Did you know that Arizona was once called a “breadbasket,” and that the state’s wheat fields were once used to feed armies? Or that commercial wheat takes in 100-plus chemicals on its way to becoming bread?
These are just some of the facts you’ll learn in Emma Zimmerman’s new book, The Miller’s Daughter: Unusual Flours & Heritage Grains: Stories and Recipes From Hayden Flour Mills. Zimmerman is the co-owner of the Valley’s Hayden Flour Mills, which is dedicated to stone-milling ancient heritage grains.
The mill was founded by Charles Hayden in 1874. While traveling, Hayden found himself stranded in Tempe because of the high waters of the Salt River. Standing on Tempe Butte, he surveyed the vast, fertile lands around him, and imagined a mill. He eventually brought his dream to fruition, and Hayden Mills stayed in business until 1998. Emma Zimmerman and her father, Jeff, revived it in 2011.
Asked what inspired her book, Emma says, “We’ve had a lot of media coverage, and the stories mostly covered our success. I wanted to tell it first-person and talk about the challenges we’ve faced.”
The book’s early chapters provide a glimpse into Zimmerman’s life and explore the history of grains, milling, and the business itself. Those are followed by the Cooking Notes section, which comprises recipes developed by the author that revolve around heritage grains.
Zimmerman’s involvement with Hayden Mills started out as one of her father’s wacky ideas, she says. Jeff Zimmerman is an idea generator, and Emma has had to learn to manage which ideas she says yes to.
Emma was a Ph.D. student of neuroethics (a combination of bioethics and neuroscience) at McGill University in 2009 when her father floated the idea of restarting Tempe’s historic Hayden Flour Mills. Jeff was, and still is, an avid bread baker. Bread bakers love to experiment as they improve their skills, and Jeff started to mill his own flour for his bread. When he did, he noticed a decided improvement in the bread’s depth of flavor. That’s when the light bulb went off. He wanted others to benefit from the flour.
At the 2010 Local First Arizona’s Farmer+Chef Connection Conference (an event that connects local farmers and chefs), Jeff rented a table with nothing to sell, just a sign that said he was looking for farmers who wanted to grow wheat and chefs who wanted to use the resulting flour.
By 2011, Chris Bianco, looking to use local wheat for his pizzeria, gave Jeff and Emma a space to set up their mill in one of his restaurants, free of charge. On August 13, 2011, the father-daughter team ordered a 32-inch Austrian stone mill, or stone grain grinder, and officially started their business. They named it Hayden Flour Mills, after Charles Hayden’s milling company.
A kernel of grain has three parts: the bran, which is the protective outer layer; the endosperm, or the starchy part; and the germ, the oily part. Milling separates the endosperm from the rest. But the results can differ substantially depending on the process used.
The separation can be done by stone milling (how milling got started) or by sending the grain through multiple metal rollers (how it was done after industrialization).
A stone mill comprises two round, furrowed stones. The grain is dropped into the center, then milled through the rotation of one stone against the other. The final product exits at the periphery.
In roller mills, the grains go through pairs of fluted metal rollers with a much smaller contact area. As a result, the grain needs to go through multiple rollers. The different sizes are then separated by weight. The industrial sieves are so precise that they remove all the bran, thus robbing the flour of its nutrients — hence the need for fortification with added vitamins.
The Zimmermans noticed that stone milling yielded a better flavor, because no matter how well they sift the flour, some bran always remains in the final product.
During their research on wheat that grew before the industrialization of agriculture, they came across white Sonoran wheat, grown in northern Mexico, southern Arizona, and southern California for 400 years. The seed was hard to find until Gary Nabhan, the founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, offered to help. Founded in 1983, Native Seeds/SEARCH is a bank of drought-resistant seeds native to the Southwest, some of which are in danger of extinction.
A family friend, Steve Sossaman, agreed to plant the first crop of 1,000 pounds of white Sonoran seeds. Sossaman Farms is still one of the Zimmermans’ major farmers.
Hayden Flour Mills has come a long way since the days in the back of Chris Bianco’s restaurant. Ten years ago, Jeff and Emma grew 30 acres of wheat; now they have 400 acres. Aside from the white Sonoran wheat, Hayden offers other ancient grains, two types of pasta wheat from Iraq, a Tibetan purple barley, Gazelle rye, and Einkorn.
Along the way, father and daughter have won multiple grants and accolades, but they’ve also faced and overcome many obstacles, among them pest-infested grains, broken equipment, and the inability to make payroll. What has kept them going is the conviction that heritage grains taste great and are good for the human body.
The Cooking Notes section of The Miller’s Daughter includes nearly 90 recipes developed by Emma and is divided into 10 parts (nine grains, one legume). In each, she describes the grain’s flavor profile and also provides substitutes.
Her precision is noteworthy. She uses weight and volume as units of measurement, emphasizing their importance over cups and spoons. Because each grain has a different density, one cup of farro is very different from one cup of oats, for instance. However, since the goal is to expose as many people to ancient grains as possible, she also provides cup measurements.
In developing the recipes, Emma thought of her favorite meals growing up and altered them a bit to make heritage grain the star, covering sweet and savory dishes, appetizers, entrées, and desserts. For the baked goods, she sought the help of pastry chef Tracy Dempsey, owner of Tracy Dempsey Originals.
The recipes are intentionally universal, “so, for instance, you can pick up some freshly milled polenta from any local mill and make pink polenta,” Emma says. Readers will find a list of mills in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom in the resource section of the book.
The Miller’s Daughter comes out on May 17. You can pre-order a copy from your favorite bookseller or on Amazon. Visit the Hayden Flour Mills site other Instagram for more information about the company’s products and upcoming book events. Emma Zimmerman will teach a class on Milk Street about baking with chickpea flour on March 16; online registration is available.
The following recipe is excerpted from The Miller’s Daughter:
Chocolate Flecked Farro Banana Bread
It’s a bit like choosing a favorite child, but if you really twisted my arm, I would admit that farro is my favorite grain. Besides having the flavor of toasted walnuts, it has the seniority of being among the world’s oldest grains. There are very few recipes for farro flour, so I started by using it in place of half the flour in my favorite baked goods. Recently I tried replacing the whole lot with farro flour and found to my delight that it always works. There’s no turning back now.
This is a very basic banana bread recipe, designed to let the farro flour shine and convince you of the ease and deliciousness of heritage grain swaps in your baking. This is a perfect recipe to bookmark if you’re just getting started, or are perhaps a bit skeptical about baking with these new flours.
3 ripe bananas (see tip)
115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) melted coconut oil
110 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) brown sugar
200 g (7 oz/1 1/4 cups) Farro Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
60g (2oz) bittersweet dark chocolate
2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease or line a 23 cm × 13 cm (9 in × 5 in) loaf (bar) pan with parchment (baking) paper, leaving a 5 cm (2 in) overhang on each long side to help lift the bread out easily.
Mash the bananas in a bowl and mix in the yogurt and vanilla.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the coconut oil and brown sugar together at medium speed, adding the eggs one at a time. Mix for about 3 minutes until creamy and light in color, then add the banana mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly add to the banana batter and mix on low speed until just combined.
Using a sharp knife, splinter the chocolate. This doesn’t have to be a precise process, as varying sizes of chocolate will create a flecked look when you slice into the banana bread. Gently fold the chocolate into the batter — be careful not to overmix or let the chocolate melt into the mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface, then sprinkle the turbinado or raw sugar evenly over the top. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. Cut into thick slices. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
I always have a stash of very ripe black bananas in the freezer. I set the bananas on the counter in a bowl to thaw for an hour or two before I start baking. Interestingly, I’ve found that letting the ripe bananas sit out for longer, say the whole day, gives them a nice caramelized flavor.
AUTHOR: Emma Zimmerman
BOOK: The Miller’s Daughter
PUBLISHER: Hardie Grant Books (ISBN 9781743797105)
ON SALE DATE: May 17th, 2022
RRP: $29.99 (hardcover)
Suggested credit line: Recipes excerpted with permission from The Miller’s Daughter, by Emma Zimmerman, published by Hardie Grant Books, May 2022.
Guiding the way to thrive
Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.
That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.
Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.
Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.
Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.
14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.
“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.
“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.
“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”
Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.
“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.
The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.
“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”
The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.
“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.
“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”
The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.
So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?
“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.
“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”
The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.
Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.
“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.
“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.
“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?
Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.
“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.
“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.
“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.
“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”
To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.
Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.
Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.
She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.
“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.
“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.
“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.
“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.
“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”
14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]
Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains
By Casey Barber, CNN
Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.
The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.
What’s a whole grain?
The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.
On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.
“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”
So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.
And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.
“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.
“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”
Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.
Some whole grains to get to know
amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.
Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.
Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.
Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.
kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.
millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.
How to cook any whole grain
While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.
Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.
If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.
The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.
Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel
I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.
The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.
It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.
After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.
Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.
This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).
My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.
I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.
After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.
An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.
After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.
It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.
They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.
There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.
All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.
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Guiding the way to thrive
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