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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Manual Grain Mill and why you need one.

My manual grain mill is finally set up in the kitchen. I decided on the Diamant after test-driving a few models in person at the store. I've heard many great reviews about the Country Living Grain Mill and it is a less costly choice but I decided on the Diamant because I liked the cast iron heavy duty-ness of it. It also turned with less effort than the Country Living. I was buying this one to last a lifetime and feel I have one that will be handed down to my kids. There are cheaper and simpler options and any option is better than none in-my-opinion while you're saving for the one you really want.


As I mentioned in an earlier post I have been wanting a grain mill for a few years. Most non-prepper-people would question my sanity at this point - what on earth for??? Stores carry huge bags of flour - if you really wanted to start baking your own bread - WHY NOT JUST BUY FLOUR OR BREAD AT THE GROCERY STORE?


Well - here are a few good reasons.

Flour purchased at the grocery store has a shelf life of about 4 months. If we assume for a moment that the flour was ground the day before it arrived at the store and you purchased it that very next day you would then have 4 months till it went rancid and that would be under optimal storage conditions. Most people don't even know what rancid flour tastes and smells like - that's because most people can't tell. I can't either just by looking at it. I can however tell when I've eaten something with old flour in it!! I have a wallop of an allergy attack.


In an earlier blog post I mentioned this article...Scientists have revealed some shocking truth about packaged flour ... Reports say that 50% of the nutritional value of grain is lost within first 24 hours of making flour, and of the remaining; another 50% is lost within the next three days. (http://www.squidoo.com/diamant-grain-mill)

From a strictly financial standpoint buying wheat kernels and spelt kernels etc. in bulk is much cheaper than buying preground flour and it lasts for years in it's whole state without loosing nutritional value if properly stored. I buy mine in 25kg bags and store them in mylar with O2 absorbers.


Even OUR FAVORITE-UP-TILL-NOW cheap healthy bread made with whole grains and fiber is never less than $2.50 a loaf.

 
A manual grain mill doesn't require electricity - it does however require human-power and I was working my muscles to grind the 4 1/2 cups required for the Irish Soda Bread I made yesterday. Sorry - we ate 1/2 of it before I took the picture. It tasted great! I did bake it in the oven - not cook it on the stove. The mill could be electrified but what fun would that be!

The Diamant is able to grind all kinds of grains, rice, spices, sugar, nuts, seeds and coffee -someone asked me if it was a coffee grinder having never seen a grain mill - ah yes - but that would be a LOT of coffee!




Being prepared for periods without electricity and still being able to make my own bread etc. in the long term appeals to me. No electricity means no electric oven either but bread can be baked in a dutch oven over a fire or on a camp stove as well.


Here's one of my favorite basic recipes for Irish Soda Bread - you can use wheat instead of spelt and regular milk or powdered milk instead of almond milk and oil instead of butter so the recipe is quite flexible. These ingredients are very simple to store in quantity on the shelf so it's perfect for planning your food storage. I try to mix up the flours and grains we use to create variety and to get the benefits of some of the less common grains.


Now - get cracking with your food storage - what's in YOUR pantry?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post! I'm very interested in milling my own grain but not quite sure where to buy. Where do you get your 25kg bags at?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information & inspiration ^_^

anitapreciouspearl said...

I live near Toronto so I buy it from Grain Process.

http://www.yelp.ca/biz/grain-process-enterprises-ltd-scarborough

Here's directions if you happen to be close by.

Beyond that I would suggest Bulk Barn or a health food store if they are willing to order things in for you.

Trish said...

Where do I order the mill from in Canada?

Sam said...

Hi there, I have the same question where do I buy the Diamant in Canada? Where did you get yours from?
Thanks so much