Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday Product Highlight

On Thursdays I plan on highlighting a product that we carry in the General Store. This will give people a chance to hear about why we chose to carry that product.

One of the first changes we made in our lifestyle was to switch to freshly ground wheat. I wrote about the health benefits of freshly ground wheat here. Unless you plan on pounding your wheat between rocks, you need a grain mill. There are many different grain mills available. I have used four different kinds on a regular basis at one time or another. There are differences between them. I have not done the math lately, but when we first started grinding our own wheat and making all of our bread, a loaf of bread costs me around 30 cents. I know that price has gone up, especially lately with the cost of wheat going through the roof. I still think it is cheaper to make your bread from freshly ground wheat than it is to use store bought flour. We carry several different kind of grain mills. I am going to tell you a little about each of them. The first one is the Nutrimill. This is an electric grain mill. I have never personally used this particular mill, although the mill I use most of the time is electric. I have talked to a couple of people who have this mill and use it. They are thrilled with it. If I ever have to replace the mill I have now, I would buy one of these.

The Nutrimill uses a high speed impact chamber to create flour from grains and beans, a well-proven milling method. But the Nutrimill has raised the bar for grain mills with new features and abilities users have asked for — a combination of features found in no other mill. The first of these is the ability to grind super fine flour (much finer than any other impact mill) and also adjust to produce the coarser flour grind you need for perfect corn breads. Its impact grain milling heads mean you'll have no stone glazing. Nutrimill has a 400% range of adjustment from fine to coarse, ten times greater than other mills! This grain mill turns out terrific flour, quickly and easily

The next 2 mills are actually the same one, but one is hand operated and the other has a motor base. I have never used the motor base, but I have used the hand operated one. This is what we used most of the time when we lived in our non-electric Amish home. I love this mill. It is so easy to turn the handle that even a child would be able to do it. It created fine flour that we were able to use for our breads and other goodies. I have held onto it because it is great to use in a power outage. You can get the motor base and also get a hand base so that you could use it either way. There are also several attachments that you can get to go with it. One of those attachments is a flaker mill. A flaker mill is also a great tool. You can buy your oats as groats instead of already rolled. Then you roll them fresh right before you use them. When I make my granola, I always roll my own oats, but I throw a handful of barley and other grains in there. Some grains it tends to crush a little (like brown rice) and other grains it cracks (like wheat), but it will flake the softer grains. We run wheat through and crack it. Then we add milk and make bear mush which is a very tasty nutritious and filling breakfast cereal. There is also a food processor attachment you can get. I have never used that because I have a separate food processor. This mill is very easy to clean and maintain. I would highly recommend it. The first picture shows it with the motor base attached. The second one shows the hand base that clamps to your counter.

This it the Country Living Grain Mill. We have used it many times as well. It is a high capacity hand operated mill that can easily be adapted to powered operation because its design incorporates a handle-flywheel which doubles as a v-belt pulley. Construction of the Country Living Grain Mill is strong cast metal alloy with super tough powder coat finish that won't chip or peel from anything short of severe abuse. It's a very nice mill to use and a very handsome piece of equipment with clean, functional lines and beautiful raised wheat heads on the side panels. We have friends that have hooked theirs up to an exercise bike. They get on and start pedaling. That way they get their exercise while grinding their wheat. It is very easy to use, but not quite as easy to turn as the Family Grain Mill. It produces a very fine flour and the grinding burrs have an extremely long life. This is one of the Cadillacs of hand powered grain mills. It does help if you are able to bolt it down to something. We have seen it just bolted on to a thick piece of board that allows it to still be portable.

Grinding your own wheat is a way to start making changes for your family. They can be included in the process. You get that fresh flour with all the nutrients that God put into that kernel of wheat. You can grind beans in any of these mills. Bean flour is great to make an almost instant refried type of bean mixture. It is also great to thicken soups with. When you put the beans with the whole grains you get a complete protein.


TnFullQuiver said...

I have had our Nutrimill grain mill for almost 4 years. I had never owned a mill before, and I had never baked fresh ground wheat bread. My family loves the whole wheat bread. It has become a staple in our home. I don't mind serving toast and peanut butter for breakfast if it is on the whole wheat bread! I highly recommend this product. I have been nothing but impressed with it!
grace and peace,

Unknown said...

I have the family grain mill with the hand crank. I love it! It is very easy to turn, makes fine flour, and is so easy to clean that I use it for many different things. Right now, I am using it to grind chicken feed for the new babies.