Healthy Living on April 2, 2014 by

What is it? Wednesday: Almond Meal/Flour

We are very excited to bring you What is it? Wednesdays! Every other Wednesday, we’ll explore a different ingredient or product in depth. We’ll be covering the benefits, uses and common misconceptions about each. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments and we’ll work them into the schedule. 


Almond Meal/Flour, the quintessential “paleo” and low carb baking ingredient, is a fabulous ingredient whether you’re watching carbs or not. We started offering almond meal quite a while ago thinking it was just another neat, yet obscure, ingredient. Little did we know it would catch on like wildfire and become one of our top sellers. We recently expanded our nut flour lineup to include a Natural Almond Meal for those that want to use a whole food ingredient.

What is it, exactly? We offer two types- natural and blanched. Because we came out with blanched first, it’s really just known as almond meal around here, but if you look carefully at the packaging, it will say blanched. Blanched almond meal is simply almonds with the skins removed and ground into a coarse flour (meal). Our natural almond meal is made from whole almonds with the skins intact. There is only a slight difference between the two in their nutritional make-up (natural has slightly more vitamin E) and they perform identically in baking. The only real difference is in how they look. The natural is speckled with bits of almond fiber (skin), while the blanched is a creamy tan.

Almond Meal Comparison | Bob's Red Mill

What is the difference between “Meal” and “Flour”? Why do some manufacturers call their almond flour a “flour” and some a “meal” and Bob’s Red Mill calls it both? A quick milling lesson: flour is the finest grind you can get. Meal is the next finest grind- coarser than flour, less coarse than grits. Almond flour is inherently coarser than conventional wheat flour. It has to be. If you grind almonds too finely, you know what you get? Almond butter. Some manufacturers get it super fine and pass it off as flour, while others err on the side of a coarser product, calling it a meal. Ours is on the fine end of the spectrum, but still more coarse than wheat flour, so we call it a meal. When we first brought this product to market, we were concerned (and rightly so) that folks wouldn’t know what to do with it. Adding the term flour tells the consumer that that you use this product in baking.

Why would you use it? Like with Hazelnut Meal, there are many reasons one might use almond meal, but they break down into a few broad groups.

  1. You are a baker looking for a decadent addition to your baked goods.
  2. You are gluten free and looking for a way to boost the nutritional content of your baked goods.
  3. You are following a low carbohydrate diet or some variety- be it for weight loss or diabetes management.

How do you use it? Almond meal can be used like any other nut flour, but those who might not be familiar with using nut flours in their daily lives would be wise to consider these points. Almond meal does not contain gluten and is light on starches, so it should be used in conjunction with other flours. Our suggestion is to replace no more than 25% of the flour in your recipe with almond meal. This will bring a richness and nutty texture to your baked goods. If you are looking to create baked goods with a low carbohydrate load, it can be used on its own or in conjunction with other flours that will help give it structure. As with coconut flour, we highly recommend using a recipe that is designed for almond meal to get started.

It also makes a fantastic coating for proteins like chicken and fish and a great addition to smoothies. When you find a recipe that asks you to grind up almonds, use our flour instead. It’s the same thing, only we do all the work for you and you don’t have to wash your food processor.

Almond Blondie

There are no shortage of almond meal recipes available online, but here are a few great starter recipes. Find even more, here.


JP says:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this, Cassidy!

I’d noticed that our local Whole Foods stopped stocking the original (blanched) and now have only the natural (whole) and .. frankly, the whole looks a lot more coarse than the blanched. This concerned me because I could never get a good pie crust when baking with other less finely ground almond meals… they always came out grainy and very sticky.

I’ll still be looking for (and buying!) the original, but will give the natural a try.

You’re so welcome! I hope you enjoy the natural as much as you did the blanched. It should be the same, but oftentimes “should” and “is” are different. Best of luck!

Hi Cassidy! Me again…. 🙂

I’m a raw vegan, which is why I’m curious on which products from Bob’s Red Mills is raw. I’d like to know if these products are raw: quinoa flour, almond meal, coconut flour, and hazelnut meal.

Are all your flours raw? Which products are not raw from Bob’s Red Mill. I’d help if the package said it.

Thanks again!

Yes, all of those products are raw. There are only a few of our items that are not raw- anything that’s toasted or roasted (obviously) and all of our oat products, including the oat flour and oat bran. I can’t think of any other flours that are not raw and most of our cereals are raw- as long as they don’t have oats. Oats have to be stabilized, so they are not typically considered raw. I hope this helps. For more info, please give us a call at 800-349-2173.

JJ says:

Where are your almonds sourced from?

Our almonds are sourced from California.

kim jornov says:

does the almond meal /flour contain sulfites ..or are sulfites used in any processing ? Do you know if the almonds are sprayed with sulfites during the growing phase ?thank you

The almonds we use for our almond meal have not been treated with sulfites.

Martha says:

Have they been sprayed with anything? I notice this meal is not organic.

This flour is milled from conventionally grown almonds. It is not organic and they are grown using standard farming practices.

Sara says:

Almonds are one of the most heavily sprayed crops, I really wish you could find almonds that have not been sprayed for your almond flour!! “Standard farming practices” mean they have been doused in pesticides and herbicides so much that bees will die if they are there when they are sprayed! Very sad that you support that!

Gregor Miziumski says:

I have a cookie recipe in which I have used almond butter and (Odense) almond paste. I’d like to have more control over ingredients, and almond meal sounds like a good way to go. I’m trying to retain the richness I get from the butter. if almond meal is the same ingredients as almond butter, why is the butter wet, and meal dry? will it make a difference in the cooking? Thanks, Gregor

If you continue to grind our almond flour, it will become paste-like. Yes, replacing almond butter with almond meal will affect your recipe and make it drier. I’d suggest making your almond flour into paste first. Here are directions for creating almond paste (or marzipan) from almond flour: Marzipan has sugar and egg whites added.

Gregor Miziumski says:

Adding to the question above, I have read that almond flour/meal is commonly made from almonds that have had the oil extracted. is that the case with Bobs’?

Our Almond Flour is milled from whole, blanched almonds. No oil has been removed.

[…] finely ground almond flour* Follow this link for an explanation of almond meal, almond flour, blanched, unblanched, etc. You can make your own almond flour simply by blitzing almonds in a food processor just short of turning them into almond butter. I use Bob's Red Mill Finely Ground Almond Meal/Flour from blanched almonds. It makes a smoother cookie and it's easier to weigh/sift since there are no almond skins and hence, fewer "almond balls" during the sifting process. […]

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