Almond Flour Debacle

Almond flour is a recent hot trend in the eating healthy arena.  It can be substituted for all-purpose flour, or whole-wheat flour in most recipes. Click here to see more benefits of using almond flour.  This highly desirable food item isn’t cheap.  A pound of almond flour can cost up to $12/lb (in the grocery store, might be able to find cheaper online).  Highway robbery!  My sis and I developed a plan to make our own almond flour for much cheaper… join me as I unravel this journey.

Since childhood, my sister and I have always been food experimenters.  It started by transforming apples in our grandma’s backyard into apples slices roasted in our homemade solar oven and applesauce made from the apple remains.

We graduated to attempting to make cherry lollipops by means of a meat thermometer (mom didn’t have a candy thermometer).  Long story short; it was a fail.  A fail of epic proportions – we ended up washing the candy goop (that would not harden) down the gutter with the garden hose before our parents got home to see what we had done all day.

Fast forward 20-something years and we’re still up to the same shenanigans.   As I mentioned before, almond flour can cost around $12/lb.  My sister and I developed a plan to buy 6 lbs. of blanched, slivered almonds for about $40, which yields around $6.66/lb.  About half the price!  All we had to do is transform the slivered almonds into flour.  Easy peasy.

We begin – we have the food processor, a colander, a bowl, and a spatula.  We pulsed the almonds until we couldn’t go further without pulsing it into almond butter.  Removed from food processor, sift, repeat.

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We do this a few times, and we can’t seem to get the almonds to grind small enough.  We got out more sifters to try to see if sifting it would solve our problem. It didn’t.

You can see in the photo that we got them as small as a “corn meal” size, but only a portion of it passed for the “flour” consistency.

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The trouble was that it was getting too oily.  So we have this brilliant idea to roast the “corn meal” size bits to dry out the oil.

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The roasted almond “corn meal” smelled AMAZING.  We let it cook, reserved some for cooking with recipes at a later time and then had our 2nd brilliant idea.  Why don’t we pulse this again now that we’ve dried out some of the oil!?!?

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By this point of the journey, what started with 4 kitchen items to accomplish this has now turned into 14.  We put it back in the food processor, start it up.  It took mere moments before this “corn meal” turned into a paste.  UGH! Fail.  But it still smelled really good, we made an almond paste.  Might as well save it too for a cooking recipe later (we Elkins waste nothing!)

I say, “Katherine, why don’t you pack it up in a Ziplock for me to take it home?”  Thoughtfully, she pressed all the air out of the bag so that my almond paste wouldn’t dry out.  And I turn around to find this little nugget…

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After almost an hour of messing around with these almonds… I have a snack size bag of what appears to be a poop.

Moral of the story – just buy the expensive almond flour, better yet, buy it online.  I’m not sure it’s worth the time and effort to make your own.  Although, we had some great laughs along the way.  We still have 4 lbs. of slivered almonds we haven’t attacked yet.  Perhaps that will be another story in the future.

Have a wonderful day!

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12 Comments

  1. jjperino says:

    As I read this all I could think was “Par for the course!” You can also buy Almond Meal at Trader Joe’s for less than $5/lb. Its not as fine as the flour but works just as well and is worth the savings. It also works well as a thickener, like say an alternate to Bread Crumbs

  2. Kelly J says:

    I watched several videos on line. Most had small processors or one even used a coffee grinder. Wonder if that would make a difference in processing very small batches…like 1/2 c at a time?? Your blog cracks me up!

    • cindyelkins says:

      We considered using the coffee grinder, but didn’t want the coffee smell/taste to transfer to the flour. I’m doubtful we could have washed the coffee out well enough to avoid cross contamination. It would have been kitchen tool #15 if we had decided to give it a go. Thanks for checking out my blog!

  3. emily says:

    This post cracked me up. I love your sack o’ poo. Well worth your hour of experimentation. 🙂 (And ditto on the rec to pick up Almond Meal at TJ’s. That’s where we get ours.)

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