What Is Pecan Flour?

B. Turner

Pecan flour is a type of baking flour made from pecan nuts. It serves as a popular alternative to traditional wheat flour, as well as other varieties of grain-based flours. Pecan flour can be used in many of the same recipes as wheat or other flour products, though special care must be taken to avoid the potential for allergies. This product can be purchased in health food and other specialty stores, but is also commonly ground at home, particularly in areas like the southeastern United States, which is home to a large number of pecan trees.

Woman baking cookies
Woman baking cookies

Buyers can choose from two basic varieties of pecan flour. The first, which is sometimes referred to as pecan meal, is made by drying and grinding pecans after they have been pressed to remove the majority of their oils. These oils are used to make pecan milk, or as an ingredient in some recipes. This flour has a very dry taste, and tends to be much darker than other varieties.

Standard pecan flour, on the other hand, is made by grinding the whole pecan. No oils are removed from the nut, and instead are included in the final products. This results in a better tasting flour that's less dry and lighter in color than pecan meal.

Pecan flour can be substituted for wheat flour in almost any type of recipe. It serves as a tasty ingredient in bread and cake recipes, and is particularly popular for making pancakes and muffins. It also represents a unique add for pie crusts and cookies. This flour can be used to bread fish or chicken in place of traditional bread crumbs for those looking for a slightly sweeter flavor.

One of the primary advantages of pecan flour is that it is free of the glutens found in wheat flour. People with wheat allergies or celiac disease may have trouble enjoying traditional bread and cake products. Pecan flour can be used to make these treats accessible once again. Those with allergies to tree nuts may experience an adverse reaction to pecan flour, and should be warned when this ingredient is used, particularly in unexpected or unusual ways.

Pecan flour offers many of the same nutritional benefits as other grain flours. It also provides added nutrients like selenium, Vitamin E, and healthy fats that are typically associated with nuts. It's known for its coarse texture and dark color, as well as its slightly sweet and nutty taste. This flour may be used in conjunction with other nut-based flours, such as almond or hazelnut, to create unique wheat-free dishes.

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