Getting a grain roller/flaker has been on our wish and want list for quite a while now. Last week, we finally made the final selections, took the plunge and ordered both an electric model and a manual hand-crank model.
The electric one came today. Talk about a new toy to play with. Outta my way, I wanna see what this baby can do!
Our electric version is in the form of an attachment that fits on our KitchenAid Stand Mixer.
A grain roller/flaker is not the same as a grain mill that will grind flour. The one function of the roller/flaker is that it enables you to put any grain (and many seeds) through it and out comes the grain in the form of a flake. We'll probably use it mostly for making oat flakes out of oat groats. However, I used to make a cooked cereal with a combination of oat, rye and wheat flakes, but I can no longer find the rye or wheat flakes to buy. I also used a mixture of these same flakes in my granola mixture. Now I should have the capability of making my own rye and wheat flakes.
Here I have a handful of oat groats (otherwise know as oat seeds or grains).
Here are the oat groats after they were put through the roller/flaker. Viola, oat flakes to use in making oatmeal!
In the above picture, on the left we have the flakes just made in our new roller/flaker and on the right some oat flakes I had purchased. The difference (biggify picture to see more clearly) seems to be that the purchased flakes (on the right) look more "pressed" while the ones we made last night (on the left) are more "crimped."
I could hardly wait to see how the flavor of these homemade flakes would be in our oatmeal this morning. Do you think there will be a noticeable difference from oatmeal made from the purchased flakes that have been oxidizing since they were smooshed who-knows-how-long ago?
Okay, this is what we thought after making and taste-testing the oatmeal with our freshly made flakes. First off, the oatmeal cooked up to a creamier consistency. Why? Dunno.
Next, we could both detect a different flavor to our bowlful of "oatiemeal," as my mom always called it. I labeled the flavor "nutty" with my first couple of spoonfuls, then almost in unison we said, "It tastes oat-ier!" Yup, that was it. There was more flavor of oats to the oatmeal this morning. Well, that makes sense because along with any vitamins or minerals any oats (made into flakes a looong while ago) might lose through oxidation, flavor would probably be lost, too. But the actual taste of the oats wouldn't have time to oxidize and/or disappear in the freshly made flakes.
All in all, I definitely feel I will be making and feeding us a superior quality of grains in the form of flakes from now on.
This talk about flakes reminds me of the fact that when we were following a vegetarian diet, I used oat flakes in many, many recipes including one for a delicious "meat" ball and a burger. I'll post some of those recipes in the near future. Even for those of us who claim to be dyed-in-the-wool meat eaters, if there were ever to come a time when procuring and storing meat was difficult, knowing how to use more grains in our diet might come in handy.
So tell me true. Do you think there is something seriously wrong with me because I'm so excited about being able to make my own grain flakes??
Next up: To try making some flakes from other grains and seeds. And to patiently wait for the hand-cranked roller/flaker to arrive to see how good a job it does.