The macaron is one loved delicacy to many lovers of baked goods. The delicious dessert or anytime delight is seen as a speciality with a price to match. The macaron is attributed to its French origins. One of the most important ingredients is almond flour or ground almonds which is not always easy to find. You may sometimes see the macaron being called a French macaroon. It is similar to a meringue in being egg-based, light and airy. Some of the ingredients include egg whites, icing sugar, regular sugar, and ground almonds. If you cannot find almond flour or have some other reason for avoiding almond flour or ground almonds there are other substitutes you can consider especially for making macarons.
One of the best substitutes for ground almonds are sunflower seeds. Keep in mind that sunflower seeds have a very high-fat content. Sunflower seeds contain 51 grams of fat per 100 grams and compare very well to the 49.3 grams of fat per 100 grams that almonds have. These sunflower seeds are also widely available and as such make a good substitute for almonds. While they may not taste nutty, sunflower seeds are mildly flavoured and they will not influence the taste of your macarons. When it comes to using sunflower seeds as a substitute for ground almonds in your macarons make sure that you use raw sunflower seeds as these contain the full fat and moisture that allows them to match the texture of your almond meal. You can easily blend sunflower seeds into a meal similar to ground almond meal. Keep in mind that it will be moist. If you are used to using ground almonds you will not get the same texture from ground sunflower seeds.
Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds have so many health benefits. Sunflower seeds have vitamin E, flavonoids, and other plant compounds that can help in reducing inflammation. They are also rich in ‘healthy’ fats, such as polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. A cup serving of sunflower seeds can contain 14 grams of fat. In addition studies have shown that consuming sunflower seeds was linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, as well as high blood pressure. Sunflower seeds are also a source of many vitamins and minerals that help support the immune system and increase the ability to fight off viruses.
Another good substitute for ground almonds are pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds share very little with sunflower seeds or almond nuts because they are products of very different plants but they make good substitutes for ground almonds. They do a good job of filling in for ground almond in macarons. Just like sunflower seeds you can easily grind pumpkin seeds into a coarse meal in a food processor. Pumpkin seeds, however, do not contain as high a fat concentration like ground almonds or sunflower seeds. On average, pumpkin seeds contain 19 grams of fat for every 100 grams. One of the best advantages for using pumpkin seeds is how easy they are to find in grocery stores and health food shops. You can purchase pumpkin seeds that are removed from their harder outer shells. Another advantage for using pumpkin seeds is that they do not have an overpowering flavour so you do not have to worry about the flavour in your macarons being changed.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of healthy oils, magnesium, and other nutrients that are good for the health of the heart, bones, and other functions too. Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of potassium, and calcium. These seeds are also a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and antioxidants. The fatty acids in these seeds contain a range of beneficial nutrients, such as sterols, squalene, and tocopherols. Researchers have also described the fatty acid profile of these seeds, grains, as well as other legumes as favourable. Since pumpkin seeds are known to have high magnesium, they can help with bone density. Magnesium has been shown to decrease the risk of osteoporosis in women after menopause.
Another good substitute for ground almond in macarons is white chocolate. Chocolate is one of the best substitutes for ground almonds that is not a seed or a nut. With white chocolate, you can create a mild and milky flavour to your macarons. Whilst it will not ruin your macarons recipe by any measure adding white chocolate may change the flavour and some say for the better. For some, although very few I imagine. It is important to note that white chocolate will make macarons really sweet as they already contain both regular and icing sugar. Finding reduced sugar white chocolate is possible so it is not the worst thing however reduced sugar white chocolate may be just as hard to find as ground almonds.
Benefits Of Using White Chocolate
A lot of people think that there are not many health benefits of white chocolate because it contains sugar, artificial flavours, and cocoa butter. But surprisingly white chocolate is not that bad. It has some health benefits that include improving cardiovascular health. Quality white chocolate is made from pure cocoa butter that is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that help in reducing inflammatory conditions in the heart. In addition, white chocolate undergoes much less oxidation during storage and cooking and that prevents it from turning carcinogenic.
Other Substitutes For Ground Almonds
Uncooked semolina has a nice texture to ground almonds. This ingredient used during the war as a substitute for making a mock almond paste. Keep in mind that semolina can make your recipe slightly dry and it has a courser texture but it is usually a perfectly acceptable alternative to ground almond.
Ground rice can also make a decent substitute for ground almond. It has a similar texture to ground almonds too.
Cornmeal has an interesting texture when used in cakes but you can also use it in place of ground almond but make sure that you use it sparingly.