I’ve started something new in my kitchen which has been fun, nutritious for the whole family, and also a little weird! In January of this year we started grinding our own grains (I know, I know, it sounds weird)! So stick with me 😉
I interviewed Stacy a few weeks ago and we chatted about making bread, grinding our own wheat, and healthy living and eating. It was a fun chat and after it, I had so many of you asking question about the process.
So today’s episode is going to (hopefully) answer all your question and (hopefully) convince you how easy this is to incorporate into your kitchen! As a BUSY mo of 5 little ones, I couldn’t handle anything that requires more than about 5 extra minutes. Thankfully, it doesn’t even take that long. Listen in!
Listen to the Podcast:
We also recorded this blog post as an audio podcast. If you want to listen in instead of reading, click play below or do a combination of both
And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
An Introduction to Grinding Grains
To get the full scoop make sure you listen to my podcast episode above! The notes here are just meant to help you fill in all the links I mentioned in the episode 🙂
The very first thing I get asked is “WHY would you want to grind your own wheat?” I know it sounds like something out of prairie days – but honestly it’s very easy and doable wth an electric grain mill.
We grind our own wheat because its:
- Much healthier (Listen to the FREE audio here called “The Truth About Wheat“
- Tastes AMAZING compared to store bought wheat
- Much cheaper per pound (after you pay off the grain mill)
Where you can learn more about grinding your own wheat:
- Bread Beckers FREE video classes (these are AMAZING) – Start with Bread Making 101
- The Essential Home Ground Flour Cookbook (An excellent cookbook with over 100 recipes AND tons of information about the health of using fresh grains and the different types!)
- Traditional Cooking School – Wardee is a WEALTH of information (and she is a Christian and ties all of our healthy eating back to bringing glory to God). You can search for blog or find classes and videos on bread making, grinding wheat, and so much more!
Is this even practical?
So you might be convinced that this is healthier, tastes better, and might even be more economical…but is it even practical?? I thought there was no way that we could fit this into our already full schedule. But it seriously takes just 60-90 seconds to grind the wheat – so simple, fast, and easy! It doesn’t add hardly any time to my baking routine.
You can watch a “highlight” I have on Instagram right now of making a fresh loaf of sandwich bread, it shows how easy and quick the grain mill is. Hop over to Instagram to watch it (you might need to go to mobile to find the highlight. Or search @jamibalmet)
Where to Buy Grain
There are dozens (hundreds) of different grains to choose from. This part can be a little difficult to know what kinds to buy. Sue Becker’s book does a GREAT job of explaining the main kinds of grains we use and what recipes to use them in.
The three main types of wheat that I use (I order 50lb bags at once) are: Hard red, Hard white, and Soft white. If your budget is tight or you don’t have room to store all of that, Hard white will serve almost all of your needs.
I’ve also been using spelt a lot more recently and I keep small amounts of millet, buckwheat, and pearled barley on hand as well. I have also started looking into Einkorn grain and want to find an affordable source for it. Wardee has some great information on this ancient grain.
Where to buy:
- Your local health food or bulk bin store (i.e. Winco (the best prices for me locally, Sprouts, WholeFoods, etc.)
- BreadBeckers.com – They are my supplier of choice and they sell sooo much more than just grains. But their shipping is based on weight and adds about $100 to my order in shipping for CA!)
- Honeyville.com – My main supplier of grains right now as they have great prices, $4.99 flat rate shipping (woohoo!!), and organic options.
What have we replaced?
We have actually slowly replaced all bread and grain products in our house!! I’m sure there may come a season, or a busy week) when we purchase things like tortillas or a sandwich loaf. But for our normal schedule, we’ve replaced everything! This includes: pasta, tortillas, all breads, muffins, cookies, waffles, cakes, bagels, etc.
The Essential Home Ground Flour Cookbook contains over 100 recipes that show you how to make all of those things with fresh ground wheat! I can’t recommend it enough!
Is this good for gluten-free?
I’ve had a lot of you ask about gluten free options. This would be HUGLY beneficial to you if you have to be gluten free!! There are so many fantastic grains you can use that are gluten-free! In fact, if you have to eat gluten free, this might be even MORE helpful and beneficial to you!
If you are interested in Gluten-free baking, Bread Beckers has 9 video classes on the subject!! Check them all out here.
What else do I need in my kitchen?
So if you are going to go through this effort of getting a grain mill, what other accessories or things do you need to get started?
The quick and easy answer is: nothing! You can literally just swap out your old source for flour with your new home ground flour and do your normal thing. However, there are some helpful items you can begin to collect overtime. These are my favorite (refer to the podcast episode for descriptions on all of these):
- Zojirushi Home Bakery Bread Machine (this is the model I have and LOVE)! This one has a gluten free setting as well as 3 homemade settings you can use.
- Tortilla Maker (This is the one we have. It’s 10inches, it presses the tortilla (it’s soooo quick and easy), and even cooks the tortilla right here. It is WELL worth saving up for.)
- Waffle Maker (we just us the same one we’ve had since we got married.
- USA pans (seriously the BEST pans to bake with!!! You can search for all kinds of different ones on Amazon but here’s a nifty package of them.)
- Pasta Maker (I totally forgot to mention this one on the podcast. But I got a pasta maker a few years ago when I found on refurbished for a great price. I LOVE using it because it takes about 5 minutes of your time to make fresh pasta. And now I can make freshly ground fresh pasta!!!) They have the exact one I have listed refurbished on Amazon right now for a STEAL!
Just a warning: Starting to grind your own wheat might make you FALL IN LOVE with cooking and baking again and might just lead you down a very dangerous (and also wonderful) path of making fresh things in your home!! 😉 I won’t apologize if I get you hooked.
Still have questions or want more resources? LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW!!
Or if you want, you can send me a voicemail question!! That way you can explain your question and I can play the audio to answer it on the podcast (this is my favorite way to take questions BTW)!