Almonds Every Which Way

More than 150 Healthy & Delicious Almond Milk, Almond Flour, and Almond Butter Recipes


By Brooke McLay

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Almonds are everywhere, and with good reason! Full of vitamin E, magnesium, protein, fiber, calcium, and more, this superfood delivers lots of health benefits in a delicious little package. When almonds are made into grain-free flour, non-dairy milk, and nut butter, these easy alternatives to wheat flour, dairy, and peanut butter support a variety of diets–vegan to gluten-free, vegetarian to Paleo. Whether you’re following a particular way of eating or just looking to add variety to your cooking, Almonds Every Which Way offers key info for incorporating more nutritious foods into your diet, including:

  • Basic recipes for homemade almond milks, butters, and flours

  • Easy tips and tricks for using and storing almond ingredients

  • Nutritional info for each recipe

  • Designations for gluten-free, allergy-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, and Paleo options

And, of course, the recipes: you’ll find more than 150 scrumptious almond-based dishes, from breakfast favorites like smoothies, pancakes, and croissants, to sandwiches, snacks, and easy, family-pleasing entrees like fish tacos and vegan “neatloaf.” With Almonds Every Which Way, you’ll have every diet, meal, and taste bud covered.



A stroll through the aisles of your local supermarket will tell you that almonds and the products derived from them have reached an all-time high in popularity. A rise in almond-based products can be attributed to a variety of reasons: some people have allergy and health concerns, while others are cutting back on gluten or dairy, and still others are looking for a plant-based source of protein. It’s a wide array. Whatever your reason, with more and more almond-based products on the shelf, you can easily expand your recipe repertoire and find new ways to include newer, healthier food options in your diet—all using almond flour, butter, and milk. This book is true to its title, offering up Almonds Every Which Way—recipes you’ll find relevant whether your aim is to lose weight, get healthier, adopt a gluten-free or paleo eating plan, or just be adventurous in the kitchen and find fresh ways to use up that jar of gourmet almond butter! Almond butter is for more than just spreading, almond milk for more than just drinking, and you haven’t tasted a muffin until you’ve made it moist with freshly ground, blanched almond flour.

Each recipe has been tagged with icons to help you quickly find meals that work within your particular diet parameters. You’ll find signs for dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, vegan, and vegetarian. These six diet approaches are highlighted because they best address the broad categories of diets that use almond products.

The recipes in this book range from classics you already love—made with almond ingredients swapped into the mix—to new recipe ideas that meld the luscious flavors and features of almond milk, almond butter, and almond flour into meals you’ll want to make again and again.

Mostly, I hope this book serves as a starting point for experimentation. If you’re looking for delicious recipes, you’ll find them within the pages of this book. If you’re looking for recipes that help you cut down on allergens, you’ll discover dozens. If you want to stir that leftover almond butter into a batch of classic comfort food, we’ve got you covered. A little bit of everything, for a whole lot of everyone. Almonds are nice like that—they can be the happy center of a variety of diets, adding nutrients, making dishes allergen-free, and generally giving your meals a glow of goodness.

I hope you enjoy cooking with them as much as I do.



Welcome to the World of Almonds

Before you get cooking, let’s start with the basics. In a nutshell, almonds in any form are a natural source of magnesium, potassium, and protein. Magnesium helps regulate the digestive system and maintain healthy bones, while potassium keeps the heart and nervous system properly maintained. Almonds have been linked to healthier skin, appear to lower blood sugar levels, and may possibly play a role in cancer prevention as well. The protein in almonds makes them a naturally low-carb way to bulk up recipes without bulking up your waistline, and 3.5 grams of fiber per ounce of almonds adds as much fiber to your diet as a banana.

Below, you’ll find everything you ever needed to know about the health, nutrition—and flavor—benefits of almond flour, butter, and milk.

Almond Flour

You’re likely expecting this section to start with some sort of healthy statistic, right? No way. The primary reason (in my mind, anyway) for adding almond flour to your meals isn’t because it can help lower your cholesterol (though studies have shown a connection) or because swapping carbs for almond products has shown a 30 percent reduction in heart disease in many patients (though it has). Rather, the primary reason to start using almond flour in your cooking is because it makes foods—especially baked foods—absolutely scrumptious.

The natural oils in almond flour lend remarkable moistness to baked goods like muffins, cakes, and waffles. Expect a slightly denser final product with a kiss of natural almond flavor and a remarkable amount of tender texture without adding more butter to the mix.

Cooking and baking with almond flour is win-win in every way. It can lessen the amount of processed foods in your diet, drop carb intake without sacrifice, and work beautifully in recipes. It can be used as basic flour, it can take the place of carb-heavy bread crumbs, and it can be sprinkled over cobblers to create a completely natural, flavorful crust. Almond flour is surprisingly versatile; it can be used in everything from breakfasts to dinners. It’s good raw or cooked, served hot or cold. That’s something traditional wheat flour can’t say for itself.

You’ll find information on packaged flours you can find in stores or online on page 210; I also include easy DIY flour recipes on pages 26–27.

Almond Butter

Almond butter first hit store shelves as a replacement for peanut butter, but its versatility, nutritional benefits, and incredible flavor have turned basic almond butter into a mighty market for health lovers and gourmands alike.

Easy to swap into recipes that call for peanut butter, almond butter offers a mildly sweet, natural flavor and bakes beautifully into desserts. It’s also an incredible base for pasta and noodle sauces. When you hit the entrée section on page 139, you’ll see just how many ways there are to add almond butter into everyday cooking.

Almond butter is also good for you. Peanuts are actually considered a legume, so peanut butter contains a high percentage of lectin, which may contribute to stripping away the mucous membrane of the small intestine, and potentially increasing susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. Almond butter, as part of general almond consumption, has been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease and has high levels of the antioxidant vitamin E, which has been linked to lowered rates of cell damage.

When comparing almond butter to peanut butter, there are other nutritional benefits, as well. Almond butter is higher in magnesium and iron, both vital minerals that contribute to the well-being of nervous function and healthy skin and tissue.

Some paleo eaters may be concerned about the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in almonds, because almonds are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6s. If this ratio is of concern to you, keep in mind that raw almonds, when enjoyed in recommended serving-size amounts, offer tremendous benefits without inciting a high amount of inflammation. When consumed in excess, or used as a primary source of protein, almond butter and other whole-nut almond products may increase inflammation, but in moderate amounts, the benefits of the nuts themselves far exceed any harm from the omega-6s. Almond butter is a wonderful addition to any healthy eating plan and an especially good substitute for those with peanut allergies.

You’ll find information on prepackaged butters you can find in stores on pages 207–210; I also include easy DIY almond butter recipes on pages 22–25.

Almond Milk

If you’re trying to avoid dairy and soy’s not your first choice, almond milk is a great alternative. There are a variety of companies, flavors, and ways to store almond milk, and it easily substitutes for cow’s milk in most recipes.

There are dozens of reasons almond milk is worth adding to your diet. The first is that the light, nutty, crisp flavor is almost immediately palatable. Many milk substitutes take some getting used to, but almond milk offers a similar consistency to milk and tastes great in all the same places—over cereal, in a cup of coffee, or served ice cold in a glass with a straw.

Like other almond products, almond milk will boost your intake of magnesium, potassium, and antioxidant vitamin E. It’s also lower in calories than cow’s milk, and many commercial almond milks are fortified with calcium, too.

Many varieties of store-bought almond milk are shelf-stable, requiring no refrigeration until open and ready for storage, so it’s easy to keep stocked in the pantry. Of course, when making almond milk at home, always store it in the fridge to extend its shelf life.

Perhaps one of the best things about almond milk is how compatible it is with nearly every type of diet. Vegan, vegetarian, peanut-free, gluten-free, lactose intolerant, and paleo eaters can all enjoy almond milk. It has all the creamy goodness of milk, without all of the adverse reactions some bodies experience when consuming dairy.

You’ll find information on packaged milks you can find in stores on pages 210–211. While store-bought almond milks contain some additives, it’s easy to make a pure, preservative-free version of almond milk in your own kitchen. Several recipes for homemade almond milk are included in chapter 2 of this book (see pages 17–21). Homemade almond milk isn’t just a clean, whole food, it’s also a waste-free recipe. When making almond milk, you’ll blend fresh almonds into water, drain the liquid for drinking, and be left with a pureed pith, which can be baked into cookie bars, added to quick breads (see page 16), and stirred into oatmeal, so no part of the almond goes to waste.

Tips and Tricks

How do you store almond butter? How long can almond milk last on the shelf? How much almond flour can you substitute in regular recipes? This section will share all the details for making the most of your almond ingredients.

Almond Flour

Blanched almond flour is technically a raw product and therefore requires special treatment to extend its shelf life, protect its nutrients, and keep it from going rancid. Almond flour is different from almond meal. Blanched almond flour is made by boiling or steaming the skins off almonds, then grinding them into fine particles. Almond meal is usually ground from almonds with the skins still on and tends to have a texture closer to cornmeal. For most of the recipes in this book, you’ll want to use a finely ground almond flour, rather than almond meal.


Almond flour will go rancid more quickly than glutinous flours, so it’s not recommended that you keep it on the shelf. Store almond flour in airtight bags or mason jars, and it will keep in the fridge for up to six months and in the freezer for up to a year. If you freeze your almond flour, it will need to be brought to room temperature before using it in recipes.

Shelf Life

3–6 months if stored in the fridge

1 year if stored in the freezer

Pantry Tips

Buy in bulk for the best price, but immediately portion out your almond flour. Store in half-gallon or gallon-size mason jars. Keep one in the fridge for cooking and the rest in the freezer.

Almond Milk

Almond milk doesn’t have the same storage requirements as cow’s milk, but there are some tips for extending the shelf life of your almond milk, keeping it safe, and keeping it fresh. Homemade almond milk has different requirements from store-bought, refrigerated almond milk brands. However, a few basic practices will keep any almond milk fresher longer.


Store unopened almond milk based on the recommendations of the manufacturer. Some products are shelf-stable, others require refrigeration. When storing unopened, shelf-stable almond milk, keep it in a cool, dry location for best results. Extreme heat can adversely affect the texture of the product.

Opened almond milk should always be stored covered in the refrigerator. Store-bought brands will print an expiration date on the top of the carton; shelf-stable brands will typically encourage you to consume the milk within 7 days of opening.

Homemade almond milk should always be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It may separate once stored, so give it a nice shake before opening. Because there are no additives or preservatives, homemade almond milk won’t last as long as store-bought brands.

Shelf Life

Unopened, shelf-stable almond milk can typically be stored in a cool, dry location for up to 6 months. Check the packaging to ensure the safe storage date.

Opened, most store-bought almond milks will stay fresh for about 7 days under refrigeration and possibly longer, but always check the smell, taste, and texture of the milk before consuming or cooking.

Homemade almond milk should be stored covered in the fridge, and consumed in 3–5 days.

Almond Butter

Most store-bought almond butters can be stored on the shelf once opened, making them a great addition to any pantry. Here are a few important considerations for keeping your almond butter fresh, smooth, and delicious for many weeks or even months after opening.


Store unopened almond butter in a cool, dry cupboard or pantry. Many almond butter brands will have some separation of oil and nut meat, but heat will increase that separation. Heat can also speed up the aging process and make your almond butter go rancid before you’ve had time to use it. This is especially true of raw almond butter, so proper storage isn’t just good for you—it’s good for your almond butter.

No-stir brands are especially fit for shelf storage; they’ll be soft and easily spreadable the moment you want to spoon into them. Storing almond butter in the fridge will extend the shelf life; however, the cool temperatures significantly thicken the texture and make it hard to spoon into or spread.

Shelf Life

Once opened, use almond butter before the expiration date to ensure freshness. Homemade nut butters should be tightly covered and can be stored in a cool, dry location for 1–2 weeks and in the fridge for up to 3 months. Almond butters—especially raw ones—can go rancid, so always smell the product before use. Rancid nut butter will give off an unsavory smell and should be discarded.

Pantry Tips

Wipe the rim of your almond butter jar clean after each use to ensure a tight seal for storage.

Use a clean knife every time you scoop into your almond butter. This keeps it from becoming contaminated with other ingredients.

For almond butters that require stirring, here’s a fun trick: the first time you open the jar, use a knife to stir the oil into the nut meat. Replace the lid and store the jar upside down in the fridge for maximum freshness and less separation. It should not be stored in the freezer.

Substituting Almond Ingredients for Conventional Ingredients

Ready to replace your traditional wheat flour and dairy milk recipes with pure, natural almond products? Here’s the 411 on how to make the swap.

Almond Flour

Almond flour can typically be swapped straight across for wheat flour in most baking or quick bread recipes, but keep these considerations in mind:

          Use Finely Ground Almond Flour. Very finely ground almond flour most mimics traditional wheat flour and will always give you the best results. Almond meal or coarse-ground almond flour will yield crumbly baked treats that don’t hold together as nicely as treats made with finely ground almond flour.

          Bulk Up the Baking Powder. Add an extra ½ teaspoon of baking powder per cup of almond flour added to your recipe. It will give an extra boost to the naturally heavier almond flour.

          Cut the Fat. Almond flour contains natural oils, so you can reduce the amount of butter or oil in your recipes by 2 tablespoons for every cup of almond flour that you add to the recipe.

          Quick over Slow. Quick breads, cupcakes, and muffin recipes are ideal for straight-across substitution of wheat with almond flour. Unfortunately, yeast bread recipes don’t work well with a cup-for-cup swap. If you’ve got your heart set on foccacia, dinner rolls, or grandma’s French bread recipe, try using the ALL-PURPOSE GLUTEN-FREE ALMOND FLOUR MIX (PAGE 27).

          Don’t Expect Perfection. Cooking with almond flour is different from cooking with wheat flour. So the results of any recipe will be slightly different from the original. Wheat flour tends to rise higher than almond flour recipes. When made with almond flour, most recipes will be denser and slightly more crumbly than they would be if made from wheat flour. However, the flavor of many recipes is greatly enhanced when almond flour is swapped in, and the low-carb benefits far outweigh the texture difference!

Almond Milk

Almond milk can be used in a most recipes calling for cow’s milk or soy milk. It’s easy to make a cup-for-cup swap in soups, sauces, baked goods, even drinks, milkshakes, and smoothies. When adding almond milk to savory sauces, unsweetened almond milk is always best. The flavor and texture of the finished recipe may be slightly thinner than cow’s milk and will have the addition of mild almond flavor, versus the creamy flavor of cow’s milk.

          Use It in Pudding. Most almond milk companies don’t recommend using almond milk in instant pudding. Here’s a secret: add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to a small package of instant pudding and whisk in 1 ½ cups of almond milk. Presto! Perfect pudding every time.

          Keep It Sweet. When making sweet sauces or baked goods, feel free to swap sweetened vanilla almond milk in place of cow’s milk. The sugar content in your recipe can be cut by 1 tablespoon per ½ cup of sweetened almond milk added.

          Skinny Secrets. Unsweetened almond milk typically cooks and bakes like skim milk. For thicker, creamier sauces, try bulking up the cream content of your recipe by adding ¼ cup of full-fat coconut milk to unsweetened almond milk for a rich, thick final dish.

Almond Butter

Almond butter is the easiest swap of them all! Use it cup for cup in recipes calling for peanut butter. The only thing to keep in mind: make sure you’ve stirred your almond butter well—or use a no-stir brand—for best results.

How to Make the Recipes in This Book Work for You—Special Tips for Special Diets

The recipes in this book highlight the healthy aspects of swapping almond products for some of the traditional ingredients that more and more diets are trying to avoid. Paleo eaters avoid flour. Vegans eschew any form of animal product, including eggs and dairy milk. Vegetarians want protein without eating meat. And gluten-free and grain-free dieters need zero gluten in their dishes. For each of these diet approaches, almonds make delicious substitutes. From acting like flour to baking as a filler in Vegan Meatloaf, almond products can help you abide by your dietary restrictions in delicious ways. In the recipes, I’ve noted where specific types of almond milk or almond butter are needed. Otherwise, feel free to use whatever is in your pantry or fridge.

The recipes in this book have been marked with diet icons, making it easy for you to quickly identify which recipes fit into your preferred eating plan:




          Paleo (Strict paleo eaters will want to avoid canned foods, but we’ve included pure versions.)




Note that each recipe includes an icon for every possible diet type it fits or can be tailored to fit, using ingredient substitutions, which are also included.

»  »  »

Many of the recipes contain ingredient swaps. Here’s a quick guide to help you see which swap is right for you when several options are offered for a single ingredient in a recipe.

Flavor Enhancers

Soy sauce, tamari, and Bragg Liquid Aminos give a salty, smoky flavor to recipes, but contain very different ingredients. Traditional soy sauce is often filled with gluten, so check the ingredients before adding if you’re a g-free eater. Tamari is typically made without wheat (again, check the label to be safe), and many paleo and vegan eaters approve this as an acceptable alternative to soy sauce. Bragg Liquid Aminos are likewise made out of soybeans but are not fermented and contain no gluten. For strict non-soy eaters, coconut aminos can also be added to these recipes for a similar flavor and consistency. Here, then, is a quick recap:

       Soy sauce—vegetarian, vegan (but check label), paleo

       Tamari—gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

       Bragg Liquid Aminos—gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

       Coconut aminos—gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo


Three different oils are mentioned interchangeably in several of the recipes in this book. Grapeseed, avocado, and olive oil are easy to find in most grocers and yield almost identical results in recipes. More attention is being given to the smoking point of olive oil. It’s not recommended for use in hot skillets or stir-frys because it smokes at a low point and can release potentially harmful free radicals. Of these oils, avocado oil has the highest smoking point (at 520°F) and is safest to use for stir-frying and baking. Grapeseed and olive oil are best for drizzling but can be used for cooking in a pinch. Here’s the lowdown on which oil will work best for your diet:

       Grapeseed oil—gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, vegan

       Avocado—gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

       Olive—gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo


When it comes to baking and sautéing, nothing lends as much flavor as butter! But, butter can be a big no-no for some of our special diets. So you’ll see several recipes that offer alternative options. Followers of the paleo diet, in particular, will want to use grass-fed butter. Vegans will prefer a butter-like spread such as Earth Balance. And all diet types can enjoy coconut oil, which bakes just like butter in most recipes but can lend a coconut flavor that some eaters simply don’t enjoy. No worries. I've listed plenty of swap options for the fats in the recipes. Here is a summary of which fats work best with which diets:

       Butter—gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian

       Grass-fed butter—gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, paleo



On Sale
Mar 11, 2014
Page Count
272 pages

Brooke McLay

About the Author

Brooke McLay is food writer, food photographer, and recipe developer for Disney’s Babble,, Good Cook,, and SuFru. She lives in Salt Lake City with her four groovy kids. Find more of Brooke’s original quick, simple, healthy recipes on her blog,


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