Over the past few years, I've started making lots of things from scratch in an effort to reduce our consumption of processed and prepared foods. For the most part, they aren't nice to your wallet or your body. Recently, I had been hearing about cooking and bread-making classes being taught by a very knowledgeable woman from my church. And then, an invitation came my way.
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a whEAT REAL class taught by Kim Nordin. About once a week, Kim opens her kitchen to teach others about grinding their own flour from a variety of grains, making bread and other baked goods, as well as making quick, healthy meals. She has been doing this for fourteen years and has a variety of classes to offer anyone looking to add to their culinary skills and learn easy ways to eat healthy.
Kim learned bread making from her grandma and it's nothing like what my grandma taught me. First of all, she grinds her own flour...right there in her kitchen. Now, you might think that sounds like a lot of work, but in just a few minutes she ground the fresh wheat flour for our bread dough. Plus once you hear of all the good stuff that is removed from wheat to make store-bought flour (even whole wheat varieties), it begins to make a lot of sense.
She started by making a huge batch of dough using her Bosch mixer.
Then we used the dough to make three loaves of whole wheat bread, a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread, cinnamon rolls,
and focaccia bread. All the while Kim shared tips and tricks from her years of experience. We took turns getting our hands dirty as we witnessed just how easy it is to prepare fresh baked goods for our families. The whole process from beginning to end took less than an hour!
Not only was the process much quicker than any bread making I've ever done, the end product was amazing! (The lack of many 'after' shots of the food is a good testimony to that fact. I was busy eating instead of taking pictures.) Everything has the perfect consistency you want in baked goods, but it tastes so fresh and "healthy"-in a very good way. Yes, I did really claim that the cinnamon rolls tasted healthy.
It's hard to put into words, but no other baked goods I've ever had taste as fresh and delicious as those made with fresh ground flour. Plus, you're still getting all the fiber and nutrients in the wheat that God intended.
As if the baked goods weren't enough, she also showed us how pressure cookers can considerably cut down on your meal prep time. We made stuffed chicken breasts and a millet salad-a cold salad made of cooked millet (one of the many grains you'll learn about from Kim) and lots of fresh veggies.
The chicken was moist and full of flavor and we were all clamoring for seconds of the millet salad.
|Here's Kim...hard at work on the millet salad|