yes, almonds are naturally gluten free. So almond powder made from purely blanched almonds contains no gluten. Be sure to check labels for additives. Some brands add wheat flour or wheat starch which contains gluten.
Does almond powder have lectins?
Almonds do contain trace amounts of lectins. But lectins are destroyed when almonds are blanched or roasted during processing into almond powder. This makes store bought almond powder safe for lectin-sensitive diets.
Can you replace flour with almond powder?
Yes, almond powder can replace wheat flour in recipes at a 1:1 ratio. The baked goods may turn out more dense with almond powder because it lacks gluten. For best results, use almond powder for only 25-50% of the flour in baking recipes.
How long does almond powder last?
Almond powder lasts about 6 months in an airtight container in the pantry. It will last up to a year frozen. Be sure to smell and taste test almond powder before use if it’s been stored for several months. Discard if it smells rancid or tastes bitter.
The Bottom Line
Almond powder provides an array of vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants. Replacing traditional wheat flour with almond powder boosts nutrition and benefits heart health, blood sugar control, weight management and more.
Add this versatile gluten-free flour to baked goods, smoothies, oats and more. Or simply enjoy 1-2 tablespoons daily as a superfood supplement.
Just be mindful of portion sizes, as almond powder is high in calories. Overall, incorporating almond powder into a balanced diet can provide better health.