Rethinking Opportunity with Nut Flours and Powders

Gluten free is here to stay, but creating a great tasting gluten-free cookie, cupcake, or bread can be challenging. Neutral in taste and packed full of nutrients, nut flours and powders are perfect alternatives to traditional wheat-based grain flours for consumers looking for healthier ingredients. And the popularity for these alternatives continues to see an increase, with the global almond flour market expected to generate $2.7 billion in revenue by 20291. The same goes for plant-based protein powders, which saw a 38% increase in sales over the past two years2.  

Our nut flours and protein powders offer an attractive nutritional profile, providing an alternative source of vitamins and minerals. Whether you’re looking to reformulate your next baked good to accommodate a paleo, keto, grain-free or gluten-free lifestyle, or looking for improved taste and texture, nut flours and powders are delicious, sustainable, and versatile.  

 

Nut flours

Currently, ofi provides two options for our almond flours: natural meal (fine) and blanched super-fine flour), with organic options available as well. The fiber content in almond flour allows for improved moisture retention, which adds moisture to baked goods.  

Natural almond meal has red/brown flecks, due to the skin on the almonds, providing an artisanal look to baked goods. Alternatively, blanched superfine almond flour contains almonds with their skin removed, making the flour lighter in color, with a smooth and fluffy texture.  

Our cashew dry-roasted meal continues to gain popularity among consumers seeking a nuttier tasting grain-free option to replace wheat-based flours. Our cashew flour provides a good source of iron, and like almond flour, the fiber content allows for increased moisture retention.  

Nut protein powders

Our almond and cashew protein powder are produced by cold-pressing high-quality, almonds and cashews.  For almonds, 60% of the fat content is removed during this process, while cashews see a 50% reduction, and there is a 25% reduction in caloric content. While we see fat and calories decrease, mineral content such as fiber, iron and protein remain untouched. Our protein powders provide a plant-based protein source, as well as an enhanced nutritional profile of the finished product.  

For our almond protein powder, we use raw whole or blanched almonds, with a protein content ranging from approximately 35-40%. Our cashew protein powder is made from the finest quality cashews, ground, and sieved to perfection, with 30% protein content. 

Cashew protein powder is one of the few natural food sources of copper which improves bone density3. Along with the ability to cater to various dietary lifestyles, nut protein powders also may reduce the risk of heart disease, play a role in lowering cholesterol levels, and improve glucose control markers in people with type 2 diabetes4

 

So, when do I use meal, flour, or protein powder? 
Meal is typically made by grinding the nuts into a coarse powder. It is ideal for recipes that call for a breadcrumb like texture, such as pie crusts, muffins, pancakes, or breaded foods.  
Flour is blanched before fine grinding, which enhances the texture, and makes it superior for baking since its consistency is more like the traditional wheat flour.  


Similar to flour, protein powders are another substitute for the wheat-based flours. A bonus for using protein powders is the moisture retention, and increased protein content. In fact, ofi food scientists tested protein powder in our chocolate chip cookie recipe and found three times the amount of protein versus the leading brands final product, with three grams of protein for a 28-gram serving, compared to one gram of protein for a 28-gram serving. 


Understand your consumers needs 
While the world of gluten-free, grain-free and wheat alternatives can seem intimidating, the truth is these alternatives are here to stay. Are you thinking of reformulating your product to appeal to gluten-free, grain-free lifestyles? Interested in developing a healthier product with a simplified ingredient list? We understand the need to provide options for your consumers when it comes to the finished product. To learn more about how we can help you reformulate your products, or to discover our various flours, protein powders, and meals, contact us at nuts@ofi.com or learn more on our almond and cashew pages. 

 

  1. Future Market Insights, Almond Flour Market: 2019 Analysis and Review of Almond Flour Market by Form – Blanched and Natural for 2019 – 2028, [Report], 2020.
  2. Searing, A., Watson, C., McKeague, J., Joseph, P. (2020). Alternative Proteins: Market Research on Consumer Trends and Emerging Landscape. Meat and Muscle Biology. 4.10.22175/mmb.11225.
  3. Oregon State University. (2014) Micronutrient Information Center: Copper. Last modified January 2014. https://ipi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/copper
  4. Almond Board of California. (2017) Almonds: Nutrition and Scientific Research. Last modified September 2017. https://www.almonds.com/sites/default/files/2020-04/State%200f%20The%20Science.pdf