Do you use Trader Joe’s Almond Meal?  It seems that people either love it or they haven’t noticed it yet! Almond meal is simply finely ground almonds with the skin on.  It’s perfect for making this firm but moist almond bread that is low carb, high protein, and gluten-free!  I love the nutty taste of it and find the texture pretty appealing – the kind of bread to be enjoyed with some cream cheese, jam, honey, or just plain.  The bonus is that almonds are packed with nutritional value, including plenty of protein, vitamin E, monounsaturated (good) fats, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, folic acid, and fiber.  Most other breads can’t really compare.

My husband is gluten-free and I often bake and experiment with alternative flours.  I was curious about making a bread out of almond meal since it’s so conveniently available at TJ’s.  I stumbled upon a recipe at Elana’s Pantry, an inspiring gluten-free recipe blog.  Elana’s bread recipe uses almond flour, which is pretty similar to almond meal, except that almond flour uses almonds that have been blanched (skin removed).  In Elana’s recipe, she made a mini loaf in a 4×6.5-inch pan. 

I played around with the recipe, adjusting so I could use nearly the whole bag of TJ’s almond meal and make a larger standard-size loaf.  The recipe is really simple – just a quick mix of a small number of ingredients.  In fact, I was done measuring, mixing, and loading the pan in the few minutes it took my oven to preheat!

I'm really excited to share this Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake with you. It's a twist on cheesecake, made primarily with almond meal.  For the last couple of weeks, I've been experimenting with almond meal (sold as "Just Almond Meal" at Trader Joe's).   Not only do I love the flavor of almonds but it's a healthy and delicious alternative to regular white flour in breads and cakes.  The bonus is that it's also gluten free, for those who avoid gluten by need or choice. Trader Joe’s has convenient bags of ground almonds, ready to use in breads, desserts, or as breading on chicken or fish. If you want to make your own almond meal, just grind raw whole almonds in your food processor until you achieve the consistency you like.

I haven’t experimented yet with additions to this recipe, but I think it would yield great banana bread or blueberry muffins.

What else can you do with almond meal?  You can use it to coat chicken or fish before baking or pan-frying.  In “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s” we feature a unique and tasty almond pudding recipe – simple with a lot more nutritional value and flavor than your typical pudding.  And the world of almond-based cookies, cakes, and breads seems endless.  My kids and I recently made some light crunchy almond cookies using just the almond meal and no other flour – they loved the cookies and named them “marzipan cookies.”  Do you have any favorites uses or recipes?

Almond Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300º  F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and add the remaining wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a 5×9-inch standard loaf pan, lightly oiled (a spray oil makes it easy).
  6. Bake for 60+ minutes or until a skewer/knife inserted in the bread comes out clean.
  7. Cool and slice.

Notes

Makes one loaf. If you want to try a mini loaf, just follow Elana’s original recipe, substituting almond meal for almond flour.