All About Wheat!

This is a guest post by Jamie over at HiStakes-Spelt.com. Jamie is an expert at all things wheat and spelt so we asked her to give you a quick run-down of some of the nutritional benefits of whole wheat and talk about her company a little more in depth.

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Let’s Talk About Wheat!

Hi. We are farmers and grow hard white wheat so you can enjoy wholesome wheat straight from the farm. You can find us at HiStakes-Spelt.com. We would like to show you why you would want to use more whole wheat in your food storage and in your everyday diet.

Differences to Consider When Choosing Whole Wheat: If you need advice and are wondering what kind of wheat to choose to make your bread and other pastries, I’ll tell you my preferences. If I had to choose only one type of wheat to store and eat regularly, I would choose hard white wheat. (For those who can tolerate the gluten.) It makes a lighter texture, lighter colored, sweeter bread that other wheats make. Mostly, it is just really good. (How do you like that description?) Breads made with hard red wheat produce a fuller, heartier, almost-heavier flavor, and the bread will have a slightly darker color. However, both make good bread – it is just a matter of taste which you prefer. Actually, my favorite bread uses a combination of hard white wheat, hard red wheat, and spelt (more to come in another post on spelt).

Hard White Wheat (spring and winter varieties) are most often used for breads as well as specialty noodles. Our hard white wheat protein levels are at about 13 (which is standard) and will make a light, sweet, wonderful whole wheat bread. (Especially if you make your own fresh flour from your own grain mill, like the WonderMill.)

Remember, don’t confuse “whole grain white wheat” with store-bought “white flour”! Whole “white” wheat is slightly lighter in color than “red” wheat, both have good nutritional value and are very close in actual color. Store-bought “white flour” has had all the nutrients removed from it adding no nutritional value to the products you use it in. Whole grain white flour and store-bought white flour are not even close to the same thing!

Do you know about Oxidation? In whole-grain foods, the plant’s cellular walls protect their nutrients from oxidation. As soon as grain is ground, the process of oxidation begins to occur thus exposing the cell’s contents to oxygen in the air. Whole grain flour that is several days (or more) old, has been exposed to oxygen that significantly reduces its nutritional value. You get full nutrition from whole grain foods if you mill them when you need them, right in your kitchen. Modern high-speed grain mills make it fast and easy to enjoy the freshest, best tasting and most nutritious food imaginable!

Our grain is thoroughly cleaned and tested by baking bread with it – which is really the ultimate test. Our natural whole grain wheat makes bread and other baked goods that taste wonderful and are packed with natural nutrition! (And we use our own product. That says something!)

Our wheat and spelt are thoroughly cleaned to ensure you receive a pure product and also to protect your grain mill from any foreign objects. (Grain that isn’t sufficiently cleaned may contain small stones that will damage or destroy a grain mill… not to mention that you don’t want such things in your food!)

You should store your grain in air tight containers in a dark, dry and cool place. It is recommended to use an oxygen absorber in your airtight container to keep your grain fresher until ready for use. (Rumor has it that oxygen absorber packets can damage the possibility of sprouting grain, not true. In fact, the grain stored with oxygen packets sprouted faster and better than the grain that was stored naturally.)

At HiStakes-Spelt we don’t just offer wheat and spelt, we also offer many quality bread baking ingredients so you can make successful, delicious bread that your family will love. We are also happy to answer any bread baking questions you may have. We also blog about our food storage adventures at Food Storage Plus and would love to have you come by and say hello!

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Thanks Jamie for being such a great resource for us to learn more from. We hope everyone will get to know you better!


  • Dan

    ok, so how do you use it? I’m new at cooking, and I know that there are different kinds of flour when you buy flour, so shouldn’t this be mixed with something after you grind it?

    • Once it is ground it is the same as whole wheat flour. It will be a little denser and more “wheat-flavored” than the traditional all-purpose white flour you buy at the store. You can substitute it for regular flour in your baking but things will turn out a little differently. It’s a great idea to find recipes that call for whole wheat flour specifically. We have lots of recipes for using wheat and other grains/legumes you grind at this link http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/babysteps/step-4-long-term-food-storage-planning/ Hope that helps!

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  • Jean

    I have an apartment – so no cool place to store the wheat.  I was planning to store it in Foodsaver bags.  Do I need to use oxygen absorbers, too?

  • Belinda

    should i wash my wheat before I use it? I suppose I would need to let dry before I grind it.

  • debmalone

    I received some hard red wheat grain that has been frozen for 18 years in storage. Is it still nutritionally sound for fresh grinding for bread?

  • Anonymous

    I received some hard red wheat grain that has been frozen for 18 years in storage. Is it still nutritionally sound for fresh grinding for bread?

  • debmalone

    I received some hard red wheat grain that has been frozen for 18 years in storage. Is it still nutritionally sound for fresh grinding for bread?

  • I like your site, lots of great info.

  • willbfit

    I like your site, lots of great info.

  • Heather, I apologize for my delay in responding to your excellent question…
    You can store flour rather than whole wheat, but you will lose nutrient value and if your flour is whole wheat, it has the possibility of going rancid. That is why all the nutrition is usually stripped out of store flours – so they will last longer on the shelf.
    The whole wheat berries will last nearly forever as long as they are stored right. And there are so many options I have been learning about for whole wheat berries – more than just for flour.
    Hopefully, I will get those ideas published on my blog in the near future.
    Note – I do store some store bought flour in my food storage – for those days when I need to be a little bit lazy… so it isn’t bad, I just don’t store a whole lot for very long.
    Good luck!
    Jamie

    http://histakes-food-storage.blogspot.com/

  • Heather, I apologize for my delay in responding to your excellent question…
    You can store flour rather than whole wheat, but you will lose nutrient value and if your flour is whole wheat, it has the possibility of going rancid. That is why all the nutrition is usually stripped out of store flours – so they will last longer on the shelf.
    The whole wheat berries will last nearly forever as long as they are stored right. And there are so many options I have been learning about for whole wheat berries – more than just for flour.
    Hopefully, I will get those ideas published on my blog in the near future.
    Note – I do store some store bought flour in my food storage – for those days when I need to be a little bit lazy… so it isn’t bad, I just don’t store a whole lot for very long.
    Good luck!
    Jamie

    http://histakes-food-storage.blogspot.com/

  • Heather

    Can I store flour instead of whole wheat that needs to be ground?

  • Heather

    Can I store flour instead of whole wheat that needs to be ground?

  • Hi Karen,
    You need to throw the oxygen absorber away after you open your sealed can of wheat. It is done absorbing oxygen, so it isn’t doing you any good to put it back in with your flour.

    The key to slowing down oxidation is cold. Airtight is good, but it isn’t the only factor. You want to keep your flour cold.
    Do you have a cool basement, crawl space or somewhere in your house that is colder than just room temperature?

    Hope that answers your question sufficiently. Please let me know if you would like to start more of a discussion about it. I love talking to people and getting to know you and your unique situations.

    -Jamie

  • Hi Karen,
    You need to throw the oxygen absorber away after you open your sealed can of wheat. It is done absorbing oxygen, so it isn’t doing you any good to put it back in with your flour.

    The key to slowing down oxidation is cold. Airtight is good, but it isn’t the only factor. You want to keep your flour cold.
    Do you have a cool basement, crawl space or somewhere in your house that is colder than just room temperature?

    Hope that answers your question sufficiently. Please let me know if you would like to start more of a discussion about it. I love talking to people and getting to know you and your unique situations.

    -Jamie

  • Hi Jamie,

    I’ve heard about storing wheat flour in your fridge or freezer but I just leave the oxygen absorber IN with the flour after it is ground. I either put it back in a #10 aluminum can with a plastic lid or in another airight container. Wouldn’t that reduce oxidation, and the lowering of nutritional value that you mention, and make the flour nutirtionally equivalent to storing it in the fridge? I just don’t have a lot of extra room in my freezer/fridge.

    Thanks in advance for your knowledgable help! I’m looking forward to your future post on spelt since I’ve never used it before.

  • Hi Jamie,

    I’ve heard about storing wheat flour in your fridge or freezer but I just leave the oxygen absorber IN with the flour after it is ground. I either put it back in a #10 aluminum can with a plastic lid or in another airight container. Wouldn’t that reduce oxidation, and the lowering of nutritional value that you mention, and make the flour nutirtionally equivalent to storing it in the fridge? I just don’t have a lot of extra room in my freezer/fridge.

    Thanks in advance for your knowledgable help! I’m looking forward to your future post on spelt since I’ve never used it before.

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