Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back to the grind

Yesterday I spent the day in the kitchen, grinding, making flour.  Last year I taught myself to can and make all kinds of preserves, what fun that was and my excuse was, we could get hit with the mother of all snow storms.  I think there is a part of me that wants to be a "prepper", either that or it is the old me that has survived layoffs, blackouts, fires, nor'easters and floods and the military shutdowns (which means no paychecks). Back in MA I had lots of room for pots and pans and food storage.  Here I don't.  In my Micro kitchen I think I use every inch of space, and I am now using a linen closet to hold my larger pots, pressure cooker and canning jars.  So where will I put a hundred or so jars of whatever I put up?  Oh well, I will cross that bridge when I come to it or when I have a case of fruit to turn into jam.

This week I experimented with grinding beans!  I ground Black Bean, Garbanzo and Cannellini.  These protein rich and high fiber flours will go into pasta and sauces.  My thought was to amp up the fiber and protein count.  When you do this you feel full faster and it has some nutritional value - not just a plate of carbs.

My first attempt was with the black bean flour.  




Yesterday I made Spaghetti with the flour. It was really, really good.
The Pasta had a nice color with black flecks. I served with a bright red sauce and fresh basil.
Here is the basic dough recipe

1 cup bread flour ( It is what I use - I make my own bread too)
1/2 cup semolina
1/2 cup black bean flour
2 eggs
2 tbs Olive oil
1tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
enough water to make it work.
I used an extruder, next time I will make it into fettuccine.

For my breads, I ground hard white wheat, Barley, Kamut, Pumpkin seeds and flax seed, this mix went into the refrigerator and I will use in in my breads along with The organic White flour I buy from Great River.

Is it a lot of work? Not really, but It requires some organizational efforts. I have always tried to care of my family's nutritional needs. Now it is just steve and I and we can really enjoy a whole food kitchen. There are so many benefits, the first is FLAVOR, followed by health, weight control and vitality!

Here are a few photos of the process:
These are photos of the Cannellini beans being processed:

 I did not want to run the risk of damaging my mixer  with these very large beans so I pulled out my Cuisinart DC-7 food processor - I think one of the best ever built for the home cook. I bought mine on ebay for 55.00, ten years ago and I use it all the time.  
.

I ran the machine for about 4 minutes to break the beans down.  You might want to use ear plugs.




After about 4 minutes:


Next I ran it through the grain mile
3 more times increasing the grind fineness each time




after about 30 minutes I had a very nice 32 oz of Cannellini bean flour.

This is wonderful for making sauces and soups as well as Pasta

I am thankful to have the tools to make all these great things, eating right has many dividends, we are almost never sick. I know people say they can't afford fresh, I say yes you can. When you don't spend money on junk foods, soda, soft drinks, cigarettes, alcohol, and then purchase medications to help your body cope with the side affects of all these toxins, you will have enough to nourish yourselves and be healthier.

It is very tempting to indulge, but that road ultimately does not lead us where we want to go! You can have everything this life has to offer, but if you don't have your health, you just can't enjoy it. I challenge you to take a look in your cabinets and freezer and see how much processed food your family eats.
Start small, buy a bread maker and follow the instructions and watch how your family reacts! Who doesn't love homemade bread?

With youTube and so many online sights we really have culinary school right at our finger tips - Good eating and a fun adventure, try it!!!

Thanks for stopping by
Ginny M


2 comments:

  1. Ginny I agree with you - we are eating loads of fresh vegetables from the garden at the moment, and I love wholegrain - unfortunately I cannot persuade DH to like them.
    Blessings
    Maxine

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  2. Hi Maxine, It really is an acquired taste! With our breads, I go half and half. for us it is more of a texture than taste. I am working on grinding Kamut to see how that works for bread. Someday I will have a garden!! :)

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