Healthy Eating Step: Baking Your
After eliminating the sugar and bringing more
whole foods into our diet, the next step was to make my family’s bread. This is
a major step with a big family (even smaller families may feel overwhelmed by
this step) but let me say why I think this important.
The bread you buy in the store is made from white flour (by law a manufacturer of bread can say ‘whole wheat flour’ on the ingredients even when it is white flour because the meaning of ‘whole wheat’ for them is … it is ALL wheat flour. White flour is processed wheat flour). It also has sugar added and chemicals to preserve it. I have calculated my bread to cost me less than $0.60 per loaf to make. This is a lot of food value for the money. I use good quality ingredients in my bread and don’t mind my children eating as much of this as they want. It is filling, inexpensive, and full of fiber and b-vitamins.
On my website I have info on the different types of whole wheat flour and grain, and what to use for different baked goods (see info on flour choices HERE ). White flour has had all the fiber removed; all the germ and bran removed and up to 98% of some of the vitamins and minerals. Then it is bleached to make sure no living organism can survive in it! This would make it very difficult for us to receive much nutritional value from it; despite the enriching they try and do.
When you start baking with whole wheat flour I would suggest you begin with your favorite recipes substituting as many healthy ingredients as possible. Such as, whole wheat flour for white flour, butter for margarine or shortening, honey or Sucanat for sugar. This way your family will be eating foods they enjoy and are familiar with while you know they are getting better quality foods. In the mean time you can research and find new recipes and try them out on your family.
Once again my advice on making these changes is to go slow, and don’t get discouraged. If you reduce your family’s sugar intake by half and make bread as regularly as possible… that is a great start and it can grow from there. Read all you can, learn as much as you can and incorporate these changes as you are able.
There are a couple of very valuable tools that I use when making bread. One is my a grain mill to grind my grains and the other is my Bosch mixer to mix my bread.
If you begin to make your bread on a regular basis
and desire to improve your family’s health as much as possible, then I highly
recommend the purchase of a grain mill and heavy duty mixer. This is an expense
that is well worth your money. Freshly ground grains have a delicious taste to
them. Also many of the vitamins are lost within 72 hours of milling the flour
and the natural oils in the grain also will begin to go rancid in a short time.
For several years I did not have a grain mill and bought whole wheat flour and I
believe that buying the whole wheat flour is still better than buying white
flour if you want to make some health changes. It is worth setting aside some
savings for a mixer. Also the heavy duty mixer will save much time and take much
of the labor out of the bread making process; I can make 6 loaves of bread with
my Bosch mixer in a little over an hour. If you can not afford a bread mixer for
awhile then I making bread by hand is still an option. There could be many
benefits to this the time you spend doing this, such as good exercise for your
arms, using the time spent listening to a teaching tape, visit with your
children, work on memorized Scripture and so on!
If you are new to bread making I have information on my web site (Bread Making 101) to try and walk through the bread making process step by step in order to give you as much success at this as possible. On the Homestead Kitchen page you will find more information on bread baking and recipes as well.
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