Almond flour in the gf diet

Almond flour deserves pride of place in your gluten free pantry! It is nutritious, low carb, and so versatile. 

Leave the skins on the nuts before grinding to give almond meal. Remove them first and you have ground almonds. Grind them further and the result is almond flour. If you go too far, you end up with almond butter!  If you don't want to grind them yourself, they are all easy to find in the grocery store or online.

So why is almond flour so great? For a start, it tastes delicious! It is rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber. It also has a low glycemic index,  making it fantastic for diabetics, celiacs or weight loss. It can even lower your cholesterol.

One thing to beware of is the short shelf life. Keep it too long and it can go rancid. To avoid this, you can keep it in the fridge or even freeze it if you buy in bulk quantities. 

If you have a nut allergy then this is not a suitable choice, but for everyone else I urge you to try it out.

You can use it raw in marzipan, or for baking gluten free goodies such as cakes, muffins, pastry and bread. Oh, and don't forget pancakes to die for!

Many gluten free recipes call for almond flour alone. Or you can try mixing it with other flours, when converting your wheat based recipes. As almond flour is heavier,  you might need to add extra eggs.

Homemade Marzipan Recipe

Marzipan is not just for the top of your gluten free Christmas cake! Don't forget Simnel cake for Easter, or a light and fluffy Battenburg. You can also model it into marzipan fruits.

But not all shop bought marzipan is safe for the gluten free diet, so here is a recipe you CAN enjoy.

Basic ingredients for Marzipan

  • 200g (8oz) ground almonds
  • 200g (8oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 200g (8oz) icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • few drops of almond essence

For a bit more kick

  • 200g (8oz) ground almonds
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 100g (4oz) icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of amaretto liqueur

Method

  1. Sift the sugars into a bowl to remove any lumps. Add the ground almonds and stir together.
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl, beat and then add them to the mixture with the almond essence or amaretto. Mix well into it forms a paste. Don't be too heavy handed.
  3. Tip out onto a board sprinkled with icing sugar and knead it until is is smooth.
  4. You can then either use your homemade marzipan to cover your cake immediately, or refrigerate until you need it. You can also colour it and use it to make little marzipan fruits or sweets.

More almond flour recipes

The Gluten Free Chef has a whole area dedicated to gluten free recipes, however the ones linked below all include ground almonds.



- - Almond Flour


  

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