Most people have learned through experience that refined flour is inimical to good health. According to Prevention Magazine and MANY other health books I have read, as the original wheat kernel is subjected to ever greater processing, more B6 Vitamins are destroyed until losses approach 90%!
Vitamin B6 benefits you in maybe more ways than any other vitamin!
- Vitamin B6 has been called the "mighty-vite" because of all the functions it performs. It is estimated that Vitamin B6 is involved with more than 101 chemical reactions that occur in our bodies. Vitamin B6 helps us by aiding in the manufacturing of amino acids. Amino acids are what we need to build proteins. And as we all know, proteins are essential for the repair and growth of our tissue.
- Vitamin B6 benefits our brains as well. Vitamin B6 helps us to make what's called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that connect one nerve cell to the next and enable these two nerve cells to communicate with one another. These neurotransmitters are essential for regulating our mood and even helping to ward off depression in our later years.
- Vitamin B6 also benefits us by helping us to metabolize our foods and converting these foods into energy we need to get us through our day. Vitamin B6 may play a part in preventing vascular disease and brain disease.
Grains are the STAFF OF LIFE...so now lets make sure that our WHOLE GRAINS are used in order to keep our bodies healthy! We all know how difficult it is to give up our white refined flour in a society whose eating habits are so heavily based on them. It is relatively easy to replace margerine with butter and refined polyunsaturates with extra virgin olive oil because these fats taste so much better; but white flour, being mildly to severely addictive, is harder to renounce.
So, my first piece of advice is to start replacing white flour products with a variety of ground whole grains. I like to use about 5 different grains in my flour because then we are getting a nice variety of nutrients and a lighter flour than 100% Whole Wheat Flour. In fact, Wheat is VERY hard for your body to break down unless it is soaked to soften the outer casing of the Wheat kernals, and that (in my opinion and from all the research I have done) is a main contributer to all the wheat/gluten intolerance that are so common today! So, in my food storage, I have MANY buckets of a variety of grains:
Brown Rice (tons better than white which has been stripped of many vital nutrients)
Spelt (an ancient European grain that was brought to the U.S in the 1890's and is similar to Wheat but easier to digest)
Kamut (One says this grain was found in the tombs of the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, hence the nickname; "King Tut's Wheat". Another legend is that Noah used the grain on the ark resulting in the nickname “Prophet’s wheat.” Other legends surmise it was brought over by invading armies into Egypt. In Turkey, it has the nickname “Camel's Tooth” due to its hump back shape)
Teff (a common grain used in Ethiopia and the smallest grain in the world but holds a powerful punch of nutrients)
If you have a local Grainery that sells them in big 25-50 lb bags, this is ideal and what I do. They put them into the buckets with a little CO2 and seal them up for me as well which is nice. I buy a bucket or two every month to keep up my food storage.
The buckets at the Kitchen Kneads store where I buy my grains are more expensive, so I save a little money by purchasing the buckets and the arthritis GAMMA LIDS at Walmart. The Gamma lids are so much easier to open and make it easy to get into them. For instance, I have several buckets of Spelt but one of those buckets have a Gamma lid and the others have regular lids. The one that has the Gamma lid is the one I get the grains from and when that is empty, I open one with a regular lid and dump that bucket into the one with the gamma lid. Then I jot down that I need to buy another bucket of Spelt next month to replace the one that I used up. Then I just take my buckets when I go buy the grains and they'll fill, seal, and label them for me.
This is what Charise does to prepare her grains... OK, so now that you have your storage of several different grains, you can now buy yourself a good solid electric grinder. I have a NUTRIMILL and it has lasted for about 8 years so far and seems to be a good one for me. My mother has a MAGIC MILL which has lasted a LONG time as well, so these are just two options for you. After getting your wheat grinder and the grains, you can now keep it on your counter to use every week or every other week. I have smaller buckets of the grains in my pantry upstairs to easily access them and the big buckets are downstairs in my food storage room.
Charise's 5-Grain Flour combines 5 cups of Spelt or Kamut, 1 cup of Rye, 1 cup of Barley, 1 cup of Millet, and 1 cup of Oat Groats.
This is a nice combination to start off with. You can change the amounts to suit you and implement other grains like Buckwheat, Quinoa, Amaranth and other grains. I dump all of these in my wheat grinder and then scoop it all into a plastic storage container.
NOW, once your flour is ground, it only keeps the vitamins for a day or two on the counter, 1 week in the fridge, but it will last 1 month in the freezer! So, I now store my freshly ground flour in a tuperware container in the freezer to ensure the valuable nutrients are not lost!
This 5-Grain Flour is GREAT in EVERYTHING!!! I use it for our pancakes, waffles, muffins, German Pancakes, quick breads, etc! My husband uses it in his yeast bread recipes but also likes to use ground White Beans to keep it a little lighter and fluffier. Many wonder if their breads will be heavier and I tell them NO because you aren't using 100% WHEAT...which is a heavier grain. Because I use 5 different grains and some lighter than others (such as millet, barley and Oats), it is not very dense at all!
If at first you don't like using ALL whole-grain flour, might I suggest you start by using 1/2 white flour and 1/2 whole grain flour to begin with. It may take some time to get used to, but you'll soon not want to go back to plain white flour...you'll notice the whole grain flour is much more flavorful and delicious. Now go and try it for youself...I'm sure you won't be dissappointed and you WILL be so much healhier!