Why Mill Your Own Grains?

Hallelujah, happy birthday to ME!!!  Boy, oh boy, did my husband outdo himself this year.

My 30th birthday was about a week ago and it came and went without much fanfare.  I really don’t mind this new decade of my life but I’ve found that I don’t anticipate each birthday as much as I used to.  I remember walking around for weeks before my birthday saying “I’m ALMOST 20!”  It was huge.

Well, this year, my sweet men made me a wonderful German chocolate cake and there were a few nice presents.  I had a great day and life marched on.  Then, last night, Fly Guy comes walking out of the bedroom with a huge package that he had actually wrapped!!  (That’s really amazing, most of my presents are given while still in the original shopping bag – my husband has many fine qualities; present wrapping is not one of them.)

That awesome guy gave me a KoMo Grain mill!

ImageHere she is.

I’ve had my eye on one of these for several months now and have been trying to save up – unfortunately, these aren’t cheap.  We have found that we’ve enjoyed cooking and baking with lots of different types of grains and have been grinding them down in our blender/food processor.  It worked okay but we couldn’t adjust the coarseness of the grain to get it as fine as I wanted and it would always get caked down in the bottom.  I’d researched many different grain mills and decided that the KoMo stone grinder mill would be the best fit for our family.

And I already love it.  It’s much quieter than our previous method of grinding flour and it’s virtually maintenance-free.  You turn it on, set it to the desired fine to course setting, and pour the grains into the hopper.  You can even leave it on as you measure out other grains for your multigrain recipes.

Why Mill Your Own Flour?

Let’s talk about the benefits:

Health

Home-milled flour is so much better for you!  When you grind your own flour, you are using the whole grain.  That’s the bran, the germ, and the endosperm:

  • The bran is the outer layer that is rich in B vitamins and fiber.
  • The germ is the healthy center that contains proteins, minerals and healthy fats.
  • The endosperm is where you can find more proteins, carbohydrates and smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals.

What you get in commercially milled flour has the bran and germ both removed (the healthiest parts!) because the oils contained in them become rancid after just a few days.  Once those are removed, you’re basically eating starch and gluten with none of the beneficial nutrients.

Taste

The taste of baked goods that are made with freshly ground flour is incomparable to store-bought.  They are lighter, moister and have a depth of flavor that you can’t match with commercially milled products.

Storage

I’ve also become pretty passionate about long-term food storage.  Whole grains are much easier to store for long amounts of time than flour.  The outer layer on the grain protects it from spoiling and keeps it at a low moisture content.  Once the grain is milled, it is recommended that you use it within 72 hours or keep it in the refrigerator or freezer if you want to keep the flour longer.  The wonderful thing about having a grain mill handy is that you can grind very small amounts of flour as you need it.  You don’t have to worry about your flour going rancid as it is always fresh.

Variety

As long as the grain has less than 15% water content, you can grind it in your stone grinding mill.  We can now make flour from: wheat (hard or soft), oat groats, rice, spelt, buckwheat, barley, rye, millet, teff, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, field corn (not popcorn or sweet corn), lentils, dry beans, dry spices and more.  Talk about adding variety to our diet!  It’s great to take advantage of all the different nutrients that are in different grains to add to your health.

Oily seeds and grains and herbs should not be ground in a mill since they can gum up the works.  (If you have a great blender or food processor though, you can grind those down in it.)

Price

No more buying small, expensive little packages of exotic flour!  This has to be my favorite part.  You are no longer dependent on the ever-rising market price of flour.  Most of the cost of commercial flour is from the process of milling.  Even if you only made one loaf of bread a week, the savings in flour costs would pay for most mills in just a year or two.  And this isn’t just for the bakers out there.  There are so many ways we use flour!  You can mill small amounts of brown rice to make a flour to thicken soups and stews that doesn’t add it’s own flavor.  Stone mills allow beer brewers to coarsely grind grains.  You can grind your own spices for the very best flavor.  (I’m excited to try this one as I’m one of those people who tend to keep store-bought spices for way too long and the flavor is just not what it should be.)

Image

Buying a grain mill is definitely an investment but as our family grows, we’ve come to realize that for us, it’s an investment towards our health and our desired way of life.

4 Comments

  1. Belated happy birthday wishes, sweet lady!
    I love your blog and hearing what you and your wonderful family are up to.
    I was fascinated with your new grain mill and your insights on grains. I have celiac disease so it could be
    something for me to look into for all the gluten free grains. Also just got the latest Whole Living magazine in the mail and there is an interesting article on wheat I think you will appreciate.
    http://www.wholeliving.com/183942/our-daily-bread
    Happy to see you doing well, Emily! I miss you!

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