Almond flour and almond meal are a popular gluten-free ingredient used in everything from cakes and cookies to meat and vegetables. They're quite similar, and sometimes even labeled as meal and flour. Do you know the slight difference that sets them apart, and when to use one over the other?
The Difference Between Almond Flour and Almond Meal
Both are made from ground almonds, though almond flour and almond meal have two subtle differences that set them apart. Almond flour is typically made from blanched almonds which have had the skins removed, and is ground more finely than almond meal, which typically still contains the skins and has a more coarse grind.
More About Almond Flour
Almond flour isn't a type of milled flour, rather it is simply finely ground almonds. It's typically made with blanched almonds and lacks the dark flecks of skin, though this isn't always the case. It's the main ingredient in French macarons, and commonly used for airy cakes, as well as cookies and quick breads. Almond flour is readily available in most grocery stores, typically stocked in the baking or gluten-free sections, and might also be labeled as almond meal, ground almonds, or almond powder. It can also be easily made at home.
Recipes with Almond Flour
More About Almond Meal
Like almond flour, almond meal is made from ground almonds, though typically has a more coarse texture and contains the skins. It's commonly used for baked goods like cookies and quick breads, and because of the coarse texture it can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs for coating meat and topping vegetables and casseroles. Almond meal is readily available in most grocery stores, typically stocked in the baking or gluten-free sections, and can easily be made at home.
Make your own: D.I.Y. Almond Meal
Recipes with Almond Meal
Using Almond Flour and Almond Meal Interchangeably
Since almond meal and almond flour have different textures, depending on your baking project or task, what you use can make a difference in how your food turns out.
For example, if you're making delicate macarons or a light, airy cake, you'll want to reach for more fine almond flour so baked goods the light texture you're looking for. If your recipe is more forgiving, like quick bread or breaded meat, it likely won't matter much and you can use either one.