Oh, goodie! With three grains lessons behind us, the time is finally here to share with you what my family calls our four grain mix. I’ve been waiting for this moment. This mix of grains is so versatile and healthy, but most importantly it is YUUUUUMMY! The grains I put in this mix are, drum roll please, soft white wheat, brown rice, oat groats and kamut. I mix these four grains together, and grind them into a fine flour. You can use this mix in place of all-purpose flour. Here is the recipe for this fantastic combo.
3 cups soft white wheat
1 cup kamut
1 cup brown rice
1 cup oat groats
Place in grinder, and grind to a fine flour. Use this mixture to replace all-purpose flour. Store flour in fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I told you before that you can use soft white wheat in place of all-purpose flour, so why bother adding all those grains? I have a few reasons I do this. First, is the taste. It really does add some great flavor to your baking. Second, nutrition. I’m not a total health nut, but if there’s an easy way to feed my family healthy options, I do it. For me, this is an easy way. Now, soft white wheat is healthy, but each of these grains add a variety of nutrients that you wouldn’t get from just one of them. The last reason I add these grains is for rotating my food. I want them in my food storage, so I need to use them and rotate them. I use my food storage in my daily cooking.
Okay, let’s be specific about how you would grind and store these grains. You have a couple of options for storing them. I personally use some of these grains by themselves as well as mixing them together, so I store them all individually. If you are only going to be using these grains as a mixture, then go ahead and mix them in a container and store them on your shelf. Make sure it’s an air tight container so bugs don’t get in. Just give it a good shake before you use them so the grains are incorporated well.
Once you have them mixed and are ready to bake, throw them in a wheat grinder and make a fine flour. Use what you need then store the rest in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer. You can make up a bunch of ground flour ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer to make it easier to use. Let’s face it, if something isn’t easy to do, then most of us won’t do it. So, make it easy on yourself. It’s just as fast to grab the whole grain flour from the fridge as it is the all-purpose flour from the shelf. You do lose a little nutrition by not baking right after grinding, but it’s still better than white flour, by far. If you will use the flour within about a week, you can store it in the fridge. If it’s going to be longer, store it in the freezer for up to three months.
What if you don’t have a grinder? It’s time you found a friends who has one! Just go grind some at their house, go home and store it in your freezer. If you can’t find a friend, then maybe you need to ask Santa for one for Christmas or keep an eye out for a used grinder on Craigslist or in thrift stores. I’m afraid I really don’t have grinding solutions for you other than using a wheat grinder. We’ll talk about wheat grinders in a week or two.
Now that you have your ground flour, what do you do with it? Smell it. Oh, isn’t that heavenly! (Don’t inhale too deeply or you’ll end up with flour up your nose. That is not heavenly!) Again, you can use this flour in place of all-purpose flour in any recipe. Just keep in mind that, for the most part, you will have a little heavier product. For example, your muffins might be a little more dense or may not puff up as much on top or your pancakes might be a little less fluffy. But oh, it’s worth it! I would suggest starting by only replacing half of your flour with the four grain mix until you are used to it. If it’s freshly ground, tap it down a little in your measuring cup to get an equivalent amount as you would with white flour. You might need to add just a touch more whole grain flour than you do with the white. It might take a little practice, but stick with it. You’ll get it.
Hopefully, you made it to the end of this long post! There’s just so much to share. I’ll share two recipes this week and would love to hear if anyone tries them and what you think. Happy eating!
Prep time: 10 min.
½ c butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 c 4 grain mix
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp Rumford baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 c buttermilk
½ cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line 18 standard size muffin pan cups. Beat together butter & sugar very well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in bananas until smooth. Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, & baking soda. Alternately stir flour mixture and buttermilk into egg mixture until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Do not over mix batter; it should not be completely smooth. Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling two-thirds full. Bake until lightly golden. Transfer muffin-pan cups to a wire rack to cool slightly. Turn out onto rack. Serve warm or cool completely and freeze.
Note: You can use half whole grain flour and half all purpose. Different flours will give you different moisture, just adjust your liquid or flour to make it the right consistency.
Whole Grain Pancakes
Prep time: 5 min.
2 c flour (4 grain mix)
2 TBL granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
4 tsp Rumford baking powder
2 large eggs
2 c milk
4 TBL oil
Combine all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir just till moistened. Fry on hot griddle. Serve warm or cool completely and freeze. Makes about 16 pancakes..
Buttermilk Pancakes: Reduce baking powder to 2 tsp and add ½ tsp baking soda. Substitute buttermilk or sour milk for the milk.
Note: If you like thinner pancakes you can add a little more milk, if you like them thicker, just add more flour.
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