Almond Extract is a concentrated, almond-flavored liquid that is used to add a nutty flavor to foods. Pure almond extract is primarily made from three ingredients. The first and main ingredient where the almond flavor comes from is benzaldehyde which is the primary component of almond oil. It is either extracted from almonds or their kin, drupe kernels such as plums and cherries. The next ingredient is alcohol and the last is water.
List of Substitutes for Almond Extract
Imitation Almond Extract
Imitation almond extract is made from the same ingredients as pure almond extract except it uses synthetic benzaldehyde which is created in a lab. It does not contain any nut so it is a safe choice to use if you have a nut allergy. There have been tests to see if people can distinguish the difference between the pure stuff and the imitation stuff and people rarely seem to tell the difference.
Vanilla extract is the result of steeped vanilla beans in an alcohol and water solution. It is the most common alternative for almond extract if you do not have it on hand. If you decide to use vanilla extract as a replacement use a 1:2 ratio as the vanilla flavoring is much lighter than almond.
Amaretto or any other almond-flavored liquor can also be used as a substitute if you do not have almond extract on hand. The name amaretto translates as little bitter in Italian. Amaretto is also nutty but sweet.
What Does Almond Extract Taste Like
Most people find it hard to believe that almond extract does not taste like almonds.
Because its extract is distilled from the same bitter almond oil that is part of Amaretto’s distinctive taste, the almond extract has a strong, pure, sweet flavor that goes very well with cherry, vanilla, chocolate, and coffee flavors.
The ingredients in almond extract contain a stabilizer, such as alcohol or glycerin, to ensure it lasts a long time.
Baking or cooking the extract allows the stabilizer to evaporate and enhances the taste of almonds.
Nutritional Info: What Goes into a Serving of Almond Extract?
Nutrition Facts Almond Extract Serving Size:
1 tsp (4.2g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value*
0% Total Fat 0g
0% Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0% Cholesterol 0mg
0% Sodium 0.4mg
0% Potassium 6.2mg
0% Total Carbohydrates 0.5g
0% Dietary Fiber 0g
0% Vitamin A
0% Vitamin C
Interesting Facts about Almond Extract
Almond trees grow in warm climates. They thrive in the Mediterranean, some parts of North Africa, western Asia, and the western United States, with California being the country’s largest almond producer.
Almonds became popular in 1372 because it was easy to grow them and there were a lot of them in France at that time.
Pure almond extract is made from three ingredients: almonds, alcohol, and water.
Any almond extract product with those ingredients is unsafe for people with a tree nut allergy.
So you should proceed carefully, and probably should avoid foods that contain “natural almond flavor”.
Natural almond extract is usually derived from bitter almonds (Prunus amygdalus), which are the closest relative of the edible almonds (Prunus dulcis) grown here.
Benzaldehyde, the chemical that we recognize so definitively as an almond flavoring, is found in several plants both in and out of the Prunus genus.
In most cases, “natural almond extract” is a solution of bitter almond oil in either glycerin or alcohol.
Health Benefits of Almond Extract
Almond extract is full of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Healthy fats and plenty of fiber are found in almonds and are low in carbohydrates.
Almond extract is not only safe for you, but it is beneficial for your skin as well.
Unless, you have a nut allergy. You should avoid Almonds and Pure Almond Extract.
In cosmetics, almond extract is used because it can lock in moisture, strengthening the hair and skin.
Almonds have also been used in aromatherapy as an alternative medicine.
Can Almond Extract Kill You
Bitter almonds – which contain prussic acid – will poison you if you eat enough of them. The oil of these almonds is used to create almond extract, which does not contain prussic acid.
Additionally, the extract does not include cyanide but only a byproduct of the enzymatic reaction that produces cyanide when the almonds are crushed.
Some natural extracts contain tree nuts. For instance, pure almond extract and natural wintergreen extract are both tree nuts.
Children allergic to filberts or hazelnuts should not consume foods containing these ingredients. Artificial or imitation extracts are safe to use.
Is There a Difference Between Almond Extract and Almond Flavoring?
Although most people assume that almond extract and almond flavoring are the same, they definitely are not.
While both serve the same purpose (to add almond flavor to a recipe), they have some key differences in terms of production and ingredients.
Almond extract and almond flavoring contain different ingredients and are made in a different way.
Almond flavoring is artificially produced, while almond extract is derived from natural ingredients.
That being said, there isn’t much of a difference in flavor.
Almond Extract is a liquid that is distilled, almond-flavored and used to give foods a nutty taste. The extract of imitation almonds is made from the same ingredients as the extract of pure almonds.
Vanilla extract, if you don’t have it on hand, is the most popular alternative to almond extract. If you have no almond extract on hand and taste like almond, Amaretto may also be used as a substitution.
The natural extract of almonds is generally obtained from bitter almonds (Prunus amygdalus).
Vitamins, minerals and proteins are abundant in almond extract. Almonds have been used as an alternative remedy in aromatherapy as well.
Foods containing these ingredients should not be taken in by children allergic to filberts or hazelnuts.
It is possible to use artificial or imitation extracts.
Almond flavoring is manufactured artificially, while almond extract is derived from natural components.
Almond extract’s health benefits are similar to those of normal almond milk.