…or not. Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to watch your white flour intake this week. Either watch it sit on the plate, or watch it go in your mouth. Your choice.
3 Reasons to Eat Less White Flour
- The healthy parts of the grain, the germ and bran that contain the good fats and vitamins, are stripped away in white flour.
- God created grains with three parts; who are we to eat foods that aren’t whole?
- White flour raises your blood sugar similarly to white sugar because it lacks the fiber and other goodies of whole grains to slow down digestion.
3 Reasons to Eat White Flour Anyway
- It may be traditional and healthier to remove part or all of the bran from whole wheat flour. (see below for more)
- Likely, a little won’t kill you, and it’s good to be polite to your hosts and hostesses this season, unless of course you have a real medical reason not to.
- Sometimes, you just gotta let your hair down. I feel like we’ve done (almost) everything right nutritionally this fall, and yet I’m counting 10 weeks straight where someone, usually 2-3 people out of 4, have had an awful sickness this fall. If whole grain sourdough and practically zero grains for a while can’t keep us healthy, maybe a little fun eating compromise foods and cutting out the worry will be good for our spirits!
Do I think we all should binge uncontrollably on white flour goodies and breads? Of course not. But a little indulgence is timely right now, as long as you keep a balance with fresh fruits and veggies, healthy meats and fats, and probiotics like homemade yogurt and other lacto-fermented foods.
Plus…a little white flour may be good for you.
Did Traditional Societies Remove the Bran?
Dr. Stephan Guyenet of Whole Health Source has said in the past that traditional cultures would sift their freshly ground flour, essentially removing some or most of the bran. It’s likely that the end result would be similar to baking bread with part whole wheat and part white flour. What ratio you want, I’m not sure – not Wonderbread with zero whole grain goodness, but something that won’t act like sugar in your body but has less of the often hard-to-digest bran.
Sarah at the Healthy Home Economist also recently published an article on this subject, in which she quotes Rami Nagel as saying that all bran should be removed before soaking/fermenting. However, I won’t be sifting the bran out of my freshly ground wheat anytime soon, simply because I’m drawing the line. I think I’d rather go grain-free for good, or at least wheat-free, before I spend the rest of what I have left of my life in the kitchen. I already spend a lot of time there!
A caveat: If my family struggled with acute tooth decay, which Nagel focuses on, I might listen to him more and try what he says. As it is now, I kind of cringe when I hear his name mentioned, because much of what he teaches seems to hard to bear (good thing I don’t have this lazy attitude with my faith, right?).
I have many thoughts on Sarah’s article and the ensuing comments, and I was going to comment myself, but I think I’ll poke out a point by point response in a post sometime this week. In case you haven’t guessed, we’ll be talking grains this week, because I’m determined to close the Test Your Grains Challenge before the year is out!
Here’s what you can look forward to this week:
- Sprouted Spelt Raisin cookies (and a fiasco)
- A review and giveaway of Shiloh Farm’s Essential Eating sprouted flour (over $50 value) – see Kate’s post on tips for baking with sprouted grains if you want more before then.
- The close of the Test Your Grains Challenge and survey results
- Last chance extra entry for subscribers only in the Nutrimill grain mill giveaway
A huge kudos to all those who tested grains with me – I didn’t really think about how difficult my challenge to you was when I asked people to eat grains prepared only a certain way! Giving up grains altogether is actually much easier than just using a certain kind of grain, I found, as we reintroduced grains and I tried to follow my own challenge. Once we could eat rice, I hated to leave it out just because I was trying to eat “sourdough only.”
Some brave souls traveled the journey with me, though, and I discovered a lot (and many more questions) in my own home, as well. Find those results Thursday. This will be a little preview for what’s in store in January and February after a break for the Christmas holiday.
I’m determined to wrap up the Exploring Soaking Grains series by the end of January, since I really started it last February, and to leave a project hanging for over a year is crazier than even I’m used to. The denouement will include the long-awaited, often promised Nutrimill Grain Mill giveaway, a carnival for all of you to link up any soaked grain recipes you’ve got floating around, and a new bread recipe every week as I embark on the postponed “Seeking the Perfect Whole Grain Bread” series.
Please, if you have a winning whole grain recipe (at least more than 50% whole grains, and I might even stick with only 100% whole grain recipes), please do share a link or the recipe itself in the comments here. I’ve got a few stockpiled, but I’d like more!
The extra entry in the grain mill giveaway this week will be open only through next Wednesday. It’s open to anyone who is a subscriber (via reader or email) before reading that post, so if you’re not getting free daily updates yet, now is the time to click!
In your comment to enter, you’ll be asked to show your true KS colors and tell me the post you refer to the most. It might be your favorite recipe, most thought-provoking article, or the funny story you tell your mom friends so they don’t feel so badly about their mishaps in the kitchen! You won’t have to list the URL, but “the one about…” will suffice. The catch? You can’t use the exact same post as the commenter directly above you.
That said, you’ve got between now and Friday to make sure you’re a valid subscriber (validate your email subscription, if you go that way) and peruse the archives if you can’t think of your favorite post. You can find all the KS recipes here (I just updated it today!), browse the Monday Missions here (sadly out of date), find past series under “features” in the menu bar at the top of the website, and some favorite comprehensive posts under “the lists” menu.
I’m trying to figure out if I can find time to make my favorite Christmas cookie this week – kifli – and whether I’m going to be bold and use half whole wheat pastry flour, or stick with what I love (and be bold in another way, throwing caution to the wind).
Sometimes, it’s a drag cooking only real food. If you’ve stuck with me this far into the post, you got a big dose of honesty that was kind of the prevailing mood in my head today as I tried to figure out what to bring to the family Christmas party next Saturday and which Christmas recipes I am allowed to and have time to make, in the midst of homemade tortillas, sourdough bread, chicken stock and sprouted flour spelt cookies. I just wanted to order a pizza…but I didn’t.
How are you throwing caution to the wind this month? Or alternately, how are you sticking with the real food diet and still having fun with food traditions?
By the way, Happy St. Lucia’s Day (link no longer available)!
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Need Some Baby Steps?
Here at Kitchen Stewardship, we’ve always been all about the baby steps. But if you’re just starting your real food and natural living journey, sifting through all that we’ve shared here over the years can be totally overwhelming.
That’s why we took the best 10 rookie “Monday Missions” that used to post once a week and made a printable checklist so you can track your progress.
Sign up to get the checklist and weekly challenges and teaching on key topics like meal planning, homemade foods that save the budget (and don’t take too much time), what to cut out of your pantry, and more.