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.