Extracts from almond and flavorings made from almonds are oftentimes considered the same by some people or they are just mainly confused about what are their difference. They may have been used interchangeably on dishes, but they are actually products of two different processes with different ingredients.
So, how do we know which is almond flavoring and which is an almond extract? How can we tell the difference? Basically, almond extract comes naturally from almonds and has natural or organic ingredients while almond flavoring is commercially manufactured and has some artificial food preservatives or ingredients. They also have their own distinct taste even if they are both from almonds.
In this article, you will learn the many differences of almond extract from almond flavoring or vice versa which includes the taste, quality, nutritive value, and others. Other related information about almonds are also described here so just keep reading.
Almond Extract Vs Almond Flavoring – What’s The Difference?
Extract from almonds are natural and is mixed only with natural ingredients, whereas the flavoring is the synthetic version of almond designed to have the almond flavor and is commercially manufactured.
Pure or organic almond extract which are taken from the stone fruit or drupe pits or simply from almond nuts basically contain only the natural ingredients.
Ingredients of Pure Almond Flavoring VS Almond Extract
Pure or natural extract from almond contains only three natural ingredients which are:
- Almond Oil (bitter)
When making almond extract, the pits (from other drupes) or the almonds go through the cold-pressing process which is then combined with alcohol. To dilute the solution, water is then added.
Benzaldehyde is a natural compound found in almonds which gives it the distinct almond taste. This is what is extracted from almonds or from pits of other stone fruits related to almonds like apricots and peaches since they also have the same compound.
Since almond are also pricey, manufactures find ways to make artificial alternative to almond extract which is called the almond flavor or flavoring. It is known as the pure extract’s imitation which is flavored by synthetic or artificial benzaldehyde. It also combined with alcohol and water to make the solution diluted.
Almond Extract Nutrition
There is not much difference between the flavoring and extract in relation to their nutritive value since both does not contain any trans-fat, protein, and calorie. They are also very low in carbohydrates that one teaspoon of the almond extract or flavoring is lower than 5 percent of the recommended daily value of carbohydrates intake.
Almond Extract Vs Almond Flavoring: Price
Organic or pure almond extract is costly compared to the synthetic flavoring, but the price does not really differ much. The extract costs at around 1 dollar to 3.50 dollars an ounce which makes a bottle of 4 ounces to cost at around 4 dollars to 14 dollars. Though it may seem pricey, almond extract are very potent and only used in little amounts and a 4-ounce bottle can make more almond flavored dishes that you expected.
As alternative to pure almond extract is the almond flavoring which costs about 50 cents to 2 dollars per ounce. It is cheaper than the extract but gives the same almond taste in your dishes. It is only up to you which one do you prefer to use, and if you are cutting on costs.
Ways to Use Almond Extract
Almond flavoring definitely has different ingredients compared to pure extract from almonds. They also are produced differently, but both gives the same almond taste you want on your dish.
When you only want the natural ingredient in your recipe, then you should choose pure almond extract. If you are just after that almond flavor on your dish, then, the almond flavoring is a good alternative to pure extract.
Baking With Almond Extract
One of the most frequently used ingredients in baking goodies is the oil extracted from almonds and the almond flavoring is used as its alternative. However, others prefer to use vanilla as alternative in baking cupcakes, cookies, and cakes.
Instead of using vanilla to flavor your baked goodies you can use pure extract from almonds or the almond flavoring. You can add that distinct almond flavor when baking popular snacks and pastries like almond blondies, chocolate cupcakes or cakes, and cherry fudge. It can also be used to flavor whipped creams or cake icing.
Of course, there are a variety of recipes with almonds that you can prepare. It goes better with desserts containing or flavored with peaches, plums, cherries, and other stone fruits or drupes. Adding almond extract in peach cobbler, cherry pie, plum crumble, or apricot tart also makes them more flavorful than the original recipe.
Apart from baked goodies, desserts, or snacks, you can also make scrumptious dishes or add almond extract in other recipes to make its flavor stand out like chicken tenders or saffron rice.
Almond Extract Recipe
If you think that buying pure almond extract is a bit pricey, or it is not available in the stores when you need it, or you do not want the synthetic flavoring, you can always make your own extract from almonds.
How to prepare your homemade pure almond extract, get ready with the following:
- Skinless, raw, whole almond nuts
- A bottle or glass jar
- Clear liquor (vodka and the like)
Follow these easy steps:
- Put the almond nuts inside the glass jar or bottle and fill it with the liquor. Almonds should be completely submerged in liquor.
- Cover your almond filled jar or bottle and store it in a dark and cool place.
- Keep it stored for a month or two, but you need to slightly shake the bottle or jar every after two or three days.
You can now enjoy your pure almond extract after a month or two. Keep in mind that you cannot make the synthetic almond flavoring at home if you are trained to or a chemist by profession.
How Much Almond Extract To Use
A little amount or just a teaspoon of almond extract is enough to taste your whole dish since it is very potent. You can also check the recipe as to what amount is needed on the dish you are preparing because too much of it can make the dish bitter.
How To Substitute For Almond Extract
If you have health problems related to almonds like allergy or maybe you simply do not like almond’s taste, you can find substitutes in the market. For example, vanilla is the most commonly use extract in many dishes instead of almond extract. It also enhances the taste of the dish and make it distinctly flavorful.
You can always check the recipe of the dish you want to prepare as it may have suggestions on what is the best alternative to use in case you do not like almond extract. You may use banana extract, chocolate, coffee, or orange flavorings instead of almonds.
These alternatives never taste like almond extract by they are sure to give your dish a distinct taste or enhance its flavor.
We hope to have given you the information you need about pure extract from almonds and its counterpart flavoring.
Here are some takeaway information for you that we also think would be helpful.
What benefits can we get from almond extract?
Though there are few studies that prove health benefits from almond extract, you need not worry either if it can cause health problems.
Almond extract contains natural benzaldehyde that is obtained when extracts were taken from almonds or from its pits which also contains traces of cyanide. The cyanide content however is not poisonous and will not cause any health problems unless someone will take in huge volume of almond extract.
Both the natural extract from almond and the almond flavoring poses no threat to health, but like what they say, everything should be taken in moderation.
Is almond extract safe for nut allergies?
It has always been recommended for someone with nut allergy to not consume any dish with any type of nut flavoring or any extract from nuts. It does not matter how the natural nut oil or pure nut extract like almond has been made, you simply need to prevent something unlikely to happen to you.
In other cases, there are alternatives to these nut extracts like almond that does not contain the natural extracts which could be used as a substitute to those with nut allergy. It is important however that you are 100% sure it only has synthetic flavoring before adding it to your recipe.
Keep in mind though that it is always best to look after one’s health before trying anything or any alternatives to add to your dish. You may consult your doctor first.