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When I was taking restaurant entrepreneurship classes in college, one of my professors loved emphasizing the importance of overlapping ingredients that go into multiple recipes. Not only do overlapping ingredients simplify purchases and storage, but they can also help you cut costs at home as well as in a business. That’s why I started making my own almond flour instead of buying it! (Not to mention the fact that taking a look at the price tag on pre-made almond flour for sale locally is just about enough to deter anyone from using it!) I can generally get a pound of almonds cheaper than a pound of almond flour, and grinding my own almond flour also allows me greater flexibility. Almond flour in trail mix or as a snack would be kind of weird! I buy my almonds whole, and then make small batches of almond flour as needed. It’s quick, easy, and doesn’t even require one of those expensive high-powered blenders!
While I typically use whole almonds and blanche them myself, you can use pre-blanched almonds or almond slivers. I’ve never tried to blanche slices that still have attached skin, but I think it would be very difficult and not worth the effort. On the other hand, blanching whole almonds to remove their skin is incredibly easy. I typically only work with one cup of almonds at a time because that’s all I trust my food processor to handle, but feel free to scale according to your needs and equipment’s capabilities! If you’re using slivers, just skip ahead to the second part of the recipe. =)
Speaking of saving money – a recent trip to Whole Foods reminded me that you should always stop and check to make sure buying items in bulk is actually less expensive than buying them in smaller quantities. It’s so easy to believe that bulk saves money, but that’s not always the case! Depending on the type of almond, buying in bulk at the local WF costs anywhere between $13-$20 a pound, but I can get a pre-packaged pound of whole almonds elsewhere for under $10. The same is even true for things within the same store. I looked at organic bulk quinoa (just the “regular” kind, not “rainbow” or “red” or anything special) and at the store brand packaged organic quinoa. Bulk was $8/pound, but packaged was $5/pound.
Blanching the almonds is simply a matter of loosening the skins in boiling water for one minute. I always set a timer because boiling them longer can result in mushy, slightly-cooked almonds! After they’ve been boiled, they will look something like this:
The almonds will be kind of wrinkly and weird looking! All you have to do is gently squeeze them out of their skins. If you’re
feeling silly not careful, the almonds can shoot out of their skins, so make sure you’re pointing your almonds in a safe direction! You can compost the skins or put them in smoothies, but I don’t have a blender or an outdoor garden so I just toss them.
After your almonds are blanched and dry again, all you have to do is grind them up in your food processor or blender. Simple, huh? You can check out slightly more detailed instructions in the recipe box below.
- 1 cup of raw almonds
- Add two or three cups of water to a small cooking pot (the exact amount doesn't matter - it just needs to be enough to cover the almonds).
- Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, add the cup of almonds and allow them to boil for 1 minute. I always set a timer so I don't overcook the almonds!
- Drain the almonds in a colander and run cold tap water over the almonds until they're cool to the touch.
- The almond skins will look wrinkeled - simply squeeze the almonds out of their skins and you have blanched almonds! Watch out, though, you can "accidentally" send the almonds shooting off in amusing directions while removing the skins.
- Spread the almonds out on paper towels and allow them to dry fully.
- Add the dried almonds to your blender or food processor.
- Blend or pulse until you achieve your desired texture. You can make a course meal or a finder flour, depending on how long you run your food processor. Because the bottom layer tends to become much more finely ground, I recommend stopping the processor periodically and mixing the ground almonds by hand. The exact amount of time required will depend on your blender or food processor, but you should blend for somewhere between 20 and 60 seconds total.
- Store in an air tight container and use as desired!
That’s all there is to it! You just made your own almond flour, and probably saved a chunk of change, too.
What will you bake with your almond flour?