What Are Wheat Berries?
What are Wheat Berries is a good place to start. Most people know what flour is, but most people don’t know that flour is made from wheat berries. That’s right. Flour is made from wheat berries.
Wheat berries are the edible portion of the wheat kernel. Wheat berries can be eaten in several ways. Wheat berries can be ground into flour and then made into various breads, rolls, pizza crust, and other baked goods. Wheat berries can be used in stir fry and casseroles. Wheat berries can also be eaten as a cereal.
For the purpose of this post, I will be discussing bread making. I love using wheat berries in my bread making instead of processed flour. Here is the reason why I do this.
Nutritional Benefits of Wheat Berries
Processed flour that is bought in stores is made from wheat berries. So what is the difference? Why would I go to all the extra effort to mill my own wheat berries if processed flour is milled from wheat berries. This is a really good question. Here is my answer.
Let’s start by looking a little closer at a wheat berry. I have provided you with a pic below for clarification so you can follow along with my explanation and discussion.
See Pic Below.
The bran, middlings, germ, germ oil are all removed in the process of making the white flour that you are able to purchase in the stores.
The bran is the hard brownish outer protective skin of the grain. The bran protects the grain from weather, insects, mold and bacteria. The bran is what contains the B-Complex Vitamins and Insoluble Fiber.
The Middlings are responsible for digestion and aid in the regulation of blood sugar.
The germ is nutritionally rich and aids in promoting intestinal health.
The germ oil is very rich in Vitamin E.
When you are done, all that is left is the endosperm and that is composed of mostly starch.
So Why Do Manufacturer's Do This?
But why, why do Manufacturer’s take wheat berries that are full of nutritional benefits and strip it down a starch with no nutritional benefit?
Your Answer is Shelf Life.
Processed Flour Shelf Life
That is correct, the answer is shelf life. If properly wrapped and stored, process flour can last 6 to 8 months at room temperature. If you store the processed flour in an air tight container with an oxygen absorber then you can extend the shelf life a little longer.
You can also extend the shelf life of processed flour by keeping it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Freshly Milled Flour Shelf Life
That is the shelf life for processed flour. Now compare that to the shelf life of milling your own wheat berries. The self life is greatly reduce.
4 to 7 Days when stored in a air-tight container.
That is correct. 4 to 7 days. That is why wheat berries should not be milled unless you are ready to use them.
You can extend that shelf life by keeping freshly milled flour in the refrigerator. It will last 3 months in the refrigerator and up to 6 months when stored in the freezer.
But note, you always need to store your freshly milled flour in an air tight container, preferably with an oxygen absorber.
Nutritional Benefits of Fresh Milled Flour
It is really a shame that the nutritional benefits are being sacrificed for shelf life. But unfortunately it is true.
Let’s talk about those nutritional benefits for a moment. Because I mill my own flour I do not need to forfeit the nutritional goodness and benefits of the bread that I make. Let’s discuss this statement in more detail.
Nutritional Value of Wheat Berries
The vitamins and minerals that are packed into 100 grams of wheat berries is substantial.
The chart below is based on 100 grams of wheat berries. 100 grams is about 4 oz which is about 2/3 cup. That is a lot of vitamins and minerals for such a small amount.
You are welcome to check out the chart below for better detail and comprehension. The chart isn’t anything fancy. I found it on one of my many nutritional sites on the Internet.
In addition to the vitamins and minerals, fiber is another something that I look at. It is remarkable that it takes only 48 grams of wheat berries to meet your recommended daily requirement of fiber.
For those who don’t know, 48 grams is approximately 1.69 ounces. That isn’t a lot when you think about it.
Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat Germ Oil is part of the Wheat Germ which is removed in the processing process.
Oil? Removing the Germ Oil doesn’t sound like a bad thing, But hold on a second and let me explain this kind of oil.
Wheat Germ Oil is an unsaturated fat, you know, one of those that is considered to be a beneficial fats.
Studies have suggested that Wheat Germ Oil can help improve blood cholesterol levels. Additional studies suggest that it can ease inflammation in the body. It can also stabilize heart rhythms.
There are numerous benefits for Wheat Germ Oil. So let’s not discount it because of the word “Oil”.
Nutritional Benefits of in Wheat Berries
I can’t begin to cover the numerous benefits of Wheat Berries. My research suggest that Wheat Berries support Heart Health, Promote Regularity, Help Regulate Blood Sugar, Aid in Weight Loss, Strengthen Bones, and definitely help prevent Anemia.
Wheat Berries are rich in Iron, Calcium, B Vitamins, Vitamin E, Folate and Potassium.
I have noticed fewer blood sugar spikes. I have a lower glycemic index, my A1C.I have experienced less “brain fog”.
Wheat Berries are High in Gluten
Wheat berries do contain gluten and some wheat berries are higher in gluten than others. However, this is a topic for another day. I am mentioning this now because some people demonstrate an intolerance of sensitivity to gluten. These people should not consume wheat berries.
Many Commercial Breads Contain Addition Gluten
It is interesting to note that it is common practice among bread manufacturer’s to add extra gluten to their processed bread that you purchase in the stores. You can see this on the list of ingredients.
This is a rather common practice among manufacturers of variety breads. When you make variety breads that contain a lot of seeds or bran, the extra gluten is added to help maintain the structure of the bread which would otherwise be weakened by the large non-gluten partials. Also breads requiring extra volume, such as Vienna loaves, may also contain extra gluten.
Types of variety breads that usually contain extra gluten are wholemeal breads, high fiber breads, hearth and mix grain breads. Corn bread is another bread that contains added gluten.
What Mill Do I Use?
I choose NutriMill because I trust the brand and there is excellent customer support. NutriMill has a blog with a lot of helpful information. NutriMill also have tons of recipes.
The NutriMill Recipe section is where I found the Ezekiel Flour Blend. If you know anything about Ezekiel Bread, then you know that it is amazing. But this is a discussion for another day. I promise.
NutriMill Classic Grain Mill
There is so much to love about my NutriMill Classic Grain Mill.
- Advanced technology: Improved texture control, stronger milling heads, unique Force Flow sound/air chamber design which results in 50% noise reduction, improved motor cooling, and longer life.
- Protects nutrients: The NutriMill Classic keeps your flour at temperatures typically about 118° that protect the nutrients in your grains.
- Powerful 10 amp, 1-3/4 hp motor quickly produces your choice of fine, medium or coarse flour. Grind up to 5 cups of flour per minute.
- Stainles steel impact grain milling heads provide a 400% range of adjustment from fine to coarse flour, ten times greater than earlier impact mills. grinds wheat (both hard and soft), oat groats (dehulled oats), rice, triticale, kamut, spelt, dry beans, lentils, dent (field) corn, popcorn, dried sweet corn, split peas, buckwheat, barley, rye, millet, teff, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, dried mung beans and soybeans
- Includes Grain Hopper Extension to increase capacty, Air Filter, and Separator Cup. Limited lifetime warranty
This Grain Mill is very easy to use. There are some tips and tricks that I will discuss in upcoming post.
In upcoming post, I will share my recipe for wheat bread that I make.
Ezekiel Flour Blend that will save you a ton of money.
Tips on How To Use the Classic Grain Mill from NutriMill.
Check back often and look for the links to appear. You will know that I was able to get the post published.
Now, I Think You Get It.
I have been a part of the medical community for countless years. As a nurse, I fell in love with Cardiology. When it came time to retire, I fell in love once again, but this time with Nutrition and Gardening.
I maintain a close contact and relationship with the medical community and continue to learn and explore as research is made available.
I mill my own flour because of the multitude of health benefits. Yes, the flavor from fresh milled flour is different from the store bought varieties. But that flavor is incredible.
So What Did You Think?
Did you enjoy this content? Would you like to see more post like this one? Do you have questions? Let me know in the comment section below. I love hearing from all my awesome readers.