Nutrimill Grain Grinder Review

Question: What kind of grain grinder do you use?

I have been using a Nutrimill for several years now and love this machine!

PRO’s: It has a very trim design and is not huge and awkward making it easy to store on my kitchen counter tucked in the corner for easy access. It produces fresh flour very quickly providing me with a nice batch of flour in a matter of minutes. It actually stays relatively clean while grinding flour and does not have a huge off spray, thus providing easy clean up. Its works very well for grinding fresh flours for all your baking needs. It has a twenty cup bowl capacity, so you can prepare a lot of flour at once or any smaller amounts as well. The Nutrimill keeps your flour at temperatures (typically around 118 degrees) that protect the nutrients in your grains. Its new airflow design makes it the world’s coolest-running impact mill. Customer service is excellent. My machine actually broke in a month’s time and the company paid to have it fixed and shipped back to me. It hasn’t had a problem since. It has a lifetime warranty including the stainless steel blades.

CON’s: It has various settings to adjust the fineness of the grind, but I have not found them to be very effective. It produces a fine grind rather than a course grind. The only things I found it difficult to grind included whole corn, and oatmeal. In these cases, I recommend grinding it together with another smooth grain such as wheat/spelt/kamut/brown rice grain. Mixing them together made it grind perfectly. I wouldn’t say this machine is quiet, but it is definitely not as loud as my mother’s old fashioned grinder. It is not cheap, but is definitely a worthwhile investment for all the nutrition value of grinding your own grain!

To read more of the benefits of grinding your own grain, check out these posts:

Is buying whole grains cheaper?
The Value of Soaking Your Grains

Where to buy a Nutrimill? I recommend Paula’s Bread as an excellent Christian family small business.

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Quinoa: Creamy Quinoa Porridge & Other Recipes

quinoaQuinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a member of the goosefoot family and is grown in the altiplano of the Andes in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, and some in Chile and Argentina. It has historically been the staple food of the Andes. Quinoa is a cute, light, curly grain that cooks up in approximately 20-25 minutes. It is rather nutty in flavor but is delicious in place of rice in many dishes. Quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains due to its high lysine and protein content. It is gluten-free, providing another grain choice for the gluten intolerant. It can effectively boost milk supply for nursing mothers as well. It is one of the most expensive grains, but due to its valuable nutrition we make an effort to include it in our diet.

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Lovely Linkage – Happy 4th of July!

Picture 4Have a happy 4th of July! Here are few highlights I wanted to share with you all.

Food Preservation Classes – Vancouver, WA
I wanted to let all my local readers know that my aunt, Molly, is teaching another set of food preservation classes this month (July 16 & 23 and then again on August 1) and thoroughly covering the topics of canning, freezing and drying of fruits and vegetables. You will be supplied with a hands on demonstration, and a great packet of information to take home with you. It is an excellent class if you are interested in saving money and preserving local foods for the year. For more information, check out her website here.

Natural Living Articles for your enjoyment:

How to Make Soda Pop from Kefir Grains – I love this! What a great alternative to the sugar filled drinks available on the market and for a refreshing summer drink.
Study Finds Cheeseburgers More Nutritious than Baby Food - another reason to make your own homemade baby food! Not only is it far more nutritious, it is also far more frugal and you know exactly what is going in it.
How Much Sugar Are You Really Consuming?- Stephanie shares an very insightful website that gives visual comparison of some popular food items with how many sugar cubes they contain.
Raw Berry Freezer Jam - Kimi shares how to make freezer jam sweetened with honey. I found that using rapadura/sucanat is my personal favorite for sweetening jam (as honey tends to be a little powerful), but we love Pamona’s for a natural pectin. I am looking forward to making blackberry jam later on this year with the free blackberries that grow around our house.

Food, Inc – the Movie – There has been a lot of talk lately about this documentary that highlights the current problems with our food industry. How much do you really know about the process of bringing food to your table? It looks fascinating! Kimi talks about it here as well as Kelly shares her thoughts here. Check out the trailer here. Here is a crazy quote that Kelly passed on from the film:

“We’re spending less on food than anyone in history, only about 9% of our income, cheaper than anyone else in the world.  So we’ve got lots of cheap and abundant food, but…it’s making us fat, we have this tremendous problem with obesity and Type II Diabetes, and as it turns out, cheap food has many many hidden costs.”

For the Garden:
Homemade Fertilizer Recipe – Frugal Granola shares a all natural fertilizer for your garden with nettles! I am making a batch of this today for my container garden!
Natural Weed Killer Recipe – Another awesome natural method for the garden.

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Homemade Coconut Oil Mayonnaise

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This picture was taken immediately after making this batch. It actually thickens to a nice fluffy consistency as it cools in the refrigerator!

I have been on the quest to find a nutritious alternative to the store bought versions of mayonnaise that come filled with soybean or canola oil, two genetically modified ingredients that are best to be avoided. Read more about GMO’s here. I have tried a few different homemade varieties and have shared them here in the past, but either they tasted too strongly of olive oil or else they used evaporated milk. Enter…coconut oil!

A combination of olive oil and coconut oil is the perfect balance to providing a high quality and nutritious mayonnaise. (Read more about these healthy oils here.) Can you believe it? Mayonnaise can actually be healthy for you! We love mayo at our house on everything from deviled eggs, sandwiches, hamburgers, etc. This recipe is a good balance of coconut oil and olive oil in flavor. It is quite delicious! The coconut oil adds just a slight sweetness to it and yet not overpowering when balanced with the olive oil. Using all coconut oil resulted in a solid substance that was overly sweet and coconut tasting, but this recipe was prefect for us and stayed nice and fluffy throughout its duration in the fridge.  I love making my own condiments as I know what goes in it without any additives or unnatural preservatives! Plus it is the frugal way to stretch your budget.

1 whole egg (fresh, free range eggs from the farm are preferred)
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil (melted if solid)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the eggs, mustard, lemon juice, salt and white pepper in your blender or food processor. Then with the blender or food processor running on a low speed, start adding your oils very slowly. Start out with drops and then work up to about a 1/16 inch stream. It takes a good 5 minutes to accomplish this, but the end result is worth it! Continue blending until all the oil is incorporated.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Please in your refrigerator to thicken. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. You can add 1 Tablespoon of whey to preserve it for about a month and provide those good fermenting nutrients.

Note: If you do not like the flavor of coconut oil, choose an expeller pressed/refined version. This is flavorless and still healthy, although not as beneficial for your body as the cold-pressed, unrefined versions. I love Mountain Rose Herbs coconut oil, and they sell both varieties. Another good alternative is sesame oil, although again not as nutritious as coconut oil.

Recipe is adapted slightly from Tropical Traditions.

P.S. Looks like I am not the only one thinking about and experimenting with homemade mayo lately. Check out Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s healthy recipe here.

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And we’re back!

We had a simply delightful time at the beach with my side of the family, but we are glad to be back! Here are a few pictures from our trip. It was beautiful weather but we had lots of wind, as you can tell. We also got some cute family photos that we will have to share later…
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Salmon/Tuna Melts

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Yummy wild salmon or tuna is another delicious and light lunch. Fish is so incredibly beneficial for the heart and should be consumed regularly in your diet. It is important to make sure to select wild fish options. Why? One article shared the following report:

In a study published in the journal Science in 2004, researchers discovered that farm-raised salmon had more dioxins and other chemicals like PCBs—polychlorinated biphenyls, which the Department of Health and Human Services has determined are carcinogens—than in wild salmon. Not just more, but 11 times more! Another study published in a 2005 edition of the journal Nutrition found similar results, theirs showing PCBs were ten times higher in farm-raised salmon than in wild salmon.

1 (14 oz. can) wild salmon (we like the Trader Joe’s version as it is fairly cheap. Beware of small bones, but they are easy to remove prior to adding the rest of the ingredients)
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3-5 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whole grain bread or English muffins
Tomato slices
Cheese, shredded

Combine the salmon/tuna, seasonings and mayonnaise until smooth and to your taste. Spread onto your bread and top with a slice of tomato and cheese. Grill till melted in a toaster oven or conventional oven. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings.

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How to Enjoy Reading Frugally

Picture 2In light of my recent post on building your marriage and one of the suggestions being reading together, a reader asked, “How can you maintain a reading habit frugally?” Here are some of the ideas that were shared along with some of my own. Reading is my hobby. I love sneaking in snippets of reading while nursing my baby, during nap time, and before bed as time allows.

But…the cost of books surely does add up. How can we pursue the joys of reading and all the benefits it brings without breaking the bank?

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Wahoo and to the beach we go!

It has been a long time coming and a greatly anticipated event! We are off to enjoy the Oregon Coast for the next several days with my family. We will be enjoying some much needed rest and refreshment. Blessings upon your weekend!

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Building Our Marriage & Strengthening Our Faith

It is a constant battle in this day and age to preserve, uphold and treasure the design of God in covenant marriage. We are no exception. I am often plagued with doubt and fear in my husband’s provision for us, or in self-centered thoughts of feeling unloved. Take that plank out of your own eye first, dear. We have found we must be active in preserving our marriage for the glory of God. God has designed marriage to be a reflection of His beautiful union between Christ and the church. Marriage has been the number one means of growing in sanctification and maturity in my life! Here are a few practical ways we are actively seeking to grow and cherish our marriage until death do we part….

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In Season: Strawberries

strawberryThose lovely juicy strawberries are coming off the vine and they are packed full of vitamin C to boost your immune system. Did you know that there is more vitamin C in the green leafy tops than in the red succulent strawberry itself? I freeze my strawberries for year round use and keep the tops on. When I prepare a smoothie, they get blended in quite nicely. Plus if you preserve the entire berry you have no waste and get more for your money!

Our favorite strawberry concoctions include…

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