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Friday, June 23, 2006

Cooking with almond flour

I've spent a ton of time in the kitchen this week, trying to come up with summertime favorites that are bariatric friendly.

I'm working to perfect a cobbler recipe. My first attempt this week (with white and yellow peaches from the local farmers market) was tasty but too watery. It seems the butter in the recipe wasn't fully absorbed. This taught me an important lesson about the principles of using almond flour to cut down the carb content of foods.

According to Susan Maria Leach, author of "Before and After", which provides a hefty number of bariatric-friendly recipes that Leach modified herself, I made a few common beginners' errors.

When using almond flour, she recommends cutting the fat in a recipe in half because almonds provide a decent amount. Another thing she does is cut the liquid by a quarter, because almond flour doesn't absorb liquid the same way as all-purpose flour. She also recommends using Nature's Sweet, which is available for sale on her Web site, as a sweetener. A high-quality form of maltitol (a sugar alcohol), it behaves the same way as sugar when cooked. This is different from Splenda, which doesn't offer the same volume as sugar.

This information will come in handy next week when I try again after the farmers market. If it works, I'll post the recipe, too. If not, I'll try again the next week.

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