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Using freshly ground grains in everyday life (how to make it work!) – Hf #119

on April 5, 2018 by Jami Balmet 15 comments

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 πŸ˜‰ 

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

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

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 πŸ™‚ 

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: 

  1. Much healthier (Listen to the FREE audio here called “The Truth About Wheat
  2. Tastes AMAZING compared to store bought wheat
  3. Much cheaper per pound (after you pay off the grain mill)

Where you can learn more about grinding your own wheat: 

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!! πŸ˜‰ 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)! 

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers
  1. I really want to buy a grain mill and get back into bread baking after listening to your episode! I love the idea of fresh grinding grains right before using them in a recipe. How do you know the conversion amounts from whole grains to ground flour? Like if a recipe calls for 3 cups of flour, how many cups of wheat berries do you grind? I’m sure this varies from grain to grain. Do you have a quick reference for these conversions?

    • Great question! 1 cup of dried grains yields 1.5 cups of flour! I had to do a lot of calculations at the beginning to make sure I was getting enough flour but now it’s very second nature! πŸ˜‰

  2. Hi Jami, I just wanted to let you know that I listened to your interview with Stacy and was very interested. I have had a grain mill for years, but have only ever used it to grind flour for making bread (because that is what my mom did right). I also have not been very happy with my bread, very dense, and just not soft and airy. So I listened to the Bread Beckers bread making 101 class and have never felt so informed in my life. I do not consider myself a novice bread baker, or even a novice in working with fresh ground flour. However, after watching the 101 class I was so impressed. I made bread with their recipe and changing several things and I have made the most beautiful loaf of bread in my life (totally not exaggerating). Also side note, I have a wonder mill that my mom picked up on a garage sale for $20 while I was in high school (over 15 years ago), and I just found a Bosch mixer on a garage sale this summer for $20. You can find these things out there second hand, it might take some searching though. I do not think I ever would have owned a Bosch except that I got it for $20. Have you ever looked into Kamut grain? I have used that before and it is really good. Actually for my basic bread dough I really like a mixture of hard red/Kamut/Spelt. I wish that I had had all this information 10 years ago! I have been making muffins, cinnamon rolls, and bread like crazy all with fresh ground flour. I now am convinced I need a Zojiroshi bread machine. Thanks so much for sharing this information.

    • Aaaw that’s wonderful!! I have learned SO much from the Bread Beckers and their videos!! πŸ˜€ And that’s so awesome to hear that you’ve found those deals, that’s amazing!! Yes! I have only got small bags of Kumat but we use it for pasta when we do have it!

  3. You have totally inspired me to get a grain mill. I am wondering can I use the fresh flour in my normal recipes or will I need to switch to recipes that call for fresh flour?

  4. Thanks so much for this episode. Very interested in this but have a couple questions. We have no children so it is just the two of us. How long is the whole grain shelf stable? Also is it possible to use this in frezzer meals ie freeze bread/muffins or a pizza crust? Thanks

    • The un-ground grain will last forever!! Soft grains last around 7-9 years, and hard grains can last up to 25+ years!! So even if you buy in bulk and get a 50lb bag, it will be good for a long time! πŸ˜‰ Totally! You then just use the flour regularly as other flour!

  5. Can I use my regular recipes and just substitute fresh flour or will I need to find recipes that call for fresh flour? You have gotten me so excited about the idea of getting a grain mill!

    • Yes absolutely!! Depending on the type of grain, you might need to add a little more liquid. So you *might* need to play with the recipes a little. But overall you can just use it like normal flour πŸ™‚

  6. Would you share your recipes for tortillas, waffles, bagels, and muffins! I am excited about grinding my own wheat. Thanks for your passion for healthy living!

  7. I actually bought a grain mill after listening to this podcast and your most recent one on breakfasts and how to eat at home. The same day I listened to them I looked on Marketplace and Craigslist and I found two available used! I ended up getting a WonderMill with 40 pounds of grain (and the screw on cap combo for five-gallon bucket) for $125.

    I’ve used it a couple times now and I’m really enjoying it! Thanks for all you do! I was a young wife too (21), and after two kids and another on the way I’ve learned so much from where I started, which sounds similar to how you figured things out!

  8. I just bought a nutrimill and the flour book. I’m saving for the bread and pasta machine. The local Whole Foods did not have the hard white or red in grains they had it already as flour. I’m going to order from honeyville but was confused by the hard white and the organic version. Is one better for grinding? Which grains should I start with in bulk?

    • Did you check in the bulk bin areas? They don’t have bags of them on the shelf, you have to go to the bulk area and find them there πŸ™‚ They just carry some of the same grains on Honeyville in organic version. But they are the same wheat. I use hard white the most, it’s the most versatile for me! But if you want to do a lot of treats: cookies, cakes, etc. then you also want to get a bag of soft white! I recommend getting both hard and soft white and then you can basically make everything! We also keep hard red on stock, but you don’t have to πŸ™‚