How to Make Nut and Seed Flours

Elana of Elana's Pantry has some incredible almond flour-based recipes in her Almond Flour Cookbook. If you haven't tried them, make a batch of Elana's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Out of this world and egg-free, too!

I think Elana put Honeyville Food Products on the map when recommending their almond flour in her cookbooks. It is a superb flour; nice and light. Because it's a mail-order product, I stock up and buy five pounds at a time ($30 plus shipping). The only problem is that if I run out halfway through a recipe I can't just run to the store and pick up more. So, that's when I whip out my three dollar Goodwill find—a Braun coffee grinder.

Here I compare storebought almond flour to a small batch I ground up myself. Had I used blanched almonds, my flour would have looked exactly like Honeyville's.

With these flours, I proceeded to make two batches of Elana's gluten-free Snickerdoodles—from this cookbook—one with the freshly ground almond flour and one with Honeyville's. Once again, no difference—in taste or texture.

If you do a lot of baking with almond flour, it's probably best to keep a bag of Honeyville's on hand. However, if you only use it occasionally and in small measures (1-2 cups at a time), then give making your own a try.

And there are tons of other flours you can grind up at home, too!

My coffee grinder is an older model of this one and has become one of the most essential gadgets in my kitchen. If you have one hiding in the depths of your cabinet, pull it out, dust it off, and start grinding away!

Grind Nuts and Seeds into Flours and Meals

Here are some of the nuts and seeds I grind regularly in my coffee grinder. Wonder if your favorite nut or seed will grind? Just experiment. You might stumble upon the next great "flour!"

Chia Seed: Due to Miles' egg intolerance, I bake with chia eggs. To make a chia egg I grind white chia seeds in the coffee grinder and mix with water (here's a post on chia and how to make a chia egg).

Flax Seed: Another great foundation for an egg replacer and a nice flour to add to baked goods. What to make with it: Kim Wilson's Soaked-Grains Flatbread over at Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen is incredible!

Pumpkin Seed: Makes a great flour. I throw some into my pancake batter for added protein. What else to make with it: I've been wanting to try Maggie's Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Walnuts, Cashews and Pecans: A great addition to baked goods. With softer nuts like these, be careful not to over grind or nut butter will be the result. What to make with it: Grain-Free Breakfast Porridge over at Diet Dessert and Dogs.

Hazelnuts: An alternative to almond flour. What to make with it: My Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Egg-Free Hazelnut Brownies.

Almonds: What to make with it: Any of Elana's Pantry's almond flour-based recipes!

Buckwheat and Quinoa: A great addition to baked goods. Some prefer to sprout/soak, dehydrate and then grind.

Spices: And don't forget to use that coffee grinder for grinding up whole spices like cumin, coriander, peppercorns and small pieces of cinnamon stick.

How to Grind Nuts and Seeds into Flour and/or Meal:

  1. Fill a coffee grinder 1/2 to 3/4 full (maxmium) with raw nuts or seeds.
  2. Grind until you have a nice, fluffy flour.
  3. If the grinder sounds like it is slowing down, check to see if a nut or seed is lodged under, or stuck on, the blade. Dislodge and off you go.
  4. Repeat until you have the amount your recipe calls for.
  5. Pick out chunks and grind again or toss.
  6. Sifting the flour is optional, but ensures a consistently fine flour. I picked up a gently used turn-handle flour sifter at Goodwill (is it any secret how much I love that store?) much like this one. It worked like a charm to sift out the larger bits of hard nuts like almonds. Avoid the multiple screen style sifters like this one. I tried one and it made for a big headache.
  7. Store any unused flour in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Notes:

I suggest purchasing a separate coffee grinder for this task. I have not repeated it hundreds of times and don't think it would damage a grinder, but at the same time I don't want to be responsible for damage done to anyone's precious coffee grinder. :) Grind flour at your own risk.