Almond flour is a staple for many people when baking gluten-free. Or, if you're like me and are sensitive to almonds, sunflower seed flour may be your staple. Either way, making your own seed or almond flour from scratch is easier than you may think. Almond flour is a great alternative to white flour and can be used to make chocolate chip cookies, pizza crust, muffins and more.
Why should I make my own almond or seed flour?
Because it's so easy, and it'll make you feel like you're one of those "back to the earth" people that make everything from scratch. And that's cool these days.
Also, making your almond or seed flour is very economical...especially if you skip the almonds and use sunflower seeds instead. As a price comparison from the bulk section of my local grocery store:
- 1 pound of raw almonds cost $7.99 and 1 pound of almond flour cost $12.99. Making your own almond flour gives you a $5 savings!
- 1 pound of sunflower seeds cost $3.99, which is a $4 savings over whole almonds and a $9 savings/pound over the almond flour! Wowza!
What is sunflower seed flour?
Sunflower seed flour (say that 3 times fast) is a gluten-free flour made from ground sunflower seeds. Let's just call it sunflour from now on (cute, eh?). Why, you ask, would I do such a thing when almonds are obviously the most popular choice? A couple reasons:
- I want the recipes on this site to be friendly and accessible to everyone. If you have a nut allergy, sunflour is a gluten free option that works beautifully as a substitute for almond flour.
- I've developed some weird intolerance to almonds over the past few months and simply cannot eat them anymore. They make me really sick. So, I needed to come up with another gluten free baking option that works for our family. There are already so many foods that I eliminate from my diet (meat, dairy, gluten), that I needed a viable option for baking my cookies and pizza crusts or I was just going to lay down and cry. I experimented with sunflour and found it works like a charm. Hooray! And as an added bonus, sunflower seeds are much cheaper than almonds, so double hooray!
How to make almond flour (or any nut or seed flour)
Almond flour, or any nut or seed flour can be made quickly at home. All you need is nuts or seeds, a blender or food procesor and a mesh strainer.
- First, add the nuts or seeds to your blender or food processor, turn it on high and let it process for about 30-45 seconds. Make sure that you don't blend so long that the nuts or seeds turn into butter. The mixture should be finely ground, but shouldn't turn into a paste. If it does, well, then you've just made yourself some nut or seed butter, and there's nothing wrong with that!
- At this point you can use your flour just like this. Or, move on to the next step and sift it through a mesh strainer.
- If you would like a more consistent and fine flour, I recommend sifting the almond meal through a mesh strainer. Dump the ground nuts or seeds into a mesh strainer set over a bowl. Sift the nuts or seeds into the bowl, using your fingers as necessary to help push the mixture through. The flour in the bowl is ready to use in your favorite recipes!
- Note: After you've sifted the flour, you'll be left with nut or seed pieces that are too big to sift. Don't throw these pieces away! There's lots of things you can do with these leftovers. Put them back in the blender to grind and repeat the process above. Use them as the base for a pesto sauce. Or, add the seeds to a salad or soup for a crunchy topping.
You can see a tutorial on how to make almond or seed flours here:
What is the difference between almond meal and almond flour?
Generally almond meal is made from almonds that still contain their skins. This will make your baked goods darker, but won't affect your end result. Almond flour has the skins removed and is lighter in color. Almond meal and almond flour can be used interchangeably in baking recipes.
Can I substitute almond or seed flour for regular flour in my recipes?
Generally, almond and seed flours can be substituted for regular flour 1:1 in baking recipes, but the final outcome will be more dense. Use a little extra leavening, ¼ teaspoon per cup, in your recipe to compensate for the denseness. If you're new to gluten free baking, I'd recommend starting by making recipes that have already been tested using almond flour to get used to the texture.
Leave me a comment below and let me know what you like to use almond and seed flours for. Enjoy!!
Homemade Almond Flour or Seed Flour
- 2 cups almonds, sunflower seeds or other nut or seed
- First, add the nuts or seeds to your blender or food processor, turn it on high and let it process for about 30-45 seconds. Make sure that you don't blend so long that the nuts or seeds turn into butter. The mixture should be finely ground, but shouldn't turn into a paste. At this point you can use your flour just like this. Or, move on to the next step and sift it through a mesh strainer.If you would like a more consistent and fine flour,
- I recommend sifting the almond meal through a mesh strainer. Dump the ground nuts or seeds into a mesh strainer set over a bowl. Sift the nuts or seeds into the bowl, using your fingers as necessary to help push the mixture through. The flour in the bowl is now ready to use in your favorite recipes!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I personally use and love or think my readers will find useful.
Thank you for this! I've been loving replacing sunflower seeds for nuts lately, but never though about making it into a flour. Sunflour, here I come!
what kind of sifter do you use? maybe a link for Amazon. Also a food processor or a coffee grinder?
Hi Shannon! I use this mesh strainer rather than a sifter. It works so well and it is one less kitchen too to have around. https://amzn.to/2F7gWQ5 (all the product recommendations are Amazon affiliate links).
I love Cuisinart food processors: https://amzn.to/37tgmIN
And this is the coffee grinder I use: https://amzn.to/2Qb9cmp
Hope that helps. Let me know if you have other questions!
I have had to abandon the almond flour and almonds too due to the high oxalates! I'm now searching for recipes using sunflower seed flour and stumbled upon your site. I use to make my own almond flour so glad to know I can now make my own sunflower seed flour too. 🙂 Do you have any recipes specifically using sunflower seed flour? I've read places that it can turn baked goods green as a reaction to the leavening agents. Any tips for to avoid this?
Hi Amy, I use sunflower seed flour in the place of any recipe that calls for almond flour, and so far it hasn't failed me. It is true though, that sunflower seeds turn the baked goods green. The chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds reacts to baking powder and soda when baked. Since these are necessary components to helping baked goods rise (especially gluten free baked goods), I wouldn't try leaving those out. The baked goods turning green may look a bit odd, but it is completely harmless, I promise! Best of luck with the sunflower seed flour and your baking adventures!
Thank you so much, Maggie for your reply back to me! I attempted my first bake with the sunflower seed flour this weekend and it was delicious...and no green! 🙂 I made a lemon cake replacing what would have been almond flour with the sunflower seed flour and it was so moist and delicious! I think I actually liked it better than when used with almond flour. It wasn't dense, but instead fluffy and moist just like a real gluten-laden cake, only healthier! 🙂 I think perhaps the addition of the lemon kept it from turning green. I've heard vinegar will also prevent the green color. At any rate, I'm so happy to have found a gluten-free, nut-free alternative and again, I thank you so much for your response.
I will be looking around your blog for more great recipes! Thanks!