Ground Almonds Alternative

Ground Almonds Alternative

It’s not a stretch to say that the almond is one of the most popular nuts in the world. It is a truly versatile nut and is beloved by many people for various reasons. Almond milk, almond flour and ground almonds are just a small sample of the things this nut is able to do. These products are favoured by many for various reasons such as lactose intolerance, vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, gluten avoidance and more. Ground almonds have many applications including in baking especially quickbreads or cookies and in breading meat. In the event you need a substitute, the one you prefer is going to depend on the reason you are avoiding almonds in the first place.


Ground Almonds

Ground almonds which are sometimes called almond meal are made from taking whole almonds, skin included and grinding these. Ground almonds are not finely ground but rather left with a very coarse texture. It is a coarse meal that looks somewhat like grated Parmesan cheese. Ground almonds contain the same nutritional value as whole almonds because all of the almond is used in making it. Ground almonds are popular in baking. Used in cookies, dessert items and other recipes like quickbreads. They also feature in other dishes where they are desired for their crunch and mild nutty flavour. Which products can live up to such a reputation?



Hazelnuts are a good substitute for ground almonds from a flavour perspective. They are mildly flavoured just as almonds are so the chances of them changing the taste of a dish when used in place of ground almonds are very low. Hazelnuts are also very easy to grind with a good blender or food processor all you need to make ground hazelnuts from whole hazelnuts. This will be a big advantage as you can get the hazelnuts to the same texture as ground almonds. So they will not only match the flavour of almonds but also do a fantastic job of bringing the same texture as ground almonds.



Cashew nuts are also mildly flavoured and therefore ground cashew nuts can make a good substitute for ground almonds. Cashew nuts however do blend better with savoury flavours than sweet flavours for most palates so you should really choose these if the recipe is savoury. You will have an easy time turning whole cashews into ground cashews.



Macadamia nuts are another very popular nut with a mild flavour. Macadamia nuts make a good substitute for ground almonds. In addition to this mild flavour macadamia nuts also have a fat content to rival that of almonds so when you grind macadamia nuts you will get the best texture match to ground almonds.



Peanuts which are ironically not nuts are another good substitute for ground almonds. It’s best to use blanched peanuts with the skins removed of course. Peanuts have a slightly stronger flavour than almonds and may well change the taste of a dish. They also may pose an allergy problem for many so be mindful of this.



Walnuts are another mild flavoured nut that can easily be substituted for almonds. Like peanuts the skins will add to the flavour and this may make them alter the flavour of your dish. Unlike peanuts the skin on walnuts is close to impossible to remove. If you don’t mind the skin they are quite easy to grind with a home blender.


Pecan Nuts

Pecan nuts are quite similar to walnuts in appearance with the only difference being the shape of the outer shell and its hardness. Walnuts have a rounded outer shell which is very thick while pecans have a thin rugby ball shaped shell. Just like walnuts you have a very low chance of removing the skins. To their credit they contain a lot of fat and moisture like almonds. Pecans tend to work better in sweet recipes than savoury ones.



Pistachios are a great mild flavoured nut that can be used in place of ground almonds. They are easy to grind so that works to their credit. Perhaps the only thing that works against pistachios is their green colour. If you can get past that ground pistachios make a great substitute for ground almonds.


Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are another great alternative to ground almonds. Depending on where you live Brazil nuts may be a bit harder to find than the other alternatives on this list. In most cases you will find them skinned and quite easy to grind to a similar consistency with ground almonds.


Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is an alternative to ground almonds that you may found useful. However you have to consider the composition of traditional flour versus ground almonds before dumping it in your recipe. Coconut flour is composed of around 85 per cent carbohydrate where ground almonds have only 2 per cent carbohydrate. This carbohydrate makes your recipes firm and holds things together. Ground almonds also contain 23 per cent fat whereas coconut flour has below 2% fat. Fat makes recipes rich and moist. Take care with this when substituting coconut flour for ground almonds.



Before cooking it semolina has a texture that resembles that of ground almonds. What semolina lacks is the fat and moisture content of ground almonds. Sometimes you may only find semolina in a coarse mixture which will give you a different texture to your desired outcome.


Ground Rice

Ground rice is not to be confused with rice flour. This is a coarsely ground product of rice unlike the fineness of rice flour. The texture is close to that of ground almonds so it can work. Just bear in mind it will be dryer than ground almonds.



Polenta or cornmeal, not to be confused with cornflour can also substitute ground almonds in some recipes. It brings an interesting rough texture to baked recipes, think a soft cornbread. Depends a lot on the recipe in question but is great because it works with both savoury and sweet recipes.



Easy to find cereals such as cornflakes, weetbix and ricecrispies can be used in place of ground almonds if you are really desperate and cannot find some of these fancier replacements easily. These are easy to crush or grind and depending on which you have you can get a texture very close to ground almonds without a huge impact on the flavour.


There are quite a few substitutes for ground almonds out there. Your mileage will vary with them but the nuts are your best bet to keep the recipe as close to the original result as possible.

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