All About Wheat: Food Storage, Wheat Grinders, and Other Boring Things
It's no surprise to anyone who's helped us move (thanks and sorry!) that we have food storage and by that I mean #10 cans and buckets filled with food. It may seem a bit Crazy Doomsday-like, and it probably is, but I'll tell you what, those buckets speak peace to my soul.
With our full house, we go through a lot of food and
A. It's WAY cheaper to buy in bulk.
B. I don't have to go to the store as often. Run out of flour? Refill it in the garage. It's beautiful.
C. There's less packaging waste. That's important because my tiny garbage can is already filled to capacity every week with diapers.
My food storage is primarily stuff that we actually use and rotate through. We do have some long term stuff sealed in mylar bags and also some 72 hour kits, so there's where my Crazy shows. But with this country/world being what it is, maybe it's not such a bad idea to be a bit prepared?
In fact, my dream house has a big old room with shelves and shelves for food storage. That, and a giant craft room with a whole section of wall dedicated to every color of butcher paper. But I'm getting off topic.
I'm only wanting to pay for and store (and move!) foods we use. That means I need to actually use them. Kind of a wild concept, I know, but one that can be tricky.
While I'm not an expert, I've been Food Storaging for a while now and have a few favorite things I do with my stockpile.
Some things are easy to rotate. There's sugar, for instance. That's not difficult to use. My problem is keeping that stocked. Just kidding. Sort of.
But what about wheat? That's actually my favorite item in all my storage. We go through that like candy. Through the years I've been the Christmas recipient of both a fancy Vitamix blender and a gorgeous KoMo wheat grinder and these top my favorite gifts of all time. But I'm so very practical like that. Translation: Boring.
Besides using the wheat because I'm storing it in my food storage, freshly ground is so much better for you. Did you know that it loses nutrition as soon as it's ground? So when I use freshly ground wheat that means I can eat like 7 cookies, right? It totally makes them a health food.
What and Where
First off, while I do have some hard red wheat, the stuff I love and regularly use is hard white wheat, and by regularly I mean multiple times a week. If you have access to an LDS Cannery they sell both hard red and white for pretty cheap. You don’t have to be Mormon to shop there but I’d check if they’re open before heading out as they have limited hours. They sell wheat in both #10 cans and in 25lb bags. I have both but mainly bust through my buckets that are filled from the 25lb bags.
I like the white because it's a bit less "wheaty" flavored than the red and I find I use it more. It is slightly less nutritious than the red but that difference is minimal.
No Grinder? No Problem:
This recipe for pancakes here is awesome for whole wheat grains. You just throw them whole in the blender- don't need a fancy blender at all. We have this like once a week for breakfast.
You can also make cracked wheat or cream of wheat in your blender, both super delicious and easy breakfast options. Just blend until they're ground as much as you want. My old school Vitamix came with a separate blender top that grinds dry stuff.
If you happen to have a higher end blender you can make your own flour from the wheat berries. Just blend until they're all ground.
I've been the proud owner of both a Nutrimill and a KoMo Mill and they both work great.
The plus on the Nutrimill would be that you can grind a bunch without really monitoring the bowl- it's all tucked into the machine so it won't overflow. The minus is that the bowl is all tucked into the machine so you can't just grab a cup.
You have to shut down the mill and take the lid off to get to the flour and it does tend to get a bit messy.
The KoMo Mill is my Appliance Soulmate. It's gorgeous, not quite as loud as the Nutrimill, and you can use the flour right away. I'm not sure if it's faster but it sure feels like it is as you can watch it pouring out. Very exciting. (The sad thing is that really is exciting for me. Probably need to get out more.)
You do have to keep an eye on the container so it doesn't overflow but that's been no big deal at all, mostly because I tend to just grind what I need when I need it so I'm not doing mass quantities all at once.
There are other mills out there as well. Everyone is different so don't egg my house if you aren't on the KoMo bandwagon.
Both of the grinders are adjustable to change the coarseness of your grain. The finer the flour, the slower it grinds. But I'll tell you what, while the real coarse setting is awesome for breakfast cereal, it's not so hot in bread; it makes it SUPER dry, not that my very impatient self is speaking from experience or anything.
Also, these grinders are crazy expensive, like ridiculously. If you're wanting to save money, the start up is a killer. But once you have one it's such a great way to rotate through those pounds of wheat.
If I wasn't big on cooking from scratch I don't know if it would be worth it for me to buy one. Instead I might beg and plead for a fancy blender like a Vitamix that can multipurpose, grinding the wheat when its occasionally wanted but still getting use out of it for its other uses.
Once you have ground wheat flour, just use it in whatever you’re cooking or baking. If you (or your family) aren't big wheat fans then use a percentage of wheat flour mixed with white. Some is better than none.
I mostly use wheat flour in breads and rolls and pizza crust and stuff like that but not as often in treats, using straight regular white flour for that.
Phew. That was a lot of words about wheat. Good job sticking it out. Maybe you're still here because it's like driving by an accident, you just can't look away?
Anything you want to add? What do you do with wheat? Do you have food storage? How about a wheat grinder? Love to hear your take on this. Fellow Food Storage Crazies, Unite!
* Oh, and obviously none of this is sponsored. I just really have a love for wheat. That sounds kind of weird when I write it out...