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Milling your own flour

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There are a many advantages to making your own flours at home. First, if you don’t eat gluten, you know that the flours you can buy at the store are expensive. Well, if you make your own, and buy your grains, seeds and legumes in bulk, the cost goes way down. Also, if you mill your own flour, you can soak your grains first, making them much healthier to eat.

My trusty little mill grinder.

The first thing you need is a mill grinder. It’s a pretty pricy kitchen appliance, but I couldn’t live without mine anymore. After a lot of reasearch, I decided to use the Nutrimill, mainly because I read good reviews on it and it can mill chickpeas, which is a staple of my diet. But there are a lot of different choices out there, with varying price tags, so it’s important to do your research.

Make sure you look at the manual and instructions of your mill grinder, to determine how it works and what it can  and cannot mill. That will help you figure out what to buy and what flours you can make. I use brown rice, chickpeas and millet. Millet has a really strong taste and is not my favorite, but that’s what is available in my area. Although, I recently found a little place to get amaranth and buckwheat from, so I can start mixing it up!

Proper storing preserves freshness.

I make flour 2-3 times a month. When you soak grains, it reduces their shelf life. So every week, I plan all my meals, figure out how much flour I will need and mill the exact amount. I keep all my flours in air tight containers in the fridge and I would they are perfectly safe and tasty for about two weeks.

It’s also important to note that grains expand a little when soaked. I measured the exact quantities last time I made flour and 3 cups of brown rice yielded 4 cups of flour, same for millet. 3 cups of chickpeas yielded 6 cups of flour.

Alright, so, you have a mill grinder, you’ve made your list of flours, you’ve soaked the grains 24 hours and rinsed them, now what?

Millet and rice about to get dried.

Well, mill grinders are made to mill dry grains, so the next step is drying. Put the grains on a cookie sheet and stick them in the oven at the lowest setting (170F) for 10-12 hours. You can stir them every once in a while to make sure they all get equally exposed to heat. It’s very important that they dry, or they will clog up your mill grinder.

If you are making chickpea flour, there’s an extra step before drying them. Chickpeas more than double in size when soaked and they do not fit in the feeder of my mill grinder, which I learned the hard way. Funny story… I tried to pulse them in my food processor to get them smaller, but it’s not exactly made to handle dry beans. I had no choice but to cut all the chickpeas in half… with my teeth. Don’t worry, I was only baking for myself, but the point is, save yourself the trouble and embarrassment! Just pulse them in a food processor a few times while they are still wet.

Chickpeas absorb so much water.

Once the grains, seeds and legumes are dry, it’s time to make flour! Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your mill grinder. For mine, I put the grains in the feeder, I push a button and that’s it! It’s a very loud machine though. Every time I turn it on, I feel like I’m at the airport standing next to an aircraft getting ready for takeoff. But it’s worth it, even if the neighbors might not think so.

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