We have been making our own homemade wheat flour more and more often lately. But now that I figured out I could grind a bunch at once, and then freeze what I don’t use, I will use the homemade flour even more. The difference is night and day.
Just as with pasture-raised chicken eggs, compared to commercially raised chicken eggs, there is a huge difference in the nutritional value of hand-ground flour vs. commercially ground flour by necessity. Once a wheat berry is ground into flour, the inside germ is exposed to air, and quickly becomes rancid – usually within three days.
This means that truly whole wheat flour should be used within three days of being ground to get the freshest, most nutritious and non-rancid flour you can get. But of course, commercially prepared flour would be in transit for much longer than that… never mind how long it sits on the shelf that long before being purchased. There is a reason why, historically, many communities had their own mill. There is also a reason Jesus said in Scriptures, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Nutrients in Freshly Ground Flour
Here are just a few of the nutrients that are available in freshly ground flour. Many of the B vitamins are found in the wheat germ, which is otherwise removed for commercially prepared flour, and then one or two of the B vitamins are added back in to make “fortified” bread.
Fiber is highest when you begin with the whole wheat berry and grind it completely. You’ll notice in the picture of this fresh ground wheat how it is not perfectly uniform. You can see the color variations caused from the difference between the outer and inner layers of wheat.
Most flour has the bran and germ removed, which makes up 40% of the wheat, and also makes up most of the nutrients. While wheat is a high-glycemic carbohydrate, it is a complex carbohydrate, and high in fiber. Freshly-ground whole wheat is also high in B vitamins (including folic acid, which is needed for healthy pregnancies), calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, and fiber.