When it comes to grain-free baking, most recipes you’ll come across are focused on any of 3 main flours – coconut flour, almond flour and tapioca flour.
We all stick to certain diets for our own reasons – and while we don’t have a need to be grainfree necessarily… we have been going in that direction for our boys. They are having some problems with their teeth, and we have been working to remineralize their teeth in hopes to clear up their cavities through diet in lieu of the easier route: getting fillings.
Many of you might ask why not just get fillings, but that is much easier said than done – most dentists now use amalgam fillings (which have mercury) .. if not metal, then they use composite (resin) that are loaded with BPA. It has been incredibly challenging to find a dentist that does non-BPA fillings – we have a holistic dentist but my son can’t sit still for that dentist and so we were referred out to a pediatric.
Hard to find a pediatric that does BPA-free fillings – and if you ask about them, they shrug you off like it’s not a concern.
Keeping with the theme of helping them, we have learned that Raw Milk is great for restoring teeth – and while we are huge advocates of raw milk, one thing that will inhibit the minerals and enzymes from being absorbed in the body is phytic acid.
Phytic acid is found in grains – and truth is, my boys do eat quite a lot of grains. So backing away from grains for them has been hard – using coconut flour to bake is an entirely different beast – and while I prefer coconut flour, most recipes I have seen have been focused on almond flour.
Considering every decision requires us to weigh the pros and cons, I really wanted to ask myself if Almond Flour really was the best option for them – but just like everything else, moderation is important.
1. Almond Flour is high in calories.
And while that might not necessarily be bad, you have to understand that it’s easy to consume more when it’s in a flour form. Each cup of almond flour contains roughly 90 almonds. The problem with eating flour versus almonds is that eating almonds makes you feel fuller, faster. That same perception is not there when you consume flour.
2. Almond Flour has fewer carbs and fiber than Coconut Flour.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it makes it a wonderful choice if you are on a low carb diet, or higher fat diet.
3. Almond Flour is a great source of nutrients.
Almond flour is a wonderful source of Vitamin E, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium and more. Compared to wheat flour, it’s a wonderful option – as wheat flour is low in iron and B vitamins.
Not all of these are bioavailable nutrients (nuts and seeds have phytates – which bind minerals) – but it’s important to realize that much of the minerals are in the skins, which are removed before the nuts and seeds are ground into flours.
As with any foods, it’s important to have great digestion in combination with healthy gut bacteria to optimize the nutrient absorption from ANY food.
4. Almond flour is gluten-free.
Almond flour is created from ground, blanched almonds in which the skins have been removed – creating a bright colored flour that is very fine. Combined with Coconut Flour, Almond Flour is a wonderful grain free baking flour.
When you use almond flour or almond meal it’s incredibly important that you use soaked or dried nuts. Nuts and seeds contain anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors that can cause digestive issues when consumed.
When you soak and dry, these toxins are neutralized and nutrients are enhanced – thus making them rich in protein, copper, vitamin E and potassium..
One thing worth noting too is that in 2007, the U.S. passed legislation that requires Almonds to be highly pasteurized to prevent salmonella contamination (much similar to pasteurizing milk). It’s incredibly hard to find unpasteurized almonds. Labeling laws allow almonds to be marked “raw” even if they have been pasteurized (crazy – right?)
Therefore, when you are shopping in stores, don’t be fooled by labels that say “naked”, “all natural” or… “raw” – it’s best to find a source and be aware with where they are grown and harvested.
Find Raw Almonds:
- Better than Roasted Nuts
- Bremner Farms Roadside Sand (Raw, Organic, Unpasteurized Almonds)
- Although Almond Flour is a great option for those who are on a grain free diet, I don’t necessarily think that it’s any better or worse than coconut flour.
Just like anything in our diets I think a variety is important. You definitely get a variety of nutrients in different quantities from different foods – so the best way to prevent a deficiency in any type of vitamin or nutrient is to eat a variety.