Recipes

Gluten Free Flour: Why Grind Your Own?

February 7, 2011
Gluten Free Flour: Why Grind Your Own?

 You Need to Use Whole Grains in Your Baking

Everyone’s talking about whole grains. You see recipes for quinoa, millet and other ancient grains in lots of cooking magazines.

So how come we don’t see it in the gluten free world? Yeh, people talk about it all the time and then take home gluten free flour mixes from the store that are full of junk! I found one mix that cost $8 and the first ingredient was starch!

Listen, if you want to bake with starch, just go buy a box of cornstarch for $3. It’s a lot cheaper and just as nutritious.


I know, you can buy whole grain gluten free flour at the store.  If the store has great turnaround, at least you know your flour is fresh. But if not, how long has it been there? Is there an alternative out there? I have something that sounds so crazy you may think I’ve gone nuts!

What about grinding your own gluten free flour! I know, this sounds like a 1960’s back-to-nature thing. But there are many advantages to grinding your own.

First, the flour is really fresh! And the ingredients are about half the cost of what you can buy. And you can grind anything you want!

How about fresh cornmeal for corn bread, hush puppies, polenta and any other number of corn meal recipes out there. You can custom design your own flour blend to fit your own tastes and allergies.

If you run out of gluten free flour blend, no problem! You can grind your own at home and not have to go anywhere or wait for the mailman. Talk about convenience!

 

The cooking classes I had been going to  use fresh ground wheat flour for their baking. It never occurred to me to do that for my own gluten free baking. Then the light went on! Why can’t I do the same thing? I have been using freshly ground flour for three years and have never turned back.

Freshly ground flour has a wonderful aroma and feel that is missing from store bought flour blends. It makes the best cakes, brownies and cookies ever! I have been testing it out on family and friends to rave reviews.

If you check the ingredients list of your favorite gluten free store bought mixes, you will find that most of them contain white rice flour and starches. Don’t pay money for junk!

 You can increase the nutritional value of your baked goods by using gluten free whole grains.

Grinding whole grain brown rice, beans, millet or quinoa preserves all the wonderful goodness contained in the whole grain.  Your baked goods will have all the nutrients and fiber that is lacking in the commercial brands. We need to feed our families the best we can and this goes along way to doing just that.

Your flour blend will contain no chemicals or preservatives. It will be wholesome and filling. It will also go rancid quickly. You will need to store it in the refrigerator up to one month or in the freezer for longer.

Grinding your own flour is very cost effective. Even with buying organic brown rice, grains or beans, you will save half of what the cost of flour blends or mixes at the store. I purchase my beans and rice in bulk so the savings are even more.

So, how do you grind your own flour? You have to make the investment in a good grain mill. By grinding my own flour, I have paid for my grain mill in 20 months. Considering I will have celiac disease for the rest of my life, my grain mill has been a good investment in me.

There are many grain mills on the market. How do you chose one that will work for you? Seeing it in action is a great way to make a decision. Checking online comments works well too. I own a  Nutrimill Grain Mill. I love it!

It is easy to use and makes a very fine brown rice flour. I known rice can be gritty, but grinding your own on a fine setting removes any gritty feel completely!

One other note: when you buy your whole grains, I would place them in your freezer for a week or two before using. All grains have the potential to contain small bugs and or eggs within the bags.

If you have ever opened your cupboard and found that your rice, beans or cornmeal contained bugs or tell tail “spider webs”, the bugs may have hitch hiked a ride to your house via the store.

Freezing kills anything that may be lurking in the grain bags. Before grinding, make sure to place your grains on the counter top to thaw out and come to room temperature before hand. Frozen grain will gum up your mill.

I hope you at least think about the possibility of grinding your flour blends at home. You won’t be disappointed with the results!

And besides, it’s all about having fun!

Kathy

ps… guys aren’t  the only ones who need POWER TOOLS!

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