The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook: Breakfasts, Entrees, and More

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook: Breakfasts, Entrees, and More

by Elana Amsterdam

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99 family-friendly gluten-free recipes for breafast, dinner, and dessert. 

The prevalence of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity among millions of adults and children has created the need for gluten-free recipes that are as nutritious and tasty as their traditional counterparts. Popular food blogger Elana Amsterdam offers ninety-nine family-friendly classics—from Pancakes to Eggplant Parmesan to Chocolate Cake—that feature her gluten-free ingredient of choice, almond flour. Because these recipes are low glycemic, low in cholesterol and dairy, and high in protein and fiber, they are also ideal for people with diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol.

So whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast treat, a comfort food entrée, or a showstopping dessert, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook proves that gluten-free cooking can mean healthy eating for everyone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607745402
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 10/23/2012
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 496,433
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

ELANA AMSTERDAM is the popular food blogger of Elana’s Pantry, where she shares gluten-free and Paleo recipes. She is the author of Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry and Gluten-Free Cupcakes. She lives with her family in Boulder, Colorado. Visit


Read an Excerpt

In European countries where wheat and corn don’t dominate agriculture, vibrant, centuries-old traditions make delicious use of almond flour in dishes such as marzipan, macaroons, and tortes. These cultures discovered the secret of almond flour long ago: it tastes delicious, it’s easy to use, and it’s a superfood.


Almond flour tastes sweet, rich, and buttery, making it somewhat indistinguishable from wheat flour in baked goods and other dishes.

As opposed to the dry, gritty texture of rice flour and other gluten-free flours in baked goods, almond flour is smooth and has excellent mouth feel.

Ease of Use

Almond flour is as easy to use as wheat flour and much less tedious than complex gluten-free flours, which require numerous supplemental ingredients such as xanthum gum, cornstarch, and potato flakes for binding purposes. Because it requires numerous additional ingredients, gluten-free baking has traditionally been known as a painstaking, time-consuming task. This is not the case with almond flour baking, which is actually even quicker and easier than most traditional wheat-based recipes that require yeast and rising time.


Almond flour is a highly nutritious superfood that is low-carb and rich in vitamins, minerals, and “good” fats. Almond flour is not only the healthiestflour around, it is also higher in protein and far richer in nutrients than wheat flour and its gluten-free counterparts; a serving of almond flour is packed with protein and fiber.

Almond flour is not only full of incredible antioxidants and found to be allergenic in only 1 percent of the population, it is also an ideal recovery food for cyclists and other athletes.

Vitamins and Minerals: Almond Flour versus Other Flours During the 1990s, the medical community began to discover the health benefits of almonds; numerous studies now point to increasing almond intake as beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar, controlling appetite, preventing obesity, and providing antioxidants as well as numerous other nutrients. Such studies also tout almonds as a heart-healthy food.

Unlike its high-glycemic wheat and rice flour counterparts, the high protein content of almond flour makes it an optimal ingredient for stabilizing blood sugar. It is thus the ideal fare for diabetics and those who experience difficulty metabolizing sugar, which is a common issue among people with celiac disease.

Recent research indicates that diabetics and those with celiac disease share a similar strand of DNA, enhancing the appeal of almond flour as a tool to simultaneously go gluten-free while lowering one’s glucose intake. The recipes in this book use almond flour and low-glycemic sweeteners rather than sugar, allowing people with food restrictions to enjoy their favorite desserts without worrying about spiking blood sugar levels.

Because almonds enhance satiety, they are an ideal food for those looking to maintain or lose weight. Researchers concluded that almonds’ heart-healthy monounsaturated fat helps to satisfy appetite and prevent overeating. A 2003 study in the Journal of Obesity found that “adding a daily ration of almonds to a low-calorie diet enhanced weight loss as well as significantly improved risk factors associated with heart disease.”

The American Heart Association has further determined that the “good” fats in almonds actually lower cholesterol, making almonds a star ingredient for patients with heart disease.

Finally, there is no reason for almond flour to be limited to the above populations on special diets. Almond flour provides a return to wholesome eating in an era of increasingly processed food, proliferating food allergies, and health ailments. As you will see in the following recipes, almond flour is the king of alternative flours.

The recipes in this book are simple and easy--some contain six ingredients or less, and can be prepared in well under an hour. You do not need to be a chef, or even have prior cooking experience, to successfully prepare the dishes featured here. Though it is crucial that you have the correct ingredients. In this chapter, you’ll find information about the ingredients featured in the recipes, as well as handling and storing instructions.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is actually a by-product of the process in which almond slices and slivers are produced. First, the almonds are blanched--the skin is removed in a water bath. Next, they are cut into sliced or diced almonds. The fragments and small pieces that result from this process (a sort of almond sawdust) ultimately become almond flour. In the final stage of this process, the by-product, which may be somewhat coarse, is put through a screen with tiny holes to ensure smooth flour with a uniformly fine consistency.

Almond flour is not to be confused with almond meal, which contains whole, ground almonds that still have the skin on them. Please note: Almond meal or almond flour that is not blanched will not work for the recipes in this book--you will not achieve the desired results.

Baking with almond flour is extremely easy. There is no yeast or rising time with the baked goods in this cookbook, which means instant gratification in your baking endeavors.

Almond flour is available at health food stores and many grocery stores as well. It is also widely available on the Internet. I recommend purchasing almond flour online, as it is generally half the price of the same product in a retail outlet.

Please note: Unfortunately, the almond flour produced by Bob’s Red Mill is much coarser than the other brands of almond flour I have tested for this book. Because of its consistency it does not work in these recipes.

Whenever possible, purchase your almond flour from a vendor that refrigerates it. The product will be of higher quality because the fats are less likely to have gone rancid and therefore it will keep for a longer period of time. Almond flour can be stored in a tightly sealed glass jar in the refrigerator or freezer for several months.


I use Celtic Sea Salt in all of my recipes and highly recommend it. Be sure to purchase the finely ground Celtic Sea Salt as it is optimal for baking--it mixes into cookies and other baked goods quite evenly.

I store my salt in a large glass jar in the pantry, where it keeps indefinitely and requires no cold storage. I also keep a small bowl of salt on the counter next to my measuring spoons, so I have some ready when I’m cooking up a quick batch of cookies or other treats.

Agave Nectar

Sweetness is the first taste we experience in life, the primal taste of infancy; we all need some form of sweetness in our lives. For several years, I researched delicious, healthy alternatives to sugar that held up well in the baking process yet did not substantially raise glycemic index values.

Because celiac and diabetes ride on the same gene (increasing the fre-quency of one disease when the other occurs), I have found it helpful as some-one with celiac disease to monitor my intake of sweets. I do not believe that such diseases suddenly appear; I think they take years to develop and that anything we can do to lower our chances of incurring them is beneficial. For this reason, I have included a sweetness indicator in many of these recipes. It will let you know which recipes to use when you are in the mood for a slightly sweet treat or a more decadent dessert. Recipes that do not have a significant amount of sweetener do not have a sweetness indicator.

Agave, the nectar of the agave plant--a golden liquid readily available at health food stores--has become my go-to sweetener. It is much lower on the glycemic index than other sweeteners:

Glycemic Index

In all of my recipes, I use USDA-certified organic light agave nectar. As opposed to dark or amber, light agave has a more neutral flavor and resembles sugar most closely in taste when added to baked goods.

Many people ask why I don’t use honey as a sweetener in my recipes. I choose agave nectar because I consider honey a flavor, not a sweetener, and I tend to use it for medicinal purposes rather than as an ingredient in my baking.

I purchase agave nectar by the gallon because it dramatically cuts the cost. If you buy yours this way, be sure to also purchase a pump for the gallon-size container. Whatever you do, because of the expense, avoid buying small containers of agave.

Grapeseed Oil

Let’s face it, food needs fat to taste good; oils impart rich flavor and texture. Grapeseed is my oil of choice.

Why? Grapeseed oil is the ideal replacement for butter in baked goods, making it optimal for those on a dairy-free diet. It is also low in cholesterol, and has a neutral flavor.

I purchase my oils (including grapeseed) in glass containers, because plastic contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are exacerbated when they come into contact with oil.

Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil to lend a tropical flavor to certain baked goods. At colder temperatures, coconut oil is solid and requires melting before it can be used in recipes. When heated, it can scorch very easily, so be sure to heat it at a very low temperature. During the summer months, it will be in a more liquid state and will not require melting. Purchase only food-grade coconut oil in glass jars, and make sure it is unrefined and not hydrogenated. High-quality coconut oil will have a slightly sweet smell, coconut flavor, and no aftertaste.

Vanilla extract

I use a high-quality pure organic gluten-free vanilla extract, manufactured by Flavorganics. I purchase the eight-ounce size, the largest sold retail, to reduce costs and minimize my consumption of glass.


Chocolate is reputedly an aphrodisiac. In addition, studies show that chocolate is a potent antioxidant that can reduce blood pressure and raise good cholesterol. These benefits are derived from eating dark chocolate, not milk or white chocolate.

I bake with Dagoba organic unsweetened cocoa powder and dark chocolate (bars or chocodrops) because Dagoba is organic and dark chocolate has a much higher cocoa content and less sugar than semisweet or milk chocolate. The chocodrops are disks that are similar to chocolate chips, just a bit larger and flatter. If you want to use a bar of chocolate, just chop it into chunks and then measure it in a cup. If you are weighing the chocolate, one cup of chocodrops is equal to approximately six ounces by weight.

Because the percentages of cocoa butter and powder vary from product to product and brand to brand, make sure that the chocolate you use is 73 percent cacao for these recipes.

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot is a ubiquitous weed that grows in the southern United States. It is a thickener commonly used in Ayurvedic cooking.

If you are unfamiliar with arrowroot powder, the following basic tips will help. When a recipe calls for an arrowroot slurry or paste, be sure to combine the arrowroot and water in a small bowl, making a smooth mixture without any lumps. Generally, you will be adding the slurry or paste to a mixture on the stove. When doing so, it is important to raise the heat to high and mix thoroughly until the arrowroot is well integrated and the mixture on the stove completely thickens.

Agar Flakes

Agar is a vegan thickener made of seaweed, similar to gelatin, commonly used in Asian cooking. When using this thickener it is of utmost importance to bring your mixture to a rolling boil, until the agar thoroughly dissolves.

Fruit Spread

I use Rigoni di Asiago brand fruit spread, which is made from organic fruit. The fact that these fruit spreads are juice sweetened (with no refined sugars)adds to their appeal. When using jam, it’s extremely important to use an organic product. In conventional jams, as the fruit concentrates so does the pesticide content. This creates an added toxic burden in little jam-loving children who weigh less than adults.

Yacon Syrup

Yacon is a root composed primarily of water and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)--these types of short chain sugars have a lower caloric value (as they are digested anaerobically) and high fiber content. I use yacon syrup in recipes that traditionally call for molasses, such as gingerbread.

All Purpose Chef’s Shake seasoning

This gluten-free spice blend produced by Spice Hunter contains onion, garlic, celery seed, marjoram, and several other ground spices. I use it as a convenient shortcut to add flavor to savory dishes rather than using a laundry list of spices.

Magic Line Loaf Pan (7.5 by 3.5 by 2.25 inches)

This commercial quality, heavy-duty loaf pan is the perfect size for evenly cooking a loaf of bread made with almond flour. In my testing I found that standard size loaf pans did not bake the bread through to the center, leaving the middle undercooked. This loaf pan is shallow enough that your breads will be cooked through.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Sweetness: low

While I use agave nectar in many recipes, fruit alone sweetens these muffins, making them the ideal treat for those looking to reduce their glycemic load.

3 cups blanched almond flour

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

3 large eggs

2 cups (4 to 5) mashed very ripe bananas

1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil and eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir the bananas into the batter, then fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then serve.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments • viii
Introduction • 1

Using Almond Flour • 3
Stocking the Almond Flour Pantry • 7
Breakfast • 13
Breads and Crackers • 25
Entrées • 39
Pies, Pastries, and Crusts • 65
Cakes and Cupcakes • 83
Cookies and Bars • 97
Toppings, Syrups, and Sauces • 121

Sources • 127
Notes • 129
Index • 130

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Outstanding gluten-free goodies... this lovely cookbook, full of enticing photos, has my mouth watering.”
DeliciousLiving Magazine: Blog
“The need is huge for cookbooks for celiacs on limited diets. They will welcome The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook when it arrives.”
Providence Journal
“Flour Girl: Gluten-Free Almond Joy”
—Washington Post

“Amsterdam’s recipes will carry you through the day, with pancakes for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and quiche for dinner. She takes classic recipes...and adapts them to almond flour, creating plenty of meal options.”
Cookbook Digest

"We all need to pay attention to the food we eat, all of the time. For people with celiac disease, this is normally an even greater challenge—but not for Elana! Her healthful and flavorful recipes taste as good as they are good for you. Made with almond flour and high in protein and fiber, these dishes are sure to even please the gluten eaters in your family!" 
—Alice Bast, President and Founder of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)

“For many people, normal food becomes off-limits when they find they have an allergy or condition, such as celiac disease. To wrestle new limitations into foods that are every bit as delicious and appealing (if not more so) is a coup to be celebrated. Having tried the chocolate chip cookies, I speak from experience when I say there is nothing lacking in these recipes. They are truly wholesome and delicious!”
—DEBORAH MADISON, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

“Elana has a tremendous gift for creating classic recipes using healthy ingredients. Her high-protein, gluten-free treats are incredibly tasty! I highly recommend this book if you are looking for good food that is also good for you.”
—DR. ROBERT ROUNTREE, Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child

“Local hero Elana Amsterdam (straight out of Boulder) offers dozens of wheatless recipes from chicken parmesan to chocolate cake, all of which call for gluten-free almond flour. Enough of the recipes will appeal to gluten-eaters to make this collection a great go-to resource for blended families and/or hosts cooking for gluten-intolerant guests. Readers with a sweet tooth are especially well-served here, but savory recipes like salmon burgers round out the roster.”
—The Denver Post, “Causing a STIR: Best Cookbooks of 2009”

“In her Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, the ingenious celiac Elana Amsterdam offers another possible approach, a sandwich bread made from finely milled almond flour (do not use Bob's Red Mill brand) and almond butter that is nutty and versatile. Amsterdam's recipes are refreshingly simple, as the almond flour reduces the need for the expensive and obscure mix of flours other gluten-free recipes require.... But the ground nut has other virtues, including high amounts of protein and vitamins and low glycemic impact. Amsterdam employs it in a range of dishes, from shortbread cookies and carrot cake to a savory tart with kale. Her snappy herbed crackers, which are a welcome change from commercial nut-thins and dry rice crisps, are equally easy to make and delicious.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Gluten-Free But Still Tasty”

Customer Reviews

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The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook: Breakfasts, Entrees, and More 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very practical cookbook. The author uses many of the same ingredients throughout. This is great because once you stock your pantry with almond flour, celtic sea salt, baking soda, & agave nectar you are ready to go. If you have ever been discouraged with cookbooks with too many hard to find ingredients, then this is the cookbook for you. This author considers the nutritional value of all of her ingredients and recipes. We especially enjoy the chocolate chip cookies & cupcakes. They are loaded with lots of fiber & protein. Since my girls have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity this cookbook has been an excellent source for yummy food & baked goods. Order this book. You will be delighted!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a good book overall. Some of the items are a bit pricy. You don't get a crispy crunchy texture like you would with regular flour, but almond flour does have a lot of nutritional value, low carbs and low on the glycemic index (GI for diabetics). I had to adjust my oven temperature below the recommended setting. I usually set my oven to 300 and adjusted the cooking time to avoid burning. The almond flour tends to cook quickly and therefore could result in burning or deep browning. I also found that I adjusted the measurements (lowering them). Some things resulted too sweet or too oily. The pastry cream was a nice new twist. I was actually pleasantly surprised. My personal favorite items that I've always used are grapeseed oil and agave nectar. Not terribly expensive and both offer great nutritional value.
SisKM More than 1 year ago
I have tried many Gluten Free recipes. Hands down this is the best book I have found. I have tried Elana's simple bread, Cinnamon raison bread, Pecan Sandies, Double Chocolate Chip cookie, and amazing crackers-every one of these recipes were fool proof and delicious. I especially appreciate her choice of low glycemic index ingredients. These recipes are surprisingly filling without the sugar buzz. Elana gives sources for the ingredients needed. I followed her recommendations with success...and also had success making her crackers using walnut flour instead of almond flour.So the recipes serve as a good springboard for your own creativity. This book has changed how we eat at our house. I can now greet my boys with delicious warm cookies as they come home from school! Bravo Elana!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every recipe I have tried so far has been absolutely delicious. My picky little eaters and even pickier husband have enthusiastically devoured the results every time. This is the best gluten free cookbook I have found so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elana Amsterdam's cookbook is fantastic! Once you stock your pantry with her basic ingredients -- she has an excellent section up front where she lists them as well as a Resources section for getting them -- you are set to make almost every one of her recipes. The recipe for the Savory Crust, used for both her Chicken Pot Pie and the Vegetable Quiche recipes, is by itself worth the price of admission. It is the best quiche I have ever had, gluten or not. She gave me back bread; super easy and oh so tasty! No mixing of tons of different flours, no waiting for dough to rise; no bread machine needed. For more information and feedback on her recipes, go to her blog: She has new recipes all the time, as well as forums where people go and discuss her recipes, with coking and substitution tips. If you get only one gluten-free book, get this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought the book several months ago. I made several breads, the carrot cake with coconut icing and the berry crisp. I substituted raw honey or sucanat for the agave nectar. I've also tried several of Elana's recipes on the website, including several chicken dishes. Looking forward to her new Paleo cookbook this summer. Thanks, Elana, for my incentive to start cooking these great tasting dishes, and for the info you provided about the best products!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have made several of the recipes so far, and every one turns out wonderful. I use the Honeyville blanched almond flour. It is great to be able to make everything from main dishes to desserts and feel good about eating and serving them! My thanks to the author for creating these wonderful recipes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't have a gluten allergy. My interest in this book was to find good recipies that were low in sugar and did not use flour. Everything I've made has turned out awesome- even my husband and 3 small children have gobbled up everything I've made from this book. You can also sign up to the author's blog to get more recipies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not worth the money. The recipes did not turn out because steps were missing. I make a lot of food from scratch and I was not able to create the food properly. The desserts either didn't last long before they became soggy- and I mean they lasted maybe 3 days tops before you had to throw them out. The main dishes didn't turn out and became really frustrating when the ingredients you are using are expensive! And what did turn out tasted alright. It wasn't anything to brag about or bring to the neighbors. 
rmcdow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic recipe book for people who have discovered that they are gluten intolerant. The recipes are actually better tasting, more nourishing in that the satisfaction of eating stays with you longer, and are in some cases quicker to prepare than traditional flour based recipes. I highly recommend this book for those who love to cook, and are tired of the lack of nourishing food in the marketplace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delicious recipes and a great source for gluten free dishes. Highly recommend it.
djpayne More than 1 year ago
I have several food allergies and have loved the simple ingredients and flavors of this book. I have loved all the recipes that I have tried with the Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies being a family favorite. It is so wonderful have food that the whole family enjoys and to only have to cook one meal. Thank you Elana!
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laurelpond More than 1 year ago
The author explains clearly, why she recommends the specific recipes and products.
AuntSarah More than 1 year ago
This cookbook scores a home run for easy gluten-free breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas. The author has created one of the friendliest cookbooks for folks with celiac disease. This wonderful introduction of almond flour has completely satisfied my craving for the things not included in my wheat and gluten-free lifestyle. Even though some of the recipes in this cookbook do not have a photo, the very familiar ingredients give a clear mental picture of what the appealing end products will look like. I am very impressed with how wonderfully tasty these simple recipes are. A real handy size, this book travels with me on many food shopping trips. Kudos Elana!
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