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need machine for pulverizing dried pulses and nuts

I want to make my own pulse and nut flours at home by pulverizing whole dried pulses and nuts. I managed to make split pea flour using the herb cutting compartment on my Braun, but the noise was unbelievable, and the flour got into the engine and made the poor thing wheeze for days! Other people have suggested buying a small coffee grinder, but I'm not sure if this will make any less noise. Pulses are a lot harder than coffee beans after all (think: little ball bearings) - won't the blade wear out quickly?

Any suggestions or advice? I'm not looking to spend a lot of money (so that gorgeous Kitchenaid coffee grinder is sadly out of the question!).

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  1. You tried the type of coffee grinder that has a spinning blade like a blender, right? You could try a burr grinder. Should work for pulses, but nuts would probably gum up the works.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Zeldog

      My local coffee shop recommended a kitchenaid burr grinder - the truth is, I just can't afford it. They cost at least five times as much as the spinning blade models.

      1. re: Gooseberry

        keep an eye on amazon - i scored a brand-new one for a song a few months ago...

    2. www.lehmans.com or get this great catalogue geared to those living without electricity and/or modern conveniences. They feature many products from "Amish Country" and I've never been disappointed with their quality. Yes, they have a grain mill. Good Luck on your project.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Sherri

        Can someone please tell me what a "pulse" is?

          1. re: OldDog

            Yes - sorry for not being clear (not sure if 'pulses' is a term used widely in the States?). I mean things like dried split peas.

        1. re: Sherri

          I have always found Lehmans to be overpriced, but I live only a few miles from their Kidron store. It is mostly frequented by tourists, as the residents know of of better prices and service from other merchants.

          1. re: Kelli2006

            It would be a kindness to provide the OP - and the rest of us - with this information. We're all looking for great products at low prices. Thanks.

        2. I'm guessing that you don't have a food processor? That's what I use to make nut flours. It was unable to pluverize bulgar wheat, though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MMRuth

            Hi MMRuth. I have a small herb chopping attachment on my handblender; like a very small food processor. Can handle nuts, but the pulses are just too hard for it. It makes a noise like a strangled vaccum cleaner...

            1. How much do you plan on making at a time? A small blade coffee grinder will do well with small amount, but when it comes to the hardest legumes, like chickpeas, you can only process 1/2 cup of a flour or so at a time. Softer seeds & nuts, like flax seeds, you can do multiple batches in a row to get a larger quantity- I know I've done 2-3 cups worth of flax seed flour or almond flour, but really hard things require so many reruns that you have to be careful to not overheat the small motor on a coffee grinder.

              I'm not sure about a burr coffee grinder, I've never used one personally. Though I do have a burr grinding Peanut (or other nut) Butter maker, and even it says to limit the amount I run at a time to 7 oz- I've done a little more at once, but I listen the machine and give it a break if it sounds like its straining or anything.

              One thing I have learned from the nut butter maker is that no matter how hard I tried to make nut butters in my blender, they were still only very finely chopped nuts- never really that creamy peanut butter texture you expect from peanut butter, for example- and that was with adding significant oil & liquid sweetener (honey and/or molasses) with the blender. I'm sort of at the same point you are with deciding what to get next to add to my arsenal of kitchen gadgets. I want to start grinding nearly all of my own flours, even wheat, so I am probably going to get the mill attachment for my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer- it's the cheapest way, short of a manual grinder, for me to get serious about grinding. Up until now, a blade coffee grinder, along with a good blender, has been good enough (sometimes I would grind as best I could in the blender and then do a final 'grind' in the coffee grinder).

              2 Replies
              1. re: anniemax

                Thanks for your detailed advice. As I said in answer to Zeldog above, I can't really justify buying a burr grinder. I would love to - then we could grind our coffee at home as well (although I do wonder about flavour transfer) but sadly neither my partner or I can justify that kind of spending on that right now.

                I don't need a lot of flour at a time; maybe a small blade coffee grinder is the way to go. Can you comment on the noise, though? My main reason for not using my braun electric herb chopper (also a small spinning blade) is the level of noise - seriously unbelievable, and my partner (an engineer) says it's so noisy that it actually could damage my ears. How loud is the coffee grinder by comparison?

                Oh, and props for grinding your own flour for baking. Very hard core!

                1. re: Gooseberry

                  Its loud, but not super loud or anything- I think the design of the the coffee grinder makes it less noisy then other similar devices. I did try chickpeas in a blade grinder, though next time I think I would wrap them in something first so I hit them with a hammer to break them up somewhat before processing. If you get a chance, you might want to check at resale type place, like Good Will or Salvation Army- I can usually pick up a coffee grinder for $2-3. I even found a couple of burr grinders right before I got my peanut butter grinder, but I didn't buy them unfortunately.

                  I wish I didn't have to grind all my flours, but with being allergic to corn, its just a lot easy to do it myself and not have to worry about any of the stuff they add to flour being something I'm allergic to.

              2. One low-tech solution is to soak the beans/pulses overnight and then grind them in a food processor. Depends what you are going to make with them, though.

                4 Replies
                1. re: willownt

                  For some applications I actually need the flours to be totally dry - binding wheat-free falafels for example.

                  1. re: Gooseberry

                    A couple of big, flat rocks is what you need. That's about as low tech as it gets, and depending on what part of the world you live in, could cost you little or nothing at all.

                    1. re: Zeldog

                      I'd prefer to describe myself, at least in this regard, as 'cheap' rather than technologically challenged - not mutually exclusive, but usually the same thing when it comes to buying electric devices with moving parts!

                      I have a wonderfully clunky granite mortar and pestle (actually not that expensive - perhaps the absence of electricity??) which is usually a whizz at grinding things. But sadly, after ten minutes of grinding in the mortar, all I'd done is blunt the edges of the split peas. No flour, per se. And while flat rocks are a variation on the mortar and pestle theme, my size - scarce 5"2, 112 pounds- makes me doubtful of the efficacy of grinding using big stones.

                      But it certainly would be a creative yet stunningly simple solution!

                      1. re: Gooseberry

                        It's a lot of work grinding with stones, no matter how big you are. Usually the one on top rotates while it grinds; you don't actually have to pick it up, you just turn it.

                        If you don't want an initial output of much money, you might have to stick to pre-ground flours. Indian stores often have several kinds of bean/lentil flours. These only cost a few dollars. Including besan which is chickpea. Use that for your falafels as a binder! :)

                2. Try a "Sumeet" which is wet/dry grinder used in Indian cooking. Not terribly expensive but really a great machine. Google it to find Indian sources that sell it in the US or Canada (be careful about electricity need).

                  1. I bought the kitchen aid grain mill attachment for work and I love. I gring cornmeal for polenta, dry spices and I haven't tried nuts. I did run some dry calasparra rice through the thing and it made a beautiful finely powdered riceflour. I haven't figureed out what to do with it yet. I was thinking of rice tuiles for desserts. Anyway, the kitchen aid grain mill can be a workhorse for what you probably want.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: chefcolin

                        I'm glad to hear a good report on the KA grain mill- I've been debating one myself personally. I've had a KA mixer for years-17 years- YIKES! I need to do it for allergy reasons and I'm lucky to have a fairly local organic grain producer I can buy in bulk from.

                      2. You know, you can buy hand-crank grinders. I don't know why I didn't say this earlier. I *think* most are in the under-$60 range. There is an entry on an Indian cooking blog about one that the author is fond of, used for grinding lentils, as an example. Lots of photos: