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There are many nutritious and great-tasting gluten-free flour options to use in place of wheat flour in baking these days. Some are ancient grains that have been used for thousands of years and because their nutrient profile is so impressive they are even regarded as superfoods.
Common gluten-free flour varieties can be conveniently bought at the super-market, but none will offer the health benefits of grinding fresh. The Vibe Blender System makes grinding whole-grains nuts, seeds and legumes quick and easy, and you’ll always get a fresher product with more taste and nutrition than anything store-bought.
If you are someone who enjoys baking with a variety of flours or choose gluten free grains for dietary reasons, you have probably noticed that the expiration date is listed as only a few months (or weeks) after purchase. This can be frustrating, and expensive especially when you use some flours infrequently.
The problem is, once a whole grain, nut or seed has been ground into flour it begins to lose its nutritional value very quickly. The oil inside grain naturally oxidises when exposed to air. This is especially problematic with nut and seed flours that have a high fat content. Commercial wholegrain flour varieties typically have preservatives added to keep them from going rancid and increase the shelf life.
If stored correctly, gluten-free whole grains, nuts and seeds can stay fresh in your pantry for a long time, so it’s very cost effective to learn how to make flour as you need it. With this DIY blender method, it’s even possible to grind very small quantities. We found that the Vibe blender can grind as little as one tablespoon, which is perfect for recipes that call for a mix of grains or when you need ground flax or chia seed, for a vegan egg replacement. (our method for this is coming soon)
The grinding time will vary depending on the grain. Factors such as, size of the grain, density or dryness of the outer husk or skin, and the oil content within the grain (nut, seed) all make a difference.
Grinding flour at home also lets you control the texture. You can choose meal or flour depending on what you are making. With the Vibe Blender the grind is very fast, so we recommend you use the clear plastic jug, so you can see the process. As a guide, it only takes about 5 seconds for the Vibe Blender System to crush grain. After 10 seconds the grain will become a coarse meal. At 20 seconds you will have a rustic flour suitable for most Luvele baking. For a fine powdery texture that is comparable to store-bought flour, blend for 30-50 seconds. Grinding nuts requires less time but grinding gluten containing grains may take longer.
Not any old blender will be able to handle the heavy load of grinding whole grains to a consistent fine powder. Unless your blender has a high-speed motor and stainless-steel blades it may only make meal.
We sampled a few common gluten-free grains are found these blending times a rough guide for a fine flour consistency:
BUCKWHEAT GROUTS 35-40 SECONDS
BROWN RICE 50 SECONDS
ROLLED OATS (GF) 20 SECONDS, STOPPING ONCE TO SCRAPE UNDER BLADES
QUINOA SEEDS 50 SECONDS
FLAXSEEDS 20 – 25 SECONDS
CHIA SEEDS 10 – 20 SECONDS
WHOLE ALMONDS 10 SECONDS
MILLET SEEDS 50 SECONDS, STOPPING ONCE TO SCRAPE UNDER BLADES
TIGERNUTS 20-25 SECONDS
WHOLE CHICKPEAS 50 SECONDS
So you don’t end up with too much flour, or worse, not enough flour for your baking needs, it’s important to note that the end volume of flour will be slightly greater than the volume of whole grains you started with.
Choosing to sift the fresh flour is optional and will depend on what you plan to bake. Recipes on the Luvele Life blog don’t require sifting.
Freshly ground grains are vulnerable to spoilage and must be kept in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place to preserve freshness. Flour with a high-oil content, such as nut flours, coconut and flaxseed should be refrigerated or frozen straight away.
Not all gluten-free flour will keep fresh for the same amount of time. As a general rule we recommend storing freshly ground flour in the fridge for up to one month or freezer for up to 3 months.
1 cup of grain (or less)
* Repeat in 1 cup increments until you have the desired amount.
1. Place the grain in the clear Vibe Blender jug and secure the lid on.
2. Choose ‘nut’ mode and blend for up to 50 seconds. Stopping at 10 seconds for grains with high oil content.
3. Flour will collect under the lid and down the inside of the jug. Before lifting the lid off, tap the jug on the bench top so the flour settles to the bottom before opening.
4. Use a soft spatula to scrape the remaining flour from the edges of the jug. In some cases, a firmer plastic tool may be necessary to dislodge the flour collected under the blades.
5. Sifting the flour is optional.
6. Turn the freshly ground flour into a bowl, then repeat the process for a larger quantity.
7. If you plan on grinding several cups of flour it may be necessary to wipe the inside of the jug with a clean, dry tea towel to remove the build-up of oil.