In a time where it seems like everyone is baking, it can be hard when you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity. This is when almond flour comes to the rescue! But what if you run out of it? Or your grocery store doesn’t have any? Don’t fret as there are some options out there for you still.
Another reason you may be looking into almond flour is for diet purposes, as some people prefer it because it is not high in carbohydrates, but in fiber and protein. It can be equally thick and very similar to real flour, which is why many use it in baking bread, cakes, and cookies.
What Is Almond Flour?
Before we go further, let’s discuss, what is almond flour?
Almond flour, sometimes also called almond meal, is made from blanched and whole almonds. Usually, these are pasteurized and ground until they get to a flour texture.
Sometimes, manufacturers add almond flour to regular flour to lower the carbohydrate content, but you can also find an entirely gluten-free almond flour.
Almond flour is also popular in keto or low carbohydrate diets, as it adds protein and some fat, but little sugar. It is used to thicken sauces and soups, but can also be used in baking goodies such as pies, cookies, muffins, and cakes.
Related: Does Almond Flour Go Bad?
What Can I Replace Almond Flour With?
Now that we know what it offers, let’s talk about what almond flour substitutes can work for you.
#1. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is another gluten-free option that has slowly become more popular because it is dense and sweet. However, some people don’t like its sweetness and find this flour to be too fibrous.
It is good to use in sweet baked goods, and can sometimes be used in sweet sauces that need thickening. It can be hard, though, to digest for those with gastrointestinal issues.
You can find coconut flour in most grocery stores right now, but it may not be as popular, so it can be found more easily in organic stores.
If you are replacing almond flour for coconut flour, you can do so in equal parts, but you will need more eggs and may need more liquid considering how much denser this flour is.
#2. Cassava Flour
Another favorite of the paleo diet, cassava flour is nut-free and gluten-free, and it is very similar to all-purpose flour. This flour comes from the tropical root cassava, which is peeled, dried, and ground.
Cassava isn’t necessarily low carbohydrate, as the root is very starchy, but it is a good source of fiber and can pretty much imitate regular flour in all scenarios.
While it may be hard to find cassava flour, you can try health stores or organic supermarkets, and if you’re lucky, your local grocery store will have it. We recommend you use cassava flour the same way you would use regular flour, but keep in mind that it is carbohydrate.
#3. Tapioca Flour
This gluten-free choice is another favorite that also comes from the cassava root, which is originally from Brazil and South America. Tapioca flour is slightly sweet, and very dense, which is why it is often used as a thickener.
One of its most popular uses is the famous Pao de queijo or Brazilian cheese bread, but it can be used to bake all sorts of bread, cookies, muffins, and even casseroles or pies.
You can replace almond flour for tapioca flour, but consider mixing it to coconut flour for better binding. If you’re doing this, use one cup tapioca flour and one cup coconut flour to replace two cups of almond flour.
If using alone, consider using the same amount, but you may need to adjust for liquid and sugar. You can find tapioca flour in some grocery stores, and certainly in organic supermarkets.
#4. Sunflower Seed Flour
This is a nut-free and gluten-free option that has a mild flavor and is somewhat sweet. While it may not be easy to find in stores, you can make it easily at home.
All you need is sunflower seeds and a grinder or food processor. Once finely ground, it can be used as a flour substitute.
Packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, sunflower seed flour can be used in the same amount as you would need almond flour. You may, however, need to adjust your rising agent, particularly if you are using the cream of tartar, as it can make the baking product turn green.
#5. Plantain Flour
This flour comes from pulverized plantain slices, which is why it is high in starch and slightly sweet, but a good thickener.
Though still a carbohydrate, plantain flour is lower in calories than regular flour and has a high amount of vitamins and minerals. Plantains are also high in fiber, which promotes digestion.
You can find plantain flour online and in some health or organic stores, but it is not as mainstream. Despite this, it can be a good addition to your pantry, as it can be used in making tortillas, bread, pancakes, muffins, and even chocolate cake. You can use it in the same amount, but consider adjusting the liquid, rising agent, and sweetener.
For keto, we recommend you use a low carbohydrate flour, such as coconut flour, peanut flour, flaxseed meal, chickpea flour, or hazelnut flour. You can use other flours but may have to adjust for amounts, or you can try combining some of these options.
Yes, but it may change the consistency of the macarons and their texture. Almond flour allows for a smoother feel to the dough in macarons, so consider buying almonds and grinding them yourself to create a homemade almond flour instead.
Technically, these two are not the same. While they are both made from ground almonds, almond meal is made from whole almonds with the skin. Almond flour, on the other hand, is made from blanched almonds, which can change the texture and make it finer.
Whether you need a gluten-free option or you are trying to be healthier, almond flour can be an essential ingredient in your kitchen.
If you run out of it though, don’t worry, these five alternatives are tasty and healthy, and will bring a whole new flavor to your meal. Time for all the baking to begin!
*Photo by anaumenko/depositphotos