Video/Recipe: Homemade Almond Flour

June 26, 2011 · 71 comments

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homemade almond flour

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the GAPS diet require grain-free baking. Almond flour is a great alternative. However, it is difficult to find almond flour from blanched organic almonds and impossible to find almond flour from blanched organic almonds that have been soaked and dehydrated. The conclusion I came to was that I would have to make my own and it really is not that hard once you decide which almonds to use.

The issue with almonds is that the USDA in it’s wisdom now requires all raw almonds to be pasteurized. There are two methods of pasteurization: chemical or steam. Most commercial raw almonds are now heated and chemically pasteurized (and they are still allowed to be labeled “raw”). This defeats the purpose of eating “raw” almonds as they no longer have the beneficial enzymes after being subject to heat and chemicals.

The other method of pasteurization is by steam heating which in my opinion is more acceptable as it is at a low heat and is said to affect only the outer layers of the nut.

(There actually is a third option which is to buy “really raw” almonds from a reputable grower. These are more expensive and if you are going to wind up blanching (which requires heating them) and/or cooking with them I do not see the purpose in spending the extra money for these almonds.)

Consequently I decided that the organic steam pasteurized almonds were the ones I would use. After I made that decision, it was easy to obtain them at a fair price.

In order to make almond flour, blanching is necessary. Typically, this is accomplished simply by boiling a pot of water, throwing the nuts into the water for about 10 seconds and them straining them. The rest of the time is spent popping the almonds out of their skins.

If you are using organic almonds that have been steam pasteurized you simply have to soak the nuts in warm salt water as you would any other nut. After about one hour, you can pop them out of the skins (which contain most of the phytates) and continue to let them soak for the 8 hours.

Soaking Nuts in a Brine is Important

Why soak the nuts for 8 – 10 hours in salt water? This is really essential in order to remove phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that are present in the nut. While these substances protect the nut from premature sprouting, it is not wise to eat nuts that have not been properly prepared in the traditional method of soaking and/or sprouting. This preparation method neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors and makes the nut a perfect snack that is much easier to digest. This is especially important for  people on SCD or GAPS who already have digestive issues.

In her wonderful book Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon Morell teaches us how to soak and/or sprout various nuts. Many traditional cultures used salty sea water to soak nuts and the sun to dry them. In our culture we can use a good quality sea salt and water to soak the nuts, and the oven (at between 135 and 150 degrees ) or a dehydrator to dry them.

Homemade Almond Flour

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds organic raw almonds (steam pasteurized)

sea salt

Instructions

  • Add 2 heaping teaspoons of salt to a 3 quart pot of water
  • Stir until the salt is dissolved
  • Add the almonds and stir
  • Let soak for 8 – 10 hours at room temperature or a little warmer
  • After soaking, drain the water
  • Put the almonds in a bowl and pop them out of the skins
  • Discard the skins
  • Dehydrate the skinned nuts on a cookie sheet in the oven between 135 and 150 degrees for 12 – 14 hours
  • This should yield about 4 – 6 cups of almonds
  • Place the almonds in the food process and process until it is a flour consistency
  • Be careful not to over process or you will get a nut butter (this is also fine for eating and baking)
  • Store almond flour in the freezer

This post is linked to: Sugar-Free Sunday, Savory Sunday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Meatless Monday, Midnight Maniac, My Meatless Monday, Mangia Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Weekend Carnival, Tuesday at the Table, Delectable Tuesday, Tuesday tasty Tidbits, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, What’s on the Menu, What’s Cooking Wednesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wedmesday, Made it on Monday, Healthy2Day Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday, Creative Juice Thursday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Follies, Turning the Table Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Food Trip Friday, Real Food Whole Health, Foodie Friday, Fresh Food Friday, Foodie Friday, Friday Favorites, Fight Back Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Fun With Food Friday, Friday Food

 

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jane June 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Another great video, Jill! :)

Thanks for sharing this on Melt in Your Mouth Monday!

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2 Jill June 27, 2011 at 6:26 am

Hi Jane,
Thanks for your comments!

Reply

3 Raj @ Flip Cookbook June 26, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Excellent description of why soaking is necessary. I’ve soaked the almonds in just regular fresh water to remove the peel.. what is the reason to use salt?

Thanks for sharing at this week’s Sugar Free Sunday!

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4 Jill June 27, 2011 at 6:28 am

Hi Raj,
Thanks for your kind words. The salt is necessary to facilitate activation of the enzymes that shut off the enzyme inhibitors which are present in the raw unsoaked nut. This is very important in making the nuts more digestible.

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5 Brenda June 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm

How do you find out if the almonds have been steam or chemical pasteurised?

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6 Jill June 27, 2011 at 6:30 am

Hi Brenda,
Some of the packages I have looked at will actually say if they are steam pasteurized in the ingredient list (which should only say organic almonds). Otherwise you could contact the company and ask them.

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7 Charlotte June 27, 2011 at 10:28 am

I guess my almonds are not steam pastuerised then as the skins don’t slide off that easily. They are organic and i soak them (cold water and salt overnight) then skin them as you describe but it takes quite a bit of pressure to ‘pop them’ and i get a numb finger and thumb by the end of it, plus there’s always a stubborn few that won’t pop out at all or need a bit of help to un-peel. I’ll have to contact the producers and found out more.

Reply

8 Jill June 27, 2011 at 11:52 am

Hi Charlotte,
You probably have “really raw” almonds which are perfect for eating with the skins on (after soaking and dehydrating) — they are perfect for “crispy almonds”. But for blanching they make it too difficult to remove the skins. As I said in the video. one time I ordered 5 pounds of really raw almonds and they turned out to be the small ones and I had to blanch them the traditional way (boiling water for 10 seconds) after I soaked them…and it took FOREVER to pop each one out of the skin. It is much easier with the larger almonds.

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9 Kathy Foote June 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Wow great video! And I love your site, really good information! Been with Crohn’s since 95, and just LOVE what SCD has done for me. Its so nice to be able to blog w others about it. I’m keeping in touch! Thanks so much! Kathy :)

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10 Jill June 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Hi Kathy,
Thanks so much for your support. Your blog is really cute!

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11 Jen June 28, 2011 at 6:07 am

great recipe and awesome video! Thanks for sharing with Made From Scratch Tuesday!

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12 Jill June 28, 2011 at 7:11 am

Hi Jen,
Thanks for your kind words!

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13 Victoria June 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Hi Jill!
Another wonderful, helpful video! You are such a gem! :)

I recently went through the agonizing process of trying to get the skins off truly raw almonds… it took me HOURS! I wish I had seen this video first! LOL!

Now I know! :)
Thank you!

Reply

14 Jill June 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Hi Victoria,
Thanks so much for your kind words — they really mean a lot to me. As I said in the video — I bought 5 pounds of really raw almonds thinking they were the best. They turned out to be so small and so difficult to get the skins off! Never again!

Reply

15 Adrienne @ Whole New Mom June 29, 2011 at 7:30 am

Hi Jill,

Two questions.

1. Do you think this gets the flour to the same consistency as commercial almond flours? I have heard that you need to use the Whispermill Jr in order to do that.

2. I assume that you don’t really need to discard the skins and that that is only for a slight taste difference right?

Thanks!

Reply

16 Miz Helen June 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Hi Jill,
Your video is very interesting, I am glad to have a tutorial on makeing this flour from the beginning. Great job! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back real soon! Hope you have a great week end!
Miz Helen

Reply

17 Jill June 30, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Hi Miz Helen,
Thanks for your kind words!

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18 Lark July 1, 2011 at 2:18 am

Now this is a recipe a friend of mine has been dying to find!
I am thrilled you shared it with us all on “Made it on Monday”!

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19 Jill July 1, 2011 at 6:46 am

HI Lark,
How cool is that?

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20 Nicole Feliciano July 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Thanks so much for linking on the Momtrends Friday Food swap. Have a great 4th!

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21 Miranda July 3, 2011 at 10:30 am

I always learn something new when I visit. Thanks for linking to Fat Camp Friday, see you next week!

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22 Jill July 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Hi Miranda,
Thanks so much for your kind words!

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23 Sheryl July 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Thanks for linking up your recipe at Cast Party Wednesday. I hope you come back tomorrow and share some more of your awesome recipes!
Thanks,
I hope to see you there!

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24 roz July 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Thanks for always stopping by and sharing great recipes like this Almond Flour and the Walnut Vegetable Dip on Fresh Food Friday. It’s bloggers like you that are helping me keep this little get-together going! Have a lovely, lovely weekend!

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25 Jill July 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Hi Roz,
Your site is really beautiful!

Reply

26 Stephanie August 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Jill – Once you’ve dehydrated your almonds, what’s the best way to store them for snacking? And how long do they keep?

Thanks!

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27 Jill August 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Hi Stephanie,
I store them in air tight containers or ziplocks and put them in the refrigerator and/or the freezer.

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28 Odddlycrunchy March 30, 2012 at 11:32 am

Since you’re soaking the almonds, don’t bother with boiling and blanching them first. The skins pop off soaked almonds, and your almonds will still be raw. I think the steamed almonds are still “alive” because they do look like they’re going to sprout after soaking – I’ve never soaked them long enough to be certain.

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29 Odddlycrunchy March 30, 2012 at 11:37 am

oh, oops. You do say this just a little farther down. Thanks for a great explanation of soaking. I’ve been doing it without salt, but I’ll try with a little salt this time. Does the salt make almond milk salty? That’s what I make with my soaked and peeled almond.

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30 Jill March 30, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Hi Crunchy,
I don’t think you will taste any salt in almond milk — I have not made almond milk from these almonds. You need to use salt in the soaking in order to neutralize the phytic acid.

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31 Pam April 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hi Jill, I bought ‘raw almonds’, didn’t say anywhere on the package if they were steam pasturized or not… and didn’t even think to call the manufacturer, duh! Anyway … they were difficult to peel, especially for someone with carpal tunnel. I had maybe 2 handsful peeled and couldn’t peel one more. So I decided to just put them all (peeled and unpeeled) in the dehydrator…. my question is, is the peel really bad for you, or does the peel inhibit the salt water to penetrate the meat of the nut to work on those enzyme inhibitors? Also, may I ask who your almond source is? Thanxalot, Pam (p.s. ~ they are delicious!)

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32 Jill April 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Hi Pam,
I’m still trying to find out if the skins carry most of the phytic acid and other anti nutrients so I can’t really comment on that. I’m assuming that you blanched in hot water, or just soaked the nuts for a while before trying to pop them out. and then soaked them for 8 hours or so. I have found that the smaller almonds are much harder to pop out of the skins. I buy the organic steam pasteurized almonds from Whole Foods. I tried the really raw almonds from some company in California and they were very small and made deskinning them impossible.

Even if most of the anti nutrients are in the skin, if you soak them it will improve things.
Hope this helps!

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33 amber June 27, 2012 at 12:39 am

Hi There Jill,

I just came across this post from your tart recipe.

Sooooo glad to find someone else who also makes their own almond flour. I’m unable to find organic almond flour and I am surrounded by organic almond farms here in Northern California (and I can purchase them at my Coop in bulk). Plus I need to soak all nuts before eating. Just easier to make at home. I grind my nuts in a Vitamix and it creates a very fine flour. You should give it a try! Pretty awesome. Oh, and P.S., my kids LOVE to take the skins off the soaked almonds. Great for fine motor skill development. :-)

Hugs,
–Amber

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34 Jill June 27, 2012 at 1:19 am

Hi Amber,
Thanks for the comment! I can’t say I really LOVE to make my own almond flour, but I do think soaking them first is so important and also organic is important — and as you say it is impossible to find organic, soaked almonds — if you do they are outrageously expensive.

I use these particularly for snack bars and almond butter. SO cute your little ones like to take the skins off! It is drudgery for us!

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35 primal woman August 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Hello!

So happy to have found this! I was wondering if the almonds can get overdone in the over. I have it in the range toy specified, but my sheet that was in the bottom rack looks toasted after only 90 minutes. Is this ok?

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36 primal woman August 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Sorry, I was typing with two littlest under two helping me ;) typos are, oven not over, you not toy

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37 Jill August 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Hi Primal Woman,
I am guessing you are setting the oven at the lowest temperature? My stove only went down to 170 degrees F — I eventually bought a dehydrator. I have never had them look “toasted” — they should look raw after drying. However, I’m sure they probably taste really good after toasting!

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38 Amanda August 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Is the phyic acid still reduced when soaking almonds that are previously blanched? I guess I’m wondering if it’s worth soaking and dehydrating them still if they haven’t yet had that treatment. I tried soaking blanched ones before, and in contrast to the raw almonds, they didn’t seem to absorb any water during the soaking process. Any thoughts?

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