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Health nut: Those who eat gluten-free find joy in almond flour
Gluten-free ingredient » Flour made from almonds — which are rich in fiber, protein and antioxidants — is gaining in popularity.

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Ali Regan, owner of the gluten-free Sweet Cake Bake Shop, in Kaysville and Salt Lake City, adds almond meal to her specially-designed flour mixes for the protein and fiber it adds, as well as for the moisture and "mouth feel" it creates.

And for sweets, it tastes better than a bean-based flour that would leave a cookie tasting like garbanzo.

At a glance

Buying and storing almond flour

Cost » A 5-pound bag of Honeyville blanched almond flour is $31.88. The company also sells natural almond flour, which includes the nut skins.

DIY » You can make your own almond meal, by grinding up almonds in a food processor.

Shelf-life » Almond flour lasts three to six months, according to Honeyville. But it can be frozen or refrigerated to use later.

Buy » Honeyville has two Utah stores: 389 W. 1830 South, Salt Lake City; and 1080 N. Main St. Suite 101, Brigham City. The flour also can also be purchased online: honeyvillegrains.com

Blanched almond flour chocolate chip cookies

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix softened butter, sugars, and egg together until smooth. Add salt, vanilla, baking soda, and then almond flour. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

With a dinner spoon and spoon balls of dough onto a greased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove and let cool on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Servings » 16

Source: Honeyville Grains

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"I love, love, love almond meal," she said. "It’s a go-to source."

She said it takes some experimentation and skills when using almond flour, unless the recipe is made for the nut.

Barker said it’s worth experimenting.

"This is an opportunity — just like a chef is looking for new products to play with."



Almond flour thumbprint cookies

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup pure organic maple syrup (a light grade A is best)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Assorted all-fruit jam (homemade preferred)

In a small bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, mix melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients, and continue to mix until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill dough in refrigerator at least one hour or up to two days.

Once dough is chilled, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop out tablespoon-size portions of dough and roll into balls using your hands. Place cookie balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and slightly flatten using the palm of your hand.

Using your thumb or a 1/4-size teaspoon, gently press each cookie to form a small well in the center to hold the jam.

Add a small dot of jam in the center of each cookie.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies begin to slightly brown along edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes; then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

These cookies are best served within an hour of baking since almond flour cookies tend to soften as they sit at room temperature. They can be reheated a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 195 degree oven for 6 to 10 minutes.

Servings » 21/2 dozen cookies

Source: created by The Nourishing Home blog

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

1/2 cup agave

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon lemon rind

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners or grease and flour a 5 x 8-inch bread pan using almond flour. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, soda and salt.

Using an electric mixer or wire whisk, combine oil, agave and eggs. Mix well. Add in vanilla and almond extract. Add Greek yogurt and mix well for 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in lemon rind and poppy seeds.

Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mixing well. Pour batter into muffin tin, filling halfway, or into bread pan. Bake muffins 20 to 25 minutes, or bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

Servings » 12 muffins or 1 loaf of bread

Source: Eat Free: No gluten. No Sugar. No Guilt by Rhiannon Lawrence.

Almond Pancakes

1 egg

1 cup almond flour

Pinch of salt

1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream

Butter for frying

Maple syrup, for topping

Fresh fruit, for topping

Whisk egg in a large bowl or liquid measuring cup. Mix in the almond flour and salt; add enough cream to get a good pancake batter consistency and mix well. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a small frying pan on medium high.

When the butter begins to foam, spoon about 1/4 of the mixture into the center of the pan and spread out to about 4-inch diameter; continue to cook for a minute or so until the edges look dry. Carefully flip and cook for another minute until set.

Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit.

Servings » 8

Source: Fabulousfoods.com

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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