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— Sean Gerych, WV
Pleasant Hill Grain Baking Glossary
Magnesium – A major chemical element found in the earth’s crust, magnesium is also the eleventh most abundant element, by mass, in healthy human bodies (both within bones and muscles). As with all other minerals, our bodies will not produce their own supply of magnesium so it’s crucial to have a mineral-rich diet to replenish the supply. All living cells within a body need magnesium ions to function. Magnesium deficiency causes muscle weakness, bone weakness, fatigue, imbalanced blood sugar levels, abnormal heart rate or force, headaches, depression, nausea, loss of appetite, and elevated blood pressure. Many foods are high in magnesium content, including pumpkin seeds, Swiss chard, spinach, almonds, and unrefined whole grains.
Maize – (See Corn.)
Malted Barley – Barley dried to at least 14% moisture content and then allowed to germinate in water. Germination propagates the growth of enzymes such as amylase—an enzyme which converts starch into sugar (maltose) through hydrolysis. Then, at a certain point the germination is stopped by hot air in a kiln drier. This drying process is called malting. Once dried, the germinated grain will be mashed. Malted barley is commonly used for beer, ale, malt vinegar and malted dairy products. Other grains besides barley are sometimes malted, but barley is the most common for this process partly due to its high diastatic power.
Maple Syrup – A sweet sap derived from maple trees that is boiled to reduce its water content. Maple syrup is used for sweetening foods. Maple syrup has fewer calories than cane sugar or honey and contains calcium, iron, manganese and other minerals. (See our organic Maple Valley Maple Syrup.)
Masa – Ground nixtamal. “Masa” is the Spanish word for dough. Ground nixtamal has the consistency of dough and can be made into tortillas, tamales and other foods.
Masa harina – Dried masa.
Meal – Coarsely ground grain commonly used for cereal. Meal is ground slightly finer than the consistency of cracked grain.
Measuring Cups and Spoons – Kitchen tool utensils used to measure dry and liquid ingredients. Measuring cups for dry ingredients come in stacking sets for easy storage. (See our.)
Micronizer (Micronizer) Mill – A mill to pulverize grain into ultra-fine particles only a few microns in diameter.
Middlings – A by-product of white flour processing. Middlings are comprised of the wheat bran, germ and coarsely ground endosperm. The exact nutritional value can’t be figured on middlings, because the amount of bran, germ and endosperm continually varies. Middlings are most commonly used in livestock feed.
Millet – A type of small-seeded grass used widely around the world as a gluten-free cereal grain both for human consumption and fodder, particularly for birdseed. Very nutritious, millet is an especially good source of magnesium (1 cup cooked millet provides 19% DV of magnesium). Using millet for cooking and baking is most popular western Africa. The millet crop is popular to grow and eat in hot, dry climates because it grows well in arid places n a short amount of time. Couscous is made from cracked millet. (See our non-GMO organic millet.)
Mineral – An inorganic substance naturally occurring in the earth’s crust. Minerals are divided into macro-mineral and micro-mineral (or trace mineral) categories. The human body needs proper amounts of each for good health. About sixty minerals are needed for optimum health.