The first thing I think of when I hear "food storage" is wheat. Then I would think, "What in the world am I going to do with all this wheat!?!" I was just storing it because we were instructed to by the first presidency. Well fortunately, I saw the error of my ways and began studying what to do with my wheat, NOW!
The benefits of whole wheat are amazing:
1) It is more nutritious. Whole-wheat flour contains more minerals, vitamins, and natural phytochemicals than white wheat does.
2) Helps with stress. Whole wheat contains B vitamins, which are necessary for healthy nerves.
3) Whole wheat foods provide more fiber than do foods made with white flour. Eating more fiber helps prevent constipation, and many other bowel problems.
4) Helps you lose weight and keep it off! The fiber in whole wheat has almost no calories, keeps you fuller longer, absorbs three times its weight in water, cuts absorption of calories, cleans out impurities, requires more chewing, takes half as much to fill you up, and takes longer to digest.
5) Can lower your blood pressure, your LDL cholesterol level, and your risk of adult-onset diabetes. Reduces your risk of colon cancer and other diseases.
6) Keeps your body emotionally and physically used to something that will be a major staple in your diet if you must live off your food storage for a long period of time.
Wow with all these benefits why would you just leave your wheat sitting in a dark closet?
Lets take a moment to familiarize ourselves with the types of wheat:
There are two varieties of hard winter wheat that is possible to store for 30 years. Nutritionally they are the same, but in color and taste they are different.
Hard Red Wheat has a stronger “nuttier” flavor that can be harder to disguise in your everyday cooking but can make delicious “hearty” tasting bread and is darker in color.
Hard White Wheat has a lighter flavor and color and is easier to disguise in your everyday cooking. (Personally, I store more hard white wheat than the red variety)
For more in-depth information click here.
So where did I start? Whole wheat flour! I spent a few weeks researching wheat grinders and settled on the one that would work best for me. (a Nutrimill)
How long can you store wheat flour?
Room temperature -up to 3 months
Refridgerator - up to 6 months
Freezer - up to 12 months
The first thing I made was oatmeal cookies. I used my regular recipe and just replaced the all-purpose flour with my freshly ground wheat flour. Then the true test came.... I fed it to my husband! As he was eating his 3rd cookie I told him it was 100% whole wheat. He shrugged and said it tasted great!
Here are some tips for finding recipes to use whole wheat in:
- Any recipe with oats will mask the wheat because the oats already give a “hearty” feel to the cookies
- Brown sugar in the recipe will mask any extra brown coloring from the wheat and help make the cookie more chewy. So a recipe that calls for all brown sugar would be ideal.
- Chocolate is a strong flavor that will mask even the pickiest eaters taste buds.
- You don’t have to start out replacing all the all-purpose flour with wheat flour. Start out doing 1/2 all-purpose and 1/2 whole wheat and work your way up to all wheat flour.
- Use white wheat. White wheat doesn’t have the strong taste that red wheat has and is much easier hidden in things like cookies.
- Don’t warn your family before they try it. They will assume that the cookie is how you always make it/
To cook wheat berries:
Stove top Slow cooker
1 cup wheat 1 cup wheat
2 cups water 2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp salt
ST: Place ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour or more until tender. Drain and cool.
SC: Place ingredients in slow cooker. Cook 6-8 hours or overnight on low.
I mixed my wheat berries with half a pound of elk meat and topped with taco seasoning for taco salad.
I also have mixed the wheat berries in with my ground meat for hamburgers, however, we ate them so quickly I forgot to take a picture!
If you are VERY adventurous I have read about substituting meat all together for wheat/ wheat gluten. In my opinion that's just wrong I love me some meat!! Plus my husband said we would have problems if I pulled that one on him. :)
So hopefully you no longer fear your wheat and maybe will start using it on a regular basis.