After I posted the gluten free recipe I received quite a bit of feedback so this is a response to the questions some of you had and a further explanation of certain items I used in the recipe.
Are almond flour and almond meal the same?
Technically yes, they are both made out of ground almonds, but in almond flour the almonds are blanched, while in almond meal they are not. Another difference is consistency- almond flour is more fine while the almond meal is a little coarser.
Do you prefer to cook with almond flour or almond meal?
I am not too picky. Some stores have one and others have another so I am just thankful when they carry at least one of them. When I can choose – even though some people swear by the almond flour – I like the almond meal. I like that it is not so finely ground and that it looks nothing like flour because it’s not. It is a reminder for me that I am eating nuts not flour.
How do I know if the almond meal/flour was made with raw almonds?
In the perfect world I would use homemade, sprouted, raw almond meal in my kitchen.But I do not live in a perfect world so I have to make do. A great way to ensure that the almonds were organic and raw is to just make the meal/flour at home. You can buy a pound of almonds, chop them coarsely, and then grind them in the food processor. Some people also blanch them first. But if you don’t have time to do all that and you want to ensure the almond meal is made with organic almonds you can just ask someone at the store or do some research on the company that makes it.
Where do I get the almond meal/flour?
Most stores have it in the bulk section. One of my friends was completely deceived by a label on a bag that advertised “Mama’s Almond Blend”, the ingredient list reads: white rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, sweet rice flour, and almond meal. Almond flour is just ground nuts. If it has anything else in it it is not almond flour. There are a lot of gluten free mixes and flours out there. Please read the labels carefully. If they have ingredients that you don’t know or can’t even read, the safest thing to do is to just not buy it.
For my Eugenian friends and readers: I get my almond meal at Market of Choice in the bulk section or at Trader Joe’s in a small bag in their baking section (Bob’s Red Mill). I haven’t yet found another store in town that carries it. If you do, please let us all know.
How do you store it?
Since it is ground nuts, I store it in a jar and put it in the fridge or if I buy a lot at one time I will freeze some.
Can the gluten free, sugar free, dairy free muffins recipe be made without eggs also?
I know it sounds crazy but yes it can. In fact I made it yesterday and it was delicious.
- 2 or 2-1/2 cups of almond flour
- 3/4 cups of extra virgin coconut oil
- two mashed bananas, they helped the consistency
- blueberries 3/4 cups
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1tsp vanilla
- 1tsp orange rind
Everything else is the same as the usual recipe. I cooked them for twenty minutes and then I would like to say that I left them sitting on the counter for ten minutes like I should but I didn’t. I ate one right away. It was worth getting my mouth completely burnt but I advise you to wait until they cool off; they will be less crumbly and your mouth will not be in pain for the next two days.
Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, egg free muffins? Is there anything that is left?
Yes there is. You will be eating a fair amount of nuts which are high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and low in sugars. Almonds are also known for their high amount of Vitamin E, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, as well as free-radical killing antioxidants. Coconut oil is known for its beneficial effects on our metabolism, cholesterol levels, digestion, and proper heart function. I love coconut oil for its amazing super powers which I will talk more about in a dedicated post. Lastly, bananas are high in potassium and fiber, while blueberries are considered to have the highest anti-oxidants of all fruit.