Almond flour or harina de almendra is extremely beneficial for health. It is easily available in supermarkets or online and you can also make it at home.
Let us see how almond flour/ harina de almendra is made. Given below are the steps to make almond flour:
• Soak the almonds in hot water
• Remove almond skin
• Grind the peeled almonds to a fine powder
• Sift the almond flour to remove any lumps or large lumps
Almond flour tends to be coarser and grainier in texture compared to all-purpose flour.
Almond flour health benefits
- It decreases the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol.
There are two types of cholesterol:
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)
LDL cholesterol is sometimes called “bad cholesterol”. This is because it can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
HDL or “good cholesterol” is known to absorb cholesterol and transport it to the liver. The liver then eliminates the bad cholesterol from the body. The higher HDL levels you have there will be lesser the risk of heart disease or stroke. Studies have proven that almonds can help lower LDL cholesterol levels, a reliable source. For example, a 2015 Trusted Source study on the effect of daily almond consumption on cardio-metabolic risk and abdominal fat concluded that daily almond consumption increased LDL levels and reduced the amount of fat stored around the abdomen. Both of these factors help reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease.
Another 2017 study by Trusted Source also showed that almonds can raise a person’s HDL cholesterol levels.
- Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
A 2018 authoritative study on the effects of almonds on heart health reported that almonds may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This review added that almonds help:
• reduce a person’s cholesterol levels
• A person’s body mass index
Aids in weight loss
• reduce blood sugar in a person on an empty stomach
Another 2014 study analyzed healthy men aged 20-70. Half of the participants ate 50g of almonds daily for four weeks, compared with a control group who ate a normal diet.
The study found that almonds increased levels of antioxidants in the bloodstream of participants. It added that almonds helped lower blood pressure and improve circulation. It shows that almonds may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
- Almonds contain vitamin E
Free radicals are unstable molecules in the body. These molecules are important for health. However, problems can arise when the balance is disturbed. Having more free radicals than you need in your body can damage adipose tissue, DNA, and proteins in your body. Medical professionals call this damage oxidative stress and often associate it with the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, which protects against oxidative stress. Thus, regular consumption of almond will help you not develop Parkinson’s disease or other disorders that are associated with oxidative stress.
- Almond flour is gluten free
Wheat flour contains gluten. This is the protein that helps keep the dough elastic, allowing it to rise during baking. Many people avoid gluten in their diet. Some people cannot eat gluten due to celiac disease or wheat intolerance, but this may be a personal preference.
Celiac disease and wheat intolerance can cause an autoimmune response in a person’s body when they eat gluten. This can damage the intestinal lining and cause bloating, diarrhea, rashes, weight loss and fatigue. There is a possibility
Almond flour is gluten-free and can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in baking and cooking.
Let us see the uses of almond flour
The Almond flour has a reputation of being versatile flour.
• gluten free baking
Almond flour can be substituted for wheat flour in gluten-free baking. Just use almond flour instead of wheat flour when baking. Almond flour can cause baked goods to become tough. This is because the gluten in the flour helps trap air in the dough, causing the baked goods to rise. Almond flour works well in gluten-free brownies, macaroons, cookies, and desserts.
• regular baking
For regular baking, you can use almond flour in addition to wheat flour. You can replace 1/4 of the flour with almond flour. This gives the casserole a slightly nutty taste. This method works well for baking scones, cookies, or making pancakes.
• roast meat
Almond flour can also act as a substitute for bread crumbs or flour when coating foods before frying. For an even crunchier topping, you can use almond flour mixed with chopped almonds.
Thus you can see the numerous benefits of harina de almendra and why you should immediately make it a part of your diet.