It is so easy to forget that any food that comes in a package was derived from somewhere. Apples don’t magically dehydrate on trees, nuts don’t shed their shells and roast in the afternoon sun, and grains don’t simply turn into a floury dust without some coaxing. But all of these processes can be done quite easily in your own home.
For what seems like ages, I had been avoiding certain recipes because I simply didn’t want to invest in more gluten-free flours. My local grocer doesn’t carry several of them, which means ordering online, paying shipping, etc. Also, to get a fair price, you really need to buy in bulk, and I didn’t even know if I would like their taste and texture.
Then I had that big “Aha” moment … you know, the one where you feel like a total idiot for not thinking of it prior … the flours come from whole grains, right? Why now simply grind them up and home! So, so simple.
Within minutes, I had just enough quinoa flour (from my stash of quinoa) and millet flour (yes, I love millet, so it is in my cupboard) for my recipes. Believe it or not, all this took was 20 seconds in my handy-dandy, cheapo spice grinder. And isn’t that the freshest flour you have ever seen?
I know what some of you are thinking though … was it fine enough? Did it perform well? Yes, and yes! It worked perfectly in the recipes, producing a wonderful taste and texture … I’m venturing the flours were as good as store-bought.
You can also make nut “flours” in your spice grinder, and contrary to popular belief, they perform just as well. To test, I baked two identical batches of almond flour banana muffins, one using a very popular blanched almond flour brand, and one using unblanched “raw” almonds that I ground in my spice grinder. They were near impossible to tell apart, and my homegrind muffins were actually the winner! They rose a bit more and had a slightly bolder flavor (since the almonds had the skins on, I assume). I also make cashew flour often, as it is one of the lower fat nuts, and powders easily.
Some flours are a bit harder to make than others as the product needs to be dried and possibly defatted in some fashion first (ie coconut flour – though I will be working on it!), but you can actually make wheat, spelt, oat, and a variety of other flours to order with nothing but a spice grinder (or maybe a food processor or high powered blender if you’ve got one – but I like the ability to make small amounts with the spice grinder) and the whole grains.
Do you make your own flours at home? If so, which ones work well for you?
- I submitted this post to Real Food Weekly at The WHOLE Gang.