Practical Implications of Milling and Baking with Whole Grains

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Are you part of the 96% of North Americans over the age of 12 who haven’t met their current whole grain dietary recommendation?  Are you aware that half of your daily grain servings should come from whole grain products?

Whole grains are an excellent dietary vehicle for delivering health-promoting nutrients that you body needs.  These substances are found mainly in the bran and germ of the grain kernel.  Thus, milling and baking with whole grains, like wheat, rye and oats, ensures that you get all the vital nutrients that are essential for wellness.

By milling whole grains and baking your own whole grain food, you’re using all three parts of the grain: the bran, the germ and the endosperm. On the other hand, refined flour only utilizes the carbohydrate-rich endosperm.  The bran contains fiber and trace minerals such as calcium and magnesium.  The germ imparts essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins B and E. Whole grains are capable of reducing cholesterol levels and Type II diabetes. Your risks of cardio-vascular diseases and colon cancer are also significantly reduced.

Tips for Milling Your Whole Wheat Grains

Here are a few critical tips to gain the most from milling your whole wheat grains:

  • Use wheat berries. Hulled whole wheat kernels are referred to as wheat berries. Purchase them from grain stores by the pound, depending on how much flour you intend to mill.
  • Flour measurements. A pound of wheat berries will give you approximately 4½ cups of flour. Whereas a cup of the same will produce about 1¾ cups of flour. Excess wheat berries can be stored indefinitely at room temperature.
  • Current flour use. Mill only as much of the wheat berries as necessary to make flour for immediate use. The oil content in the milled whole grain flour will turn rancid within 72 hours and does not keep well in the fridge.
  • Soak whole wheat grain flour overnight. Soaking the flour overnight will neutralize phytic acid, an anti-nutrient, in the grain. Phytic acid, found in the bran, will bond with minerals like magnesium, calcium and iron, preventing their absorption in the digestive system. It then passes through the gastro-intestinal tract and is expelled from the body as waste.

The numerous practical implications of milling and baking with whole grains emphasize benefits to your health and wellness. You can reduce the risks associated with major diseases by harnessing the nourishing goodness of whole grains. Follow the tips for milling perfect whole wheat grains and keep healthy!