HOMEMAKING ESSENTIALS #4 - Why Mill Your Own Flour
Everyone can start healthier living by utilizing nutrient dense, freshly milled whole grain flours.
HOMEMAKING ESSENTIALS #4 - Why Mill Your Own Fresh Flours
Welcome back to the fourth edition of Homemaking Essentials from urbanhomemaker.com. In the last few issues we have been discussing Tips for the Best Bread, Healthy Kid Friendly Main Dishes, Natural Health and Pure Water.
Our next discussion returns to our focus on baking with an emphasis on Why mill your own fresh whole grain flour, how to select a grain mill, and grain mill alternatives? Everyone can start healthier living by utilizing nutrient dense, freshly milled whole grain flours. Freshly milled grains, made into fresh bread has been and continues to be the staff of life despite the current low carb craze. God has provided us with a wide variety of grains and he tells us everything he created is good.
Whole wheat grain contains twenty six naturally occuring vitamins and minerals and proteins as well as high fiber content. Grain is naturally preserved in its shell or inside the bran, and all the nutrition is preserved if the grain is milled at the last possible moment. I would postulate that this is the way the creator intended.
Below I have listed just a few more reasons it makes sense to wish to begin milling your own fresh flours.
WHY MILL YOUR OWN FRESH FLOURS?
1. HEALTH AND QUALITY - Fresh flours taste better and perform much better in whole grain recipes and in automatic breadmakers. If you mill only the amount of flour needed, essential nutrients are preserved. Within 24 hours up to 40% of the nutrients have oxidized. In three days up to 80% of nutrients have oxidized. Whole grain flour includes the bran which is vital for a healthy colon and weight control. All purpose flour only has four B-vitamins not in the original proportions and little fiber.
2. EASY TO STORE - Once the outer hull of the grain is broken, by grinding, flaking or rolling your grains, loose most of the nutritional quality and are an attraction to bugs. Grains stored in buckets tightly sealed in a cool place will last indefinitely.
3. CHEMICAL AND PRESERVATIVE FREE! Countless pesticides and preservatives are found in commercial flours and breads. Also, synthetic vitamins are added back into commercial flours to replace the loss of natural vitamins from the refining process. Home baked goods are naturally chemical and preservative free.
4. VARIETY - When you mill your flour fresh you may enjoy a wide variety of grains such as rye, corn, oats, rice, amaranth, spelt, quinoa, and kamut, as well as dry beans. Home milling is the perfect solution for those who are wheat sensitive or allergic. Varieties of flour are good for rotation diets, economy, nutrition, and variety in eating.
5. ECONOMICAL - Fresh flour is economical! Compare the cost per pound of store bought whole grain flours with the price of whole grains. Grains are always lower in cost per pound because they do not require refrigeration. Stale flours become rancid because the germ oils in the grain become rancid. Rancid oils and flours strain the immune system, speed the aging process and contribute free radicals into our bodies.
6. OTHER ADVANTAGES OF WHOLE GRAINS Milling your own flour from whole grain kernels may be new to you or seem expensive at first. However, when compared to meats and dairy products, grains are the most economical food. Homemade bread can be made for less than a dollar a loaf. Commercial equivalents usually retail for $4.00 or more. Grains can be purchased in bulk for the best pricing if you are able to store the grain in a cool, dry place
and tightly covered.
Most home bakers store their grain in plastic 5-6 gallon bucket. Grains will store for at least a year at room temperture. Flours should always be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, but be brought up to room temperature before using for baking purposes.
CRITERIA TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A GRAIN MILL:
* STORAGE SPACE REQUIRED
* NOISE LEVEL
* EASE OF USE
* SIZE OF HOPPER
* SIZE OF FLOUR CATCH PAN
ALTERNATIVES TO GRAIN MILLS:
If you are still waiting to invest in a flour mill, or not convinced you need one, there is an alternatives to consider so that you don't need to delay your commitment to better health another day. Since most people own a blender, it can be a wonderful alternative producing whole grain batters for pancakes, waffles, and muffins in about five minutes.
A blender can also be used to make oat flour from dry rolled oats, very coarse cornmeal, or cracked whole grain used for cracked grain breads and rolls. A blender that will crush ice cubes will be able to create coarse grain meal or blender batters.
Another grain mill alternative option is to contract with a friend to grind your grain into flour in her mill. Sometimes church groups will consider a group purchase of a mill that is kept in the church kitchen or another suitable location so that many people can benefit from the freshly milled flours produced.
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