Grinding your own grains

Oats, barley, and some food products made from...
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I just read a great article over on goodLife{eats} and thought I would share it with you… It’s about grinding your own grains – something you know I am in favor of.

I swear that our family has been healthier (and eating healthier) since we started grinding our own grains this spring. I made the decision to begin to grind our own wheat once I learned about how much healthier this was. When commercial flours are created, the germ is removed, removing many of the vitamins and nutrients that are so good for us.

Additionally, I love the flavor of freshly-ground flours. Once you try something made with freshly-ground flour, you will not want to go back to “store-bought” flours.  The fresh flour has a lightness, a sweetness and nuttiness, that the other flours lack.  Whenever I eat something that has been made with store-bought flours, I can always tell. It tastes flat to me. Dead, even.  Fresh flour is bright, green, and flavorful.

She’s even got a review of one of the grain mills you can purchase (NutriMill) – I have a different one, but from what I’ve learned there are only minor differences between the two brands.

If you are interested in learning more about grinding your own meal, baking your own bread and getting started with whole grains for your family, you might want to watch some of the videos on the BreadBecker’s website:

If you’ve been thinking about doing this for your family, check out the articles. They are a great source of information!

Menu Plan Monday ~ 23 Aug

mealplanmonday_v2 Got lots going on this week.

So glad I have planned out my menus. We have dance classes on Monday/Wednesday and Friday this week, plus curriculum night/PTO on Wednesday night and a knitting session for me on Thursday evening.

Without the plan, I think we would devolve into eating a lot of junk and fast food. This way, I know my family is getting healthy food and I can control fat, protein, and portion sizes.  Not to mention we have great leftovers for lunches.

As you can see we’re back into the chicken routine.  I’ve been finding chicken thighs on sale at the grocery and substituting them for the breasts in menus where I can. They are juicier than breasts and easier for my tummy to digest. The rest of the family doesn't seem to mind, either.

Here’s what I have planned for the week:

I’ve included links to all the recipes since so many of you have asked me for them.  Most are mine, a few other folks’.  All are posted on AllRecipes.com so it should be easy for you to access and print.

Join us over at Menu Plan Monday on orgjunkie’s blog – you can get some great ideas for your own dinners and share what you’ve got planned as well!  There are some great recipes over there – I was picking up a few ideas myself this morning that may show up in my own menus in the next few weeks.

 

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I have a new addiction

I have never been a coffee drinker.  Never.  Not even in college. Didn’t like the bitterness it had.  I’ve always loved the way it smelled, though.  I often wished coffee tasted as good as it smelled, but for me it didn’t.

So, I was quite happy with my tea each morning, and being the outcast whenever we’d meet people at a coffee shop for a chat.IMGP1468_0001

“Nope, nothing for me, thank you.” I’d always say.

And then it happened.

It began all so innocently… a trip to Oregon (coffee drinking capital of the world, I think) with my mom.  My sister-in-law introduces Mom to a Starbucks Hazelnut Latte.  No, thank you, I said. I don’t drink coffee.

Mom insisted I take a sip. I said no. She offered again.  Finally, I succumbed.  And it was ok.  Not bitter, not scalding hot, but not something I really cared to taste again.

But something must’ve happened on that trip.  Maybe it was the passive exposure to all the coffee everyone else consumed.  Maybe that one little sip awakened tastebuds in my mouth that I never used before.  I don’t know.

What I do know is this.  I have become a coffee addict.  Slowly, surely, and in a good part thanks to Starbucks.

First it was the Hazelnut Lattes.  Now, I’ve branched out – Mocha something-or-others… and some awesome concoction the barista at the Macon Starbucks made for me.  It’s got toffee nut syrup, mocha syrup, espresso, and I don’t know what else. It’s probably eight million calories, so I only indulge in one occasionally, but it is good.  Kind of like drinking a turtle candy in your coffee. Yummy.

I have been rationing myself, due to the exhorbitant prices for my favorite Starbucks drinks.  Hard to justify $4 for a coffee drink when I supposedly don’t like coffee.sinfuldelight

And then I found Joffrey’s Coffee.  Oh. My. Goodness.

They have a flavor called “Sinful Delight.”  It’s description on the bag reads thusly: “Chocolate Butterscotch with Nut Overtones.”  I saw that in the Publix and thought, “Ok, that sounds really good.”  I bought it, thinking if I didn’t like it I would give it my mom.

Sorry, Mom, you’re not going to get this bag.  It is soooo good!

Now, I’m dreaming about coffee.  Sitting at my desk thinking about coffee. When the cravings come I can taste it before I even have a sip.  Mind you, I’m not into all that plain coffee junk.  Give me the good stuff.  The sweet, flavored coffees that I can doctor up with some half and half and pretend like I’ve got a high-dollar latte from ‘bucks.

And I have invested in a coffee press.  I was told I’d get better flavor from the beans that way. (Am I becoming a coffee snob?) I don’t know if that is true (the flavor part, and the snob part) but I do know I like the fact that I can brew only one or two cups in my cute little press.  And, no hulking coffee maker taking up space on my counter.IMGP1469_0001

I never, ever, in a million years thought I would like coffee.  Who knew? I guess I like coffee after all!