Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Love Affair with Almond Flour



In an effort to lower the carb count in some of my foods, I’ve looked online for substitutes, searching through the many low-carb blogs for recipes etc.  Many times I’ve been disappointed or turned off by the ingredients that are recommended, with one exception: almond flour.  Using almond flour made sense to me since almonds are a healthy food.  According to CalorieKing.com, ½ cup of raw almonds contains just 14 gr. of carbs and a whopping 8 gr. of fiber!  They are full of healthy fats (mono and poly-saturated) with only a wee bit of saturated fat.  Oh, and 15 gr. of protein!  Good stuff.

I’ve already posted the recipe I found for almond flour pancakes and muffins here as well as my trick for baked chicken.  I continue to make all of these things and enjoy lower glucose readings and a feeling of being satisfied for a long, long time after eating.  I really wanted to find a recipe for almond bread so I could have sandwiches without guilt (or high glucose readings).  I tried one recipe awhile back and it was a dismal failure.  Recently I found a recipe and tried it with results that left me hopeful. 

You can find the recipe I used here.  My only adjustments were that I used flax meal (because I have some and use it in my pancakes/muffins) and I used canola oil instead of coconut oil.  I also doubled the recipe to make a full-sized loaf of bread.  I purchased some coconut flour and this is the first time I’ve ever used it.

Results:

·       It is a very dense bread.  You could probably take out an intruder with this sucker if you bopped him on the head.  A veritable brick.  This is not your momma’s Wonder bread.

·       I can taste the coconut.  That surprised me since I see coconut flour all over the low-carb recipe world and have never read someone say that you can taste it.  I like coconut so it’s not that big of a deal but I’m not used to my sandwich bread tasting like a tropical island. (Let me insert here that I’ve never actually tasted a tropical island, but you know what I mean…don’t you?)

·       It’s a mite crumbly.  It holds together just fine when you slice it and even survived the toaster, but when I made a sandwich it didn’t hold together that well (read: messy damn sandwich).  Its stick-to-it-ivness is better than the other recipe I tried.

·       This bread is freakin expensive to make!  If you’ve gone to look at the recipe you can see that, since I doubled it, I used 10 eggs to make one loaf of bread! (My dear husband with a heart issue won’t be eating this bread.) Not to mention the cost of almond and coconut flours…and flax meal. Surprisingly, this bread does not taste “eggy”.  Odd, eh?

·       I used http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php to analyze the recipe and came up with approximately 13 grams of carbs per slice with a whopping 10 grams of fiber. (estimating 10 slices per loaf.  Total swag on my part since I didn’t slice the whole thing right off the bat.)

So by now you’re probably thinking that I view this experiment as a disaster and won’t be making this recipe again.  You’d be wrong.  (Remember I said that I’m hopeful?)  I tested my blood glucose before and after eating sandwiches made with this bread and the results were amazing:

·       I made a chicken salad sandwich with homemade chicken salad, lettuce and tomato.  Before lunch bg = 116.  After = 96! 

·       I made an egg sandwich with ham and cheese.  Bg before = 120.  After = 113!

That’s right, in both instances my glucose went down and the sandwiches were good.  Now, let’s compare that to the veggie burger on a whole wheat sandwich thin that I ate the other day.  Bg before = 104.  After = 154.  Hmmm.

I am fully aware that there are tons of things that go into how our blood glucose reacts but I tried very hard to keep things as equal as possible.  I didn’t eat any side dishes with any of these meals.  I drank only water.  However, I have never had my glucose go down after eating a sandwich…NEVER.

Now do you understand why I love almond flour?  Yes, this bread was expensive and chock full of eggs, but DANG, I’m worth it!  Yes, it’s a mite crumbly, but I can live with that.  No, I won’t be making and eating this all the time but it’s nice to know that there is an option out there for me now and then.  I think I will make it, slice it and freeze it so I can take out a couple of slices when I feel the urge.  Who wouldn’t love to have a sandwich without blood glucose issues?  (Kate is raising her hand.)  Next time I think I’ll try making it with egg substitute in order to lessen the cholesterol issue.  I do wonder if the addition of almond flour to my diet hasn’t caused this plateau effect with my weight.  (It does have calories you know.)  I think that if I up my veggie intake and watch my portions a bit better, that may turn around.

My love affair with almond flour wasn’t just a summer fling.  It has turned into a long and lasting relationship that I see continuing for a very, very long time.

4 comments:

  1. I'm chuckling at the idea of you taking out an intruder by clobbering him with a loaf of almond flour bread! Haha!

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  2. You are right, even if it is expensive, you are TOTALLY worth it!! :) (PS: Reading about the almond flour made me crave almonds, so I just had a healthy snack of them!!)

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  3. Great job on this blog. I think that your perspective is deep, it’s just well thought out and really fantastic to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts down so well.SUCCESS

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  4. Almond flour at trader joes is a great price. Made almond flour brownies using splenda as well, um, yum and a big ol yea! I'm going low carb less than 125 a day, because I'm exercising g like crazy and loosing no weight. The lower carb diet makes me feel grest, and, yes I poop less (sorry folks).

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