Grinding Your Own Flour

Learn how to grind your own flour and about historic grist mills across the United States at 31Daily.com.

Have you ever visited an operating grist mill?

One autumn Saturday on a trip from Seattle to Portland, we took an unplanned, spontaneous yet fascinating side trip to Cedar Creek Grist Mill near Vancouver, Washington. The mill rests on a steep and rocky slope at the bottom of a narrow gorge. It’s spectacularly scenic, a photographers dream. And, it is the only grain grinding mill in Washington that has maintained its original structural integrity. It is water powered.

I had my first taste of freshly ground wheat berries and corn meal that weekend. And was forever changed. It is nothing like what we buy in our markets. Perhaps it was the experience, perhaps it was the method… perhaps it was the memory. But I was hooked.

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If you’re ever traveling I-5 between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington — take the extra time to visit the mill. A perfect summer outing. And — you can even bring home some freshly ground flour.

But if you’re not in my neck of the woods, this link will take you to Wikipedia where they list operating grist mills or water mills by state. Put it on your summer or autumn list. An educational and fascinating experience.

Grist mills have a long history. Used in this country since the early 1600s, grist mills ground corn and wheat and were primarily located in coastal areas.

There is something about water wheels and grist mills that resonate with most of us. It’s basic, perhaps, to our nature, our instincts. And it’s incredibly healthy.

Most of us know that processed white flour isn’t healthy. And that “bleached” white flour is even less so.

With nearly 10 million pounds of General Mills flour recently recalled, we’re all probably thinking about processed flour.

The reason white refined flour isn’t healthy is because the refining process has stripped and destroyed the wheat berry’s original nutrients, essentially becoming a refined sugar. Consider what’s lost in the refining process.

  • Half of the beneficial unsaturated fatty acids
  • Virtually all of the vitamin E
  • Fifty percent of the calcium
  • Seventy percent of the phosphorus
  • Eighty percent of the iron
  • Ninety-eight percent of the magnesium
  • Fifty to 80 percent of the B vitamins

To read more about refined flour, visit this link.

There are solutions to refined white flour, however.

Most markets have whole grain alternatives.

Or… you could grind your own flour and retain the nutritious bran and germ of the wheat berry that’s lost in commercial flour.

One of my favorite resources for whole grains is Bob’s Red Mill. They are the leading name in health foods nationwide. Their catalog is extensive. Visit Bob’s Red Mill to view their online collection.

But what if you want to take it a step further and grind your own flour?

If you’re interested in learning what’s involved in grinding your own flour, following are two videos, with two different recommendations on equipment.

If you’re thinking about processing your own flour, below are recommended resources to view.

Recommended Resources

 NutriMill Grain Mill  Champion Juicer

Wonder Junior Deluxe Manual
Hand Grind Mill

 Victorio Hand Operated
Grain Mill

Learn how to grind your own flour and about historic grist mills across the United States at 31Daily.com.

Written by 

Stephanie Wilson is an author, blogger, publisher, and former television news writer and producer. She lives in the Puget Sound area with her husband and teenage son.

One thought on “Grinding Your Own Flour

  1. Anonymous

    I remember Y 2 K when many people were freezing wheat and buying devices to grind it. We have been to Cedar Creek Grist Mill and so enjoyed it. Great article.

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