As I mentioned in an earlier post I have been wanting a grain mill for a few years. Most people would question my sanity at this point - what on earth for??? Stores carry huge bags of flour - if you really wanted to start baking your own bread - WHY NOT JUST BUY FLOUR OR BREAD AT THE GROCERY STORE?
Well - here are a few good reasons.
Flour purchased at the grocery store has a shelf life of about 4 months. If we assume for a moment that the flour was ground the day before it arrived at the store and you purchased it that very next day you would then have 4 months till it went rancid and that would be under optimal storage conditions. Most people don't even know what rancid flour tastes and smells like - that's because most people can't tell. I can't either. I can however tell when I've eaten something with old flour in it!! I have a wallop of an allergy attack.
In an earlier blog post I mentioned this article...Scientists have revealed some shocking truth about packaged flour ... Reports say that 50% of the nutritional value of grain is lost within first 24 hours of making flour, and of the remaining; another 50% is lost within the next three days. (http://www.squidoo.com/diamant-grain-mill)
From a strictly financial standpoint buying wheat kernels and spelt kernels etc. in bulk is much cheaper than buying preground flour and it lasts for years in it's whole state without loosing nutritional value if properly stored. I buy mine at Grain Process in Toronto in 25kg bags. (Nina - I promised to write a post on how to properly store grains - stay tuned!)
Even OUR FAVORITE-UP-TILL-NOW cheap healthy bread made with whole grains and fiber is never less than $2.50 a loaf.
A manual grain mill doesn't require electricity - it does however require human-power and I was working my muscles to grind the 4 1/2 cups required for the Irish Soda Bread I made yesterday. Sorry - we ate 1/2 of it before I took the picture. It tasted great! I did bake it in the oven - not cook it on the stove. The mill could be electrified but what fun would that be!The Diamant is able to grind all kinds of grains, rice,spices, sugar, nuts, seeds and coffee -someone asked me if it was a coffee grinder - ah yes - but that would be a LOT of coffee!
Here's one of my favorite basic recipes for Irish Soda Bread - you can use wheat instead of spelt and regular milk or powdered milk instead of almond milk and oil instead of butter so the recipe is quite flexible. These ingredients are very simple to store in quantity on the shelf so it's perfect for planning your food storage. I try to mix up the flours and grains we use to create variety and to get the benefits of some of the less common grains.
Now - get cracking with your food storage - what's in YOUR pantry?
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