I’ll begin this post by stating that I am far from perfect. I set goals, and sometimes I’m too tired or busy or lazy to accomplish them. This is definitely one of them!
About a year ago we saved up and purchased a Grain Mill. I had done some reading that made me feel like fresh flour was worth the time and effort of grinding myself. (I’ll also add that there are many electric grain mills that make grinding flour fast and require minimal effort.)
First of all, grinding your own flour saves money. Wheat berries can be bought for anywhere from .39 to .69 cents per pound in our area, and can be stored almost indefinitely, if kept sealed in a cool, dry place. This also helps with your food storage goals!
Secondly, and most importantly, fresh flour is substantially more nutritious than store-bought flour. When you purchase enriched all-purpose flour at the store, the bran and germ are taken out, so the flour can be preserved longer on the store shelf. (It’s also usually bleached to make it look even whiter…yuck.) The bran and germ are where most of the nutrients are! All-purpose flour is virtually devoid of all the good stuff found in wheat. Store-bought wheat flour is definitely a big step up from all-purpose flour. However, just like with vegetables, the longer it takes to get to you, the more the nutrients deteriorate. Freshly ground flour preserves all of the nutrients of the wheat berry, giving you the maximum amount of nutrients in your flour.
Lastly, fresh just tastes better! Isn’t that always the case? Nothing beats the taste of fresh bread warm from the oven, from flour that you just ground yourself!
Now with all of those great reasons to grind our flour fresh, I still haven’t converted 100%. It takes time and energy, sometimes that I don’t have! I do try to grind flour for most of our bread and rolls. But I still haven’t learned to bake cookies and cakes perfectly with fresh flour, so many times I cop-out and use all-purpose flour, because I know it’ll turn out the way the recipe intends. But we’re on a journey, right? We can’t regain all these skills without practice, and I count any step we make towards healthier cooking and self-sufficiency to be a good one!
Check back Friday for some yummy bread recipes!