This post is part of an original TIDBITS recipe, first seen HERE on tidbits-cami.com.
Let's take a quick break from my electric pressure cooker obsession so I can introduce you to one of my new favorite appliances. If you have been wanting to dive into the world of cooking with whole grains, YOU MUST READ THIS POST! I’m just a little excited about it, (assuming “a little” excited means “super duper, over the moon, nearly hyperventilating” excited). I LOVE talking about whole grains (Saturday night dates with me are such a joy).
I’ve spent a lot of time studying, experimenting, and cooking with them and I personally feel like it’s been a VERY worthwhile cause. A few months ago I came upon a new grinder that has made this hobby even better.
*NutriMill kindly offered me their product, and I am honored to have them sponsoring this post. This post contains affiliate links.
The NutriMill grinder is not only a good looking appliance (hello lovely bamboo wood) that can sit pretty on any counter top, but it has made grinding small to large amounts of FRESH whole grain or bean flour on demand so much easier. Much more simple and quiet than my old, “grind wheat in the basement so I can carry on somewhat of a conversation” method.
For those of you who want to incorporate more whole grains into your diet, but are new to the world of grinding, let's talk about why you would want to grind your own grains and beans at home.
Fresh is Best
When you grind your own grains at home, you will actually be getting the WHOLE grain (i.e. the bran and germ). Commercial flours often remove the germ because it contains oil that can turn rancid when stored long term. To add to this loss, nutrients are being constantly depleted as it sits on the shelf. When I grind my own, I will store it for only a few days at room temperature. If longer storage is needed, I store it in the freezer to keep it as fresh and nutrient rich as possible.
When grinding your own wheat, you can control how fine or course you want it. The Nutrimill shines in this category allowing you the ability to easily adjust for fine pastry flour or more course for texture in your baked goods or hot cereals.
Depending on the type of grain, you can save a good amount of money grinding your own compared to buying a bag of flour. If you’re passionate about making all of your own yeast bread like I am, the savings is significant. When you start branching out into other grains like spelt, kamut, barley, etc, the savings become even more remarkable. Some areas have grain factories, and those can be great places to buy grains in bulk. Otherwise, I enjoy buying them from Amazon and having them delivered to my doorstep! (I'll share the links below. All are affiliate links. Thank you!)
Who knew the secret to the best homemade whole grain bread was as simple as grinding your own grains! My husband even agrees, the taste is significantly better since I’ve started using my fresh ground flours, and trust me, he takes his title as “Recipe Tester” very seriously.
May I have a vain moment for a sec while I admit that I kind of love telling people I grind my own flour? Especially as they marvel over my beautiful, perfectly golden loaf of bread? Making bread never fails to delight me (unless it flops, then I’m in a bad mood all day!). I also have been able to swap nearly every recipe using white flour, for my home ground flours without a single complaint from my family. I’m talking everything from sandwich bread, to tortillas, to every breakfast food imaginable. That makes this mama proud!
Now that you know why you should grind your own flour, let me tell you what you should and should not grind using the NutriMill. The NutriMill is ideal for non-oily grains, beans, and legumes such as hard wheat, soft wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, barley, einkorn, farro, quinoa, millet, amaranth, teff, sorghum, brown rice, wild rice, oat groats, dried corn, buckwheat, black beans, pinto beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Seeds, grains, and beans that have a high oil or moisture content should be avoided. This includes chia seeds, nuts, flax seeds, herbs, spices, chilies, coffee beans, etc. I keep a small spice grinder on hand for these items.
So where to begin if you want to start grinding your own flours? There are so many choices, I know, and the research can quickly become overwhelming. Let me save you the headache by sharing my top 5 grains to mill at home. I like these because they have proven easy to mix and match in many of my go to recipes.
When I first started grinding my own flours, I stuck with a hard white wheat. Hard white wheat is still 100% whole grain, but is much lighter in taste and texture then the hard red wheat I grew up with. I use it for my whole wheat bread, pancakes, muffins, cookies, biscuits…pretty much every recipe I can that uses wheat flour. Soft white wheat, otherwise known as whole wheat pastry flour, is an even lighter option that swaps out wonderfully for white flour. However its lower protein content makes it not ideal for yeast bread – hard white wheat is essential for yeast breads. (I buy my wheat HERE)
Spelt does not have as much gluten as hard white wheat and takes more effort to swap into yeast breads. The gluten in spelt is easier to digest and those with wheat sensitivities often tolerate spelt better. The flavor of spelt is a bit sweeter and is delicious in baked goods, tortillas, cookies, pancakes, etc. (I buy my spelt HERE)
Kamut has a wonderful flavor, and is amazing when worked into bread, baked goods, muffins, pasta, etc. My sister in law introduced me to this grain in the form of the most incredible cornbread I’ve ever tasted. Kamut has a different gluten structure that is easier for people with gluten sensitivities to digest. (I buy my Kamut HERE)
Not only can you course grind oat groats to make your own steel cut oats, but they can be ground to use as oat flour in so many ways. Oat flour adds a sweet moistness to quick breads, muffins, pancakes, and so many more baked goods. It’s also easy to find, affordable, and gluten free (make sure packaging says gluten free if this is essential). (I buy my oats HERE)
Buckwheat flour has become an essential in my kitchen for creating lightness in recipes I once used white flour in. My first experience with buckwheat was in the form of my brother’s chocolate chip cookies which I will confidently say are the best cookie I’ve ever had. I also use it often for pancakes and crepes. Buckwheat has a more prominent flavor than spelt and kamut, so I only substitute it in for ¼ -⅓ of the flour called for in my recipes. Buckwheat is also gluten free. (I buy my buckwheat HERE).
So there you have it!
That was a lot to take in so let me finish on this note. Grinding my own flours has been a work in progress over the years and I am becoming more and more comfortable and adventurous with mixing grains all the time. With so much world wide attention on whole grains over the past couple years, recipes using the grains I discussed are so easy to come by. This means you won’t have to go through much trial and error to have great success in cooking with them. For the health of yourself and loved ones, it is completely worth the journey!
I tried several whole grain cookbooks and THIS ONE is my favorite. Check it out for more information on making your own flours. It is full of beautiful pictures and delightful recipes!
Thanks again to NutriMill for partnering with us on this post! The Nutrimill Harvest is truly an impressive appliance made by the wonderful Bosch company, with high quality that will offer reliable performance for many, many years.
Stay tuned for a recipe I created using a mix of my favorite grains and seeds. This recipe is gonna be a game changer for your hectic mornings, I can’t wait to get it into your homes!