Creating Your Own Almond Flour – Frugal Challenge

If you’re like me, you may not consider using an ingredient in a recipe because it costs more than you’re willing to pay.  But, if we learn how to make some of the foods we consider a “luxury”, we can possibly save enough money to give it a try!

One of the food items I have been really interested in using is almond flour.  Many folks are using almond flour or almond meal as a substitute for wheat flour when possible.  There are two reasons why I wanted to try this.  One reason is that almonds naturally are rich in nutrients.  The other reason is that almond flour is a low-glycemic food, as opposed to flour.  These both were reasons enough for me to investigate making my own almond flour.  Nutritious, delicious, and low glycemic.  So, what is almond flour or almond meal?

Probably the most popular use for almond flour is in coatings for baked and fried fish and chicken.  Think of it as cornmeal, basically.  Almond flour can also be used like bread crumbs as a filler/binder in meatballs, and the like.  Also, consider using almond flour or almond meal as a topping for your casseroles instead of the traditional breadcrumb and butter mix.  Almond flour can be used to replace regular flour in quick breads and muffins, but not in a dough-type bread.

Now, if you go to a health food store or specialty shop, you can find almond flour and almond meal, but the price is a bit high, especially if you’re comparing it to wheat flour.

Almond flour or almond meal is made very simply by pulverizing almonds.  The product produced by grinding up blanched almonds (the white kind) is almond flour.  The product produced by grinding up raw almonds (the brown kind) is almond meal.  Either way, the consistency is not powdery like regular white flour; it is similar to cornmeal but has a somewhat moister feeling due to the natural oil in almonds.

With that said, my friend and I experimented with creating our own almond meal.  Once again, the trusty Magic Bullet was put to work.

Using raw almonds to produce almond meal, we started out filling the larger container of the Magic Bullet about 3/4 full, and quickly realized that was a mistake!  The instruction booklet (which we read after starting, of course) clearly states that you should not try to grind more than 1/2 a cup of nuts at a time.

As you can see, once we dumped out the almonds that exceeded the 1/2 cup limit, the grinding worked fairly well.  The fact is, a food processor or full-sized blender might have worked a little faster, but the convenience of the Magic Bullet was worth a try.  It did make a racket as the blades tried hard to crunch up those almonds.  Maybe a little pre-chopping would have helped, but in the end, the Magic Bullet did the job and the almonds were pulverized in 1/2 cup increments quite successfully.

One note, however, don’t blend the almonds too long or you’ll eventually end up with something like almond butter, which isn’t bad either, except if it’s not what you wanted.

Now, can you actually save money on almond flour or almond meal if you grind your own?

Yes, indeed.  The yield was 1 to 1 – in other words, we started out with 1 1/2 cups of almonds and ended up with 1 1/2 cups of almond meal.  Since you can buy 32 ounces of almonds for about $10, and a 32 ounce bag of almond flour can cost about $27, I guess if you want to cook with almond flour, you’re much better off grinding your own.  I have not yet shopped around to see just how cheaply you can buy almonds in bulk or almond flour in bulk, but I’m guessing the price difference between making your own almond flour and buying it pre-packaged is just going to become more evident.

Later that week, I used some of my almond meal to coat some chicken cutlets, and they turned out juicy inside and crunchy on the outside, exactly as I wanted.  Just like with flour, I added a little salt and pepper to the almond meal, coated the chicken cutlets, and put them on a shallow baking sheet in a hot oven, about 375 degrees, for about 20 minutes, turning once.  You do get a nice nutty flavor, although it is subtle.

This is my challenge for you today – if you’re interested in cooking with almond flour or almond meal,  give this method of producing your own a try.  The price is right, the flavor is wonderful, and the nutritional value is worth the trouble!

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9 Responses to “Creating Your Own Almond Flour – Frugal Challenge”

  1. Ann Says:

    Hi,
    Sounds like something I would like to try. Do you know is the almond meal or flour is a high fiber. My son can not have high fiber, so was wondering if you knew.
    Ann

  2. Angie Says:

    I buy all kinds of nut meals/flours in bulk from http://www.honeyvillegrain.com as we are on a low carb diet (your article was very timely and great!). They have a flat shipping fee of 4.95 no matter how much you buy. We buy large bags of flax meal, almond meal, etc. and store the extras in our freezer. It is cheaper for us to buy this way than at the local health food store, even with shipping. You can get it for around 1.50 a pound in bulk, whereas here even the bulk nut store sells the almonds $5 a lb. Thanks for your article, it’s so great to see something about a more healthful ingredient than regular flour!!

  3. Angie Says:

    OOPS Please disregard, the 1.50 a lb is what I pay for bulk FLAXSEED meal, I’m sorry! We pay about $4 a lb for the almond meal. I’m so embarrassed! Got my items turned around.

  4. Living in London Says:

    You can store almond meal in the freezer, so it doesn’t go rancid. I’ve found it quite cheaply at Trader Joe’s and from Bob’s Red Mill too. TJ’s also has walnut and hazelnut meals sometimes, which I use for baking. If you’re a celiac, like me, you have to buy GF flour, and almond meal is about the same price. However, you can’t just replace regular flour with almond meal, especially in baking.

  5. NatureMom Says:

    I make almond milk with my raw almonds first and then I take the pulp from the nut milk bag and dehydrate it. After that it goes in the blender to turn it into flour. My kids gets to drink yummy almond milk and I use the flour for cookies.

  6. Becky Says:

    This was very helpful to me. I am trying the SCD diet with my autistic son and there is no wheat flour (or much of anything else) allowed. Almond flour is used instead. I went to the health food store to buy some and almost fainted when I saw it for $10/pound. I think I would rather make my own and freeze it!

  7. Linda Wyzinski Says:

    I’ve got a problem, can you help? (I’m not very good in the kitchen)

    It was my very first try to make eggless marzipan. After I soaked the almonds overnight, I peeled them, and rinsed them, and let them dry overnight. Then, seemed like a whoops, so I rinsed again the next day and let dry a few minutes. Then I tried grinding in my (revolutionary) blender.

    I couldn’t get them all grinded (too wet)
    added up to two cups confection sugar little at a time (okay)
    recipe called for 8T rosewater (added little at a time)
    too wet
    added much more confection sugar
    still too wet
    put into bowl and beat on low speed with more confection sugar, still too wet, more sugar still too wet…can you help?

  8. carl tribble, Jr. Says:

    Is your Magic Bullet a grinder, or a food processor or a blender???? Thanks much.

  9. Hillbilly Housewife Says:

    The Magic Bullet would be considered a mini-blender. The blade is very similar in shape to that of a blender.

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