For those with certain dietary restrictions, finding alternatives that actually taste good can be incredibly challenging. I know several people who follow a gluten-free diet due to gluten intolerance or celiac disease, and finding certain food staples can be almost impossible.
Gluten sneaks its way into so many items you would never expect! While grabbing coffee with a friend recently, I learned that not even all coffee additives, like creamer and syrups, are gluten-free, so she just takes her coffee black to avoid any risk. So I asked her, what are the tried and true gluten-free products you know you can have?
One of her answers: almond flour.
I jokingly asked if she could add almond flour to her coffee to add a little flavor, but this sparked a real conversation. So we set out to find the answer. The conclusion: yes, you can safely add almond flour to your coffee. But the real question is: will you actually WANT to?
As it turns out, if you search the internet for “almond flour in coffee,” all you’ll end up with is a bunch of results for using almond flour in coffee cake recipes. This is useful in its own way but definitely did not answer the question. Apparently, no one else has wondered about this before!
What is almond flour?
So we started from the beginning. Almond flour is made from, you guessed it, almonds! They are first blanched in order to remove the skins and then ground into a fine, soft, powder-like substance.
Almond flour is similar to an almond meal, however, there’s one key difference. The almonds used for an almond meal are not blanched, meaning the skin stays on. This causes almond meal to be darker than almond flour, and more coarse in texture. Depending on the recipe, one may be preferred over the other.
Why choose almond flour?
Almond flour is a fantastic alternative to wheat flour for those who have certain dietary restrictions, such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance. It’s especially popular for baking recipes due to the fact that you can substitute all-purpose flour with almond flour at a 1:1 ratio, meaning no tricky conversations! Honestly, who has time for that?
Almond flour also has a richer nutritional profile compared to wheat flour. It is low-carb, packed with protein and fiber, and has vitamin E, magnesium, and niacin. These antioxidants and minerals are great for your cardiovascular health and for those suffering from inflammation.
What does almond flour taste like?
Surprise, surprise… almond flour does indeed taste like almonds. However, it is a milder almond flavor due to the blanching process. Even so, it maintains its sweet, nutty, and slightly bitter flavor, which can come through really nicely in a variety of dishes.
Is almond flour safe to eat raw?
This is the most pertinent question relating to whether or not you can mix almond flour into your coffee. Many people don’t realize that all-purpose or wheat flour should not be consumed raw. Why?
The wheat grains used for flour are not heated before they are made into flour. This leaves the flour susceptible to bacteria that can make you very ill, such as salmonella and E. coli.
But good news! Almond flour, on the other hand, can be consumed raw because the almonds are pasteurized before they’re turned into flour, meaning you don’t have to worry about bacteria sneaking around.
Almond flour in black coffee
This is where we can determine that almond flour is, in fact, safe to mix into coffee. But what happens when almond flour and a hot liquid meet? Well, this may or may not be bad news depending on your preferences…
Almond flour is actually a thickening agent that is commonly used to turn cooking juices into a sauce. Based on this, there’s a good chance that by adding almond flour to your coffee, it will completely change the texture and thickness of your beverage.
The same goes for iced coffee. Almond flour can be used to thicken the milk, so presumably, the same result will occur with cold coffee.
Alas, this is why I’m not sure that, even though you can add almond flour to your coffee if you take it black, it may not be a desirable combination. At least to me, thicker coffee does not sound like something I want to try.
Almond milk in other coffee beverages
However, almond flour’s ability to thicken milk got me thinking. If you take milk in your coffee, prefer to froth your beverage, or opt for a latte, almond flour could actually serve a real purpose. Or what sounds most appealing to me… take a blender, add some ice, mix some almond flour into some milk, pour it in with a good amount of coffee, and make yourself a delicious and low-calorie frappe with a hint of almond flavor.
Is adding almond flour to coffee worth it?
This is the million-dollar question. After getting a semi-complex answer when it comes to adding almond flour to coffee, it really makes you wonder if it’s a viable option. There are several coffee creamers out there that are, in fact, gluten-free, and with alternatives like almond milk and other dairy or non-dairy options, it really comes down to personal preference.
Almond flour is rich in nutrients and has some health benefits, so perhaps it’s worth it for some folks. Others may just stick to one of the many other options on the market. Either way, it’s your choice! No judgment here.
Almond flour coffee cake
I couldn’t tease you by mentioning coffee cake earlier and not providing you with the recipe, so I’ll leave you with this. I love an easy recipe with simple ingredients, so this one caught my eye. If you end up not opting to try almond flour in your coffee, at least you can get a taste of the flavor profile with a delicious cinnamon coffee cake. It really is a win-win!