Flour from almonds, coffee
For two more functional flour options, almond flour may reduce fat, oils and sugar in formulations, and coffee flour may add protein.
Added fats and oils may be reduced by about 25% since almond flour has a higher fat content than traditional flour, according to Blue Diamond Almonds, Sacramento, Calif. Sugar may be reduced by about 25% in baked foods since almonds have a sweet flavor.
Almond flour has a rich and buttery taste that is slightly sweet. It works well in formulations that allow for more texture such as pie crusts, streusel toppings, crackers and granola, according to Blue Diamond Almonds.
The company offers almond flour as either blanched or natural. Blanched flour involves almonds that have had their skins removed by steam and are ground up. The creamy tan color of blanched almond flour gives foods an appearance similar to traditional white flour.
Natural almond flour goes through the same grinding process, but it is made from pasteurized almonds that still have their skins intact. Foods with natural almond flour will brown slightly more when baked and fried. The granulation will be more distinguishable from miniscule pieces of almond skins.
Since almond flour batters do not contain gluten as a binder, doughs may need firming up, according to the company. Egg whites may act as a binder without changing the flavor.
Almond flour does not absorb liquid the same way as traditional flour. Chia seeds or ground flax seeds will help to stiffen up a batter or dough as the seeds absorb moisture, according to Blue Diamond Almonds.
Almond flour appeared in items at Natural Products Expo West March 10-13 in Anaheim, Calif. For example, Pereg Natural Foods, Clifton, N.J., featured almond flour as well as quinoa flour, banana flour, buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, coconut flour and farro flour.
Coffee flour turned up in a chocolate product this year. Seattle Chocolate Co., Tukwila, Wash., introduced a chocolate bar infused with CoffeeFlour that is made from dried coffee fruit pulp. Dan Belliveau, who previously worked for Starbucks Corp., founded CoffeeFlour, which converts coffee fruit pulp, a wasted byproduct of green coffee production, into an ingredient suitable for cooking and baking. CoffeeFlour is sourced from Hawaii, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Vietnam.
CoffeeFlour has smoky, citrus and roasted fruit notes. Ten grams of coffee flour contain 5.2 grams of dietary fiber and 1.5 grams of protein. CoffeeFlour may be used as an ingredient in bread, cookies, muffins, squares, brownies, pastas, sauces and beverages.