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)
- 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, 1/4 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!!
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