If you want to live a healthy life, it is high time you ditch your bad habits. Of course, this includes your unhealthy diet too.
Minor changes won’t do you much good; you need to make big cuts! First of all, you have to get rid of white flour. Regular consumption of white flour will ultimately result in weight gain, but that is not the worst thing about it. It can raise the bad cholesterol in your bloodstream and lead to health issues such as high blood pressure and fatty liver.
So does it mean you have to lay off all the baked goods completely? Is there any alternative to white flour that is beneficial for your well-being?
We have good news! Almond flour is an excellent alternative to wheat flour. It has a lot fewer carbs but is still packed with nutrients. If you do not mind a slightly sweeter taste, there is really no reason not to give it a try!
This article will tell you why and how to use almond flour and answer the question: can almond flour go bad. So, stay with us to the very end!
What Is Almond Flour?
You can make almond flour by grinding almonds, but first, you need to blanch them in boiling water to remove their skin. You will have to sift them into a fine flour as well.
Do not confuse almond flour with almond meal. The two are not the same thing even though people often think so. What’s the difference?
Almond meal is also made by grinding almonds, but you do not remove their skin first. As a result, the meal is much coarser. If your recipe calls for almond flour, it is best to stick to it, or you can mess up the texture of your end product.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Almond Flour?
Almond flour is highly nutritious. It is rich in a plethora of valuable nutrients.
One ounce (28 grams) of almond flour contains:
|Fat||14.2 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated)|
|Dietary fiber||3 grams|
|Vitamin E||35% of the RDI|
|Manganese||31% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||19% of the RDI|
|Copper||16% of the RDI|
|Phosphorus||13% of the RDI|
We should stress that wheat flour contains fewer calories in one ounce (102 calories), but almond flour is still a healthier alternative. Find out why in the following section!
Why Is Almond Flour Good For You?
Almond flour brings numerous health benefits to your table, such as:
Thanks to the high content of vitamin E and fat-soluble antioxidant compounds, almond flour can stop free radicals before they damage your cells. In this way, it helps reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases and slows down aging processes and the development of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Reducing “bad” LDL Cholesterol
The food you eat can have a significant effect on your LDL cholesterol and, thus, on your blood pressure too. Eating almonds and almond flour can help you decrease LDL cholesterol.
Keeping You Satiated For Longer And Helping You Control Blood Sugar Level
Wheat flour made from refined wheat is high in carbs and low in fiber and fat – this results
in spikes in your blood sugar levels. The rapid drop of blood sugar makes you feel tired and craving for food that is high in sugar and calories – that is a sure path to obesity!
On the other hand, almond flour is low in carbs and packed with healthy fats and fiber that secure its low glycemic index. What does this mean?
The sugar is slowly released into your bloodstream, and you thus feel energized and satiated for longer!
Reducing Insulin Resistance
Almond flour is abundant in Magnesium. This valuable nutrient helps you control blood sugar and reduces insulin resistance. It can help in lowering high blood pressure too.
About a quarter of people with type 2 diabetes suffer from a magnesium deficiency. Changing your diet can help improve insulin function.
Suitable For A Gluten-free Diet
People with wheat intolerance are usually allergic to a protein called gluten. It helps the dough get fluffy while being baked but can be harmful to people with celiac disease. Such people experience issues such as weight loss, bloating, diarrhea, and skin rashes.
Luckily, almond flour is gluten-free and makes an excellent alternative for baking! Here is how it compares to other types of flour:
How To Use Almond Flour?
You do not need any particular skills or life-style changes to use almond flour for cooking and baking. You simply replace your regular wheat flour with it – at least in the majority of recipes. You can also use it instead of bread crumbs when you want to coat chicken, fish, or beef.
Unfortunately, your baked goods will not be as fluffy as before. When you bake with almond flour, you need to accept that everything will turn out more flat and dense. There is no gluten to trap air and help the dough rise. It is a small price to pay, though for all the benefits listed before!
Does Almond Flour Go Bad?
All powdered products can go bad if pantry bugs get to them or they get in contact with water. Almond flour is no different!
You need to be extra careful not to get the almond flour wet, or you are sure to see the first signs of mold in a matter of days. If you notice that or any dead or alive pantry bugs – throw the almond flour away and get a new package!
It is better to be safe than sorry, and thus it is a good idea to always run your almond flour through a sift.
Unlike white flour, almond flour contains oils that can go rancid. So it is not enough to get a good look at your almond flour and check it for mold and bugs; you need to give it a good sniff too.
Almond flour normally has a nutty smell, but you should best discard it if it feels rancid.
How To Store Almond Flour?
If you want to prolong the shelf life of your almond flour, you need to store it properly. The better the storage conditions, the longer will your almond flour retain its original quality.
Since it is oil-rich, almond flour needs to be kept away from light and heat. In translation, you need to secure a cold, dark place for it.
An unopened package of almond flour can be kept in a kitchen cabinet or your pantry. If you live in an area with a highly warm climate or you plan to keep the flour for a very long period, you should better refrigerate or freeze it from the start.
How Long Can Almond Flour Be Stored?
The answer to this question is not an easy one to give. You should always pay attention to the best-by date on the label, but an unopened package of almond flour should stay good for up to a year if appropriately stored. You can throw it away when it is past its best-by or use-by date, but the chances are that it will stay good to eat for at least a month more. If it smells good and tastes, as usual, you can still use it.
If you have opened the package, and you plan to use it all up before the best-by date on the label, you can store the almond flour at room temperature. If you want to be able to use it for longer, probably even past the date on the label, you have to refrigerate it or freeze it ASAP.
The bottom line is that you should best keep the almond refrigerated from the first day of purchase. In this way, you will be able at least an additional month of good quality in case you require it.
If you want to store the almond flour for the maximum possible time, the best solution is freezing it from day one. When you are ready to use it again, all you need to do is take it out an hour before you need it.
Even though powder never freezes completely, it is still advisable to allow your almond flour to get back to room temperature before using it. The good news is that you need not take all the flour out, simply measure the amount you need and return the remaining flour into your freezer immediately.
Should You Store The Almond Flour In Its Original Package Or Transfer It In A Container?
Nowadays, almond flour is often packed into a resealable packaging. If that is the case with the flour you have bought, you can simply reseal it after each use and store it in its original packaging. Just remember one thing – the almond flour must always be sealed after you open it!
If the package isn’t resealable, you must transfer the flour in either a freezer bag or an airtight container. In this way, no pantry bugs or moisture can ruin your flour. It will also limit the exposure to oxygen, which can also enhance the rancidification somewhat.
How Long Does Homemade Almond Flour Last?
If you prefer to make your own almond flour, the storage rules remain more-less the same. Homemade almond flour should be kept in a sealed container in a cold and dark place. The colder it is, the longer your flour lasts – it is as simple as that!
What Is The Shelf-life Of Homemade Almond Flour?
There is no label to rely on, so you should best make a label of your own. Note down the date you have made your flour and label the container. In most cases, your flour will stay good for about eight weeks at room temperature, and much longer if kept in the fridge. If you take proper care with it, keep it dry and well-sealed, it should easily last a few months.
In A Nutshell
Almond flour is a healthy alternative to the traditional white flour. You can buy it or make it on your own – it does not make much of a difference storage-wise.
If stored properly, it can last for up to a year. Yet, since it is oil-rich, almond flour can go rancid quite quickly if not stored in a cold place. If you want it to retain its quality for as long as possible, refrigeration or freezing is highly recommended.