Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rolling Oatmeal


The "Milling Center" portion of my pantry.  
From left: Flour mill, Corn mill (cracks grains), & Roller/Flaker
with grains stored under
In response to my post, Be Careful What You Wish For...Or...Ma Ingalls, I'm not, Sabjimata commented that I was "quite the little homesteader."  I told her that my addiction to all comforts run by electricity likely proved I couldn't claim that title, but there is one thing that makes me feel like one...Grinding my own grains.  Today we were out of both granola and bread, so I needed to do all most every kind I've tried so far...I would need to grind flour from wheat for the bread, plus crack several grains to add in, and roll oats for the granola.   I'm not sure I can explain what it means to me to do that for my family, but it's fulfilling.  I feel like I am really putting myself into their foods, to offer them the freshest and healthiest I can.  Other than growing the grains myself, which is not really possible in our climate, it feels like I'm creating the ultimate in 'home made' foods.
                               

Since I made granola first today, I'm going to start with the tool it requires...The Roller/Flaker Mill. Mine is made by Shule.  The person from who I bought it claims it was made in Europe, although I find other claims the Norpro-Shule mill is made in China.  The Marga Mulino mill, also known as the Marcato Atlas, originally made in Italy, was recommended to me a few years ago, but research told me that Marga had changed their rollers to aluminum from steel...and steel was what I wanted.   Some of the descriptions of this mill claim it can grind flour...If you get it, only plan on rolling oats, because that's all I use it for.  I have tried to roll other grains and they just turn into coarse dust, so I guess you could use it for cracking grains, but I have another mill that does a great job at that.  I don't believe you could get a good flour out of it.


The Roller/Flaker is hand powered, so it takes some time and effort to roll 10 cups of oatmeal for my granola recipe, but only a few seconds to make enough for a bowl or two of oatmeal.  This also means it was still very useful during our power outage.  Since grains start losing their nutritional value as soon as they're cracked open, it's good to mill only as much as you need.  I had read several reports that the result is a much better product, in flavor and texture than store bought oatmeal, besides the nutritional benefits, and we agree.  Hubby eats oatmeal every morning and is at least as excited about this tool as I am.  He loves to roll his own oatmeal every morning, and confirms that it's the best he's had.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, I never knew that about grains. Great Post!

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  2. We aim to educate around here. ;-)

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  3. This is one thing I have had to come to terms with over the years--the fact that I have no desire to grind my own grains! I know it is so fresh and yields really tasty results. I've experienced it. But grinding my grains is where I draw the line. I'm a busy mom of two active kids, after all.

    And now you come along, Ms. Super Homeschooling Mom, and really make me feel bad about myself! ;)

    I commend you for your dedication and admire all the nutrition you are squeezing out of those oats!

    I am going to share this post on FB because I actually have a handful of friends who own grain mills and a bunch of others who wish they had the commitment to grind fresh.

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  4. Oh, but that's the thing...I think grinding my own grains is easy! It's not like we never use store-bought white flour, I'll certainly admit to that...But I've gotten so that I have a very hard time using all white. And I just have never liked commercial whole wheat flour. From the flour, and being convinced that grains lose so much in the processing and the time after milling, it led me to the oat rolling and grain cracking. But it's been, and still is, a process. I started milling flour (and I only do hard white wheat so far) several years ago, and just started rolling oats this year.

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