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  • Baking with nut flours ok?

    So, I've tried some recipes using almond flour to make cookies and really enjoy them. Then I saw the recipe on the healthyskeptic site for a cake made with hazelnuts and sweet potato and really want to try it. But I got to thinking about all the issues with rancidity vs. temperatures. As far as I can tell from my reading, nuts are healthiest when sprouted and then dehydrated under 170 degrees. So how come baking with nut flours at higher temperatures for cookies, cakes and muffins is ok? What are everyone's thoughts on this, I'm really interested. Do you just limit how often you do this? Is it possible to bake a cake at a lower temperature?

  • #2
    If you're overthinking a cake so much and worried about the healthiness of it, then you probably shouldn't be making and eating it. If you bake something at a lower temperature, you will have to bake it for longer and the result will be just a dried mess, not a moist cake/muffin/whatever. As long as it's not on a regular basis, using nut flours (best if you grind your own, you don't know how long the meal in the store have been sitting) is fine.

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    • #3
      Cakes and the like are treats, not daily foods. Eating nut flour baking from time to time is not a huge issue. If you're really worried, look at alternatives such as coconut flour (I prefer the texture for a lot of types of baking anyhow).
      “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

      Owly's Journal

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      • #4
        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

        Owly's Journal

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        • #5
          I just figured that nuts and sweet potatoes are ok, so a cake made with them would be the same and I could eat a little every day. Funny video, Owly, it's a good rule of thumb. I hadn't thought of using coconut flour, that 's a great idea, thanks for the reminder, I'll try it.

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          • #6
            You're probably right about nuts and sweet potatoes. But, primal baking on a daily basis doesn't help if you need to break old habits. What if a piece of cake after lunch turns into a piece of cake after supper as well? And then, oh just a little piece with my tea before bed.

            Before you know it, you're up to a couple thousand calories a day from primal baking. At least, that's why I'm not doing any until I get to my goal weight

            Plus, nuts and nut flours are expensive and I'd rather buy avocados!
            Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

            F/49/5'4"
            Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
            CW: 146.8 lbs
            GW 140 lbs
            A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Goldstar View Post
              I just figured that nuts and sweet potatoes are ok, so a cake made with them would be the same and I could eat a little every day. Funny video, Owly, it's a good rule of thumb. I hadn't thought of using coconut flour, that 's a great idea, thanks for the reminder, I'll try it.
              Yes but those cakes need sweetener too and even "primal" sweeteners should not be consumed on a daily basis. And like the poster above said, you will definitely end up eating much more nuts and sweet potatoes in cake form than in nut and sweet potato form.

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              • #8
                Treat them like your 20%.

                Flour, regardless of what it is made of is a concentrated source of food. So although it might be concentrated in terms of the good things like vitamins and minerals, it's also a concentrated of the not so good stuff like PUFA, anti nutrients, carbs, calories...

                Try making 1 cup of almond flour by blending almonds. Would you eat that amount of almonds at one go? Add the sweeteners, filling (again concentrated food), and high temperature treatment of fragile fats...etc, you will know what to do.

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                • #9
                  Excellent points and thanks to all for your responses. I keep forgetting that flours are concentrated like that. I avoid juices for the same reason. I really appreciate the input.

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                  • #10
                    I never understood baking with nut flours. They are an omega 6 and a caloric disaster. Nut flours don't fit into 20% when one small slice of cake is 1,000 calories. Look into almonds. A cup of ground almonds contains over 500 calories and over 11 grams of omega 6 that you're going to bake at smoke point temperatures and oxidize. Factor in all the eggs they take, any sweeteners you may use and if you add something like chocolate to the mix, you have a caloric disaster with barely an omega 3 in sight to balance it out.

                    You may as well just use regular white flour. At least you're not getting a mega shot of omega 6, oxidized PUFA's and you're only taking in a tiny fraction of the calories. If you're going to bake, look into coconut flour for small muffins or start using white rice flour and tapioca starch and just accept the carbohydrate IMO. I'd rather eat white rice any day than highly oxidized, calorically dense, lectin-ridden, phytate-filled nut flour full of rancid n6. Then again, I think nuts are worse for you than most legumes, so maybe I'm biased. You would have to eat nearly a pound and a half of wild caught Alaskan salmon to balance out the n3 content of one cup of ground almond alone. That's insane IMO.
                    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 08-23-2011, 08:42 PM.
                    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                    • #11
                      I'm going to rant a little bit here....

                      So I'm currently in the process of making a primal carrot cake. I used almond flour, added milled flax seeds, pysllium husk, pineapple chunks, grated coconut, currents, cranberries, nuts, lots of spices. Today was going to be the last day I have my oven. I am moving out and for the next two weeks I will be living with friends without an oven. This was supposed to be my fair well to Korea cake.

                      Anyways....I was about half way mixing it up. And I went to start preheating my oven. And to my surprise there is no gas. I go to my hot water. It has an error message; no gas. The fucking bastards had come to my house without telling me and turned off the gas to my apt. They were supposed to come tonight around 5ish to just switch the gas from the oven to the (two burner) stove that came with the apt. They didn't knock on my door, they didn't call, they didn't make themselves known at all. They just did it. And now apparently the work man is too busy to turn the gas back on. I have cake, in the pan, ready to be put in the oven... and no fucking gas!!!
                      Height: 5'2"
                      Starting weight: 180lbs
                      Current weight 130lbs

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                      • #12
                        I try not to use nut flours to bake. Most of the time, I'll use maybe 1/4 a cup to make a single "pancake" in the morning maybe once a week. The best use of nut flours, IMO, is as a substitute for breadding in frying or topping a casserole. Last week I did ~1 lb of grass fed beef liver in a breadding of 1/3 cup almond flour with a touch of cayenne pepper, then fried them in butter until golden brown.

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                        • #13
                          guess I am wondering with all the negative comments regarding nuts on the board why are they recommended to eat in the book? If they are just as bad as legumes, etc wouldn't they be a no no? Confusing
                          Have high hopes that journaling can keep me on track: www.southerndink.com If you are on twitter hit me up so we can keep each other motivated: http://twitter.com/SouthernDink

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                          • #14
                            Poison is in the dose.

                            10 macadamias is a good healthy snack. 1 pound of macadamias, not so. Some people can't stop at 10, and that's where the problem starts.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SouthernDink View Post
                              guess I am wondering with all the negative comments regarding nuts on the board why are they recommended to eat in the book? If they are just as bad as legumes, etc wouldn't they be a no no? Confusing
                              My personal opinion is that nuts are included because they are paleo, and that's pretty much it. We know nuts WERE eaten on occasion during certain months in paleo times, so we know our bodies can handle small quantities of them. Legumes probably were not and are more neolithic, and since they're not particularly healthy, they're excluded. My guess is that if nuts weren't paleo, they wouldn't be included either since I can't seem to find how nuts are better than legumes, and no one seems to be able to tell me how they are, either.

                              I think the legumes vs nuts argument is that just because something is paleo doesn't make it good and just because something is neolithic doesn't mean it's horrible. Can anyone seriously say a green bean or a pea is worse than an almond?
                              Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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