Last week, Carter and I attended Your Health Source’s Whole Grain Demo. Monica showed us how to make whole grain bread from scratch – literally, she even milled her own grain! As a dietitian, I make sure we eat our fruits and vegetables, but this is taking it to
a whole new level! If you’re trying to make some lifestyle changes, I suggest attending one of her workshops. For only $15, you’ll be motivated to change your diet and make new friends while you’re there.
Monica started by showing us how she mills the grain. She began with her grinding wheel and with an enormous amount of strength she… I’m only kidding. Monica actually used a L’Equip Nutrimill, all you have to do is throw in the grain, turn it on and in just a few minutes, fresh fluffy flour comes out! So why use freshly milled flour anyway? Can’t you just use whole-wheat flour from the store? Yes. You can. However, when grain is milled the bran begins to deteriorate very quickly. The inside of the grain contains enzymes that are used to break down different parts of the grain to be used as energy. Developing plants use this energy until they are large enough to use photosynthesis. By milling the grain, these enzymes are activated and turn the flour rancid after just a few days. Actually, a few
of my former classmates did their Thesis on preservation of rice bran, and it deteriorates within hours. The whole-wheat flour at the store has preservatives added to it to prevent oxidation and enzyme action. So if you’re trying to remove preservatives from your diet, you need to mill your own wheat. Grain can be stored for years and years as long as it’s not milled and doesn’t get wet. Moisture also activates the enzymes, which is how the tiny plant inside knows when to start growing.
Prairie Gold Grain is the grain that Monica used for the demo. She recommends it for beginners because it’s easy to work with and seems to
be an easy transition from processed breads. I actually thought the texture of her rolls was closer to white flour than any whole-wheat rolls I’ve made in the past. Her dough mixture consisted of just 6 ingredients: Wheat berries (grain), olive oil, honey, water, salt, and yeast. From this simple mixture she made dinner rolls, Italian flat bread, tortillas and cinnamon rolls. Yum! Everything was scrumptious!
In addition to making bread, we learned about a few other organic friendly ideas, such as making kefir and healthier varieties of sweeteners. Here’s a few tips I picked up:
- Use a cookie sheet to mix, kneed, or shape bread – this keeps your counter clean!
- Combine 1 cup olive oil and 1 tsp lecithin (available through the co-op) to make an aerosol-free non-stick spray. Just mix and put in a spray bottle.
- Add a little brown rice when you mill your grain for a fluffier recipe
On a side note, if you’re going to start substituting honey for other sweeteners, be wary of giving any honey to children under the age of 2. Honey can carry a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum which causes botulism – a food-borne illness that causes extreme GI distress. It can be detrimental to these little kiddos. While it’s rare, better safe than sorry!
If you’re part of the Your Health Source food co-op, check your email for more Whole Grain Demos. If you’d like to sign up for the food co-op, go to Your Health Source and you’ll find all the details. You can also find her recipes and more fun ideas on the website. Does anyone else have great stories about their experience at one of Monica’s food demos?