Q & A: Buying Grains

My question is about buying grains. I’ve noticed that you are always writing about grinding your own flour. Could you give me some tips on this? I have no idea where to even start.

Grain Grinder/Where to Buy

My first recommendation would be to invest in a grain grinder. This is a very helpful step to incorporating more whole grains and fresh grains into your diet! It is an investment, so if you can’t purchase one right away, start saving, and buy small packages of whole grain flours in the meantime and store them in the freezer or refrigerator to keep them fresh and prevent rancidity. I highly recommend the Nutri-Mill (purchased through Pleasant Hill Grain Company). It is a wonderful investment! This allows you to produce the freshest flour! You can buy whole grains through Azure Standard, which is my source. You can purchase 5-25 lb quantities, and I believe they have the best price I have seen. Depending upon where you live, they also deliver to drop spots all over the NW, and Midwest. Other sources include: Bob’s Red Mill.

Start with Basic Whole Wheat

I would recommend simply starting with whole wheat flour (hard red winter wheat, and soft spring wheat). Hard red is used in making bread, pizza crust, etc as it has a high gluten content, and soft spring in making all sorts of pastries, quick breads, muffins, etc. as it will give them a lighter, more fluffy texture (very similar to white flour).


A great source for learning more about different grains is Sue Gregg’s breakfast cookbook. This is my favorite resource! She also sells a whole grain baking course that is very helpful. She explains all the different grains and teaches you how to incorporate these by starting with breakfasts (waffles, pancakes, coffeecakes, etc). If you can eliminate white flour and white sugar, that is the best step you can take! This book really helped me learn how to start including other grains, such as kamut, spelt, quinoa, brown rice, etc. The breakfast cookbook alone is a great start!

Learn One at a Time

After you learn how to start replacing white flour with whole wheat flour, my next recommendation is to start getting familiar with the other grains. I recommend learning about one at a time. Take one week to focus on one grain and learning how to cook it and incorporating it into your meals. This has been very helpful for me. I started with quinoa, since it is such a nutritious grain. I started soaking, cooking, and incorporating it in soups, casseroles, or with our breakfast cereal, etc.

It’s so fun, if you start simple and don’t try to learn about or incorporate all of them at once!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

12 Responses to Q & A: Buying Grains

  1. Renae July 8, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    Lindsay, Can I make flour out of any dried bean, grain, etc??? Do they all measure the same – ie cup for cup?

    • Lindsay July 9, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

      Yes, you can make flour out of dried beans, etc. I do not know if they measure out the same, but it would be pretty close.

  2. Cherity April 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    Just wondering about the economic aspect of grinding your own flour? I finally found a store not to far away that sells wheat berries, and I’m wondering…is it really cheaper? I know it’s healthier, but we’re on somewhat of a tight budget and I’m trying to make sure this is something we can invest in right now.

    I know how many cups is in a package of wheat flour at the supermarket, but how many cups can you get from,say, a 5 lb bag of wheat berries?


    • Lindsay April 16, 2008 at 7:35 am #

      Good question! Overall, I believe the value of a grain mill is in the nutritional benefits. I have done a little research and will highlight a few economical things in a separate post, as it is too much to list here.

    • Teresa April 29, 2008 at 7:42 pm #

      I’m not sure about a 5 lb bag, but 1 cup of grain makes approximatly 5 1/2 cups of flour.

    • Lindsay April 30, 2008 at 10:52 am #

      Actually, 1 cup of grain only makes approx. 1.5 cups flour. I wrote about it in this post: Are whole grains cheaper?.

  3. Holly April 11, 2008 at 11:16 am #

    Oh, I love coconut oil too! Use it for everything! (Yes, hubby and wife special time, too! Great suggestion!)

    Thank you for the deoderant suggestion. I’m here from Julie at Seeking the Old Path’s site.

  4. Mary Ann April 10, 2008 at 5:29 pm #

    I’m glad to get more info on this,too. I’m saving for a grain mill which I hope to be able to get around November or December. So I’m trying to find out about grains and everything in the meantime!

  5. Evelyn Masters April 10, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    Hello! I had a question. I just bought a grain mill this week. (I’ve been wanting one for over a year). I also purchased some wheat berries. How do you store your wheat berries? Thanks!

    • Lindsay April 10, 2008 at 10:07 pm #

      I store my grains in 5 gallon buckets in my garage, with smaller quantities in glass gallon jars in my kitchen and pantry cupboards, for easy access, and refill as necessary. Best to store then in a cool, dark, dry place. Best of all is frig or freezer, but who has the space for that? ;)

  6. Genny April 10, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    Any health food store (or Whole Foods, etc) should sell or be able to special order grains. I personally like hard white and soft white wheat berries. I use the Kitchenaid Grain Mill attachment (for those that have the KitchenAid) along with a non-electric mill (just in case!) and I really enjoy them both. Genny

  7. Mrs. Pear April 10, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    Thank you for this post. We were pretty much raised with a “traditional” diet, and in many ways are still a meat and carb kind of family! But we are trying to add healthier things to our diet. I have thought off and on about a grain mill and grains, and have looked into Azure Standard (they have a drop off close to my husband’s work), but I have always been kind of intimidated by the whole idea.

    You make it seem so easy!

    So I think I will put a mill on my birthday list, and while it is a ways off, our families always give us money, and it would be great to put it towards something so wonderful!