Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wheat Grinder Love!

For Christmas, South County Boy's brother got us a wheat grinder.

Now I know what your thinking, who would want one of those? but it's actually something I've been wanting for a while because I like to bake and cook (or at least try to) and fresher ingredients taste better.

It's also a lot easier to stick "whole wheat" into things when you can grind it fresh. When his brother and his wife were poking around for Christmas ideas for us, we mentioned this sale I saw for a $50 wheat grinder.

They decided to do one better. They got us a better model of a hand crank grinder that had the option for an attachable motor... and then got us the motor as well!!

This year we decided to switching to organic and to make more homemade foods instead of purchasing box crap foods at the store. Part of this means trying to add in more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into the mix so the quality of the food we eat is better for our bodies. Unfortunately to buy those types of foods in the store is more expensive... especially when they are organic. So i'm trying to save money by making things from scratch so we can afford the organic produce and cut out all those preservatives. So far things seem to be working out, but to do better than we are, I really wanted to get a wheat grinder so I could really get into making my own fresh breads.

I stopped for a while since we were buying that Organic Costco bread... but once we froze it, we learned that it doesn't freeze too well -- the bread gets tacky when it thaws... and they have also bumped up the price and with SCB taking at least 2 if not 3 sandwiches a day, I'm hoping to go back to making my own bread with simple ingredients (whether organic or not) to save money here.

The picture above is the grinder full of oats. Yup, just you basic Whole Round Oats that you buy in the bulk bin at the store for $0.99 - $1.50 lb depending on if you score organic or regular. (Not the quick cook oats, but the other type).

Considering how much a small bag of Oat Flour in the store is (then more for organic), I can make my own for half the price by purchasing just regular oats and grinding what I need with my grinder. If you don't have a grinder, you can use a food processor or a blender, but it won't come out as fine as flour without the grinder.

I also like that this simplifies what I have to purchase. I can just keep oats on hand for oatmeal, cookies, and now general cooking and just grind up what I need and store it in a small container. I found out that one of our storage containers works great as a "catching" basin and since the grinder hooks up fine to our dinning room table I just fill the basin with oats or wheat, turn it on and do other things while its grinding. Occasionally I come over and push the "flour" back using a piece of cardboard, but that's about it.

So far I've been experimenting with using "oat flour" and wheat flour in regular banana nut bread to make it healthier (also adding apple sauce and other items to cut down on the sugar), but I can't wait to try in a loaf or two of regular bread.

Once we finish our stock of all purpose white flour, we will probably just start buying straight wheat since we will have a way to grind it and wheat stores much longer that flour does.

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