Alternative Flours – Nut and Seed Flours

By Dr. Daria Love

While almond flour is the most commonly utilized nut flour for non-gluten baking, there has been concern about the environmental effects of current farming practices.  Additionally, allergic sensitivity to almonds is common.  So why not consider other nut and seed flours for paleo and non-gluten baking?

Like almond flour, other nut and seed flours can be successfully substituted in cake and cookie recipes, and are excellent sources excellent sources of healthy fats/oils, protein and a number of vitamins and minerals.

Most nut and seed flours can be substituted on a 1 for 1 basis for wheat flour in a recipe, or can be blended with flour to provide a denser, richer texture.  Coarser flours may require more liquid and/or leavening agents and may be better used in cookies and bars than for cake recipes.

The internet is a great source for providing information on how to use the particular flour you may be considering.  Karma has Bobs Red Mill almond flour on the shelves, but will put in special orders for the other nut flours the company does have.   

However, with a food processor or blender, one can also easily make them at home make them at home!

TWO RECIPES

I have used the following two recipes for many years, and am grateful to the people who gave them to me.

A Passover Cake

Ingredients

2 large navel oranges (skin on)

3 eggs separated

1 ½ cups finely ground nut or seed flour

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

Simmer unpeeled oranges in enough water to cover for 1 ½ hours

Drain (you may save the water for some other recipe!), cool and chop

Puree in a food processor

Preheat oven to 375 F

Line the base of an 8 or 9 inch springform pan; butter and flour (with the nut/seed flour you are using) the sides and bottom of the pan.

Beat egg yolks in a medium bowl, then add the pureed orange mixture, nut/seed flour and 1 cup of sugar.  Blend well. Whisk or beat egg whites until frothy, then add remaining ¼ cup of sugar until thick and stiff peaks form. Fold orange/flour mixture into the egg whites, then pour into the springform pan. Bake about 1 hour, or until tester comes out clean.

Loosen cake from edges of pan, let cool in pan, releasing the springform; when cool turn over onto a plate (1st plate to take the bottom of the springform pan from the cake, and then reverse to place on the serving plate).

This cake works well with icing sugar sprinkled over the top and garnished with sliced oranges, but is spectacular with a chocolate ganache on the top, and then decorated with orange flavoured chocolate.

‘Chocolate Truffle Cookies’

Photo by Anas Alhajj on Unsplash

Ingredients

5 oz butter

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 ¾ cups cocoa

½ nut or seed flour

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla

Additional 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Icing sugar

Melt chocolate chips and butter.  Cool and add vanilla.

Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until mixed, then add chocolate mixture.  Blend well.

Mix cocoa powder, nut/seed flour, salt, baking powder together in a separate bowl, then add to the chocolate mixture.  Mix everything together well.

You may add the additional chocolate chips, or leave the cookies ‘as is’.

Chill 2-3 hours (just until the mixture hardens, but still soft enough to use).  If leaving in the fridge overnight, the mixture may need to warm up for an hour or so to be easier to use.

Preheat oven at 350 F; bake for about 10 minutes.

Sift icing sugar over top.