I know that a lot of Paleos and Low-Carbers use almond flour as breading for poultry, meat and fish. I was curious about a few things before I dive into preparing fried fish/oysters, fried chicken, wienerschnitzel, chicken fried steak, tempura, etc. (of course, all done in butter/ghee/bacon grease/coco oil/tallow!):
1) What are the n6 PUFA concerns about almond flour?
2) Are there sources for macadamia nut flour? (lower n6, higher n9 profile)
3) How quickly do nut flours oxidize (go rancid)?
4) What's the optimal way to store nut flour (dark cupboard vs. refrigerator vs. freezer vs. vacuum seal)?
5) Is it better to grind your own flour from bulk nuts?
I actually like coconut flour for a lot of my breading of meats. Tastes kinda just a tad sweet though, which could be good or bad depending on the food and individual tastes. MOst meats I think taste just great without any breading, but once in a while, I get a taste for fried chicken so that's when I get out the coconut flour. And if you know a good tempura recipe for a more paleo style flour, I'd be interested. I haven't tried tempura yet. Might be fun.
As for almond flour, I try to keep my intake moderate. I only use it for occasional baking. I don't think it is likely optimal for health to be sucking down a lot of almond flour regularly. It just doesn't feel healthy to me if I eat a ton of it. It could be due to the N6 thing but I'm not sure.
I don't make my own almond butter. It's easier to find the done butter, ground up by the folks at Trader Joe's, then to find the almonds and go through the hassle. I don't see any obvious big advantage to grinding it myself,but if I had a really cheap source of almonds, I'd consider it. I keep my flours and butters in the fridge for a number of reasons including preservation and to keep the bugs out. I have not yet had any nut butter taste off or rancid, so not sure there. I have kept them much longer than suggested expiration dates with no probs, but as I said, I always keep in the fridge.
I tend to use pecan meal since it is local and cheap.
I have generally found that it is difficult to fry with nut butters because they are kind of heavy and don't stick to the breading that great.
On the other hand an eggwash ->fry process works just as well for me flavorwise with fish. It doesn't quite have the crunch, but the taste (when panfried in butter) is the same to me if I sop it in some egg first.
Ratio of 3:6 is pretty out there...something like .1:120 or .0008. So if you're eating buckets of them (and using almond flour too much can get you pretty close) I'd say you should tone it down.
nutsonline.com has about every flour that's out there. They're a great company.
Rancidity is a tough question, but I never keep my flour for more than 2 months, and I always store it in the fridge. In general I think stovetop cooking with nut flours is a bad idea. I buy Italian seasoning in bulk, grind the heck out of it, and use that to bread meats.
In my cake shop we kept the nuts in the fridge in air tight clip lock bags. Those bags went inside large empty Tasmanian Apple pulp tins to stop the bags being penetrated from stock being moved around by busy staff. It is not just rancidity we had to deal with, it was moisture which brings mould and more importantly especially with walnuts, it was moth larvae. I stopped buying Walnuts grown in China because I had to freeze them to ensure the wedding cake top tiers had no lurking larvae and I just was not willing to take these sort of risks.
About Tempura battering. Just a tip. Don't add salt to the egg when making the batter because it breaks the egg down and makes it watery so the batter will be not as good. If you must add salt, add it at the table or just prior to serving. Working with raw egg can be troublesome at times and it can be small seemingly harmless things that upset it like using a greasy/oily or wet bowl when you make your your tempura batter. The message is, don't lay the failure blame solely on the flour replacement as your technique handling the egg may be at fault or even the egg itself may be old. Eggs should not be worked with excessively hot or cold temperatures including the whisk and bowl. Add egg to dry fish/meat.
I like the suggestion by Liz to use Italian Seasoning. Asian cooking uses the stone mortar and pestle to make pastes from ginger, garlic, lemongrass (various spices) mixed with oil to bind it into a paste etc which can be layered over the meat like a paddy and pan fried in olive oil to crisp it and serve with a wedge of lime.
I use nuts.com, too, for almond meal/ flour (because making it myself takes over an hour including "resting" or the almonds turn into butter--plus, I've never gotten mine as powdery as they do).
I wish they made a macadamia nut flour/ meal. I haven't tried to grind my own of that yet because I've gotten to where I use VERY little "meal/ flour" in anything. I still do, like a bit of almond flour to help "thicken" something (and I've dredged in it and pan-fried--not deep fat fried; it tasted lovely but is like I grew up eating in the Ozarks, not like Colonel Sanders!).
Nuts.com is great for what they sell.
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