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Making Raw Flours (explaining the difference between nut flour, meal, and pulp, plus more)

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First of all proper storage is a must. It is important to store nut flours in the refrigerator or freezer to avoid rancidity.  Because nuts are expensive, you want to protect your investment, not the mention flavor and nutrients.

Keep in mind that nuts are a common food allergen, and since most nuts can be well hidden in recipes, it is a good idea to tell people that your recipe contains nuts.

Nut Flour Basics

When it comes to raw recipes, it can be very confusing  what the recipe author is using when calling for a nut flour.  A nut flour can be made straight from nuts that simply have been ground in a food processor to a semi-fine powder.  This “flour” is similar in texture to coarse corn meal.  Nut flour can also be made from nut pulp, which is the remains from making nut milk.  Both of these types of flours are indeed raw, providing the nuts that you started out with are raw.  There may be times that you are reading a recipe for a cooked dish that calls for almond flour.  They are usually referring to a nut flour that has been processed and packaged.  This wouldn’t be a raw product.  If your ever in doubt, contact the recipe creator and find out exactly what they used.

So keep in mind…

  • Nut Flour can mean Nut Pulp – it is the leftover remains from making nut milk.  This “flour” can be used wet or dry.  The wet pulp will last for about 2 days in the fridge or it can be frozen for later use.  Or you can spread the wet nut pulp on the teflex sheet that comes with your dehydrator and dry at 105 degrees until it is completely dry.  You can then grind it to a further powdery form.
  • Nut Flour can mean Nut Meal – this is made from raw nuts in your food processor or blender ground until it reaches a tiny crumbly consistency, as shown in the picture to the above.  You have to be very careful that you don’t over process it to where it starts to release to much of its oils and heads towards a nut butter stage.  Nut meal has more oil and is coarser than commercial nut flours.  If you want a real light and fluffy flour consistency be sure that you soak and dehydrate the nuts prior to processing.  Soaking will also help to also release the enzyme inhibitors, which is very important.  If you are looking for a “white” flour for color sensitive recipes, you can remove the skins from almonds right after the soaking process.
  • Nut Flour can mean Processed Flour – that is made commercially.  It has been heated and processed.  This is not a raw product and is often used in baked goods that appeal to a gluten-free diet.  This is drier and has a finer texture.
Can you substitute one for the other?
  • Yes and no… sorry for the grey answer.  But then again this is also one of the great aspects of making raw food recipes.  You have the ability to be more creative and gives you wiggle room.  When you bake, there is not as much forgiveness and leeway with your ingredients.  When creating raw recipes you can usually use one or the other but it can alter the flavor and texture a tad.  So keep that in mind.
  • Nut Pulps offer a lighter texture, which is great in making raw breads, cakes or croutons.  As mentioned above, nut pulp is the remains from making nut milk.  You can use it wet or dry.  If you use it wet it will add more moisture in the recipe, whereas if you dehydrate and grind it like a flour you may have to add more moisture to that recipe.  Grinding it to a fine flour will also give you a more smooth texture.
  • If you don’t have or can’t make nut milk to obtain pulp, you can use ground up nuts making a “meal” (small crumbled texture).  Nut meal will make a recipe more dense and heavy.  I have made raw croutons with both the pulp and meal to test for myself what the difference is.  The croutons with the pulp where much lighter and crunchier.  Both tasted good, it was more about the mouth-feel.
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Most Common Nut Flours Used in Raw Recipes

Just about any nut can be ground into a flour, except for pine nuts, they will become instant “butter”.
General rule of thumb is 1 cup of nuts = 1 1/2 cups of flour.

Almond Flour made from almond pulp

  • It has as a mild, sweet butter flavor.
  • Nut pulp consists of the remains from making nut milk.  Click here on how to make nut milk.
  • To make the flour: Using an offset spatula, spread the pulp on a nonstick drying sheet on a dehydrator shelf.  Dehydrate at 105°F for 24 hours, or until completely dry.  Transfer the dehydrated pulp to a food processor and grind to a silky flour.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for a longer shelf life.
  • It can even be used as the base on some desserts, cracker recipes or for cookies.
  • Almond flour is the most versatile nut flour in terms of flavor.

Almond Flour made from whole almonds

  • It has as a mild, sweet butter flavor.
  • This is often referred to as almond meal.
  • Soak and dehydrate the almonds.  Place almonds in the food processor or a high-speed blender and process until it is a fine powder.  Be careful that you don’t over process and start making almond butter.  It is best to do this in small batches of about 1 cup.
  • If your recipe has a sweetener in it, here is a tip:  When creating the nut meal, place the nuts in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, and add 1-3 Tbsp of granulated sugar (raw coconut crystals) and pulse until the nuts resemble cornmeal.  The sugar and pulsing action helps to prevent the nut meal from turning into a nut butter.  A ratio suggestion would be 2 cups of nuts to 1-3 Tbsp of sugar.
  • Almond meal / flour is the most versatile nut flour in terms of flavor.
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Pecan Flour made from pecan pulp

  • Pecan flour is very rich tasting, though it does have a slightly more astringent flavor.
  • Nut pulp consists of the remains from making nut milk.  Click here on how to make nut milk.
  • To make the flour: Using an offset spatula, spread the pulp on a nonstick drying sheet on a dehydrator shelf.  Dehydrate at 105°F for 24 hours, or until completely dry. Transfer the dehydrated pulp to a food processor and grind to a silky flour.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for a longer shelf life.
  • Because the pecan’s skin is left on prior to grinding, it is darker brown color.
  • I recommend using this flour in a recipes that are not white in color or too neutral flavored, such as white macaroon recipe.

Pecan Flour made from whole pecans

  • Pecan flour is very rich tasting, though it does have a slightly more astringent flavor.
  • This is often referred to as pecan meal as well.
  • Soak and dehydrate the pecans.  Place pecans in the food processor or a high-speed blender and process until it is a fine powder.  Be careful that you don’t over process and start making pecan butter.
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Hazelnut Flour made from hazelnut pulp

  • Nut pulp consists of the remains from making nut milk.  Click here on how to make nut milk.
  • To make the flour: Using an offset spatula, spread the pulp on a nonstick drying sheet on a dehydrator shelf.  Dehydrate at 105°F for 24 hours, or until completely dry.  Transfer the dehydrated pulp to a food processor and grind to a silky flour.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for a longer shelf life.
  • Hazelnut flour has a more distinct flavor.  It is great for any item that you want to taste like hazelnuts.
  • Like pecans, hazelnuts are darker, which will affect the product’s color.

Hazelnut  Flour made from whole hazelnuts

  • This is often referred to as hazelnut meal as well.
  • Soak and dehydrate the hazelnuts.  Place hazelnuts in the food processor or a high-speed blender and process until it is a fine powder.  Be careful that you don’t over process and start making hazelnut butter.
  • It helps to freeze the nuts before grinding, use the pulse setting on the processor, and add any dry natural sweetener / sugar in the recipe to the nuts to help absorb the oils.
  • 1/4 pound whole nuts yields about 1 cup nut meal.
  • Hazelnut flour has a more distinct flavor. It is great for any item that you want to taste like hazelnuts.
  • Like pecans, hazelnuts are darker, which will affect the product’s color.
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Walnut Flour made from walnut pulp

  • Nut pulp consists of the remains from making nut milk.  Click here on how to make nut milk.
  • To make the flour: Using an offset spatula, spread the pulp on a nonstick drying sheet on a dehydrator shelf.  Dehydrate at 105°F for 24 hours, or until completely dry.  Transfer the dehydrated pulp to a food processor and grind to a silky flour.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for a longer shelf life.
  • Walnut flour has a distinctly walnut taste and will impart that into a recipe.
  • It produces a brown flour because the skin is left on when grinding.
  • It works best in recipes similar to those that call for pecan flour.

Walnut Flour made from whole walnuts

  • This is often referred to as walnut meal as well.
  • Soak and dehydrate the walnuts.  Place walnuts in the food processor or a high-speed blender and process until it is a fine powder.  Be careful that you don’t over process and start making walnut butter.
  • Walnut flour has a distinctly walnut taste and will impart that into a recipe.
  • It produces a brown flour because the skin is left on when grinding.
  • It works best in recipes similar to those that call for pecan flour.
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Cashew Flour made from cashew pulp

  • Nut pulp consists of the remains from making nut milk.  Click here on how to make nut milk.
  • To make the flour: Using an offset spatula, spread the pulp on a nonstick drying sheet on a dehydrator shelf.  Dehydrate at 105°F for 24 hours, or until completely dry.  Transfer the dehydrated pulp to a food processor and grind to a silky flour.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for a longer shelf life.
  • Soak for 2+ hours and dehydrate before grinding to a flour.
  • Cashews lend a sweet but neutral flavor to a recipe.  Great to use in recipes that require a light color such as vanilla macaroons.

Cashew Flour made from whole cashews

  • This is often referred to as cashew meal.
  • Place cashews in the food processor or a high-speed blender and process until it is a fine powder (cornmeal texture).  Be careful that you don’t over process and start making cashew butter.
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Other Common Flours Used in Raw Recipes

Oat Flour made from raw rolled oats

  • Soak raw oats then dehydrate.  Using an offset spatula, spread the oats on a nonstick drying sheet on a dehydrator shelf.  Dehydrate at 105°F for 24 hours, or until completely dry.
  • To make the flour:  Transfer the dehydrated oats to a food processor and grind to a silky flour.  For a really fine flour sift the “flour” to get rid of any oat fragments that weren’t completely pulverized–you may process the fragments again to obtain more flour.  You can also use a high-speed blender but only process 1 cup at a time.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for a longer shelf life.
  • Oats give a nuttier, somewhat darker and coarser flour similar to whole wheat.
  • Use 1 1/4 cups rolled oats to make one cup of oat flour.
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Quinoa Flour 

  • 1 cup of whole quinoa = 3/4 cup quinoa flour.
  • First you want to sprout the seeds, soak 1/3 cup of seeds in a jar for 2-4 hours, then drain and rinse the seeds twice a day for 2-4 days.  Once small tails form, using an offset spatula, spread the quinoa on a nonstick drying sheet on a dehydrator shelf.  Dehydrate at 105°F for 24 hours, or until completely dry.
  • To make the flour:  Transfer the dehydrated quinoa to a food processor or high-speed blender and grind to a silky flour.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or store in the freezer for 6 months.
  • Quinoa is a seed and is gluten-free.
  • The flavor itself is quite strong compared to other flours.  It gives your recipes a slight nutty flavor.  It is suitable for use in sweet and savory recipes, such as cookies, cakes, and breads.  It pairs well with fruits and nuts, spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and coriander, as well as herbs like rosemary.
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Buckwheat Flour

  • Sprout and dehydrate buckwheat groats.
  • Grind to flour in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for 6 months.
  • Buckwheat can be safely eaten by people who have celiac disease as it does not contain gluten.  Always double-check your source to be sure they don’t have cross contamination issues with products that do contain gluten.
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Flax Meal / Flour

  • Grind dry flax-seeds in a high-speed blender or spice grinder until it becomes a fine powder.  It is best to do it in small batches of 1/4 – 1/2 cup.  Only grind what you will use immediately.  Do NOT soak flax seeds when making a flour from them.  Use dry seeds.
  • Whole flax-seed stays fresh for up to a year if stored safely, however flax-seed meal (ground flax-seed) goes rancid more quickly.  If you question how long the product has been on the shelves or how it has been stored, it is highly recommended that you purchase whole flax-seed and grind it yourself.  It’s also less expensive to buy it whole.
  • Flax offers a nutty flavor to a recipe.
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Chia Meal / Flour

  • Prepared in the same way as flax meal, but can give a lighter, fluffier texture to recipes than flax.
  • The taste of chia is very mild and pleasant.  That means you can easily combine it with other foods without changing the taste dramatically.  People add chia to their sauces, bread batters, puddings, smoothies and more.  They are a complete protein.
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Coconut Flour made with mature brown coconuts

  • Remove the meat from a mature brown coconut and pass through a twin auger or masticating juicer.
  • Transfer the resulting pulp and liquid to a nut milk bag and strain.  The milk is beautifully sweet and can be used in curry sauces, as can the pulp.
  • To make the flour: Using an offset spatula, spread the pulp on a nonstick drying sheet on a dehydrator shelf.  Dehydrate at 105°F for 24 hours, or until completely dry.  Transfer the dehydrated pulp to a food processor and grind to a silky flour.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for a longer shelf life.

Coconut Flour – pre-made through Coconut Secrets

  • Coconut flour made through Coconut Secrets is raw and gluten-free.

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18 thoughts on “Making Raw Flours (explaining the difference between nut flour, meal, and pulp, plus more)

  1. Jaimee says:

    I just wanted to say I absolutely LOVE this website! It is now my daily go to!
    Thank you so much for helping eating raw all slot together for me, Amazing!
    Jaimee x

  2. Naomi says:

    No where else have I seen these techniques explained so clearly! It is obvious that you are speaking from experience, as well as your professional training. And everything you do is so beautifully illustrated. I am so glad I found your website!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Naomi :) I really appreciate your kind words. I do my best to express the passion that have about raw / healthy foods. I try to take the guess work out of things. That way you stay inspired along your journey. Merry Christmas!!

  3. vicki haines says:

    in all my research it appears that cashews do contain phytic acid and in high amounts, this is the only website i have come across that states otherwise. wondered why you said this.
    thankyou

    vicki

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Vicki….

      I will say that there is some conflicting information on the net regarding this very question. But to error on the side of caution, I added to soak and dehydrate them prior to making a flour. Many sites indicate that that process is not required because they don’t have “skins” such as almonds, pecans, walnuts. I am not referring to the nut shell, but the brown skin around it. But thank you for bringing that to my attention. It is always good to revisit things and see what the latest studies are showing. Have a great day, amie sue

  4. whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your articles.
    Stay up the great work! You realize, many persons are hunting around for this information, you could help them greatly.

  5. Bennett says:

    I take pleasure in, result in I found exactly what I was looking for.

    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man.

    Have a great day. Bye

  6. Helen Prout says:

    Hi,
    I recently found out that I have a hiatus hernia, and am trying to improve my diet and overall health – your web-site has certainly given me lots of ideas for doing this!
    I would like to make some of my own nut flours, and wonder if you would recommend a particular appliance for doing this, i.e. do I need a heavy duty food processor, or would anyone do?
    many thanks,
    Helen

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Helen,

      I am sorry that you are dealing with a hiatus hernia… but happy to hear that you are on the path of improving your health. That is a blessing in the midst of the negative. I hope that you find a lot of inspiration throughout my site.

      For the nut flours that I use in my recipes, I just use my food processor. If you want to create a really fine powder, well as fine as you can get when making it at home, Vitamix makes a dry grain container that is great for making flours in. I used that too sometimes. I use this Fp. http://nouveauraw.com/equipment/food-processors-grinders/cuisinart-fp-14dc-elite-collection-14-cup-food-processor-die-cast/

      If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Have a happy day, amie sue

  7. paula brandt says:

    i don’t usually have almond pulp. i guess i will have to moisten the almond flour, but how much water to flour?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Paula,

      It won’t have the same effect as using the almond pulp, at least in my experience. I don’t have a direct answer for your question. Sorry. amie sue

  8. andrew says:

    Hi Amie, I followed your advice today and made both the coconut flour from mature coconus, that we discussed about the other day, and almond flour from the left over nut pulp after making almond milk in my vitamix. The coconut flour from the mature coconuts turned out amazingly. I’m comparing it to the shredded coconut bought from Sprouts and it seems pretty similar.

    I dehydrated them for about 10 hours and they are dry as sand. Definitely has a texture similar to flour. I have broken up the crumbles in the food processor.

    One question I have however is, do you feel it is necessary to put the flour in the freezer even after dehydrating it? The reason I’m wonder is that I thought the whole point of dehydrating things was to preserve nutrients of things without having to utilize freezer space(my freezer is packed with a whole bunch of fruits and stuff as it is, and even more WET nut left over pulp!). I am going to be making oat flour from rolled oats or oat milk pulp as well and will be dehydrating it.

    You put your coconut flour(store bought) and dried shredded coconut in room temperature right, not in the freezer? Thanks! I learn so much about your site every single day.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Andrew,

      It sounds like you have been busy in the kitchen, that is wonderful. :)

      It is not manditory to freeze the flours, just recommend for freshness. If you don’t have the freezer or fridge space just be sure to store them in air tight containers in a cool spot in your kitchen or pantry. I would use them within 2-3 months kept at room temp. I do keep all of my flours either in the fridge or freezer, just depends on where I have the space. :)

      I just made oat flour a few days ago… hehe Have a wonderful evening and keep that passion alive in the kitchen! amie sue

  9. Annatjie Joubert says:

    Hi Amie, I have access to a lot of pecans. Some pecans’ quality are not good enough for the consumer market. I have put these through a grinder in an effort to see whether I could make some flour. The result is very moist and relate to a pulp. How could I make flour from this ? And what will the substitute values be for ordinary flour vs pecan flour in a receipe ?

    Thanks for your advice.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Annatjie,

      I find pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts hard to make a real fine flour out of them, mainly due to the oil content in them. I am sure that there is a way but it would require a decent amount of processing. Are you wanting to use the pecan flour in raw or cooked recipes? For cooked, I can’t really answer that question because I don’t bake much. For raw, it can be used in so many recipes…just replace other nuts or flours across the board. Keeping in mind the different flavor note that it will give a recipe.

      Are these pecans raw? Have a blessed day, amie sue

      • HI Amie-Sue, We harvest our own pecans. I process pecans for the consumer market which are vacuum packed and sold to the retail market. The raw pecans which have marks coming from either the harvest or shelling process are not packed. I want to work these into a product which can be sold. I get a large number of requests for pecan meal which I cannot supply to. Regards. Annatjie

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