food storage, baking, whole wheat Clear Springs Press




How to Live on Wheat

Foreword

         Storing food for the security of one's self and one's family is a practice whose merit and wisdom is self evident. The extended aspect is to use this practice as a means of improving one's nutrition and reducing the grocery bill. The challenge is that the practice and protocols of using stored grains and legumes in the daily diet is not the norm for our culture. At first glance, that appears to be an additional task or burden. That is more perception than reality.

         The nutritional and economic merits of using freshly ground flour daily are real, not just a philosophy. To use whole grains, one needs to set up a few tools and learn a few new techniques. The tools are a grinder, a sprouting setup, a meat grinder for processing sprouts, a sourdough culture, and a tempeh culture.

         One objective is to avoid wasting money by buying storage food and letting it sit on the shelf until it is expired and having to throw it out. Eat what you store and store what you eat is the idea.

         The recipes contained in this book are very basic. They are tested and will produce good results, but they should be considered "guidelines" rather than exact formulas. It is important to develop the habit of experimenting, adapting and improvising. That is how all great recipes begin. That is also how you compensate for variables. Your fresh ground flour will not behave the same way as standardized products off of the supermarket shelf. You will also have a flavor advantage from your fresh product that you can take advantage of. People tend to compare a new food with what they are familiar with. Once your family and friends get used to the fresh ground and fresh baked foods, they will be spoiled.

         In my personal practice, I strive for simplicity and efficiency of time. I rarely bake standard loaves of bread. Instead, I cook pan bread in an iron skillet. Why? Because it is quick and I only make a quantity that I will use in a day or two so it is always fresh. Sprouting and rising sourdough takes a bit of organization, but only a small amount of time.

         I used only whole wheat flours that I grind myself. I used or created recipes that use only a bare minimum of ingredients for simplicity. You can get a lot more complicated, but you can't do it with less effort. Simplicity is achieved without sacrifice of quality. When I make sourdough pan bread, there are no left-overs.

         The information presented here has been simplified, tried, and proven. It uses only whole wheat grain and flours and a minimum of ingredients. It combines wheat and legumes for optimum protein utilization and emphasizes sprouting to create and increase vitamin content.

         Purchasing whole grain wheat in bulk is relatively inexpensive. Local sources are preferred because of the shipping costs. By the time wheat reaches the grocery store shelf as bread, pastries, and breakfast cereal, it will cost you from about 4 to 20 times the cost of the whole grain. Wholesale and retail markups, processing, packaging, and transportation, combine to dramatically increase cost. While the food industry does offer convenience, for a price, using whole grains is not really inconvenient, once you have acquired the necessary skills, habits, and knowledge.

         Sprouting dramatically increases the nutritional value of any grain or legume. Some B vitamins increase by as much as 1000% and vitamin C and vitamin A are created where none existed before.

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