Considering an alternative to all-purpose flour and wondering if almond flour is the way to go? You are in the right place!
All-purpose flour is an incredibly useful ingredient used in many dishes in our kitchen including breads, baked goods and for thickening sauces. However, it can be problematic as more people need gluten free alternatives, want to follow paleo diets or are just looking for the healthiest diet they can eat.
In this guide, I fully cover exactly what all-purpose flour and almond flour are before giving you a full run down of almond flour vs all purpose flour. I also cover the full answer to can you replace all purpose flour with almond flour and tell you want you need to do to start substituting almond flour for regular flour including almond flour to regular flour ratio options.
- 1 What Is All-Purpose Flour?
- 2 What Is Almond Flour
- 3 Almond Flour Vs All-Purpose Flour
- 3.1 Differences Between All Purpose Flour And Almond Flour
- 3.2 Almond Flour Vs Regular Flour: Carbs
- 3.3 Almond Flour Vs All-Purpose Flour: Nutrition
- 3.4 Is Almond Flour Better Than Regular Flour?
- 3.5 Baking With Almond Flour Vs Regular Flour
- 4 Can I Substitute All-Purpose Flour For Almond Flour?
- 5 What Is The All Purpose Flour To Almond Flour Conversion?
- 6 Conclusion
What Is All-Purpose Flour?
All-purpose flour, also referred to as plain or regular flour, tends to be the primary flour used in kitchens especially for baking and breads. Made from milled wheat, it’s also used for thickening sauces.
The wheat used is generally hard red wheat or a blend of hard and soft wheats. The grains are milled to remove the outer shell or bran and to grind the seed into flour grains.
It can then optionally be bleached, to make it white. It can also optionally be fortified with vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium and folic acid.
Whole wheat flour or wholemeal flour is made from the whole kernel including the gran and germ which are removed in the white all-purpose flour. This is a healthier option but does create a different taste and texture in food.
What Is Almond Flour
Almond flour is an alternative to regular flour which is gluten free and has more nutrients. It is made solely from almonds which are blanched and ground to form a fine flour. This process involves soaking the almonds in boiling water to remove the skins. The almonds are then dried and processed until the flour grains are the size you want.
Almond flour is useful for those who want a gluten free option or are following a paleo diet. It also adds more nutrients to your cooking and has a mild, toasted almond taste when used in baking. It’s an off-white/very pale brown color.
Almond flour is also high in protein making it useful for people wanting more protein in their diet. It has a higher fat content than regular flour which can add a moist texture when baking things like bread and muffins.
It can be a great alternative to regular flour in cakes, cookies and bread, but will lead to a denser end product.
Almond meal is different to almond flour. It is also made solely from ground almonds but the almonds do not have their skins removed first. This results in flour with a coarser texture, a darker color and a stronger taste which can be a little bitter.
This means you won’t get exactly the same results when using almond meal vs almond flour.
Almond Flour Vs All-Purpose Flour
There are similarities between almond flour and all-purpose flour as the reality is they do similar jobs in baking, thickening sauces and more, but there are also some big differences in this wheat flour vs almond flour showdown!
Differences Between All Purpose Flour And Almond Flour
There are quite a few differences in our regular flour vs almond flour comparison. This can change a little if you want to compare whole wheat flour vs almond flour as whole wheat flour does have more nutrients and texture, but generally, the comparison is just as valid.
Perhaps the biggest difference with almond flour compared to regular flour is that almond flour has no gluten and regular flour does. This means that if you are following a gluten-free diet, almond flour is definitely your winner in this almond flour vs regular comparison.
Gluten does have it’s benefits though with helping to bind ingredients and adding elasticity to the result.
Almond flour has substantially more fat content than all-purpose flour. In fact, in a cup of all-purpose flour, you could expect to find about 1.2g of fat compared to 56g of fat in almond flour.
This is not bad news as it is heart-healthy fats. The fat content does make a difference to what you are cooking though, and this can make products using almond flour moister.
Almond flour also has a lot more calories than all-purpose flour. In a cup, expect around 650 calories compared to 450 calories.
Rise, Density And Structure
All-purpose flour is very good at bringing structure to baked goods and strengthening any dough thanks to the gluten. Almond flour does not combine as well and also creates denser end products.
For me, this is the biggest difference that can cause the most issues if you want to substitute regular flour for almond flour.
Both flours have only a mild taste. Almond flour adds a mild, nutty taste to cooking which can taste like roasted almonds in baking.
While both flours contain protein, almond flour has about 50% more protein than all-purpose flour.
Bleached all-purpose flour has a very powdery texture perfect for ultra-light baked goods. Unbleached all-purpose flour has more texture as does almond flour which makes these ingredients recommended when you want more texture.
Almond Flour Vs Regular Flour: Carbs
There is a big difference in the number of carbs in wheat flour vs almond flour. In a cup of each flour, all-purpose has around 95g of carbohydrates compared to 24g in almond flour.
So if you want a low-carb diet, almond flour is the way to go. For a high-carb diet, all-purpose flour.
Almond Flour Vs All-Purpose Flour: Nutrition
Overall, almond flour has more nutritious value than all-purpose flour. It naturally contains great levels of calcium, although both have good levels of iron. Almond flour also has vitamin E, manganese and magnesium and is a good source of fiber.
The other thing to consider is that wheat flours contain higher levels of phytic acid which is an antinutrient. This means that eating it can lead to a problem with absorbing all the nutrients in foods you eat.
Phytic acid is also present in almond skins but since these are removed when making almond flour, it does not have the same issues.
Is Almond Flour Better Than Regular Flour?
This depends on what you mean by better.
If you want to know if almond flour is better for you, then yes.
Why is almond flour better than regular flour? It’s because of all these nutrients. Unfortunately, almond flour does have a higher calorie count but at least you are getting more nutrients with your calories.
However, whether it’s better for the dish you are cooking is a whole different question and it depends on what you are cooking and how you want it to turn out. It’s a personal choice.
Baking With Almond Flour Vs Regular Flour
Baking with almond flour is different to regular flour and you will get slightly different results for all the reasons listed in the differences between these two flours above.
The main one you’ll probably notice immediately is that almond flour will create denser baked goods than regular flour, and there will be more texture. It’ll also have a different taste.
Whether these are pros or cons depend on your personal preferences and what you are baking.
Can I Substitute All-Purpose Flour For Almond Flour?
Yes, it is possible to replace wheat flour with almond flour, although it’s definitely not as straightforward as substituting one cup of all-purpose flour for one cup of almond flour.
This is because of the difference in structures and other properties of the flours as detailed above. Almond flour is moister and just doesn’t have the same binding properties. It’s denser and has a different taste and texture. You are going to get different results if you are replacing all purpose flour with almond flour.
You’ll probably find that for some recipes, replacing regular flour with almond flour just won’t work.
Want to make self-rising almond flour? Find my quick and easy recipe here.
What Is The All Purpose Flour To Almond Flour Conversion?
When it comes to how to substitute all purpose flour for almond flour, unfortunately, you will have to work this out on a recipe-by-recipe basis.
There isn’t just one ratio or conversion you can use.
A good starting point can be to do a 1:1 conversion and see how it goes. You may need to add more almond flour because of its moist properties which may lead to a batter that’s too wet.
It can also be worth considering using some egg whites as well to help bind your ingredients together when you substitute all purpose flour for almond flour.
I hope you found this guide to almond flour vs all-purpose flour useful, and it helped you decide what to use in your cooking.
There are many benefits to considering almond flour, but it can be tricky to work out exactly how to replace all purpose flour with almond flour. And sometimes the answer to can I use regular flour instead of almond flour is no. You just won’t be able to make it work.
But almond flour is a great ingredient in the right products.