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Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour: What’s the difference

Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour

Many food recipes instruct you to use almond products. These include almond kernels, almond paste, almond oil, almond powder, almond flour, and almond meal. In this list, some products seem the same and hard to distinguish. Among them, almond flour and almond meal are more confusing than others.
While almond flour and meal are both sweet almonds ground into a powder or a flour-like consistency, they are not the same. There are some tiny differences that can set them apart. In the following sections, we will explain the differences (and similarities) of these two almond products and when to use them in your recipes.


What Are Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour Made of?

The main difference between almond meal and flour perhaps has to do with their make-up or, more simply, what they are made from. They are both ground almonds, of course. But they are made in two different ways.
Almond meal is unblanched (unskinned) almond that is ground into a coarse or crumblier powder. Sometimes, Almond Meal is made by grinding blanched (skinned) Almond kernels with added skin pieces.
Almond flour, on the other hand, is made from peeled or skinned almonds ground into a finer powder or flour.

The picture shows blanched Almonds (white color) and unblanched Almonds (brown color)
Blanched Almonds (white) vs unblanched Almonds (natural, brown)

What Do Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour look like

Peeling gives a different color to the almond powder. Removal of the skin makes the almond flour look slightly brighter than the almond meal.
Almond meal is creamy tan with pieces of almond skins, while almond flour has a pale, light-yellowish color. Almond meal has a more coarse grind or texture, unlike almond flour which has a powdery, flour-like texture because it is ground more finely.

Almond Meal looks whiter and Almond Flour is darker
Almond Meal looks darker than Almond Flour (whiter).

Other Names for Almond Meal and Almond Flour

Other terms are used by manufacturers or even cooks to refer to either of these ingredients. For example, you may sometimes hear “Blanched Almond Meal,” “Almond Powder,” or “Natural or Unblanched Almond Meal.” As you may have guessed, blanched Almond Meal and Almond Powder are the same as “almond flour” and are obtained by grinding almond kernels after their skins are removed.
Ground Almond is also commonly used to refer to either Almond Meal or Flour. So if you hear someone mention Ground almond, they probably mean either of the two products.
On the other hand, Natural Almond Meal refers to “Almond Meal,” and it is a coarse powder made from unblanched Almond kernels with their skin on.

Differences Between Almond Meal and Flour

  • Almond flour is white, while Almond Meal is tan (yellowish-brown color).
  • Almond flour is often called Blanched Almond Flour, while Almond Meal is often called unblanched almond flour.
  • Almond flour is lightweight, while Almond Meal is heavier. 
  • Because of the work that goes into its production, Almond flour is more expensive than Almond Meal.
  • Almond Meal has a coarser texture than Almond Flour, which is smoother and fluffier.
  • Because of the skin, eating Almond Meal might be harder for people with digestive problems

Nutrition Facts of Almond Meal and Flour

Almond meal and  flour have the same calories, proteins, carbs, and fats (Table 1). However, almond meal has a slightly higher fiber and mineral content due to the presence of almond skin. It also has more antioxidant contents than almond flour, the kind of chemical compound that helps mitigate or prevent the damaging effects of free radicals in the body.

Additionally, almond meal is richer in vitamin E than almond flour without the skin.
The glycemic index (GI) of almond powder (flour or meal) is less than 1, which means it should have little effect on the body’s blood glucose level.

Almond Meal Almond Flour
Calories180180
Carbs6gr6gr
Fiber3gr2gr
Protein 6gr6gr
Fat16gr16gr
Iron6% of DV ((daily value)3% of DV
Calcium6% of DV3% of DV
Sodium3 mg  (0% of DV)3 mg (0% of DV)
Vitamin E41% of DV35% of DV
nutrition facts in 30 grams (¼ cup) of Almond Meal vs Almond Flour (source healthline.com)

Health Benefits Of Almond Powder

Here are some of the documented health benefits of almond powder (flour or meal):

  • The rich mineral content in Almond powder helps support your cellular metabolism
  • Copper and magnesium contents help support the strength of your connective tissues and make the DNA required for cell reproduction, respectively. 
  • Vitamin E help maintain the health of your skin and plays a role in cell communications
  • Vitamin E also helps protect the body cells against free radicals

How to Use Almond Meal and Flour in the Kitchen

Almond Meal and Almond Flour are similar but have slight differences. You can use them interchangeably in recipes. However, they may have different effects on your creations (recipes).  Most people prefer to use Almond Flour when baking different cakes and desserts because it gives the finished product light and airy texture while making it more digestible.

Thus, in most cake recipes, you can use almond flour instead of Almond Meal. On the other hand, Almond Meal is a better product in cooking and can provide a better look and taste to what you cook due to having a coarser texture with larger skin flecks. As a result, it is recommended to use Almond Meals in cooking and not use them interchangeably.

Almond MealAlmond Flour
Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour: What's the difference | almond meal vs. almond flourAlmond Meal vs. Almond Flour: What's the difference | almond meal vs. almond flour
Typically used in cooking as a substitute for bread crumbs or a coating elementTypically is preferred for baked goods
Savory dishes (due to a bitter taste from the skin)Sweet recipes
Preferred for making a coarser texturePreferred for making a smooth and uniform finish 
Works best when you prefer heavy ingredientsWorks best when you’re working with delicate recipes or aiming for a fluffier result such as macarons or loaf of bread
dressing salad, topping vegetables, and coating meatairy cakes, French macarons, cookies, and bread
Some culinary applications for Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour

Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour Price

The price for Almond Meal vs. Flour varies depending on where you buy them. Not long ago, Almond Meal was significantly less expensive than Almond flour because of the extra work needed to process Almond Flour. However, Almond Flour is currently more available and less costly due to the popularity of gluten-free and low-carb foods.  According to the best-priced products on the market, Almond Meal and Almond Flour cost $ .55 and $ .33 per ounce, respectively.


conclusion

To recap, Almond Meal and flour are considered two products despite their similarities. Almond Flour is made by grinding skinned Almond kernels, whereas Almond Meal is made from natural, unskinned Almond kernels.
Although they contain similar nutrients (with slight differences in vitamin E and fiber), they have different applications in recipes. Use Almond Meal to give your recipe a coarser texture and Almond Flour to create a fluffier consistency. Please let us know what you think about this post by writing your comments in the comment section. And don’t forget to share it with your friends and colleagues.

FAQ

One thought on “Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour: What’s the difference

  1. jack says:

    Excellent article!

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