A few days ago I posted about making almond milk. That recipe was special treat, but normally I make plain ol’ almond milk, with just almonds and water (and sometimes a wee bit of vanilla extract). Afterwards, you have a big glop of almond pulp left over, which doesn’t contain a whole lot of flavor. You could throw it away, but almonds aren’t cheap and it seems like a waste to just toss it. You could compost it, but living in the city, I don’t exactly have a lot of space for composting or a garden (although it’s on my bucket list!). What I like to do with almond pulp is dehydrate it and make some fluffy, delicious, gluten free almond flour!
Almond flour can be used to replace about one half of the regular flour used in any recipe. It can also be combined with other gluten free flours to make a great GF baking mix. Since most of the almond flavor went into the almond milk, the flour doesn’t impart a huge almond flavor to baked goods. But the flavor IS different than wheat flour, almost sweeter without being sweet.
Making almond flour from almond pulp is really simple. Most people save up the almond pulp in the freezer and make one big batch of flour. However, I make a batch every time I make the milk because otherwise the pulp would sit in my freezer until the next ice age! My freezer is the place that good intentions go to get freezer burnt and tossed out… It only takes a few minutes of actual effort, so making it as I go doesn’t feel inefficient to me.
First, spread your almond pulp out on a tray or pan, as thin as you can get it. It wont stick to anything, so don’t grease the pan. If you have a dehydrator, set it to about 110 degrees. But if you only have an oven, set it to the lowest temperature possible (mine goes to 120 degrees).
Let the pulp dehydrate for between 4 and 8 hours, depending on the temperature of your oven. About halfway through, break of the sheet of almond paste into small bits so that the air can circulate though and dry everything completely.
Once the almond pulp iscompletely dry, place the chunks into a high-speed blender, clean coffee grinder, spice grinder or food processor. Grind up the almond chunks until they are a finely texture flour. That’s it! I store the almond flour in the freezer, and use it as I bake. One cup of almonds used in almond milk will yield about 1/2 cup of almond flour.
Here you can see the difference in color between flour that was about 75% de-skinned almonds and the cinnamon/coconut almond flour I made in the previous post. Surprisingly, the taste isn’t very different between the two, despite the difference in ingredients! I think it’s because most of the flavor went into the milk.
Here’s a Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (using almond flour) that I’ve been meaning to make, which will help get you started in the almond flour baking adventure!