I'll Grind Their Cereals-and-Grains to Make My Bread!
February 8, 2013 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Quick question for the food science-y folks out there: lately, I've been pulverizing a lot of my baking ingredients in the spice grinder before using them in recipes (oat bran, wheat bran, wild rice, wheat germ, buckwheat groats, etc.). Does reducing these ingredients to a fine powder change any of their caloric/nutritional properties? Obviously, they'll be denser and more caloric cup-for-cup, and I'd imagine they'll have a higher glycemic load (not that I especially care about that). But does super-fine fiber still ACT like fiber in the body? Is super-fine buckwheat just as healthy as the un-pulverized stuff? I like the finer texture of powdered ingredients, but if I'm making them less-healthy, I'll suck it up and leave 'em whole.
posted by julthumbscrew to Food & Drink (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
While the calorie content will be functionally identical, at least with cereal and grains like the ones you mentioned, there will likely be nutrients lost depending on how abused the stuff has been before it got to you, especially if you let it sit in its pulverized state. Nutrients like niacin will evaporate off though for the most part, so long as you have a diverse and otherwise healthy western diet, this isn't really a major concern as you should get more than enough from other sources. There is a reason why cereals and grains are generally enriched (distinct from fortified) when turned into flour.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:59 AM on February 8, 2013

In terms of fiber, "whole grain" refers to the inputs. Whole grains contain cereal germ, endosperm and bran, in contrast to refined grains which are only the endosperm. It doesn't really matter the degree to which they are pulverized.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:02 PM on February 8, 2013

The more finely ground the grain is, the easier it is for your body to digest. So the glycemic load will be higher and you can potentially gain more weight off of it.

For soluble fiber, I don't think it makes a difference. But for insoluble (roughage/bulk) fiber, the more finely ground stuff will probably tend toward constipating you because it can be packed tighter.
posted by gjc at 8:13 PM on February 8, 2013

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