Freezer Cooking Day Success!

Wheat kernels ready to be ground

Well, I made it through my 2-Hour Freezer Cooking list on Saturday. It did end up taking me a little over two hours — more like 2 1/2 hours. But I was very happy to have made the equivalent of 18 meals or parts of meals during that timeframe, plus pancakes and fruit cups.

I think it was extremely helpful to map out specific times on my cooking plan. It motivated me to work fast and keep at it.I definitely think I’ll be doing that again in the future.

And of course, it was also helpful that my husband took over childcare duties for 3 hours so I could cook and clean up. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you’re not being interrupted every two minutes to get someone a drink, change a diaper or calm down a fussy toddler. I’m very grateful to be a mommy to these precious children, but it doesn’t always mean I get a lot of other things done aside from taking care of them many days! :)

In other news, apparently our family really likes Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes. A quadruple batch of them didn’t make it much longer than 24 hours! But they were made with freshly-milled whole wheat flour, organic eggs and milk and turbinado. So I really am not going to complain. And I won’t mention how many I ate, either!

Coming at 8:30 p.m. tonight: My revised Frozen Fruit Cups recipe

Coming at 9:00 p.m. tonight: A picture of all my Freezer Cooking accomplishments, plus an opportunity for you to link up your blog posts about your freezer cooking, too!

Freshly-ground Whole Wheat flour — I love to use it when it is still warm!

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Comments

  1. says

    I have enjoyed using my grinder the last several years and we also love homemade chocolate chip pancakes! And they don’t last past two breakfasts here:)

  2. jenniffer says

    do you have a cooking freezer day list for dummies ( * cough * me ) ? i would love to try this!! what items are the best to prepare? spaghetti? roasts? pancakes? do you just cook everything and freeze it and then on the day you want to use it just thaw out and reheat? any suggestions and/or recipes would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Debby says

    What kind of wheat grinder do you have? How hard is to find the wheat kernels in bulk?

    • Tanya says

      @Debby, I can find my whole wheat at my local HyVee, our local coop, and through Azure Standard. I’ve found in buying bulk Azure is the best price for me, but I also like to support our local coop.

    • Heiss Haus says

      @Debby, Debby, for the whole wheat kernels, in the Portland, OR area we have Bob’s Red Mill. Their products are in local stores, but they have store in Milwaukee, OR with all 400 of their products, some of which you can buy in bulk. You also can order from their catalog or online. http://www.bobsredmill.com
      Good luck!

  4. Michelle says

    What kind of mill do you use to grind the flour?

    I buy mine ground at the bakery in front of me so I have always wondered how much I could save by doing it myself.

    I pay about 1.10 a pound I would say so it is not cheap but WOW is it good!

    Where do you buy the grain and what does that cost in bulk?

    THanks!

    ML

  5. Becky says

    Are you still planning on posting the recipe for those pancakes? My mouth is watering! Thanks!

  6. Krista says

    Please, please, please share more about this freshly ground flour thing. This is news to me! I can do this in my own kitchen?! Incredible!!

    • Noah says

      @Krista,

      You can grind your own flour quite easily. But, you have to invest in a grain mill first. In my opinion, it’s TOTALLY worth it. Even if you don’t recoup your money, freshly ground flour tastes SOOOOOOO much better than store bought. For the most part, whole-grain store bought flours are already partially rancid when you get them. They also start lacking nutrients the minute the berry is cracked when ground. So it’s healthier, tastes better, and in some strange way is really fun too!

  7. Heather Snyder says

    I agree….I would love to hear more on what you suggest for freezing besides things like casseroles. I personally do muffins, waffles, calzones, burritos, soups, and lasanga….however, beyond that I’m lost. How does it work to make up pancakes?

  8. Delores says

    Well, I just have to share with those who will appreciate it. I cooked up 6 pounds of beans, 8 packs of bacon, 10 pounds of chicken, 60 pancakes, and 3 loaves of banana/strawberry bread. My first time in probably 15 years I did something like this. Worth it! Thanks for the encouragement to do this.

      • Delores says

        @Melinda,

        well, I had taken out the bananas to make banana bread, and had taken out the strawberries to make berry muffins or pancakes or something. But I doubled the banana bread recipe and didn’t have enough bananas so I just threw in the strawberries to make up the rest. So my suggestion would be to just use your regular recipe and replace half the bananas with strawberries. Sorry I can’t be more specific! :) Hope that helps.

  9. says

    @ Christine – thanks for the link to the CD. I just ordered my copy, and cant wait to hear what she has to say about it. I’ve been interested in milling my own flour for a while, but just can’t quite take the plunge and buy a grinder. I hope this will convince me!

  10. says

    Could you do a post about how using turbinado has been working for you? I’d love to know more about using it.

  11. Christine says

    I agree with above posters, I’d love to hear more about the flour making and the turbinado.

  12. Andrea says

    Thanks to this freezer cook up ‘mission’, I was inspired to attempt some mega cook up to put into the fridge (no freezer space). Did a simple pasta and when it’s in smaller portions, it goes really fast! I might want to be a little more adventurous this weekend. So thanks again for blogging about your life and motivating me to try something. :-)

  13. Hilary says

    I also grind my own wheat, and other various grains, and love it. I have a Nutrimill and really like it, because it can do more than just wheat, it can also grind beans for bean flour and corn to made cornmeal. My freezer cooking method is to just double a casserole and stick it in the freezer for later.

  14. Sherry says

    I would love to hear about turbindo. I hope I am not the dumb one here, but I have no idea what that is! I also had no idea that I could mill my own flour! Is it difficult to find the wheat berries – is that what you are grinding? I have a recipe that calls for bulgar which I thought would be easy to find, but I have yet to find it anywhere. I am wondering if the whole grains for flour would be difficult to find as well. Finally, every recipe for whole wheat breads that I have found always call for 1/2 white flour with the wheat. Do you need to use it when you make your pancakes or with any wheat bread that you bake? Please share the recipe!

  15. says

    Crystal, I have a mini series of posts about grains and grain mills that your readers might be interested in: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/category/grains-and-grain-mills

    The series includes talk about the different varieties of mills to choose from, where to find good quality grain in different areas of the US…even a “letter to husbands” – that has been very highly effective! – explaining all the great benefit’s of buying their wives a grain mill! :)

  16. kellie says

    Just made whole wheat choc chip cookies today. Family (and neighbors) can’t get enough !!!!

  17. Tamera Jones says

    I’m lovin that you mill your own grain. Some of my friends think it’s so much trouble and a bit odd of me to do near the big city of DC…a bit of mockery…until they taste the bread! It makes all the difference! I’ll never go back!

  18. Heidi says

    I recently made my first batch of bread with freshly ground whole wheat flour. Wow!! My husband, who hasn’t liked anything whole wheat in the past, really enjoyed the bread. Yay! Even better that a friend had given me a 15# bag of wheat berries and I was able to borrow a different friend’s mill. Practically free bread!

  19. says

    I wanted to get a grain mill for quite a while but saving up for one on our small budget was going to take us a LONG time. And then lo and behold I hit a yard sale one day and there was a used Whisper Mill priced at $5. Two young girls were selling off their grandpas stuff and had no idea what the value of it was. I did a happy dance and snagged that up fast! Another example of God’s provision!

  20. says

    We love pancakes here too! I need to check out your recipe.

    Today, I am with you on getting nothing done besides being a mommy!

  21. Beth says

    The cheapest way I found to add a grain mill to our kitchen accessories was the grain mill attachment for the kitchen aid stand mixer. It works great! And I agree about the fresh ground whole wheat – my husband wasn’t a fan until I started milling it myself!

  22. says

    We grind our own flour too. It’s wonderful! I had a garage sale a couple years back that paid for my grain mill. It’s the Nutrimill Grain Mill. It’s loud, but completely worth it.

    Stephanie, $5 at a yard sale. That’s awesome!

  23. Tanya says

    I’m saving for a grain mill too, but lately it seems that will take forever! :) However, God is so good in providing everything we need, and I know that in due time He will provide this too. I find that it takes SO much wisdom, prayer, and balance when prioritizing a family’s nutrition with time, money, and energy. I want to be a good steward of all God has given us. Stephanie, I’ve been keeping my eyes open at a garage sales too. :)

    Crystal, I would also be interested in learning which mill you use. Do you soak your grains? I find the passionate homemaking blog helpful when thinking about these things. I was also excited to see you’re incorporating coconut oil into your baking/cooking. We started using it a few months ago, and I really like it. I’ve found that ordering it from Azure is the most economical way for our family to get the raw/unrefined version.

    Blessings to you for all the energy you put into encouraging the rest of us in so many areas!

  24. Tanya says

    Crystal, I am also interested in how you grind your grains. I too have been saving for a grain mill (I burned out our coffee grinder trying to do it in there)…or perhaps a blendtec since it will grind grain and aid in all our food processing/canning/preserving we do when all the garden produce is rolling in. It does seem like it will take a long time to save for one (as Stephanie mentioned), but I too am keeping my eyes open at garage sales.

    God is so faithful to provide all we need. While I believe that freshly ground (and probably soaked) grains are nutrionally best for my family, I’m trying to use biblical wisdom in being a good steward of all areas of my life (such an overwhelming task at times…praise the Lord for forgiveness): nutrion, time, energy, purchases, etc. It’s a real balancing act.

    Thank you Crystal for the energy you give to encourage and motivate others! Blessings to you, to your family, and to my fellow readers!

  25. Michelle says

    I guess we are all standing by for the explanation! My question is where do you buy the grain in bulk to make it affordable?

    I go into the bakery and see bags there that have to be over 100 lbs which would last you forever. Those are the ones you want to get your hands on.

    I am curious to know if a mill attachment to a kitchenaid is as effective as a stand alone mill.

    Anyone know the answers to these?

    ML

  26. Rae says

    I too would like to know the average price you pay for some of your bulk staples. I’ve been interested in buying some things like that but don’t know what a good price is. I realize that it would vary by area but having a starting point would be really helpful :)