Okay. I am obsessed with Almond Meal.
Granted, it is a fairly new discovery and like all shiny things, I imagine the lustre will soon fade, but for now, I am all about it. There have been articles written and studies done that outline some not-so-great health benefits of this alternative, but for Paleo eaters, it is a handy, helpful and healthy choice. It's also great for those just wanting to try something new.
Here are a some of the ways protein-rich Almond Meal can be used in your next meal planning.
Almond Meal is a great substitute for any dish that requires breading for either fried or baked recipes. To be used as a replacement for standard breadcrumbs, AM is used exactly the same way as one would with any bread-based crusting.
Here's what I like to do:
Because AM combines the consistency and purpose of both flour and breading, it doesn't require as much preparation. If I am making breaded chicken or pork chops for instance, I'll season the base marinade- the egg mixture (usually 2 eggs)- with salt and pepper, a teaspoon of mustard, a dash of cayenne, paprika, maybe some rosemary or thyme, and blend all together. Really, any flavour-base you want can be added here.
With your egg mix in one bowl and your AM in another, dip the meat into the egg, then to the AM, then back into the egg, and once more into the AM. Make sure that it is well coated, then place on a lined baking sheet to cook.
Whether you're replacing your flour entirely or using it as a crumble, Almond Meal works wonders in baking. It should be said however that while recipes will often call for Almond Meal and or Almond Flour, the latter is less dense and made with peeled blanched almonds. The former provides a chewier, more dense product, so whatever your preference, the outcome will only slightly differ.
Replacing your flour entirely can make for tricky conversions, but their is a loose guideline that can be followed and with time and a bit of patience, perfected. The general rule of thumb? 3/4 Cup of All Purpose Flour equals 1 1/2 Cup of Almond Flour.
Give this simple recipe a go to try it out:
2 Cups of Almond Flour ( a little less if you're using meal)
1/3 Cup of Dark Maple Syrup
2 TSP Vanilla Extract
1/2 TSP Baking Powder
This recipe is simple at it's core but the foundation of it welcomes any additions like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, coconut flakes or even dried fruit.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all of the ingredients together and roll into small palm-sized balls once the dough becomes sticky. Leave the balls as is for soft and chewy cookies, or press flat- being careful to give enough spaces between them- for crispier edged cookies.
Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Easy!
Almond Meal also works fantastically on top of crumble bakes, as pie crusts, for crackers and casserole toppings. The toughest thing about it is determining the portions which is really a trial by error and based on your own preference type thing. Overall, it's great so get out there and try it!