You may have read about my healthy chicken schnitty or healthyish chocolate mug cake and noticed a trend; – I am very in to almond meal.
I used to read a recipe and see ‘almond meal’, roll my eyes and flip to the next page – who has that kind of hipster stuff on their shelves? Turns out Coles and Woolies do, and now this coarsely ground flour is a staple on my weekly online shopping list.
At about $8.99 per 400g it’s not cheap, but I can’t do without it. It may seem like I am healthy or an innovative cook, but actually I am just desperate to have my cake and eat it too (without gaining weight).
These are a few ways I use almond meal to make comfort food that doesn’t cause me eaters’ remorse.
Since deep fried/ battered/ crumbed is my preferred food group, these little golden fingers are a default favourite of mine. Simply beat an egg, cut your fish into fingers, dip them first in egg and then in almond meal and fry those babies up in healthy oil. The almond meal batter can be a little bland, so I like to add salt and garlic powder to the mix.
I have been experimenting with cauliflower pizza base, but I missed the crunch of a true crust. Make a simple dough out of almond meal and eggs, spice it up with some salt, thyme and a generous handful of shredded cheese, and roll it out flat on a tray lined with baking paper – it can get really sticky. Spray it with oil and bake until it’s brown enough to suit your tastes (usually about ten minutes) then load it up with the toppings of your dreams.
After such great success with my pizza base, I started thinking – this could be a glorious, grain free alternative to my morning avocado on toast, and I was right! Almond meal flatbread is also great with dips, because you can roll it out so thin that your end product breaks easily into crispy pieces taste great and look really trendy.
Okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese omelette/ pancake that you can load with goodness to create a nutritious dinner. Beat three eggs, throw in some chopped cabbage, onion, mushrooms and pre cooked meat of your choice (I use prawns) and add a handful of almond meal to thicken it up. I also add cheese, which isn’t traditional, but is good for the soul. In Japan these beauties are drenched in sauce that is undoubtedly loaded with sugar, but I’ve got some Fountain no added sugar BBQ sauce ($2 from Coles) that I like to drizzle on the top.
Sometimes, a girl just needs a cake, and a muffin will do in a pinch. I haven’t tried to make these yet as I am lacking in the muffin tray department so please tell me if they suck. All you need is almond meal, stevia, eggs, apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Mix together two eggs, a tablespoon of stevia powder and half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Add in one cup of almond meal and a little pinch of baking soda and bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes or so. Sounds a little bland to me, so I will be adding cinnamon, Nuttelex and blueberries to my mixture: watch this space for results and please let us know how you did with yours!
Emma Lee is a Brisbane native but lives to travel. She is also a big fan of food, good books and browsing at markets.
Since graduating from Griffith University with a Communications Degree, Emma has put her writing skills to good use in jobs ranging from Media Rep for a rugby team to Marketing Manager for a Japanese ski resort.
Emma dreams of publishing a novel one day and wants to live in a luxury camper van that never stays in one place for longer than a week.