Why Grind Your Own Grains?
I remember asking myself this question many years ago. As a busy mother of many children I wondered why I would want one more job to do when baking. ~smile~ I started researching this topic. I soon learned why! After reading the health benefits of freshly ground grains I realized that this was something I would have to incorporate into our lives. As a mom who is constantly seeking the best for my family’s nutritional needs I could see that freshly ground grains were a vital step to the nutritional quality of our diet. Today I can say that this was one of the best steps I could have made for my family’s health.
The whole grain is an amazing food. They are low in fat and high in vitamins, minerals and fiber all of which seem to be sadly lacking in the typical American Diet.
When we compare that to white flour that has been stripped of all the vitamins, minerals and fiber and then bleached so no living thing can survive in it, we see why whole grains are important part of a healthy diet.
But what about buying whole wheat flour? Wouldn’t that be a good choice? Well I believe it would be a better choice than white flour; but not as good as freshly ground grains. There are a few good reasons for this.
To begin with, the heat of commercial mills can often destroy many of those health giving vitamins and minerals in the milling process. However, more than that is the fact that once a grain has been milled (basically broken open) and exposed to the air the nutritional value of the grain begins to decline at a rapid rate.
In as little as 24 hours after milling grain into flour as much as 45% (or more) of vitamins and minerals have been lost. At 72 hours up to 75 to 90% (or more) of many of the vitamins have been lost.
The natural oils in the grain will go rancid very quickly too. This is why the smell of freshly ground flour is a wonderful fresh scent compared to the smell of whole grain flours from the store. It is a difference that you may not realize until you experience freshly ground flour.
Another good reason to grind your own grains is taste! The taste of foods baked with freshly ground grains is so much better! I used whole wheat flour from the store for many years. After I bought a grain mill I was so impressed at the improved taste of my baked goods.
Remember that there are many grains to experiment with. Grains like spelt, kamut, oats, millet, brown rice are a delicious addition to your family’s diet. You can even grind lentils and split peas to give a little nutritional boost to your baked goods.
If you would like to do some shopping for a grain mill I recommend Pleasant Hill Grain http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/ . They have an excellent and informative website with a large variety of grain mills, mixers, and much more.
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