Strive as we might, like most families, we sometimes stumble when it comes to eating a 100% healthy diet.
We try to eat food products grown locally when possible, choosing produce that is organic and in season, whole foods and grains... and we continue to introduce into our diet lacto-fermented foods (those are foods which contain the 'good for your gut bacteria' to help promote a healthy digestive system.)
To keep on track with healthful eating habits I try to keep in mind the advice which goes something like this~
"If your great grandmother, or great-great grandmother wouldn't recognize the food, it's probably best to avoid it."
(That kind of leaves cheese puffs, for example, out of the picture. :D)
One thing that I like to do on a regular basis is make whole grain breads usually each week, or every other week. (On the day I make bread I usually set a loaf aside and after it has cooled, I wrap it well and stick it into the freezer so there is always some good, wholesome bread on hand.)
Here is what I made recently ~
When our son was young I used to bake our favorite whole wheat bread once a week, mixed and kneaded by hand.
I still find it therapeutic to knead the dough by hand on occasion ~ but I don't always have the time. That is when the No-Knead (aka Artisan bread in 5-minutes a day) method is so welcome.
I was very happy when Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois released their follow-up book to their first book ~
Their second book focuses on teaching us how to make more nutritious breads, and other baked goods using whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and gluten-free ingredients.
100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients
We love the full flavor and wholesome texture of this bread.
Delicious any way it is served; room temperature, warmed up, or toasted.
Several months ago we invested in a grain mill to assure our flour is as fresh as possible; whole grain flour loses nutrients rapidly and goes rancid rather quickly once milled. If ground ahead it should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. That is why I'm not so keen on buying whole grain flours off the shelf.
Here is an additional article that may be of interest regarding the shelf life of whole wheat flour ~ also raised is the question of whether the 'whole wheat flour' found in the grocery store actually contains the entire wheat berry, or if the perishable oils have been stripped to make it shelf stable for months.
Years ago when I used to make whole grain bread every week I was able to buy it from a local health food store. The grains were milled on premises and refrigerated in plastic bags for sale. I don't find that to be the case near my home now.
That is actually what compelled me to look into grain mills so I could grind my own. There are a number of high quality mills on the market, and after doing a fair amount of research I decided upon the L'Equip 760200 NutriMill Grain Mill.
I have been using it for a little over six months and am very pleased with its efficiency and ease of operation.
I buy organic whole grains in bulk from my local health food store, and can have freshly ground flour within just a couple of minutes (it's FAST!) with very little effort on my part.
Here you can see the whole wheat berries and the freshly ground flour.
We've found that there is a remarkable difference in freshly milled flour when compared to flour from the bag. The whole wheat flour is enticingly aromatic and very sweet smelling when freshly ground. I noticed a similar pleasing aroma when grinding oat and rye berries, though they each have their own particular fragrance.
The baked things just seem to taste better when the flour is absolutely fresh, it is also very satisfying to bake with flour you have ground yourself only minutes earlier.
I'm participating in Tuesday Twister, hosted by Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS (please click to learn more.)
Upcoming Soon . . .
Working with homemade Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter.
I'm currently taking another e-course hosted by Wardeh Harmon of GNOWGFLINS ~ this time it's all about Sourdough. I've worked with sourdough starter in the past, but always with store-bought starter, and never with a whole grain starter.
I urge you to check out Wardeh's blog and the e-courses that are available~ Wardeh is a great teacher and the GNOWGFLINS support forum is wonderful!