My 2019 Healthier Habit: Cooking, Grinding, and Baking With Whole Grains!

posted by Andrea | 01/14/2019

For the past several years, I’ve chosen one or two smallish “Healthier Habits” to incorporate into my life and my family’s life.

2018 = Pack low-waste lunches and eat TONS of veggies

2017 = Use real Maple Syrup & start flossing every day

2016 = Eat less processed meats

2015 = Buy higher quality breads and eat “healthier fats”

2014 = Switch to full-fat dairy (sorry, no link)

2013 = Use butter instead of margarine

2012 = Drink more water

On their own, they really are very small changes — especially when you consider I have a FULL year to implement them.

And because they are relatively small changes, I can honestly say that every single one of them has completely STUCK with my family — to the point where we never even think about them anymore. They take zero effort or brain power for me to remember as they are habits I do without a second thought… which means they are not issues I constantly battle with.

I don’t have to force myself (or my kids) to drink more water because we naturally do. In fact, it got to the point where juice was going bad in our fridge so I just stopped buying it about a year ago. We now only have water and milk as drink options — with lemonade for special occasions.

I don’t have to constantly remind myself to use butter and maple syrup instead of margarine or imitation syrups because it’s all we have in the house now. Nora was the hardest convert to maple syrup, but I just pour the maple syrup into her old favorite syrup bottle and she happily eats her pancakes and waffles!

I don’t have to think about how to get my children to eat more vegetables because we now eat them with every single meal, and with many of our snacks. James is the best veggie eater and will often request a pile of raw veggies with “wanch” (Ranch dressing) for his morning snack. 🙂

I could NEVER have made all of these changes at once!

It would have been so overwhelming, I’m positive I would have burned out and quit — assuming I wasn’t cut out for a healthier lifestyle.

However, adding in little changes SLOWLY over time has made all the difference! 

Our current diet is radically different than it was 8-10 years ago, and while we still eat and enjoy so many NON-nutritious foods, we are all in the habit of eating more nutritiously on a regular basis and it no longer feels like extra work or something that requires extra time and energy to think about and prepare.

For 2019, my healthier habit is to Cook, Bake, Eat, AND Grind Whole Grains every day.

This goal all started a few years ago when I wanted to begin baking my own bread again (I used to bake much of our own bread before we had kids). At the time, I had just found out I was pregnant with Clara so I knew the timing wasn’t right. However, I told myself that if Clara was our last baby, I’d start baking my own bread in 2019.

So… my initial goal for 2019 was to bake all our own bread.

However, that goal morphed into trying to eat a huge variety of whole grains every single day. 

And I don’t just mean buying whole wheat flour from the store!

After months of reading books from the library, watching online tutorials, listening to podcasts from nutritionists and professional chefs, I have not only been cooking and baking with various whole grains, but I’ve also been grinding my own grain to make all our own flour for bread, pancakes, waffles, pizza crust, cinnamon rolls, etc., cooking various grains to make delicious salads, soups, casseroles, etc. and soaking the grains for different flavors and textures.

Of course, it has been a HUUUUUUUUUGE learning curve.

I’ve spent hours and hours and hours reading and listening and learning.

I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on ingredients, wheat berries, various other grains, and other supplies I need.

I’ve ruined so many loaves of bread (we practically have a life-time supply of homemade croutons in our freezer right now!)

I’ve gotten so frustrated, confused, and angry at times.

I’ve sworn off homemade bread forever, deciding it’s just not worth this much effort.

I’ve also learned A TON! 

I’ve had a bunch of successful recipes that taste amazing.

I’ve made some amazingly delicious meals and baked goods using ancient grains like Kamut, Emmer, and Spelt.

My children know the difference between Farro, Quinoa, Buckwheat, and Wild Rice — all foods they never even heard of a couple years ago.

Most importantly, I’m having SOOOO much fun!

I suppose this healthier habit is more of a hobby for me right now — it just so happens to be a hobby that is also beneficial for our family’s nutrition!

Now don’t worry, I won’t be posting recipes using home ground flour or all sorts of crazy-weird, hard-to-find ingredients. Our family still eats normal soups, stews, casseroles, and salads for many of our meals, and of course, we still enjoy delicious desserts every day — so those will be the recipes I focus on for my blog.

However, I couldn’t not share my newest hobby with you all — especially since you’re bound to see my homemade breads and yummy grains popping up in various posts (even if I’m just casually mentioning them as part of a story).

That said, once I find a really good whole grain sandwich bread recipe, I will most definitely share that on the blog!

I’ve tried so many recipes that claim to be “the perfect whole grain sandwich bread” only to pull another bland-tasting brick out of the oven after hours and hours of work.

This was my first attempt at 100% whole grain bread using flour I milled myself… it wasn’t totally horrible, but it looked awful and the kids wouldn’t touch it.

I’m getting better though!

In the mean time, I’ll continue experimenting with all sorts of grains and seeds, grinding my own combinations of grains to make interesting flours, and checking out as many books from the library as I can get my hands on (I promised our librarians some bread once I perfect my recipes!)

We’ll enjoy lots of homemade croutons, homemade bread crumbs, grilled cheese, french toast, and stuffing with the bread that doesn’t quite meet our standards!

So that’s what I’ll be doing in the kitchen this year!

I know it will take lots of trial and error (and patience) but I’m hoping I stick with it until making my own whole grain products is just one more thing on my to-do list and not this huge project that seems overwhelming!

I’d love to know… what are any goals or healthier habits you’re hoping to implement this year?

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Filed under: FoodMisc.GoalsWhole Grains

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79 comments

  1. Ashley

    03/23/2019

    Andrea, if you end up purchasing your own MockMill, would you consider asking the company for a discount code for your readers?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes! I’m actually in the process of working with NutriMill, but they are being ridiculously slow, so it might be a while yet!

    [Reply]

  2. Briana

    02/01/2019

    Hello Andrea!
    Longtime (Local) follower. I was super excited to see this post because it’s something I’ve thought about doing for a while. Can you get these books at the KDL branches? What type of mill are you using and where to do get your grain?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yaya!!! I’m borrowing a MockMill from a friend right now and love it! I get my grain from Country Life Natural Foods… and yes, the books are all from KDL!

    [Reply]

  3. Marsha

    01/20/2019

    Long time follower. Not so much replying. Love watching your family grow. Christ follower in Georgia. Lost 25 lbs last year and trying to cut out a lot of the sugar. Learning that it’s in most of our food supply. I love the way you are so matter of fact in your common sense way of eating. I won’t stop eating all sugar, but if I cut it back by 3/4ths it will be so much better for my family. God bless you and keep up the good work!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — way to go! That’s a huge accomplishment!
    And yes, I’ll never stop eating sugar (we LOVE our desserts) but I don’t have to eat huge amounts every day!

    [Reply]

  4. Lissa

    01/15/2019

    Last fall I started grinding my own wheat and making sourdough. It is so easy and takes little time but just has lots of waiting time. Like 10 mins In The evening then rise then 5 mins in the morning then another 1 rise then bake. After growing up with my moms homemade ground bread I’m liking the sourdough way more. I use atrisian bread made simple. I’ve checked it out 8 times From the library probably should just buy it. My mom gave me her 25 year old grinder and it still works.. it’s a blentec one. She still used her Bosch 30+ years later. I personally would love ankarsrum mixer over a Bosch

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing Lissa — I don’t know why I’m SO overwhelmed with the idea of sourdough. You make it sound so simple!
    As for the mixer, why would you want the Ankarsrum? It’s even more expensive (at least the ones I’ve seen). This will probably be the next kitchen item I purchase — so I’d truly love to know why you feel that mixer is better! Thanks!!

    [Reply]

    Lissa Reply:

    The way the Bosch mixer mixes is from the bottom center and that can not be th best for like whipping egg whites or kneeling for baking and other kinds of mixing. And the ankarsum is able to do it more like a hand mixer. I would definitely get a Bosch over a kitchen aide. They burn out when you use them a lot for kneeding bread. As for sourghdough I was so nervous to try it but I bought a freeze dried starter and that made me less nervous and the book I recommended makes it so easy. I also followed venison for dinner and simple life by kels and they made it seem doable. It takes very little hands on time and I think it’s less hands on time then making yeast bread.

    Oh I own a kitchen aide and it’s so small and I’m burning through the engine just for baking not even kneeding bread but will use it till it dies. If I ever find an ankorsan on Craigslist I would snatch it up. It’s very expensive and not in my budget new anytime soon.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    ok thanks!
    Everything I’ve read says that the Bosch is amazing for kneading dough — maybe I’ll have to look into it a bit more. And yes, I’ve never been a fan of KitchenAid mixers — mainly just because they were/are so trendy and I hate trends! They are pretty, but I’m glad I never purchased one. Now I can feel better about splurging on a bosch (or Ankarsum!)
    Thanks for the information!

    [Reply]

    Lissa Reply:

    Andrea. Forgot to mention I don’t want a Bosch because it doesn’t handle small batches of like 1-2 loaves very well or small cookie batches because of the bottom mixer thing as far as I’m concerned and that’s my moms opinion too.

    [Reply]

  5. Rachel

    01/15/2019

    I used to make bread by hand or with my stand mixer but now I make it weekly using a cheater method. I bought a $7 bread maker at goodwill and I use the dough cycle to do all the mixing for me, then take the dough out and do the second rise and bake it in the oven! (I don’t care for bread that is actually baked in the bread maker). I have the favorite whole wheat bread recipe from Kitchen Stewardship taped to the side of the bread maker. My kids love it and eat it daily!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, this is what I’ve been told to do — mix it in a cheap bread machine and bake it in the oven!
    Also, so fun that you use Katie’s recipe! She’s actually the one who lent me her grain mill for a while! She knows what she’s talking about when it comes to healthy baking!

    [Reply]

  6. Jeanne

    01/15/2019

    Longtime follower, sometime commenter. I applaud your efforts heartily to make your own bread and I wish you great success with it. Looks like you are off to a terrific start. I hope you can find the elusive sandwich bread you are seeking! I skimmed through the comments here and didn’t see anyone mention anything similar, so I thought I’d bring it up just as a something to think about. I had no idea until I started working in a school kitchen almost 5 years ago, but some people’s systems cannot digest the whole wheat or something in that very well. I am one of those people. I didn’t know it until I started having digestive issues to the point that I would be in severe stomach pain for a week or so and develop a low grade fever after eating, determined by process of elimination, the whole wheat bread products at the school. Once I eliminated eating the bread products, the symptoms went away. I can eat bread, it’s not the gluten, it’s something in the wheat or grain. I am not sure what. So, just in case someone starts complaining of tummy issues after eating the bread, please know their bodies just might have a difficult time digesting it. I’m so sensitive to it now, that I ate a few crackers at a friend’s that apparently where whole wheat or something (didn’t look too closely) and I was down for a week again. So I’m super nervous about this type of product. I’m not saying it will happen, just something to think about. Thanks for sharing your efforts and I DO wish you great success!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jeanne!
    This is so interesting for me to read — I honestly don’t think I know anyone who is “sensitive” to wheat and NOT gluten! Good information to file in the back of my brain just in case an issue ever arrises!

    [Reply]

    Nancy Reply:

    Jeanne, you may want to look up FODMAP foods or diet. As my doctor explained it to me, some people are sensitive to some of the sugar polymers (chains) and related substances associated with wheat and some other foods. It’s thought to be one of the reasons that some people who assume they have a gluten issue test negative for gluten sensitivity. They’re not sensitive to gluten but are bothered by fructans, for example.

    [Reply]

  7. Rhonda

    01/15/2019

    Hi Andrea!
    I follow your blog and love it! You are such an inspiration to me!
    Regarding your bread making … I, too,make my own whole wheat bread. I follow the recipe in Sue Becker’s book which I see that you posted. Her website is breadbeckers.com, one of my favorite places to visit and also where I get my grain and bread making supplies.
    Keep blogging! Love it!
    Blessings to you and your family!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes Rhonda, I just made Sue’s bread recipe again this morning! I’ve thought about buying my grain from her but I’m still shopping around. Glad to know you are happy with the items you’ve purchased from her site!

    [Reply]

  8. Cherry

    01/15/2019

    After years of experimenting with freshly ground whole grains, I have found that putting just a little bit of rye berries in with the wheat berries gives a great texture. Using white whole wheat berries (versus the red variety) also improves the texture and flavor, as do some oats. For most recipes, I do add a bit of plain old all-purpose flour.

    We have ordered our wheat berries from Wal-Mart online all these years. It has been the best price we have ever found. Happy baking!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    interesting. I just bough some rye berries so I’ll have to give that a try. I LOVE mixing in a little Spelt and Kamut (or just eating the cooked Spelt and Kamut as side dishes — like rice).
    Also, good to know about Walmart! I just checked the prices for our Walmart and they are significantly higher than I can get through Country Life Naturals (they are not organic either) but this might be a good option if I’m in a pinch and need something ASAP!

    [Reply]

  9. Wendy

    01/14/2019

    I truly admire you, Andrea. Love your blog.

    [Reply]

  10. Lisa

    01/14/2019

    I’ve had good luck with this recipe using freshly ground wheat:

    http://storethisnotthat.com/ez-whole-wheat-bread/

    Her white bread recipe was my kids’ favorite homemade bread. I wanted to find a from scratch recipe without potato flakes etc, but found myself returning to her recipes again and again because they just always turned out. (I too have baked many a brick! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    awesome — thanks!

    [Reply]

  11. Julia Irvin

    01/14/2019

    What a fun goal!
    A blog that I love for whole grain recipes is http://www.anoregoncottage.com. So many wonderful recipes. She is very down to earth and practical.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    perfect — thanks so much!

    [Reply]

  12. Dawn Kaestner

    01/14/2019

    The photo of your first attempt at whole-grain bread speaks so much to your honesty and realness. So relate-able!! Thank you for your inspiration in all things!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I’ve had many ugly loaves of bread!!

    [Reply]

  13. Dstewart

    01/14/2019

    On a totally different subject from making bread…..would you ever consider a post on how your oraganize all the cooked veggies,etc I your refrigerator. I have seen the pics of the containers but how do you actually have in fridge? It is always a task to figure out where to put.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes, good question!
    I basically have 2 large food storage containers — 1 for raw veggies, 1 for roasted veggies. They stack perfectly and I’ve adjusted a shelf in our fridge to allow both of them to stack on one side of the fridge.
    I realize that’s probably not super helpful, but I do just combine ALL raw and ALL roasted in one large container so I can pull one container out of the fridge instead of many smaller containers.

    [Reply]

  14. Pascale

    01/14/2019

    Hi Andrea,
    You inspired me to eat more veggies so my aim has been to have them at lunch and dinner.
    I stopped eating grains, potatoes, and anything starchy decades ago and I feel so much better.
    My doctor advises all his patients to go gluten free so my husband who is a plant-based vegan has stopped eating gluten and has seen a positive difference.
    My 2019 healthier habits aside from eating more veggies are going to bed earlier and drinking more water, hot water during the winter and cold water in the summer.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay for more veggies, more water, and going to bed earlier!

    [Reply]

  15. Kim

    01/14/2019

    It is fun to see you have the margin in your life to work on a new hobby. And, what a benefit it will be to the health of your family. I remember borrowing a mill from a friend to grind wheat and make bread between baby #1 and baby #2. Maybe, I should resume. After all, those babies are now 33 and 36. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes… finally a little margin! I feel like I can finally breath now after having 4 babies in 5.5 years! Nora and Simon are in school now, they all sleep through the night, Clara is a dream baby, the boys play SO well together when they are home… and I have time to make bread!
    Life is good!

    [Reply]

  16. Christine

    01/14/2019

    I would love if you posted recipes with freshly ground flour and “weird” ingredients. 😉 My mom got me an awesome grain grinder a few years ago, and I haven’t used it once (it’s sitting up on the shelf next to the pasta maker she gave me. Haha).
    I’m always nervous to experiment bc good quality fresh grains cost SO MUCH around here! So I’ll be following your journey with great curiousity.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Oh my word — you should totally use it! Or sell it!
    Start searching on Pinterest — there are SO many blogs dedicated to freshly ground grains. I will not be one of them, but I know you’ll find lots of great info out there. Honestly, what’s the worst that can happen? You waste a little time and money?
    Also, I’m drooling over the pasta maker — I’d LOVE one of those!

    [Reply]

  17. Katie

    01/14/2019

    The recipe I use is from milkandhoneyfarm.com. It is called Sarah’s Best bread recipe. She has a video also of her making it. The whey called for is found as Sweet Whey, NOT whey protein. I do 4 loaves using a Bosch, but used to do half a recipe with a Kitchenaid. Hard white wheat instead of hard red is a huge difference maker also. I have a siding guide and an electric knife that I slice the loaves with and it makes the loaf look just like a store bought loaf! Have fun with this new hobby!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Awesome — thanks again — I just saw this comment after responding to your other comment 🙂

    [Reply]

  18. Katie

    01/14/2019

    I have been making our sandwich bread from freshly ground wheat for years. I found the BEST recipe online and will try to locate the link for you. I use a Bosch mixer and can make 4 large loaves at one time, but I did successfully make it with a Kitchenaid doing half a batch at a time before I got a Bosch. Azure Standard is definitely worth looking into! Vitamin C crystals and sweet whey are the key ingredients in my sandwich bread. They are both dough conditioners and make the texture of the bread amazing. The Bosch mixer also helps as it kneads the dough so well.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh yes — please send me the recipe!! Sounds lovely! I’ve heard about Vitamin C, but not Sweet Whey. I’ve been experimenting with Vital Wheat Gluten, Soy Lecithin, and a couple other variables. No HUGE success yet though!
    Also, I do not own a stand mixer — I never have, but I feel like it is the reason my read isn’t turning out great. I told Dave I really want the Bosch as I’ve always hated how “trendy” the Kitchen Aids are. Do you love your Bosch? Is it worth the money?

    [Reply]

  19. JJ

    01/14/2019

    Look at that beautiful bread! Very impressive! You are really good about finding “the best” and implementing it into your routine. Looking forward to more posts!!! My biggest health goal this year is to continue using Juice Plus instead of vitamins. My doctor has me on a strict diet due to my PCOS flaring and causing a lot of issues. The foods we eat affect our blood sugars which affects our hormones. Depression and anxiety are often caused from hormonal imbalances. It’s amazing how food really is healing when you eat the right foods. I do understand that sometimes that isn’t enough and am all about using medicines that help, too! But, I can’t shove down 40 fruits and vegetables in a day. Using Juice Plus instead of vitamins has been so good. There are over 40 fruits(those are my daily fruits–haha!) and vegetables that I consume daily just by swallowing my daily capsules(gummies are another option…my kids use these). I no longer need coffee in the morning(and I get up around 4:30AM and teach online 5 days a week!), and our family has already been sick less. The best part for mr I’d that for each adult that gets vitamins through Juice Plus, one child per adult(certain ages and you have to sign up under that specific program) gets free vitamins. We have seen amazing differences already!!! The biggest difference I noticed when I opened the “vitamins”(gummies for my kids)is not having sugar all over the vitamins(but they taste like candy–kind of crazy!!!). You may know someone who sells them or can see more on their website. I was hesitant at first, but when I heard a local(my friend’s kids’) pediatrician was selling them I really started looking into it. Amazing!!! I’m mostly hoping for me it gets my PCOS online, but I’m also glad it’s a preventative for so many things!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — that’s great. We have several friends who take the Juice Plus supplements and have all been very happy with the results.

    [Reply]

    JJ Reply:

    That’s awesome!! That’s what I keep hearing, so I’m hoping that a few years down the road my PCOS will be GONE like a lady shared!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    That would definitely be the best-case scenario!

    [Reply]

  20. Hannah

    01/14/2019

    Do you follow Mel’s Kitchen Cafe? She grinds her own flour, and her whole wheat quinoa bread is AMAZING! (along with many others) Keep posts like these coming!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Nope — but I’m totally looking her up! Thanks!
    We LOOOOVEVE Quinoa!

    [Reply]

    Megan Reply:

    I second the Mel’s Kitchen Cafe recommendation! I bake her whole wheat sandwich bread every week for my family. She also just recently did a post on grain mills.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    ok thanks!

    [Reply]

  21. Priyanka

    01/14/2019

    After having a discussion with a couple of friends about the preservatives and stabilizers used in commercial bread, I’ve been slowly converting to homemade bread as well. I would really really love more posts on this topic, esp the tools you use like the grain mill, bread machine etc.

    Also do you have any tip to cut the perfect slices, I am so bad at it 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    There are TONS of blogs who share exclusively about bread baking tips and tools — I am not one of them and I doubt I will ever be. Check out the Bread Beckers for lots of information, and look up books at your library. There is so much information out there!

    [Reply]

  22. Kimberly

    01/14/2019

    I would LOVE it if you shared more on this topic! I’ve made whole wheat bread in the past, but with babies time hasn’t been my friend the last couple of years. I do have a wheat grinder but get hung up on where to buy wheat berries! Where did you get yours?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve been getting my berries from Country Life Natural Foods. However, unless you’re willing to buy HUGE quantities of grain and other foods ($400 minimum), you’ll end up paying huge shipping fees. If you have a local health food store, I’d try them first.

    That said, just wait until your babies are older and you have more mental time and energy! I wanted to start this last year, but knew I couldn’t with Clara being so little. I’m glad I waited another year!

    [Reply]

  23. Diana Still

    01/14/2019

    Yum! I used to make whole wheat bread for us too, but we were going through it so slowly that we had a hard time using up a loaf and it dries out so quickly. I wish they made half-loaf pans for small families!

    I would love to get back to making bread this year but I’m not sure it’s the right time for us yet. I do make a lot of rolls and I have a great hamburger bun/sandwich roll recipe but they are not whole wheat. I figure it’s still better to use white flour and skip the preservatives when we can.

    Have you read any bread books by Peter Reinhart? He has a great one that uses a lot of pre-ferments to help whole grain products stay soft and moist. He also has a fantastic pizza class on Craftsy that is free.

    Our healthier habit for the kids is taking better care of our teeth, and my healthier habit is getting our family on a better rise/sleep schedule.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We put a lot of our bread in the freezer (or we make croutons and bread crumbs from the stale bread!)
    Also, I do feel like bread baking is a big commitment — if you don’t think you have the time, it’s probably not worth the potential stress!

    I have a Peter Reinhart book on hold at the library!! I can’t wait to get it in and start reading!
    Love your teeth habit for the kids — that will be invaluable for the rest of their lives! As will your better sleep schedule!

    [Reply]

    Diana Still Reply:

    Yep–and it’s definitely better to just buy the bread than wish you had made it but go out to eat because you didn’t. 🙂

    Sounds like your library is well-stocked with great bread titles!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    EXACTLY! it’s better than other alternatives!

    [Reply]

  24. Mrs Nakajima

    01/14/2019

    In my nearly 40 year marriage, my husband brought a cultural shift from the beginning to avoid American sweet tastes, eliminate animal fats such as butter, drink skim milk (and this was hard at first because I was raised on non-fat powdered milk and craved whole milk), and avoid canned vegetables, eating fresh fruits and vegetables in-season. He also brought the habit of increased fish consumption and less baked sweet goods which were practically the only thing I knew how to make since I had been the family baker for ten and never even made a single batch of anything. The baked food section of the porch freezer was always full. Now, as we use so little solid fats, I do keep butter. Frozen orange juice is always highly dilute, and I am the only one to drink it. Because I cannot stand uber sweetness, I don’t even have white sugar in the house. My husband developed diabetes in the past few years, and I have a difficult time getting him to eat the recommendations of the ADA amount of whole grains as only white rice used to be purchased in 25 to 50 lb bags and consumed at least every meal in large quantities. So I make more fruit breads for mid-morning tea time with whole grains such as buckwheat and groats and cornmeal. The sugar cookies and zucchini bread and doughnut at work, though, was definitely a temptation which I tried to counterbalance with the fresh apples, so it was always a secret delight to observe President Obama’s big bowl of apples in the Oval Office.

    [Reply]

  25. Shelley

    01/14/2019

    Hey, I am a little behind you on the health journey so I would appreciate any tips, recipes that you post. I make bread almost daily for dinner but it is soft white rolls so probably not very healthy:(. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    If you enjoy the bread-making process, I’d say you’re doing great by making your own. No need to stress about whole grains if you are happy where you are at. There are still fewer preservatives in your homemade dough — good for you!

    [Reply]

  26. Annette Silveira

    01/14/2019

    When our kids were little I made four loaves of bread every week, grinding the flour from wheat berries we bought in bulk from Azure Standard. If you are interested, check to see if they have a route near you. They are probably the most economical way to buy your wheat and the other grains you are using since you are committed to using them in such a big way in 2019.

    Since it’s just my husband and me now, and we don’t eat that much bread, I buy a couple of loaves at Costco and keep it in the freezer until we need it.

    Bread baking is a journey. Have fun!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — that’s a lot of bread! And yes, I’ve looked into Azure Standard! We also have Country Life Natural Foods that is more local for me. I don’t have a “regular” routine for ordering grains yet, so I’m still keeping my options open!

    [Reply]

    Annette Silveira Reply:

    You mentioned above that Country Life has a huge minimum order amount. It’s been a while since I ordered from Azure, but the individual order was only $50 and we used to combine orders with friends if we only needed something small. You can call Azure to ask about routes in your area and to see if there is a group receiving drops that you could join. They are the best people. Our group was really easy to join and didn’t demand anything except that you show up to get your order. Some groups are fussier. It’s worth asking questions.

    As for your question about whether a Bosch mixer is worth the money; I would say yes. I’m still using mine from all those years ago although the blender portion died a long time ago. I hope they’re still made as well as they were when I bought mine.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    OK good to know! Country Life does deliver right to my door (I wouldn’t have to pick it up) but a $50 minimum does sound more doable!
    Thanks for you opinion about the Bosch — I think I need to make that purchase!

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  27. Ruth

    01/14/2019

    I miss my homemade bread ssooooo much!! There is nothing like the smell of bread baking in the oven! I used to grind all kinds of wheat and the bread was so soft and fluffy!!

    But alas, my family is gluten intolerant 🙁

    Kind of ironic lol

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know — the fresh bread smell is amazing!
    Also, it might be worth noting that many people who are gluten intolerant CAN, in fact, digest home-ground flour. You can also buy gluten free grains and grind those into flour to make your own bread.
    I TOTALLY understand if you never want to waste the time doing this, but I know several people who thought they were “allergic” to gluten only to find out it was the refined flour they were having reactions too. They now eat lots of gluten-filled bread made from freshly ground flour with no issues at all!

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  28. Ashley

    01/14/2019

    I grind my own grains too! I would LOVE if you would share your perfected recipe once you get there

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well… IF I ever find that perfect recipe, I will share it on the blog 🙂

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  29. Elizabeth

    01/14/2019

    Someday, I’ll get into it! Its been too much in this stage to get into bread making!

    BUT, my mom owns a bakery and has done tons of research like you, so I am hoping to learn from her once I am ready 🙂

    One of her best “secrets” is a bread slicer that they bought at an auction–makes such a difference! The bread doesn’t get all squished and mashed when trying to cut it and all the slices are uniform. Maybe its something you’d love too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    eehhh… no rush. Different seasons of life allow for different activities. There would not have been time for me to enjoy this new hobby any time in the previous 7 years — so I’m finally excited to give it a try.
    Also, I’m SO jealous that your mom owns a bakery! So cool!
    I was thinking about a slicer — but I think I have to get better at baking bread before I devote space in my kitchen to a slicer 🙂 haha!!

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  30. Ashley Gaver

    01/14/2019

    Do you follow Humorous Homemaking on Instagram? She also grinds all her own grains and has been doing so for years. She talks a lot about it and may be a great resource for you. She uses a lot of Bread Beckers recipes.

    Good luck on your pursuit!

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    I was going to post the same thing. Stacy at Humorous Homemaking also has a blog with several post about bread. https://www.humoroushomemaking.com/?s=bread

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much ladies!! this is fantastic!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no I don’t — but I’ll look her up now! Thanks!!
    Also, I’ve been obsessed with the Bred Beckers — I have Sue’s book and have read it cover-to-cover at least twice. So far, her recipes have been very good!

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  31. Jennifer

    01/14/2019

    I would love to grind my own grains and make bread but the cost of the grain mills is why we haven’t made the switch. A lot of people use the nutramil and they are quite pricey. Do you like your grain mill? And where did you find it?

    [Reply]

    Shelley Reply:

    Some friends had their nutramil for several years (5-7?) and when it recently broke, they called the company and the company fixed it for free. Impressive service.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    That’s good to know! I’ve heard they’re definitely worth the investment. Maybe I can find a used one.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, these companies usually stand behind their products! Glad to hear this!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’m loving the Mockmill — I believe it’s about $250 – $300 but I’ve been borrowing mine from a friend who isn’t using it right now as she’s eating grain-free. I plan to buy one whenever she wants hers back, but for now, I will enjoy using it for free!!

    [Reply]

  32. Chris

    01/14/2019

    I love the way you slowly implement new habits. That is a great thing to do for the librarians. Recently, I tried to make sourdough (the kind wthout yeast or sugar) and my bread flopped. I made a caramel French toast casserole with the “unusable” bread. It’s an overnight type dish that you bake the next day. I don’t really grind my own wheat or anything but I used to and I made a really good sandwich bread. I found the recipe in a cookbook I have. If you are interested, I can send it to you. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    SLOWLY is the only way I can handle change! It doesn’t stick with me otherwise and it all feels too overwhelming.
    I would love your homemade sandwich bread (that is what I desperately want to find — something my kids will love). No rush, but if you get a chance, feel free to email it to me (andrea@andreadekker.com)
    Thanks so much Chris!

    [Reply]