Thursday, April 28, 2011

Something I Have Really Been Enjoying!

So, I've been on a whole grains kick lately. We've been milling some of our own wheat for a while and I grew up with a home wheat grinder. But thanks to various contributing causes, I've been getting interested lately in pursuing whole grain use for our family in a more major way. Some of the things that have been encouraging me in that direction are as follows: some persistent health issues in our little family which would be nice to deal with, getting to chat with a friend who has recently been getting into more healthy eating, things I have been learning through the Bread Beckers about the MAJOR health benefits of whole grains which have been freshly milled and prepared... and my hubby buying me a new electric grain mill a couple months ago!

I've been learning that wheat is an extremely nutrient dense food. There are 44 basic nutrients that our bodies require to maintain healthy life... and all but 4 of them are contained in wheat!!! But we NEED to be consuming it in whole grain form... and if at all possible, freshly milled! I've learned that there is a LARGE difference between freshly ground whole wheat flour and whole wheat flour we buy from the store. As soon as wheat is milled it begins to oxidize and lose the rich, God-given nutrients that the grain is full of. Within 72 hours as much as 90% of the nutrients can be gone! And that's just talking about the difference between fresh whole wheat flour and the not-so-fresh whole wheat from the store... we haven't even gone into the white flour issue!

I have been greatly enjoying learning from the Bread Beckers, a family run business in Georgia that sells all kinds of grains, other healthy products as well as appliances to help in food preparation (we bought our grain mill from them). But beyond being a store they also offer a WEALTH of free information, training and inspiration through their free online video classes! They're fascinating and enjoyable and I come away so inspired to prepare healthier food for my family and try ideas they've shared!

When I made whole wheat bread in the past, I almost always put in part white flour and part whole wheat. I didn't think you could have very nice homemade bread without at least SOME white flour. And if I was going to do 100% whole wheat I thought I would probably need to add gluten and maybe soy lecithin. But I had neither and gave it a try without, using a recipe from Bread Beckers and have been so pleased! It IS possible to have very enjoyable bread made at home with 100% whole wheat! And beyond that, pancakes, cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, and more, can all be delicious as well! No, I haven't had great success every time... but I HAVE had A LOT of successes and been so pleasantly surprised and encouraged!

I've been having so much fun learning from these video classes and trying new things in my kitchen. I'd encourage you to join me. Check out some of the videos and consider ways that you can include into your family's diet more of the incredible nutrients that God has given us! In general, it seems the more man messes with the incredible food God made for us... the more we mess it up! We cannot improve on God's creation!

Throughout the classes, Mrs. Becker shows you various things they sell through their store... obviously, most of us can't run out and buy all of it! And we really don't need to in order to make some very healthy changes and additions to what our families are eating. The number one thing I would encourage someone to consider getting is a good grain mill. The Beckers have recieved MANY testimonials from people who have had major health improvements... simply by beginning to mill and bake their own bread. They share some of them on their website.

You'll see that there are several different classes available! So far, I have enjoyed the "Getting Started Class", watched a bunch of the "Healthy Eating Simplified" series and seen part of the class on making pasta. If you are new to the idea of doing your own milling and bread making, I imagine the "Bread Making 101" would be a good place to just check it out and learn more. The "Getting Started Class" would also be a good place to start... as the name might indicate! I greatly enjoyed that class!

Well, there is plenty more that could be said... but I will leave it at that for now!


Laurel said...

Thanks for sharing this, Gracie! I will definitely be checking out those links. There is a mill in the house we are now renting that I need to find out about... I don't know if it works or if we could use it. I'm hoping yes, because I'd really like to do more in this line.

Marilena said...

Hey Gracie! It's been awhile since I've commented...I looked through some of your previous posts and your babies are getting so big. They are adorable!

I love the bread beckers site and I've been coveting the grain mill and the mixer for a couple of years...I always stop by their booth at the homeschool fair.

Right now I make my bread by hand or sometimes I mix it in my kitchenaide mixer. I use all whole wheat flour but, you're right, it's so much better when it's freshly milled. My friends have a vitamix blender that I can grind grain in so I've purchased some wheat berries and I'll just grind up as much as I need for a batch.

Have fun with your new mill!