I bought my first grain grinder about a year after I got married. The Good Guy and I were out shopping and came across the K-Tec Kitchen Mill. I had to have one. So, even though we were hardly graduated from college and had little in the way of extra spending money, we made the purchase. It was one of the best things we ever bought. Truly, that grinder would have lasted me my entire life had I not made a stupid mistake followed by a stupid decision.
See, I forgot one of the fundamental rules of grinding grains: Never try to grind anything moist. It’s a long story and I don’t want to bore you, but suffice it to say that I gummed up the works of the machine. That was the stupid mistake. It was followed by my decision to let The Musician take apart the grinder to fix it. Before I could say “Bob’s your uncle, ” there were parts all over my counter. When it was all put back together, there may or may not have been parts left over.
What I didn’t know, however, was that while I was bemoaning my lost grain grinder, unseen forces were working toward thwarting my ever eating wheat again. Even if I hadn’t lost my old grinder, I would have had to purchase a new one anyway after the doctor lowered the gluten free boom. So it all worked out in the end. By the time I got around to buying a new Blendtec Mill (K-tec became Blendtec sometime between the 1980s and now), I needed a non-contaminated appliance. Sometimes those stinkin’ stars do align.
Do you have any idea how expensive gluten free baking can be? Oy! It sets my frugal heart to pounding in the most unbecoming manner when I walk down the tiny little gluten free aisle in Publix or Winn Dixie. I decided right from the start that I would grind my own when I could. It’s pretty simple to put a bag of brown rice into the grinder, flip the switch and have brown rice flour. The same goes for white rice, lentils and beans. I am going to see what happens when I grind tapioca pearls. Anyone want to venture a guess at the upcoming results? I am also looking for a source of sorghum. Sorghum flour is by far my favorite gluten free flour. It acts the most like wheat. I can only find the flour in little 2 pound bags and have never seen it whole.
I did the math. Even with the expense of buying the mill, it is still cheaper to buy whole rice and beans and grind them into flour than it is to buy little bags of flour. I put the flour into the freezer to keep it fresh. I like knowing how fresh it really is. After all, who knows when those little store bought bags of flour were milled. They are weeks if not months old.
So there you have it folks; my spin on gluten free flours. Heck! Even if you aren’t gluten free, I still recommend grinding your own flours. Blendtec makes a great product, but I have had friends with Whisper Mills who have loved them just as much. Those are the two brands I’d suggest if you are in the market to buy a grain grinder. The Blendtec is loud; jet engine loud, but it’s fast, easy to clean and compact to store. I don’t know enough about the Whisper Mill to say what it’s advantages and disadvantages are other than the fact that it is slightly quieter (but not a whisper, mind you).
Oh, and I wasn’t asked to endorse Blendtec, nor was I compensated for liking their product. All opinions and ideas are my own.