Monday, December 13, 2010

Whole Grain Cookie Tip

I've been sharing some of our favorite cookie recipes this month.  These aren't fancy holiday recipes but just simple drop cookies.

I've been adapting some of these recipes to make them just a wee bit more healthy. That usually includes replacing shortening with butter and adding whole grains. They still contain sugar and aren't really health food but I'm at least making an attempt. We will be eating enough rich food over the holidays without me making it at home, too.

A reader sent me her tip for using more whole grains. She said I could share it with you if I didn't use her name. I've learned so much from her, that I wish she'd start her own blog!


I keep a mix of different grains that I grind myself to use instead of all whole wheat, in anything except yeast breads. I use some wheat, brown rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa and sometimes rye, barley or oats. I grind it all together, putting the tiny grains on top of bigger ones to keep from plugging up the grinder. We especially like the brown rice in baked things like cookies as it has a good grainy taste. White rice gets gritty when ground. I feel it is healthier to use a wider variety of grains than just wheat and oats.
After reading this several months ago, I ground some millet and amaranth together and have kept it in the freezer.  When baking cookies, I would replace about a third of the whole wheat flour with the multi-grain mixture. I honestly couldn't tell a difference in taste. I'm hoping to do some more experimenting. If you have a grain grinder, give it a try. Some of these alternative grains are more expensive but very nutritious.

If you use some alternative grains in baking, I'd love to hear your tips.

8 comments :

  1. I use rye with a little barley and buckwheat thrown in to rev up my hard white wheat. About four parts wheat and one part rye with additions. Great flavor and just a tad sweeter than plain wheat. I keep my flours in the freezer when I'm not baking.

    ~Liz

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  2. I really enjoy reading your blog! It's very refreshing and down to earth!
    I love to use kamut flour for baking...you can get it fairly similarly priced to wheat flour at wholesale whole foods warehouses or stores. It is whole grain without tasting like whole grain and is a little more sweet and has a lighter color and texture than whole wheat.


    Millet and rice are great, esp in combination. Some cookies can be cut down on the sugar a little, and sometimes I use half refined, half raw sugar with no diff in the taste or texture. Subtle yet in the long run it does help!

    A sister in the Lord,
    Susan

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  3. What kind of containers do you use to store your flour?

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  4. Chef Brad, who has written many books on using whole grains, has a flour he calls Wonder Flour that I have used lately and it works deliciously. You can get the instructions for it at: http://chefbrad.com/grain/articles.php?article=Wonder%20Flour&qid=5

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  5. Rhodes Family -

    Anything air tight such as a ziplock bag, ice cream bucket or tupperware. I store ground flour in the freezer to keep it fresh until using.

    Gina

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  6. Great tip! I like to use quinoa as it is the only grain with complete proteins. If you're vegetarian this helps balance your dieat (i'm not!)but millet is nice and mild tasting.
    thanks!

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  7. Inspiring post! I was so encouraged, I ground up some wheat and oats and made whole grain peanut butter-and-chocolate chip cookies. That worked so well, I may have to experiment more when they're gone.

    -Carmen-

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  8. I have made a mix using mostly rye with some barley and millet (maybe 4 c rye with 1 c each of the others). I used to add oats and spelt, but cut back on that expense when wheat went up in price a couple years back.

    I like to make muffins or cookies using this flour. The cookies are usually more crumbly than with wheat, so a combination is better. Great for pancakes too! And I made my gluten-intolerant sister some brownies with just the rye mix that were fabulous =) (That's why they are "Perfect Brownies") Not as much flour in brownies, so you mostly taste the chocolate and butter anyway.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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