Why you should mill many grains, not just flour
Every type of grain has it’s own nutritional strengths. Below I list what each has more of than wheat. Remember, each grain is like a tiny vitamin pill. Together, a multi-grain flour not only has better nutrition, it tastes better too. Also, the wider the variety the better to add more varieties of fiber.
Make it even better by having 10% of it bean, lentil, and/or corn flour. This adds a lot of fiber, protein, and other nutrients.
- Amaranth Protein(complete), calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, lysine
- Barley Fiber
- Buckwheat Riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper, rutin (an antioxidant)
- Millet Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium
- Oats Protein, thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, fiber, beta-glucan(lowers cholesterol), avenanthramides (antioxidant)
- Quinoa Protein (complete), riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium,phosphorous, potassium
- Rice (brown) Vitamin B6, Pantothenic acid, magnesium,
- Rye Fiber, protein, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, zinc
- Bean & lentil flour more fiber and protein than grain. Often more folate, vitamin K, Thiamin,iron and potassium. Combined with grains makes a complete protein. I always throw in some green split peas, red lentils, and chana dal (baby garbanzo)
Pre-mix grains before grinding flour
When I started out I just milled wheat, but then I got my friends and family to be my tasters, and I fed them mini-muffins with only one type of grain flour to see which one tasted the best. Wheat on its own was the tastiest, but everyone liked the multi-grain mix muffins even better – they not only have the best taste, but the most pleasing texture, aroma, and appearance as well.
I also tried using just my favorite grains: wheat, buckwheat, brown rice, wild rice, oats, and barley, but this flour wasn’t as good. The sum is greater than the parts.
Pre-mix several months of grain in many containers. Then you can quickly measure out a cup or to for grinding as you need flour. You don’t want to be opening a bunch of jars or bags of grains every time you want to mill flour.
Grain mix for milling
The following mix is just a suggestion, and I never end up with the same mix. Just use as many grains as you can. If you’re trying to save money, use mostly wheat, which tends to be the least expensive and is also the most tasty. If you can afford to add amaranth, quinoa, and other more expensive grains, the flour will be more nutritious and taste better.
I also like to make yeast breads in my bread machine. So I always make the whole grain mix at least half wheat so there’s enough gluten to make a loaf of bread.
If you’re allergic to wheat or have celiac disease, you can make a wonderful gluten-free grain mix that makes great flat breads, small loaves of quick bread, crackers, chips, muffins, cookies, and other goodies.
Grain flour mix
This is not written in stone! If I’m out of a grain when it’s time to mix, I don’t run out to get it. You can also add spelt, triticale, teff, cañahua, bulgur, emmer, faro, grano, sorghum, wild rice and so on, but these are harder to find. At grinding time, I add 1 tablespoon of flax seeds per cup of flour. You get far more omega-3’s from ground flax than whole flax seed. But be sure to read the grain mill manual first to be sure you can mill seeds, many mills don’t allow seeds to be ground.
Amount Grain (organic if possible)
14 cups Wheat berries (high protein hard red is best)
2 cups Oats
2 cups Quinoa
2 cups Brown Rice
2 cups Rye
1 cup Amaranth
1 cup Barley
1 cup Buckwheat
1 cup Millet