Food Storage: Wheat Berries to Flour Conversions

A little while ago, I noticed an error in one of my posts regarding wheat-to-flour conversions that needed correcting. I went ahead and corrected it in the original post, but figured many might not revisit that post any time soon. So I want to go ahead and make note of it again in a new post. So to set the record straight, lets talk again about converting wheat berries to flour and all those fun measurements. 🙂

Wheat-To-Flour Conversion

For the record, 1 cup of wheat berries will grind into just a little over 1½ cups of whole wheat flour. I’ve actually gotten close to 2 cups of flour on occasion, but for the sake of consistency and erring on the side of caution, I will use 1½ cups as my standard measurement.

Each 45-lb bucket of wheat has about 95 cups of wheat in it (yes, I sat and actually measured it out with Hubby double checking me to make sure this was accurate). So a 45-lb bucket of wheat will grind into about 150 cups of flour. Each 45-lb bucket is also equivalent to approximately 8 (#10) cans. So if you prefer to store #10 cans, simply multiply the recommended number of buckets listed below by 8 to get the total amount of #10 cans you should have.

How Much Wheat Should You Have?

Using a Food Storage Calculator (and please remember these are bare minimum suggestions):

  • A family of 2 adults (no children) should have 300 lbs of wheat (this is 7 (45 lb) buckets)
  • A family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children under age 7)= 450 lbs (this is 10 (45 lb) buckets)
  • A family of 4 (all over age 7)= 600 lbs (this is 13.5 (45 lb) buckets)
  • A family of 6 (4 adults, 2 under age 7)= 750 lbs (this is 17 (45 lb) buckets)
  • A family of 6 (all over age 7)= 900 lbs (this is 20 (45 lb) buckets)
  • A family of 8 (all over age 7)= 1200 lbs (this is 27 (45 lb) buckets)

Looking at it in terms of baking:

  • To make one loaf of bread everyday for a year (based on THIS recipe) you would need 1300 cups of wheat flour (this is 9 (45 lb) buckets of wheat)
  • To make one loaf of bread every other day for a year (based on THIS recipe) you would need 650 cups of wheat flour (this is 4.5 (45 lb) buckets of wheat)
  • To make waffles (based on THIS recipe that feeds 4) two times a week for a year you would need 104 cups of wheat flour (this is .75 (45 lb) buckets of wheat)
  • To make pancakes (based on THIS recipe that feeds 4-6) two times a week for a year you would need 156 cups of wheat flour (this is 1 (45 lb) bucket of wheat)
  • And just for good measure, to make a batch of cookies 😀 (using THIS recipe) twice a month you would need 108 cups of wheat flour (this is .75 (45 lb) buckets of wheat)

Does that help to visualize things a little better? And there’s also a helpful post HERE to get the low down on the amounts it would take to be able to make bread for the year (a comprehensive list of ALL the ingredients in their total amounts).

And finally, if you’re not sure where to get wheat, Emergency Essentials® is my favorite place to get it. The price is awesome (and there’s even a discounted price if you order more than 4), it already comes in the bucket sealed and ready to store (versus other companies where it comes in a bag and you have to purchase the bucket separately or take it to a cannery and purchase cans to can it yourself), and you can buy as much as you want and not pay any more than $12 in shipping! So what I recommend doing is finding some friends and ordering a bunch together so you can split the shipping costs and also get the discounted rate on the buckets. Not to mention, you’re helping other people to get going on their food storage supply as well. Think of it as providing service. 😀

Well, as always, have fun and good luck!

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Food Storage: Got Your Wheat?

{Update 7/28/11: There was some inaccurate information listed in the wheat-to-flour conversions in the original article. I originally noted that 1 cup of wheat berries grinds into just shy  of 1 cup of flour. This is not the case. 1 cup of wheat actually grinds into just shy of TWO cups of flour. So the good news is, that if you followed the original numbers and already got your wheat, now you’ve got some extra! BONUS! The other good news is that if you haven’t gotten all your wheat yet, you don’t have to get quite as much as originally anticipated. The numbers listed below in the baking section reflect the corrected totals. The numbers in the Food Storage Calculator section were correct to start with and there is no change to those totals.}

Have you seen this in the news yet?– Oklahoma Sees Driest 4 Months Since Dust Bowl. Hubby first pointed it out to me and then I did a quick search on the internet to see that it’s all over the different news medias.
Seriously?? Since the Dust Bowl? Do you remember when that was?? That was during the Great Depression. Economic hard times combined with lost crops (due to major drought) combined with whatever else created a situation of no jobs and no food and The Great Depression. Sound familiar??
If you read the article mentioned above it notes how a vast majority of the midwest (from Louisiana to Colorado) are currently experiencing severe droughts. Right here in the great state of Texas (shout out!), 40% of our land is experiencing “extreme drought”. And I’m here to tell ya… that ain’t no lie! Dark clouds come and go and never give up their rain. We’re so thankful that we’ve got our little garden still hanging in there, but we’ve got to water it constantly. There’s no way a large garden (not to mention one that is several hundreds or thousands of acres) could survive an extended drought because they depend on the weather for their water.

So what does this mean? Well, wheat farmers are looking to just plow under their crop (wheat) and plant something else. The wheat is just not producing. Which means, right here in the good ol’ US of A, we are also experiencing the same wheat shortage that other countries have been facing. We are not immune to these problems! (*gasp* We’re not??)
So HOPEFULLY you have already been working on getting a good supply of wheat in your home (along with everything else). HOPEFULLY you’ve already got that crossed off your list. HOWEVER,  if you have not, may I slightly beg you to do something about your situation today? Now?
Again, I never want to create a panic in you because that is simply not the best way to prepare for something. But I do want you to be informed. So without panicking, let’s look at approximately how much wheat you should have in your home and then please just evaluate your situation and if it needs to be remedied, do something about it.

Using a Food Storage Calculator (and please remember these are bare minimum suggestions):

  • A family of 2 adults (no children) should have 300 lbs of wheat (this is 7 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children under age 7)= 450 lbs (this is 10 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 4 (all over age 7)= 600 lbs (this is 13.5 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 6 (4 adults, 2 under age 7)= 750 lbs (this is 17 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 6 (all over age 7)= 900 lbs (this is 20 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 8 (all over age 7)= 1200 lbs (this is 27 (45 lb) buckets*)

Looking at it in terms of baking:

  • To make one loaf of bread everyday for a year (based on THIS recipe) you would need 1300 cups of wheat flour (this is 9 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)
  • To make one loaf of bread every other day for a year (based on THIS recipe) you would need 650 cups of wheat flour (this is 4.5 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)
  • To make waffles (based on THIS recipe that feeds 4) two times a week for a year you would need 104 cups of wheat flour (this is .75 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)
  • To make pancakes (based on THIS recipe that feeds 4-6) two times a week for a year you would need 156 cups of wheat flour (this is 1 (45 lb) bucket* of wheat)
  • And just for good measure, to make a batch of cookies 😀 (using THIS recipe) twice a month you would need 108 cups of wheat flour (this is .75 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)

*{Updated 7/28/11} Each 45 lb bucket has about 95 cups of wheat in it, which (roughly estimated) grinds into about 150 cups of flour (1 cup of wheat makes just over 1.5 cups of flour). Each (45 lb) bucket is also equivalent to approximately 8 (#10) cans. So if you prefer to store #10 cans, simply multiply the number of buckets listed by 8 to get the total amount of #10 cans you should have.

So… for me and my family (2 adults, 2 kidlettes), if I want to have pancakes two times a week plus waffles two times a week for breakfast, and make a loaf of bread every other day for our lunch sandwiches, and make cookies two times a month to keep us happy, I’m looking at storing 7 buckets of wheat. Totally doable. (Of course, this is only for the mentioned items… the total amount would actually be higher when I take into account other meals that require wheat as well.) And don’t forget to store the other ingredients that go into those recipes as well (and I’ll start exploring that on some of our Wednesday recipe days), but start with your wheat. Make. sure. you’ve. got. it. Figure out how much you need, go see how much you’ve got, make up any differences. Don’t worry about where you’re going to store it. You can deal with that later (or you can check out THIS post for some ideas).

Okay, well I’ve probably said enough. If you’re not sure where to get wheat, Emergency Essentials® is my favorite place to get it. The price is awesome (and there’s even a discounted price if you order more than 4), it already comes in the bucket sealed and ready to store (versus other companies where it comes in a bag and you have to purchase the bucket separately or take it to a cannery and purchase cans to can it yourself), and you can buy as much as you want and not pay any more than $12 in shipping! So what I recommend doing is finding some friends and ordering a bunch together so you can split the shipping costs and also get the discounted rate on the buckets. Not to mention, you’re helping other people to get going on their food storage supply as well. Think of it as providing service. 😀

So go get to it. And don’t forget to smile and be happy while you do! 😀

Food Storage: Rice

Well, let’s add another grain to our knowledge bank. So far we’ve talked about wheat and oats… today let’s talk some rice. There’s not a whole lot to say about rice, so I’m going to try and cover it all in one day (so buckle up and hang on to your hats!) 🙂

{Types of Rice}

First, there are many, many different types of rice. White rice, brown rice, long grain, medium grain, short grain, Jasmine, Basmati… where do we even begin?!
Well, let me give you a *quick* rundown on some of the basics, and then if you want to know more about other types, you can check out some of the links at the end of this post. So let’s see…

‘White  Rice’ is just a generic categorization of rice based on color. It can still be separated into many other categories based on length (long, medium, short), taste, stickiness, etc. For a rice to be ‘white’ it has to be stripped of it’s germ and bran layers, and then it is usually polished as well. (Yes, this translates to ‘less nutrition’.) White rice has a very long shelf-life (30+ years when stored properly) and is therefore a good addition to your long-term grain supply.

‘Brown Rice’ is the same thing… a generic categorization based on the rice’s color. However, the fact that it is brown means that it has not had the germ and bran layers removed and is therefor substantially more nutritive that its white counterpart (although they have similar amounts of calories, carbs, and proteins). (Side note: A Harvard study showed that eating 2 servings of brown rice a week (instead of white) can lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, while eating 5 or more servings of white rice is associate with an increased risk.) One thing to note, however, is that brown rice will go rancid a lot faster than white rice, so it doesn’t make a very good grain for long term storage. But it still a good idea to keep it stocked on your pantry shelf.

‘Long Grain Rice’ is a category that refers to rice that is long and skinny. When cooked, these grains are separate, light and fluffy.

‘Medium Grain Rice’ refers to rice that is a little shorter and wider than long grain. When cooked, these grains are moist and tender, and have a tendency to stick together a bit.

‘Short Grain Rice’ is short and plump (almost round). When cooked, these grains are soft and stick together.

‘Jasmine and Basmati’ are both aromatic, long-grain rice (‘aromatic’ being its own category of rice as well) that have a smell similar to popcorn or roasted nuts. The main difference between the two is that Jasmine rice tends to be more clingy than Basmati.

{Health Benefits}

Rice has some good health benefits:

  • It provides fast and instant energy for the body because it is rich in carbohydrates
  • Cholesterol-free, sodium-free, fat-free, and low in calories
  • Rich in certain vitamins and minerals: niacin, vitamin D, calcium, fibre, iron, thiamine, and riboflavin (and brown rice is particularly rich in the B vitamin complex)
  • It is gluten-free and is therefore a great grain substitute for those with a gluten intolerance and cannot eat wheat.
  • Stabilizes blood pressure (and provides resistance to high blood pressure) due to low sodium
  • Helps regulate the digestive system due to its resistant starch (and helps provides resistance to dysentery)
  • Rice bran oil helps fight against certain heart diseases due to the high antioxidant levels
  • Brown rice is said to have a high level of neurotransmitter nutrients that can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease to a considerable extent

All that being said, experts are trying to find ways to make rice more nutritionally beneficial (the nutritional benefits of rice are decently low compared to other grains such as wheat, oats, and quinoa), since it is the staple food of a large percentage of the world.

{Proper Storage}

To properly store rice for long term storage, place it in an airtight container with either an oxygen absorber or DE to prevent/kill bugs. Container suggestions include (but aren’t limited to): canning jars (with a good seal in the lid), mylar bags (that can be heat sealed with an impulse heat sealer), or food grade plastic buckets (with an airtight fitting lid with a good seal). Place the container in a cool, dark, dry location, preferably off a cement floor and away from rodents.

If, by chance, you happen to find bugs in your rice at some point or another, you may be happy (or unhappy??) to know that you do not need to throw your rice out. These bugs, while definitely unappetizing, are not harmful. You can get rid of them several ways and still cook/eat your rice without ill effects. Here’s an article with a couple good options for getting rid of those pesky invaders: Click HERE.

And that’s a wrap. Enjoy your rice! 🙂

Sources and Additional Information:
Organic Facts
Food Reference

Food Storage: Cooking & Using Your Oats

Hey y’all! I’m glad you’re back to learn more about how to incorporate more oaty-goodness into your daily diet. So today we’ll learn about the different types of oats, how to cook them, and what they can be used for. We’ll just go from the least processed to the most processed and tackle it that way. Sound good? Good. Oh, but an interesting fact about oats… unlike many foods, oats are nutritionally the same* regardless of which form they are in. This is because each form still has the endosperm, germ, and bran in tact (they apparently cannot be separated in oats). So feel free to make your oat choices based upon which texture, flavor, and price you prefer. They’re all healthy for you.
And now, on we go…

Whole Oats
Whole oats are just what the name says… it’s the whole oat, hull and all. The outer hull is hard and really should be removed before it’s ready for human consumption. About the only thing you could do (eating-wise) with unhulled oats is to sprout them and use them that way, but we won’t go into that process here and now (you can always look it up on the internet if you really want to give it a try). 🙂 Otherwise, this form of oat is mainly for the animals.

Oat Groats
Oat groats are the whole oat grain, minus the hard outer hull. For human consumption, this is the most “whole” an oat gets. The hull has been removed, but the outer bran layer is still left in tact. They look kind of like brown rice or wheat  berries, and although they are typically processed further, you can eat them at this stage. They are said to have a sweet and nutty flavor with a moist but chewy texture. The only downside is that they take a while to cook.

To cook oat groats:
-Stove top: Use a 1:3 ratio (groats to water). Bring the water (with a dash of salt) to a boil. Add the groats, lower the heat, and simmer, covered for about 45-50 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the oats are tender. Remove from the heat and let stand for about 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve, garnished to your liking.
-With a rice cooker: You can cook oat groats the same way you would white rice, with a ratio of 1:2 or 1:3 of groats to water… depending on your preference. You may want to start with a 1:3 ratio and just drain of any excess water when the groats are done to your liking. The groats will take approximately one hour to cook.
-Tip: Also try toasting your oat groats for approximately 5 minutes (until a shade darker) in a saucepan over medium high heat prior to cooking them. This will bring out a new level of flavor.

Uses for oat groats: Most commonly, people cook them up and use them in place of rolled oats oatmeal at breakfast with some fresh fruit cut on top. You can also use them to add to soups, a stir-fry, or a salad (try replacing the water with stock for a little more savory flavor).

Steel-Cut Oats
Steel-cut oats (sometimes called ‘pinhead oats’) are essentially cut up oat groats. They are made by passing groats through steel cutters which chop each one into smaller pieces (hence the name).

To cook steel-cut oats: Using a 3:1 ratio of water to oats, bring the water to a boil and then stir in the steel-cut oats with a pinch of salt. Bring back to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes (depending on how cooked or chewy you want your oats), stirring every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Remove from the heat when desired consistency is reached and garnish according to your tastes and preferences with things such as: cinnamon, honey, maple syrup, fresh (or dried) fruit, extra milk for creaminess, toasted nuts, etc. You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week (just microwave it to reheat). (Directions courtesy of thekitchn.com)

Uses for steel-cut oats: You’d generally use these as a nice hearty breakfast.

Old-Fashioned/Rolled Oats
Old-fashioned/rolled oats are made by steaming groats and flattening them with a roller. They are flat and oval shaped. The fact that these are steamed in their process means they have been partially cooked, which is one factor in reducing their overall cooking time at home (plus the fact that they are more thin).

To cook old-fashioned oats: Using a 2:1 ratio of water to oats, bring the water to a boil with a dash of salt. Stir in the oats and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
May also be cooked in the microwave by combining all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and cooking on HIGH for 2-3 minutes. Stir before serving.

Uses for old-fashioned oats: Obviously oatmeal is a common use. Rolled oats are also good in cookies, breads, muffins, meatloaf, stuffings, etc.

Quick Oats
These are essentially the same as old-fashioned oats, except that instead of starting with the oat groat, this process starts with the steel-cut oats that are put through the same process as the old-fashioned oats. The smaller size makes them cook quicker, but everything else is the same.

To cook quick oats: Generally using a 2:1 ratio of water to oats (although you may want to add slightly more water), bring the water to a boil with a dash of salt. Stir in the oats and cook for about 1 minute over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
May also be cooked in the microwave by combining all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and cooking on HIGH for 1-2 minutes. Stir before serving.

Uses for quick oats: Most commonly used for a quick bowl of oatmeal in the morning. These can also pretty much be used anywhere that old-fashioned oats are used. They are generally interchangeable.

Instant Oats
These are also made similar to the old-fashioned oats, except that they are steamed longer and rolled more thinly. Generally the more you process a food, the less nutritious it becomes, so if you’re looking for nutritional value, I would stick with one of the other forms of oats… although there is no proof that these are less nutritious (so don’t feel bad if you like them!).

To cook instant oats: Anyone? Anyone? I couldn’t find a generic “how to” for this. It’s basically the same as Quick Oats, but faster, right? Well, you will pretty much always have to buy this is some sort of package form, so just follow the directions on the package. How’s that for a wimpy answer? 🙂

Uses for instant oats: This is commonly used for instant ‘porridge’. You cannot use this interchangeably with old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats in recipes. Since it has already been cooked and dried, it can turn your recipe into a gummy mess.

Oat Flour
Oat flour is simply oats ground down into flour. It’s interesting to note that oat flour has a longer shelf-life than wheat flour because of the natural preservatives found in oats, so adding a little bit of oat flour to your bread can help improve it’s shelf life.

To make oat flour: Many wheat grinders will also process rolled oats as well to give you oat flour that way. If you do not have a wheat grinder (or yours won’t process rolled oats), you could also use a food processor or even a blender. Simply place rolled oats in  your food processor and process until the oats reach a flour consistency. Sift out any large particles if needed.

Uses for oat flour: Can be used for a thickener in soups and stews. You can also replace part of the wheat flour in a recipe with oat flour (only replace up to about 1/3 of the wheat flour with the oat flour since oat flour does not have gluten and your baked goods will not rise properly if you replace too much of the wheat flour).

Well, I hope you enjoy your oats! And here’s a challenge for ya… give one of these types of oats a try that you’ve never tried before. You never know what you may end up liking! 😉

*Note: If you want to get technical on the benefits of eating oats, the more processed varieties (rolled oats, quick oats, and instant oats) will have a higher effect on your glycemic response thereby causing insulin and sugar levels to rise and eventually fall as well. But honestly, we’re talking about a minimal effect. So yes, TECHNICALLY the oat groats, and steel-cut oats are going to be better for you, but the difference is so small that I wouldn’t really give it a passing thought.

Sources and Additional Information:
Oatmeal For Breakfast from Almighty Dad
Former Fat Guy
EatMoreOats.com
Homecooking

Food Storage: Oh-My-Oats

Oats are another fabulous grain that I have thoroughly come to enjoy storing and using… especially as I have learned more and more about their great benefits. Here’s a quick rundown for ya…

Health Benefits:

  • Oats are high in fiber. They are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber in oats is beta-glucan which is effective in lowering blood cholesterol (one of the most common benefits of eating oats).
  • Oats are a great source of protein. Oat protein is almost the same in quality to soy protein (which has been shown by the WHO to be equal to meat, milk, and egg protein). The amount of protein of the hull-less oat kernel (oat groats) ranges from 12-24%, which is the highest among any of the cereal grains.
  • Oats are a valuable source of energy. They provide a slow release of energy over the morning because they are rich in complex carbohydrates–which reduces the desire to snack on quick-energy, sugar-based foods (translation: you can lose weight because you will eat less, stay full longer, and not snack on junk food!).
  • Oats are low in fat and contain no cholesterol.
  • Oats are a high source of vitamin B1.
  • Oats help to prevent heart disease and a variety of cancers.

Other Benefits:

  • Oats are a natural anti-depressant. In fact they are used to help treat depression.
  • Oats soothe the nerves and reduce stress. They are also used to help treat anxiety and nervous disorders.
  • Cooked oats help relieve fatigue.
  • Raw oats can be used to help relieve constipation.
  • Oats have a soothing effect on skin and are therefore used to help soothe skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, measles, chicken pox, and are also used in many cosmetic products.

Are you sold yet?! Good gracious! It really is amazing what wonderful things these grains that the Lord has given us can do for us! And yet, we are such a society of processed convenience foods… it’s no wonder we have so many problems, diseases, and cancers! I’d say it’s time to wise up and jump on the ‘health food’ wagon. 🙂 Anyway, to get the most health benefits from oats, eat ½ to 1 cup of oats every day. Combine this with a low-fat, high-fiber diet and you’ll be in good shape. 🙂

Storing Your Oats

  • Store your oats in a cool, dark, dry location.
  • Store oats in an air tight, opaque container. You can use mylar bags, food grade buckets, or cans.
  • You can use either oxygen absorbers or Diatomaceous Earth (see the information on wheat storage for more information about DE) to protect against a critter infestation.
  • Properly stored oats will have a shelf life of at least 30 years.

Well, if you weren’t an oat eater before, hopefully this information has helped to open your eyes a little as to why you should be storing and eating more oats! Next week we’ll talk about the different types of oats and how to cook them. So stay tuned!

Sources and Additional Information:
EatMoreOats.com
Oohoi.com

Food Storage: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Howdy all! I just ordered and received my Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and I’m so excited to add it to my wheat to keep those pesky bugs out! But I also wanted to share some information with y’all that came with my order. I ordered my DE from Earthworks Health because it had the best price I could find (including the shipping) for the amount I wanted to order (I got a 10 lb bag). Anyway, they shipped it to me super fast, and when I opened the box there was a slip of paper that had all sorts of good information with uses for DE. I thought I would pass it on for your information and I will just relay their entire flier to you…

“Diatomaceous Earth (DE) has many applications. Some of the things that people are using DE for are as follows:

ORGANIC INSECT CONTROL:
Everyone loves the fact that DE is totally drug and chemical free. Not only is DE safe to use, bugs can not become immune to its effects like they do with chemicals. DE kills all insects by scratching off their waxy protective coating causing them to dehydrate. Most insects die in an hour or so. Below is a listing of the different ways people are applying the DE:

  1. Dusting on gardens, flowers, plants, bushes, and trees
  2. Applying a 2 inch border around foundation of their house
  3. Sprinkling in and around animal and pet housing.
  4. Pouring on and down ant hills (including fire ants)
  5. Spreading over large areas with a fertilizer spreader or duster
  6. Sprinkling in carpet, furniture, etc to kill infestations
  7. Mixing with water and spraying or whitewashing infested areas
  8. Adding to stored grain or foodstuffs
  9. Dusting in studding during construction to create a permanent bug guard

PETS and LIVESTOCK:
We continue to get hundreds of reports on how DE takes care of fleas, ticks, mites, etc on the outside and worms and parasites on the inside. This is exciting because DE is non-drug and non-chemical.
People are doing and reporting the following:

  1. Dusting DE on the coats of dogs and cats for flea, tick and lice control
  2. Adding DE to food each day for worm and parasite control
  3. Adding DE to food for joint, skin, and hair coat health
  4. Adding DE to ration to kill fly larvae in manure
  5. Using on birds/poultry for lice and mite control
  6. Applying to moist kennel areas for pest and odor control

HUMAN USE:
Many people, including all of us here at earthworkshealth, are taking food grade DE every day. You might ask, “How can something that kills bugs be good for people?” Remember, DE kills bugs by scratching them–no chemicals are involved. For people, DE is a source of available silica. Silica is a major mineral we all need that is lacking in our foodstuffs today. Most are taking 1 Tablespoon of DE per day in juice, water, pop, applesauce, yogurt, protein shake, or liquid of their choice. After hundreds of feedbacks, this is what we are hearing from people:

  1. Sore joints feeling better
  2. Lower cholesterol (usually 50-75 points lower)
  3. Lowering high blood pressure
  4. Keeping blood sugar levels stable
  5. More energy
  6. Healthier skin: softer, less itching, faster healing, psoriasis gone
  7. Stronger and healthier nails and hair
  8. Calming nerves and better sleep
  9. Aid in weight loss
  10. Cleansing digestive tract of parasites

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. DE is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. These statements are for information purposes only and are not meant to replace the services or recommendations of a physician or qualified health care practitioner. Those with health problems, pregnancy or who are nursing are specifically advised that they should consult their physician before taking any nutritional supplement.”

Food Storage: Using Your Wheat

Alright, this will be our last post on wheat for a little while. We’re going to move on to other grains. But before we move on, I wanted to make sure you don’t get all this wheat and then not have a clue what to do with it. So here are the main things you can do with wheat…

Wheat Flour
This is obviously the most common thing we do with wheat… we grind it! If you do not have a wheat grinder, I strongly suggest you start saving up for one. They can be a little pricey, but are well worth the investment. Especially when you consider how much less expensive it is to grind your own whole grains versus purchasing expensive whole grain flour in the store. And honestly… isn’t your family’s health and well-being worth it? I also recommend getting a hand-crank grinder for emergency purpose use. Another expense, but you’ll be glad you’ve got it when there’s no electricity and you’re sitting there with buckets and buckets of wheat. (*Hint*… you could also ask for these as Christmas, birthday, or anniversary gifts. Our electric wheat grinder was a wedding present and our hand-crank was a Christmas present. So we didn’t even have to spend any money on them!) Anyway, once you’ve ground your wheat into flour, you can use it to make any and all of your baking needs that call for flour; breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, tortillas, etc. And you’ll find that if you use fresh ground flour, your baked goods will turn out so much better because the flour is so vital right after it’s ground (especially versus flour that’s been sitting on a store shelf for who knows how long).

Cooked Wheat Berries
Instead of grinding wheat, you can also just cook it. Cooked wheat berries are similar in texture to other cooked grains such as barley, brown rice, and oat groats. You can use cooked wheat berries as a breakfast cereal in the morning, or you can add it to soups, salads, and pilafs.

To cook wheat berries combine 1 cup of rinsed wheat berries with 3 cups of water and a dash of salt in a medium saucepan. (Note: some people say to soak your berries overnight before you cook them. This is not needed, but you can do it if you’d like.) Bring the contents to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently until plump and chewy and the berries start to split open (about 1 hour), stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse. You can serve them hot right away, or cover in an air-tight container and refrigerate for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (You can just reheat them in the microwave when you want them hot.)
You can also try cooking these in your slow-cooker over night on low for 8 hours to have breakfast waiting for you in the morning. AND you can cook them in your rice cooker too (which is the way I have cooked mine). So many possibilities! 🙂

So far I’ve tried adding cooked wheat berries to my fruit and yogurt bowls, to a bowl of cold cereal in the morning, to a cheddar broccoli rice side dish, and to pancake mix. The rice dish was probably the most successful in terms of getting people to eat it. I didn’t mind it in the other dishes as well, but it’s definitely different (and probably not something I will do on a regular basis). I recommend starting off by adding only small amounts. The flavor and texture takes a little getting used to, so don’t go overboard right off the bat. You can dress wheat berries up as much as you’d like and play around with a bunch of different flavor combinations.  Try using juice or broth in place of the water, or toasting the berries prior to cooking. Here’s a recipe for a Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl you can try to get your creativity started (see picture above for a glimpse).

Sprouting Wheat
Sprouting is the process of adding water to seeds, grains, or even nuts to help them become ‘alive’ (just as if you were going to sprout seeds to plant in your garden to grow). This is an area in which I have only dabbled… and I use that term liberally. Technically I’ve tried it once. 🙂 It worked, then I didn’t know what to do with my sprouts, so they sat there and went moldy, I threw them out, and haven’t tried it again since. But sprouting is a good way to get good nutrition in you. It can even increase the amount of nutrients and vitamins in whatever you are sprouting. Granted, I believe there is some controversy over which form is more nutritious (I believe there are trade-offs for each side), but the point is that it is highly nutritious. AND, when you sprout something you give life to it. It now has living enzymes. And when you eat them, that life is transfered to you which brings about it’s own set of benefits, among which is that it can help give you increased energy. So… to sprout or not to sprout. That is the question. 🙂 For me, the process was not really rewarding enough to do it on a regular basis, but then again, I’m basing this only on one experience. Perhaps I may do it occasionally for some fun with the kiddos, or even more often once I learn more about different things to sprout and how to use them. My journey with sprouts is definitely not over, but there are just other things I would like to explore first. 🙂 But really, it’s pretty easy, it only takes about 2-4 days before they’re ready to eat, and it’s kinda cool to see these little things growing in your own home. So if you’ve ever had an inclination to try it, check out some of these videos to learn more about it… click HERE and HERE.

Wheat Meat
I have not yet attempted this process, but I know it is an option and therefore wanted to put it out to you. Creating wheat meat is done by washing your wheat flour until you are left with just the gluten (or you can start with just vital wheat gluten), seasoning the gluten, adding water/broth to create a rubbery mixture, and then boiling, frying, baking, or even grilling your ‘meat’. I will definitely try this at some point and share my information with you, but until then, if you are interested in exploring this further, you can check out the Preparedness Pro blog for her instructions or search the internet for more information on how to create ‘wheat meat’. Otherwise, stay posted until I get a chance to delve into this interesting arena. 🙂

*Reminder* Don’t forget to drink lots of water when you’re eating a lot of whole grains (especially if you’re just starting to incorporate them into your diet!)

So get going on using your wonderful wheat and start enjoying some delicious, nutritious, better-for-you foods. It’ll be sure to put a smile on your face. 🙂

Photos courtesy of: mybaby.com; 101Cookbooks.com; 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Heaven; and PreparednessPro.com respectively