Almond flour and almond meal are highly popular gluten-free ingredients used in cooking and baking. But while they might look similar they aren’t the same, and those slight distinctions can make a huge difference when it comes to your recipes.
What is the difference between almond meal vs almond flour? The biggest difference between almond meal and almond flour comes to mass, texture, and appearance. Almond flour is made from ground blanched almonds and has a fine powdery texture. Contrary, almond meal is made from raw unpeeled almonds and has a coarser grind and heartier texture.
In this article, we’ll explore all differences between almond meal vs almond flour and tell you when to use one instead of the other. Keep on reading to find out more!
What Is Almond Meal?
Almond meal is made from raw, whole almonds that are ground with their skins intact. Being made from unpeeled almonds, almond meal has a coarser and crumblier texture.
Since almonds aren’t peeled before grinding, almond meal appears creamy and has yellowish or dark brown specks. Due to the presence of almond skins, natural almond meal has slightly higher levels of vitamin E.
What Is Almond Flour?
Almond flour, on the other hand, is made from more finely ground almonds than those used in almond meal. Furthermore, almond flour is made exclusively from blanched or peeled almonds and has a pale, light-yellowish color.
Since almonds are boiled and skinned before they are ground, almond flour has a powdery, flour-like texture. However, blanched almond flour is still slightly coarser than regular wheat flour.
Difference Between Almond Meal vs Almond Flour
Whether you are into low carb baked goods or gluten-free cookies, there is a big chance that you have come across recipes that call for almond flour or almond meal. But while they might seem like the same thing, almond flour and almond meal are so similar but completely different at the same time.
Here we will explain the difference between almond meal vs almond meal and tell when and how to use them in recipes.
Almond meal and almond flour are both made from ground almonds. However, there is a slight difference between types of almonds used for making flour and meal.
Almond flour is always made from finely ground blanched almonds. This means that almonds have been boiled in water in order to remove their skins.
Once blanched and peeled, almonds are finely ground in a blender or food processor until they reach uniform color and flour-like texture.
On the other hand, almond meal is always made from ground unpeeled raw almonds. Since almonds are ground with their skins on, almond meal has a completely different texture and appearance than almond flour.
Highly nutritious and low in carbs, almonds have numerous health benefits and are a popular snack. Since both almond meal and almond flour are made from ground almonds, they have a similar nutritional profile and provide the same health benefits.
When it comes to nutrients a ¼ cup serving of almond flour contains:
- Calories: 170
- Fat: 15 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Calcium: 66 mg
- Magnesium: 73 mg
On the other hand, a ¼ cup serving of almond meal contains:
- Calories: 138
- Fat: 12 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Calcium: 60 mg
- Magnesium: 64mg
Besides these nutrients, almond flour and almond meal also contain copper, iron, and manganese. Furthermore, both the meal and flour contain high levels of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that is linked with numerous health benefits.
Use almond meal and almond flour as you would any other nut flour. Since neither doesn’t contain gluten, they can be a great gluten-free alternative for all-purpose flour.
Since almond flour has a more delicate texture and finer grain, it is better suited for quick bread and cookies. If you are on a gluten-free diet, use almond flour to make various baked goods such as muffins, pancakes, loaves, and cakes.
Almond meal, on the other hand, has a crumbly texture which makes it ideal gluten-free breadcrumb for coating chicken, fish, or other meats.
The biggest difference between almond meal vs almond flour boils down to mass and volume. Since almond flour is finely ground it creates a denser mass when larger amounts of it are used in a recipe.
Almond meal, on the other hand, has a crumbly texture and has a more substantial volume than almond flour.
How to Make
Making homemade almond flour or almond meal is very easy! You’ll only need almonds, a high-power food processor, or a blender, and a few minutes of your time.
To make almond flour you’ll need to add blanched almonds to a blender and pulse for a few minutes until you achieve a fine powdery texture. While pulsing might seem tedious, don’t leave the blender running, otherwise, you’ll end up with almond butter instead of almond flour.
The process of making your own almond meal is basically the same. The only difference is that you’ll need to pulse raw, unpeeled almonds with their skins still on.
Is Almond Meal Healthier Than Flour?
When it comes to nutritional value, almond meal and almond flour are basically identical. However, almond meal is a healthier choice since it’s made from unpeeled almonds.
Almond skin is a great source of dietary fiber and polyphenols which are full of antioxidants. The micronutrients found in almond skin have many health benefits and can help treat digestive issues, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Although almond meal and almond flour are made from almonds, they have a completely different texture and appearance. Nutrition vise, both are basically the same, but the biggest difference between almond meal vs almond flour comes to mass and volume.
Since it has a finer grain, almond flour is a better choice for light and delicate baked goods such as macaroons or delicate cakes. Almond meal, on the other hand, is commonly used for quick bread and its coarse texture is great for coating meat.
Ultimately, no matter which one you decide to use, almond meal and almond flour are healthier and gluten-free alternatives for wheat flour.