Thursday, May 31, 2007

Quinoa - a grain pronounced KeenWah.

Quinoa has been enjoying a rebirth from it’s origin as a sacred grain to the early Incas, thanks to its high protein and calcium content and sweet and nutty flavor. Most quinoa is white in color before you cook it and then becomes almost semi-transparent with a little "tag" (which is actually the germ) curled up against the grain. Red, yellow, and black quinoa can also be found in specialty grocers.

It is likely that you will want to store quinoa in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated, because of its higher fat content. You will want to rinse Quinoa out very well in a fine meshed sieve or cheese cloth or rinse it at least three times in a bowl because it comes with a coating of a natural substance called saponin that can taste quite bitter if not removed by rinsing.

Quinoa cooks more quickly than most other whole grains and is ready to eat in roughly fifteen to twenty minutes. Quinoa prepared on its own makes a great side dish or it can be cooked with a little olive oil or butter and onion to make a pilaf. It's also great in salads or as dressed up as a warm breakfast cereal.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Oats are more than porridge!

Whole Oats (usually Toasted Rolled Oats) are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whole oats have been proven to help reduce cholesterol levels and make a great healthy breakfast that will keep you contented all the way until lunch.

Oats are very seldom sold with the hull left on for eating. You will have to look for "oat groats", which is the least-processed form which can be used in the same ways you would use wheat kernels.

Steel cut oats are whole oats which have merely been roughly cut. Old-fashioned have been flattened and quick-cooking oats have been steamed a bit, cut and flattened to speed cooking time. Instant oatmeal has been rolled very thin and is already partially cooked. For nutrition (and some people would say for full texture), the steel cut oats win out.

Because of their somewhat higher fat content, oats should be stored away from any heat or damp in an airtight container. The suggested storage time for oats is about three months.

In addition to porridge, oats can be used for stuffing, added to baked goods, or cooked whole and added to grain salads. Try using them in place of bread crumbs for meatloaf. Top a cobbler with a mixture of whole wheat flour, butter, sugar and whole oats. It’s also easy to make your own Granola! Visit this website for more information on whole grain cooking: Millers Grain House

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Specialty Grain - Amaranth

In the Himalayas, Amaranth grain is a crop of moderate importance . It was one of the staple foodstuffs of the Inca civilization, and it is known today in the Andes as kiwicha. It was also used by the ancient Aztecs, who called it huautli. Other Amerindian peoples in Mexico used Amaranth to prepare ritual drinks and foods.

Amaranth was used in several Aztec observances, where images of their gods (notably Huitzilopochtli) were made out of amaranth grain mixed with honey. The images were cut with the pieces to be eaten by the people. To the Roman Catholic priests who witnessed the ritual, this looked like the Christian Eucharist, thus the cultivation of Amaranth grain was forbidden for centuries.

Amaranth grain (especially A. cruentis and A. hypochondriaca) was revived in the 1970s largely due to its importance as a symbol of an indigenous culture, and because it is very palatable, easy to cook, and its protein is particularly well suited to human nutrition needs. Amaranth and Quinoa are the only two grain that contain complete protein. Besides Protein, Amaranth grain provides a good source of Dietary fiber and Dietary mineral such as Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, and especially Manganese.
After cultivation having been forbidden, it was recovered in Mexico from wild varieties and is now commercially cultivated.

Amaranth’s use has spread to Europe and other parts of North America. It is a popular snack sold in Mexico City and other parts of Mexico, sometimes mixed with Chocolate or Puffed grain. To this day, amaranth grains are toasted much like Popcorn and mixed with Honey or Molasses to make a treat called alegría (literally "joy" in Spanish).

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Brief History of Wheat - Part Two

Here's the rest of yesterday's wheat history article...

It has been said that the first evidence of wheat was discovered in the Middle East. When farmers started supplying enough crops to feed people from other lands, trading between the diverse cultures began. Ultimately wheat made it's way from the Middle East to England and other countries, then into the United States with Columbus back in the late 1400s and early 1500s. Over time, the growing of wheat spread to many continents and countries and is still one of the highest producing crops in the world.

All of the wheat grains were eaten or ground whole with the bran, germ, and endosperm parts of the wheat still intact. However, a new way of milling took hold in the wheat business when the industrialization wave hit America in the later 1800s. These manufacturers started removing the bran and germ from the wheat, because it meant that the wheat products could sit longer on grocery store shelves without spoiling. However, during this process almost all the essential vitamins and minerals (not to mention the dietary fiber from the bran) were removed. Since that time there have been increasingly more health problems throughout America and other countries.

Wheat in it's unrefined form has the attention of nutrition experts of today due to how it contains nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals that the body needs. Let's get back to eating wheat when it's whole and stop eating the refined grains, after all the people long before us ate it this way with no problem. In some cases, they even lived longer than we do now!

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Brief History of Wheat Article

Long ago, before the conveniences we have now, people traveled to different places to find food. They would eat whatever grew wild. When the population began to grow however, and more and more food was harder to find, the travelers had to figure out how to grow the food themselves. So they had to settle down.

Wheat could possibly have been one of the first plants to be grown by people, on account of how well it adapts to rough surroundings this seems likely. After it was discovered you could grow wheat, considerable changes started taking place. People realized they could grow their own food, so they no longer needed to travel around in search of it. The stable food supply caused people to start settling permanently.

The travelers became farmers, and as the growing of wheat progressed, so did the farmer's knowledge. They began to make the wheat easier to cook, grow, and eat. Bit by bit they began choosing kernels from their best wheat plants for the next years' planting. By doing this it ultimately generated better crops and better quality of wheat that was passed down from one generation to the next. Wheat very quickly became one of the most significant crops in the world and to this day is grown on more land area worldwide than any other crop!

...Come back tomorrow for the rest of the article. Or subscribe to our feed.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Milled whole grains are just as easy to use.

Whole grains when milled can be used just like any other regular flour. Over the years I've had to work with and perfect certain recipes I used to use the 'white, dead' flour in. It isn't hard at all to do however. It's quite simple.

I'm no expert at all at cooking either, so if I can do it anyone can! I didn't learn how to cook till I got married. Since I've been milling my own whole grains however, my family has been healthier and they have actually enjoyed my cooking a whole lot better.

The advice I can give is this, test out different ways to make your recipe better. If the recipe doesn't work out, don't sweat it or give up. Try again and change a few things!

I've had many trial and errors (and still do!), but when I figured out the special way to make whole grains work just as good as other flour. Not only was I keeping my family healthier, but like I said cooking improved! :P

So just don't ever give up! That's all I have to say!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Whole Wheat Muffins Video!

Here's another great video on how to make whole wheat banana nut muffins! Enjoy

Thanks for visiting, have a great day! :)

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Monday, May 7, 2007

Pancake Recipe

Here's the yummy whole wheat pancake recipe I said I'd post. :)

4 C freshly milled "soft white wheat"
1 t salt
1 t backing soda*
2 1/2 t baking powder
2 T sugar

1/4 C oil
2 eggs
3 1/2 C buttermilk

Mix together all dry ingredients. Add liquids. Stir just until they are mixed. Fry on hot oiled griddle. To make a lighter pancake separate the eggs and whip the egg whites then fold gently into the batter. Serve however you like it and enjoy.
*Omit soda and increase baking powder to 4 teaspoons if using sweet milk instead of buttermilk.

And that's it! Enjoy the recipe and come back and see us soon or subscribe to our feed. :)

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Sunday, May 6, 2007

Easy Pancakes

Who doesn't delight in eating pancakes? Straight from the griddle, still hot as you put on the butter and watch it melt, and the maple syrup (or whatever you prefer) being poured on top. With your fork sinking into the small stack of them to find them as light and fluffy as if they were a cloud. Mmm, my mouth is actually starting to water as I type this.

I've got an excellent recipe that I've tweaked over the years with my freshly milled whole wheat flour. I've now got it to where they taste just as good as buying any pancake mix from the store. Only mine are healthier for you because you get the benefits of having whole wheat! Also, not to mention there's no lard in these like in normal mixes. My kids love them!

An array of flours and flour blends can be used for this recipe, but what I almost always use in my recipe is soft white wheat. They are outstanding!

I'm not going to post it just yet though. Just wanted to whet your appetite. ;)

Don't worry though, it'll be up within the next few days. Possibly tomorrow. Check back, so you don't miss it!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tip #1 - Part Two

If you previously read Part One of this tip, you may still need more resolution for those curious as to why you're even thinking of or currently milling grains at home.

The succeeding tip to answering the questions of why you bother to mill at home is the advantages of cost and storage. Yeah, we can purchase 'whole wheat bread' at the store. Yeah, 'dead bagged flour' lasts for a good spell. Are these reasons to dismiss home milling all together? No way! In fact, look closer and you can see why milling at home is better.

Putting all health reasons aside, with milling at home storage and cost come up on the convenience end of it. The cost of a loaf of 'whole wheat' bread from the store is generally $2.29. A home milled, fresh WHOLE GRAIN flour, loaf of bread costs me generally $.75 to make and that is using all organic (a bit pricier) grains and sugar. I also know for certain what is in that loaf!

Storage, however, is a completely different thing. Of course, in our house the bread doesn't last long because we can't resist slicing into a warm loaf when we smell it so we don't have to worry about self life. However, the grains last for years! The husk was created as the most excellent protection for the grain. Grains have been found in pyramids that were over 4000 years old and when planted, they grew just as intended. I don't think you'll be needing those grains in 4000 years, but store the grains in a durable container and from getting moist and you can store them for years.

I hope you founds this tip helpful! :) Come back and see us, I've got more tips coming up!

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Short tip

Here's a short tip to why you should mill whole grains at home.

The time it takes to grab a bag of dead flour is no less than when I mill my own whole grains. I just toss the grains into the Nutrimill, turn it on and by the time I gather the ingredients for a recipe, the mill is done.

The Nurtimill has even saved us money! My family of 5 eats pizza every Friday night (our family tradition). We used to order 3 large pizzas from Papa Johns. Costing us between 30 and 40 dollars each Friday night. Now I make 3 16 inch pizza crusts ahead of time using fresh ingredients (with possibly less fats/grease) for around $10.00! The mill had been paid for itself in less than three months on pizza night alone!

So you see, there's really not too great of a difference in using store bought flour and milling your own whole grains at home. The big difference however, is the health benefits of eating freshly milled whole grains versus bleached dead bagged flour.

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Why you should bother milling at home - Tip #1

By the time you finish reading this short tip, you will know a bit more about why it's necessary to mill and bake with fresh whole grains.

Tip #1 - Part One - "Why do you do that? Why bother?"

Alright, I will be the first to admit it, I was not raised to be a domesticated person. When I first heard of milling grain at home I was baffled and thought it was a far fetched idea, time consuming and a big mess. It didn't take me long to determine how wrong I was.

One tip to answering those questions of 'You do what?' and 'Why bother?' is to be acquainted with the two biggest advantages of milling at home. First are the health advantages and second are the storage/cost effect advantages. the health reasons.

To lengthen the shelf life of milled grain into bagged flour, most of the grains essential nutrients and vital parts are extracted. The Wheat Bran, Wheat Germ, Wheat Oil and Middlings are removed simply for the convenience of a longer time for storage. We are all familiar with at least three of these discarded parts of the wheat grain as now popular health food items (Bran, Germ and Oil). To mention a few benefits now missing, the Bran and Middlings produce much needed fiber, the Germ and Oil produce vitamin E. There are many more nutrients these now missing items produce, but we see a lack of both of these in the twentieth century diet.

Worse than what is absent, may also be what is added to the bagged flour. To make the traditional white appearance of flour, the first process used by manufacturers was really chlorine bleach! Although new chemicals and processes have now been approved, chemicals of any kind were not ever intended to be IN the grain itself. The list of what was stripped from the now fluffy flour is so long that manufacturers now feel the need to 'enrich' it with synthetic vitamins. Synthetic vitamins are just that - synthesized, not natural. Why add a 'fake' vitamin for a natural one that was taken away in processing? Enough said.

This is only part one of the tip, check back for part two tomorrow! :)

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Store Bought Bread

If you eat white (or any kind of store bought) bread, you should know a few things before you eat that next slice, and here they are.

In the mid 1950's the inclusion of artificial hydrogenated oils, preservatives, emulsifiers, additives and other chemicals in bread became standard practice. Whole wheat flour was replaced by bleached, enriched white flour around this same time. Which is then artificially "enriched" by adding in materials that were destroyed in the chemical process of bleaching, like vitamins and minerals.

Milling the endosperm part of a grain produces white flour. Also, all the natural nutrients are removed during this process by taking out the bran and germ. "Enriching" the flour can never completely replace what was lost. Thus, enriched bread is nowhere near nutritionally equal to whole wheat bread.

The manufacturers make white flour because, compared to whole wheat flour, it has a longer shelf life (because of the chemical preservatives), which saves them money because they don't have to worry about spoilage. However, that flour could be killing you because of the lack of nutrients in it. It turns into glue in your colon! Not to mention all those chemicals and additives you're putting in your body.

Check back tomorrow or the next day for more information on this subject, we've only hit the tip of the iceberg so I'll blog more on that later...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Grain Anatomy

Here's what the inside of a grain looks like, and a brief overview of what the parts are.

When a grain is whole, it contains the endosperm, the germ, and the bran.

The endosperm, also called the kernel, makes up the majority of the seed. It has contains most of the grain's protein and has very little vitamins and minerals.

The germ is where a new plant sprouts, it is a concentrated source of niacin, vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, iron and zinc. The germ also contains some fat and protein.

The bran is what forms the outer layer of the seed, it is a rich source of niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, iron and zinc. The bran contains almost all of the grain's fiber.

It's important that all of these parts are left intact because it gives your body the vitamins, fiber, protein, etc. that you need. When the bran and germ are removed to make refined grains, all those nutrients that are within the bran and germ are taken as well.

I hope this information was helpful. Thanks for reading, and God bless you!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Freshly milled flour pizza dough!

Pizza dough made from freshly milled whole wheat! Check out that video, it has good info about making whole wheat pizza crusts!

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Whole Grains - You need them!

With the low-carb diet as big as it is now, no one wants to hear "you need whole grains". Well, they have carbohydrates. However, you NEED them, and here's why.

Natural whole grains consist of three parts - the germ, the bran, and the endosperm. White flour, rice, and other refined grains are made by processing endosperm and discarding the germ and bran. Vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other healthy substances are found in the bran and germ, while the endosperm consists almost entirely of starch. By using only the endosperm to make flours and breads, the manufacturers are robbing you of essentials that your body needs. You're basically left eating empty calories with no nutritional value whatsoever.

Whole grains provide many of the nutrients that are low in America's diet, including fiber, vitamin E, B vitamins, and the minerals zinc, selenium, copper and magnesium. Which are all beneficial for the heart, blood and the immune system.

So as you can see, WHOLE GRAINS are very beneficial to your health. So why not eat more? Don't gorge on breads, pastas, and wheat. But DO try to eat whole grains and not refined grains (white breads, white rice, etc.) and control the amounts you eat, but don't deprive your body of grains - you need them!

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mill your own whole grains

You know, you can mill your own whole grains at home. Seriously. It's so cool to do. And the flour tastes incredible. You can bake breads, cookies, pastas, anything! It's just like buying regular flour from the grocery store. Only it is much MUCH better because with the grains being freshly milled, and the flour doesn't sit for weeks on end in some store. It's FRESH! Not to mention the fact that you are milling the whole grain, and not just the endosperm of the kernel. Which gives you the fiber and nutrients that aren't in the white flour at the store. Also, if you bake with your freshly milled flour, you are ensuring that your bread (or whatever you bake) is completely whole wheat (unless of course you add in white flour to your bread mix). Which is a lot better than what the wheat bread at the store has. The 'whole wheat' loaf of bread we can buy in the grocery store is not only made of old, processed whole wheat, but by the government regulations only has to be at least 51% (or mostly whole wheat) to be labeled as such.

So the benefits of milling whole grains at home are many, this is only a tiny bit of why it's good do mill your own at home. More on this a bit later. :)

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Whole grains versus refined grains

What are the differences between whole grains and refined grains? Let's look into that, shall we?

First off, whole grains are...well, whole. They have all of their parts - the bran, germ, and endosperm. Why is this important? Well, because the bran and germ contain much of the vitamins and fiber your body needs. Which are sorely lacking in today's American diet.

Refined grains, like white flours and white rice, don't have the bran and germ in them. When the grain is refined both of those essential parts are removed. Although, some of the "vitamins" and "minerals" are added back in after the milling process, nothing can completely replace what is lost.

Thus, the difference between the two is mainly nutritional value. Removing the bran and germ from whole grains is not a good thing because it is robbing you of the nutrients your body needs, and replacing it with starch and empty calories.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather give my body what it needs and live longer, than to eat refined grains.

I hope this imformation and the info to come is helpful to you and your family! Thanks for reading and God bless you!