Benefits of Whole Grains Baking
of the most obvious benefits of baking/cooking with whole grains is the taste.
I can guarantee that once you have used fresh flour in your baking the store bought
stuff will taste stale to you! So will all the products made with the "processed"
Grains have been referred to as the perfect
food! Whole grains contain the majority of basic nutrients essential for
life. Grain also has the capacity to reproduce itself over and over again.
Grain can be stored and transported without damage or spoilage. Some grains
have actually been found in ancient tombs and were able to be sprouted and reproduced
even after thousands of years. Wheat, rye, oats, barley, millet, rice and
corn have been dated back to sometime around 12,000 BC.
Let's first start with anatomy of the grain. Basically the grain is composed
of the bran, endosperm and the germ layers. Please note there are many layers
within these layers each with there own specific functions. For the sake
of simplicity I will list links at the end so you can read more about each
layer and it's significance.
The most significance in milling your own flour
vs. using store bought flour is the nutritional content. The commercial
millers remove the outer bran and germ layers of the grain. Unfortunately
this is where 90% of the nutrients are found. So in essence the commercial
millers are stripping the grain of it's life sustaining capabilities and thus
leaving the consumer with not much more than gluten and starch. Refining
flour means taking out the nutrients and fiber not to mention the phytochemicals
and many other life sustaining elements we are just discovering. They do
this to make the product (flour) more marketable by allowing it to last longer
for shipping, storing and ultimately sitting on the store shelves. Sometimes
it is chemically bleached for nothing other than making it look "prettier" to
the consumer. Boy, have we ever been taken advantage of! The commercial
companies would then "enrich" their flour. Enrichment is so partial it's
just a joke! Enriching flour does add a few (maybe 2-4) of the original
over 20 vitamins and minerals they've removed. Enriching does nothing to
replace the fiber, protein and phytochemicals!
They ONLY way to get truly
fresh whole grain flour it to mill it yourself! Even health food stores
that claim to sell freshly milled flour have to be evaluated. Remember freshly
milled flour can also lose it's nutrients via oxidation. This is said to
occur within 72 hours. It is best to use flour immediately after milling.
The next best way to store your flour is to freeze it. This will slow down
the oxidation process.
It's a shame that in our new diet fad of low carb diets that many people have
cut out breads, pastas, etc. If they only knew that the store bought counterparts
ARE void in nutrients/fiber/phytochemicals and all of the good things for our
bodies. They DO increase insulin levels and are probably responsible for
all they are accused of. But using whole grains to make your breads, pastas
and other goodies act a totally different way in our bodies. |
the years the food industry and scientists usually not only changed their mind
frequently but would also be contradictory to themselves and each other there
is one thing they did agree on. The Scientists and the Food Industry all
seem to agree that whole foods like grains, seeds, vegetables and nuts were designed
to provide our bodies with the right nutrients, in the right combinations and
with the exact chemical make-up that our bodies can absorb what it needs and the
correct amount of fiber to flush out toxins we don't need.
When you have
something that good why mess with it!
Please check out these links for
specific nutritional analysis. Please feel free to email us with your favorite
links regarding using whole grains.
Whole Grain Guide