Another quite small and frugal tool that can provide health benefits far beyond the modest monetary savings that can be had, is the grain mill. This simple grinder turns whole grains into flour for baking breads, pastries, and more in the “making it from scratch” kitchens.
While it may seem that flour is cheap and easily available at the grocery store, there are many benefits to avoiding preprocessed and preserved commercial flours. Grain mills are quite affordable and well worth the bit of time spent in creating your own freshly ground whole flour.
Commercial brands are necessarily laced with artificial preservatives just to give it a long enough shelf-life between factory and store. Cumulatively these chemicals can cause long-term damage to the body. There is also the issue of food allergies. There are people allergic to specific grains. Others suffer increasingly from a condition known as celiac disease. Gluten, whether from wheat or the other gluten containing grains like oats or barley, can cause damage to the lining of the small intestines. Not only does it adversely affect your daily health, it can lead to stomach cancers as well.
By milling your own grains you can control what you are putting into your food. Not only will you be subjected to unlisted ingredients or air born contamination from gluten in otherwise gluten-free foods. For those who have food sensitivities, they are usually used to preparing food for themselves. The extra step of milling your flour fresh as you need it is not that excessive and can be well worth the extra effort to achieve such pure and health foods in your diet.
You can add unusual grains or your own enhancements to your diet for the extra nutritional benefits of trace vitamins and minerals. By using whole grains you can add beneficial fibers and other nutrients to your food. You really are what you eat and taking the small extra time to eat cleanly is easily reflected in a more healthy life. Much of the commercially available flour is “enriched.”
This sounds good until you realize that the original nutrients have been bleached out of the flour and replaced by less digestible and absorbable chemicals and minerals.
Since this creates excess starch, the body does not burn it as effectively. By the time you add in the damage this can do to your health, that supposedly cheaper store flour isn’t much of a deal after all.
As a secondary benefit to milling your own grains to avoid commercial additives, is the benefit found in some grains, oats especially, which make a soothing cleanser. Oats can be used to treat eczema and as an exfoliant for the skin, both face and body. By controlling the purity of the grains you use yourself, you can avoid any potential problems.
A small grain mill can easily be included in the compact kitchen of a traveling van or recreational vehicle. The whole grains were easier to preserve while on the road and then the amount of flour needed for any particular meal was ground at the time. A small but adequate grain mill can be found for as little as $150.00 online with any less expensive possibilities on action sites or private sales. The one we had was about the same size as an old-fashion style meat grinder. It even had bolt fasteners to move it to whatever table we found in camp each night.
So long as you make sure to have three basic grinding blades to make course, medium and fine flour textures you will be able to make any bread or pastry necessary for whatever you want to cook. Even moved back in to enjoy civilization again, we still have our old camp grinder attached to the counter in the kitchen since we are stationary right now.