What Is Almond Meal?

By: Bob's Red Mill | November 7 2021

If you've walked the baking aisle before, you've likely noticed the bags of almond meal on the shelves. Whether you follow a low carb diet or are searching for a gluten free flour substitute, almond meal is an excellent option. After reading this article, we're confident that almond meal will become a staple in the pantry.

You don't have to follow a gluten free or ketogenic diet to appreciate almond meal's use in the kitchen. Continue scrolling as we discuss what almond meal is and how you can begin using it to create delicious baked goods.

With the number of almond-based options on the shelves knowing what almond meal is and when to use it can be confusing. Almond flour, almond powder, blanched almond flour and natural almond flour are just a few of the many labels you'll see when searching for an almond meal. It's important to note that almond meal or almond flour of any kind will fit into two categories: blanched almond flour and almond meal. While both are made with almonds, they have a few significant differences.

Blanched Almond Flour

Blanched almond flour is a baking flour that is made from almonds where the skin has been removed. After the almonds are blanched, they're then ground into fine flour or powder. Though not all almond flour varieties include "blanched" in the title, it's generally trusted that they use the blanching process. So while almond flour isn't exactly a "flour" it is used similarly. Its high-fat content and low amount of carbohydrates make it ideal for gluten free and keto baking, resulting in vibrant and flavorful goods like this Flourless Orange Almond Cake.

Almond Meal

Now, If blanched almonds are associated with almond flour, then what is almond meal? Like almond flour, almond meal is made from ground almonds. The difference is that when making almond meal, the almonds are not blanched beforehand. Instead, whole almonds with intact skin are placed into a blender or food processor to create flour. Like other meals, almond meal is more coarse in texture. Though it can still replace almond flour at a 1-to-1 ratio and create delicious baked goods like muffins, the result is often denser than almond flour, and the baked good has a more textured feel.

When to Use Almond Meal

Close up of diet afternoon snack with organic kefir, assortment of nuts, bread sticks and sesame seed crackers

Now that you know what almond meal is, it's time to learn when and how to use it. Because almond meal is more coarse than almond flour, the texture of baked goods will be a bit different than if traditional flours were used. This being so, almond meal shines when used for breading protein like chicken, fish or pork. In addition, the larger granules of almond meal prove to be an excellent gluten free replacement for bread crumbs. Almond meal also tastes delicious when added to fruit crumbles, salads or creating homemade crackers.

Almond Meal Nutrition Facts

Now that you know how almond meal is made let's look at the nutrition facts. Almond meal is a baking flour that's often praised for its gluten free and low carb nature, but it's so much more than that. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, almond meal is great for you and an essential part of a healthy diet. 

Here is the approximate nutritional breakdown for a 13gram serving size of natural almond meal.

  • 80 calories
  • 6 grams dietary fat
  • 3 grams carbs
  • 2 grams dietary fiber
  • 1 gram sugar
  • 3 grams protein

Are All Varieties of Almond Meal Gluten Free?

Because almonds are gluten free and almond meal is a direct byproduct, all almond meals are naturally gluten free. However, it's essential to check the ingredients list for any additives that may not be gluten-free friendly. Additionally, while the almond meal you purchase is made from gluten free ingredients, knowing the type of facility that it is processed in is just as important. When processed in a gluten-containing facility, cross-contamination can occur and leave traces of gluten in naturally gluten free products. If you're baking for someone with celiac disease or gluten allergy, it's important to ensure that all the ingredients used were processed in a gluten free facility.

How Does Almond Flour Compare to Alternatives?

There are many reasons why people choose to use almond meal in place of traditional flour. Some individuals prefer the taste, while others wish to avoid gluten and carbs. Let's take a look at how almond meal stacks up against traditional flours.

Wheat Flour

wheat flour

When compared to wheat flour, almond meal is much lower in carbs. However, it is higher in fat. While this high-fat content also means that it contains more calories than wheat flour, it makes up for it by being incredibly nutritious. Additionally, when following a ketogenic diet, many individuals aim to get their energy from fat and are encouraged to consume significant amounts of healthy fats while restricting carbs. Therefore, Almond meal's high fat and low carb content make it the ideal flour to use when baking keto treats.

Almond meal is also gluten free while wheat flours are not. Though gluten isn't bad for you, it is problematic for those allergic to the protein. This makes almond meal an excellent option for individuals looking to avoid it.

When baking with almond meal, it can often replace wheat flour at a 1-to-1 ratio, although baked goods like muffins and cakes will usually be flatter due to the lack of gluten. Phytic acid, known as an antinutrient, is also higher in wheat flour than almond meal. This being, almond meal may help better promote the absorption of nutrients and your overall health. If you're searching for a product that doesn't contain phytic acid at all, consider purchasing blanched almond meal. Phytic acid is found in the skin of almonds, and because blanched almond flour is made without the skin, it doesn't contain any.

Coconut Flour

Similar to wheat flour, coconut flour contains more carbs and less fat than almond meal. It's also much lower in calories. While coconut flour is excellent when used in several recipes, it's more challenging to work with and is less nutritious than almond meal. Because coconut flour absorbs more moisture, the other ingredients in the recipe will need to be adjusted to avoid dry and crumbly baked goods when using it as a flour substitute. While almond meal and coconut flour are gluten free, coconut flour contains more phytic acid than almond meal which is a warning for some. 

When using coconut flour, we recommend choosing recipes that were created with it in mind. This will not only yield the best result but also make the cooking process much more manageable. Like almond meal, coconut flours grainy nature makes it the perfect gluten free replacement for bread crumbs, and it can be used to create dishes like this Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi. 

Additionally, instead of lending a nutty flavor to cooked goods, it features a more tropical one. You can also use coconut flour to thicken recipes like soups and smoothies.

The Run Down

Almond meal is an excellent alternative to wheat flour, and you can use it at a 1-to-1 ratio in many recipes. It's highly nutritious, flavorful and contains less phytic acid than most flours. Almond meal is also low carb and gluten free, making it ideal for individuals with dietary restrictions. That being said, if you're limiting your caloric intake, almond meal may not be the right choice for you as it is high in calories. Additionally, almond meal is made from nuts, which is not suitable for people with a nut tree allergy.

Almond Meal Recipes

If, after reading the information above, you've decided that almond meal is the perfect flour for you, then it's time to start baking with it. Choose from one of the recipes below to create an almond meal dish that everyone will love!

Blackberry Scones

Can't decide between coconut flour and almond meal? You don't have to! So many recipes like this Blackberry Scone Recipe uses the two flours together to create a baked treat that is over-the-top delicious. The perfect sweet treat to enjoy for brunch or as an after-dinner dessert, pair these fruit-filled scones with a hot cup of coffee or tea for the ultimate act of self-care.

Almond Spelt Cookies

Cookies are a dessert loved by many. However, because they are often made with grain-based flour, individuals with celiac disease cannot enjoy them. Luckily, almond meal can create tasty cookies like these Almond Spelt Cookies to make a treat that everyone can enjoy. So whip up a batch for your next gather, or make them for yourself and reach for one whenever you're craving something sweet. They're delicious!

Almond meal is a delicious high-protein, high-fat and low carb flour ideal for gluten free and ketogenic baking. And while it can be used to create fluffy baked treats like bread and muffins, this flour truly shines when used in recipes like this Five Ingredient Almond Crusted Chicken. Get started using almond meal today and add it to your next homemade treat, were confident that whatever you cook up will be delicious! From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, have a healthy and happy day!


  1. Debra Hemmingway
    where can I find the recipe please for the almond cake that you show at the top of this? Please let me know, I want to make it, thank you in advance, have a good day,
    1. Elisabeth Allie
      Here's a similar recipe: https://downshiftology.com/recipes/almond-cake/

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