Today's grain mills can mill both grains and many beans (but not nuts or small seeds). Yes, there is oil in the germ of a kernel of grain, but not that much. Beans (legumes) can contain much more oil - especially soybeans. Flour milled from whole grains or legumes should ideally be stored in the 'frig or freezer, not in a cupboard. Whole seeds, on the other hand, can be stored at room temp without degradation for a year or more as long as the environment is not especially hot or humid.
It is hardly cost efficient to mail order grains or flours since shipping costs are so high. I can buy organic grains and beans from open bins at a local health food store, so I can buy whatever quantity I wish at reasonable prices. One supermarket also carries one-pound bags of organic grains and beans from both Arrowhead Mills
and Bob's Red Mill
at reasonable costs. The web sites of both distributors have an easy lookup page to find a store near you that carries their products.
I agree with bethzaring
that the King Arthur line of flours
is excellent. Unlike Beth's WW bread, my WW bread is not made entirely from whole wheat flour, but the King Arthur whole wheat flour is very finely milled and makes excellent whole grain bread. However, I find that WW bread made with home milled whole wheat flour has a wheatier, fuller taste than the identical recipe made with King Arthur WW flour.
Even my Kitchen Aid grain mill attachment, which can only mill a rather coarse grain or bean flour, gives me these advantages
- convenience (grains and beans don't need refrigeration - flour made from them does)
- taste (IMHO, fresh milled, used within a day or two of milling, does taste better)
- variety (milling specialty grains or beans; cracking grains)
- freedom to experiment (with the fineness/coarseness of the flour or the grain/bean - for example, I make what I call a "whole wheat bread look-alike" that uses some flour milled from supermarket brown lentils instead of WW flour)
Milling your own flour isn't for everyone, but it can be a lot of fun.
PS - if you're interested, check out this thread on grain mills started by skilletlicker
. I'm sure a search of DC forums would uncover others.