Since you're already brewing your own kombucha, growing you own kitchen herbs and making your own yogurt, if you're going to do anything this year when it comes to food, it should be milling your own flour. I know what you're thinking, and no, you don't need to go out and invest in a crazy industrial scale mill. In fact, I have a friend that uses her coffee grinder to mill her own buckwheat flour.
Now granted, a coffee grinder isn't going to take you far if you're looking to be baking loaves upon loaves, but if you're wanting to delve into the world of milling your own flour it's a good place to start.
Why should you be milling your grains?
In an effort to make a product with a longer shelf life, regular commercial white flour is essentially stripped of most of its nutrients. Milling your own grains allows you to get those nutrients back, because you are grinding the entire grain, including the germ that refined flours take out.
Looking to mill your own flours? Besides the coffee grinder method, which of course is a bit tedious, some grains can be milled in a strong blender, but if you're going to be doing a lot of flour milling, then eventually you will find yourself looking at either an electric or manual mill.
There is essentially no limit to what flours you can make - as long as you can grind grains, and even nuts, you can make flour. You'll get lighter, tastier and more nutritious flours in the process. Buy grains in bulk, and grind what you need - your freshly ground flour won't have the shelf life of what you're used to buying. Here are some ideas for flours that you can easily mill yourself.
1. Almond - for a lighter version, blanch the almonds first.
2. Barley - while a common grain, it's not so common as a flour, which makes this one unique if you make it at home.
3. Brown Rice - a good, basic gluten-free variety.
4. Buckwheat - look for buckwheat groats, or kasha, to grind down.
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5. Cornmeal - easily made by grinding down popcorn kernels.
6.Hazelnut - for a stronger flavor, toast the nuts first.
7. Millet - another popular gluten-free flour that can be easily ground at home.
8. Oat - because of their texture, oats are easy to grind even if you don't have a high end grinder.
9. Quinoa - a nutty, gluten-free version that brings a lot of flavor to whatever you're baking.
10. Rye - rye is commonly used in a lot of Scandinavian baking.
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