Though it seems daunting and expensive to grind your own flour, in the long run it is more cost effective and nutritious to do so. Find out how!
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There are many reasons to grind your own flour for baking at home. At first I thought it was too expensive, but I quickly learned that it saves a lot of money. But to be honest, it was the health benefits that won me over.
Whole grains have many nutrients available inside of them. I talk in my classes about these grains being “locked up.” The nutrients aren’t absorbed into the body until you soak or sprout your grains (ahem . . . natural yeast) which unlocks all that they have to offer.
It’s important to get the most out of those whole grains by soaking them or using a sourdough/natural yeast starter. But for now, I want to talk about the grains/flours themselves.
When commercial flours are made, they are subject to a lot of pressure, heat, and some additives to ensure the quality of the flour remains high. As soon as a grain is cracked and exposed to air, the oils inside of the bran will begin to oxidize and can quickly go rancid. Because of this fact, commercial flours remove the bran, taking with it most of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
The flour left from removing those vital parts of the grain is less likely to go bad quickly, but at a great cost. When you mill your own flour it retains all of those nutrients and it’s always fresh! The taste and smell of freshly ground flour is something you have to experience to appreciate.
Aside from nutritional value, grinding your own flour truly is more cost effective. The initial investment in a good mill will set you back, but it will make up for itself quickly. Wheat berries are much less expensive than flour, last longer (up to 30 years in storage), and take up less space. For every cup of wheat berries, you produce 1 1/2 c flour.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to be close to a local farm that will sell you wheat berries, there are a couple of options. One of my favorite sources for bulk grains online is Azure Standard. They have an amazing selection for awesome prices, and source non-GMO and organic foods that are delivered all across the country!
You can also find bulk organic and non-gmo grains of all kinds at Pleasant Hill Grain. They carry a wide selection. I love that they have dent corn (what is used for cornmeal) as well as popcorn, which I am picky about, and it’s hard to find the good stuff in a grocery store.
I recently received a Komo Classic Electric Grain Mill from Pleasant Hill Grain. For the past couple of years I have been using an old mill that my sister-in-law gave me and it was great. But we had to store it in the shop at our farm due to its size and the mess it created!
The first time I used the Komo Mill I was swooning! It’s incredibly simple to use – turn it on, add your grain to the beautiful wooden hopper, and adjust the coarseness of your flour! It isn’t as loud as I was expecting either, which was a nice surprise.
I love how fresh flour is warm and smells sweet. This mill allows me to grind flour quickly any time I want to make bread or feed my starter, or to grind a bit more to store in the freezer. It fits in my cupboard or sits on top because it’s so gorgeous that I want to look at it constantly!
In reality, I am drawn to the simplicity and beauty of this machine. It’s well thought-out, does the job wonderfully, and will last me a very long time.
My kids are loving their new job of helping me grind our wheat. I can’t keep their little fingers out of that warm flour coming straight from the mill – they love the taste!
I will be going into more depth about grains over the next couple of months and I can’t wait to experiment with grinding my own cornmeal for cornbread this fall!
What type of grain would you like to learn more about? Leave a comment below!