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How to Use Coconut and Almond Flour Together in Gluten Free Baking

Photo by Sarah Shilhavy
Photo by Sarah Shilhavy [1]

Homemade Almond Flour. Photo by Sarah Shilhavy.

By Sarah Shilhavy
Health Impact News

As gluten free diets have gained in popularity, almond and coconut flours have become a trusty staple in many gluten free pantries. While coconut flour is the fiber from coconut meat after nearly all the oil has been extracted, almond “flour” is really just almonds ground up into a fine meal, and is also marketed under the name “almond meal”. Considering how mild, pleasant and versatile almond flour is in terms of taste and texture, it has become a very valuable addition to any baking pantry, gluten free or not.

How to Use Coconut and Almond Flour Together

When used together, these two flours can make a very flavorful and foolproof gluten free taste and texture, much more so than if you used them on their own. The almond flour balances out the moisture issue with coconut flour, requiring less eggs while the finer texture of the coconut flour blends and evens out the often irregular texture of almond flour.

Using them together is fairly straightforward. But here are a few general guidelines before you get started:

Making Your Own Almond Flour

Almond and coconut flour pair up very well. However, one glaringly obvious issue with almond flour is the price tag. In addition, almond flour is not as dense as wheat or coconut flour, and therefore more of this particular flour has to be used. Considering how much almond flour one has to use in relation to wheat flour, almond flour baked goods can get expensive fast. The best way to get around the price issue is to simply make almond flour yourself. Here’s how:

Pull out your high-powered blender or food processor, your favorite almonds, and blend until you get a fine meal-type powder.

Now you have almond flour.

That is really all there is to it. But, there are a few finer points to the process that must be followed in order to avoid messing up even the simplest of tasks. For the very best DIY almond flour, keep these in mind:

Something else you may have noticed while shopping for almond flour are all the different types: blanched, raw, salted, unsalted, roasted and salted, and so on. These are easily made yourself. All that is needed is the right type of almond. Example: if roasted or blanched almond flour is needed, just blend up roasted and salted or blanched almonds, and so on. Feel free to play with these different types to see how it effects the flavor of your finished product.

The best almonds currently available, if you can find them, are organic almonds that are not from California. California has some serious sustainable issues with their commercial almond industry. See: How Did Almonds Surpass Peanuts as America’s Top Nut? The Dark Side of Almonds [2] and Are California Almonds Destroying the U.S. Bee Supply? [3]

Check your sources for good almonds, make almond flour yourself in mere minutes, mix it with coconut flour and experiment with different recipes to see what you think works best. Muffins are a good starter project, and the recipe below uses both almond and coconut flour to create a foolproof gluten free texture. This allergy friendly recipe also uses raw honey instead of processed sugar and will use up your overripe bananas, so it’s a win all around!

Gluten Free Banana Almond Muffins

Gluten Free Banana Almond Muffins photo [4]

Gluten Free Banana Almond Muffins. Photo by Sarah Shilhavy.

3 eggs
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
3 overripe bananas, mashed
2 cups homemade almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

Topping:

2 tablespoons almond flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk eggs and honey together in a large bowl until well combined. Add extracts, cream, butter/coconut oil and bananas and whisk until well mixed.

Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.

Mix topping ingredients together. Divide muffin batter between 12 paper lined muffin cups and sprinkle with topping.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Recipe courtesy Sarah Shilhavy