Prepping on Pennies: #2, Wheat’s on the menu!
It makes sense to stock up on plenty of wheat because it is one commodity that is very, very budget-friendly. It is also one of the most versatile foods you’ll ever have in your pantry. Here are a few of my favorite wheat recipes that will take you from breakfast through dinner.
Wheat Berries are what’s for breakfast!
I love, love, love a hot bowl of wheat berries sweetened with a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar. This hot cereal is versatile, and you’ll surely be able to create a version everyone in your family will love. Here’s the basic recipe.
1 c. hard white wheat
2 1/2 c. water
The easiest way to prepare this hot cereal is to combine the wheat and water in a crockpot, set on low, and cook overnight or throughout the day. To cook them on a stove-top, follow these directions from 101 Cookbooks.
To cook wheat berries: Combine 2 cups wheat berries, 6 cups water, and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump and chewy (and a few of the berries split open), about an hour or so. The berries will stay al dente, and the only way to be sure they’re done is to taste a few. Drain and set aside.
You can mix them with yogurt, dried fruit, nuts, butter, honey, syrup, and any spices that strike your fancy. They are so nutritious. If you think you will meet some resistance from your family, mix in a few wheat berries with their cereal or oatmeal to get them used to a new flavor and texture.
Wheat Berries make a great salad side-dish!
First, prepare wheat berries using either the crock-pot or stove-top method. You can make this recipe while the berries are still warm or after they’ve cooled.
Place 3 cups of the berries in a medium size bowl and add:
4 T. olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
salt to taste (optional)
pepper to taste
1/3 c. finely sliced basil
1/4 c. chopped rehydrated tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes
1/4 c. celery, chopped (dehydrated or fresh)
3 T. finely chopped red onion
This is delicious as is, but you can add olives, feta, and other herbs you may have growing in your garden or in the pantry. This salad is absolutely delicious! You can thank me later.
For every meal, a loaf of bread
Every bread maker has his or her own favorite bread recipe. The one I usually use lists honey and dried milk as ingredients. Whatever your recipe calls for, be sure to stock up on enough of the ingredients so you could make at least two or three loaves of bread per week. In a survival situation, bread will add energy and calories to your family’s daily diet. Just be sure to know how to bake the bread using at least two different methods, not counting your kitchen oven. This is where a Sun Oven or a Stove-Tec Rocket Stove come in handy. A Dutch oven over a campfire is yet another way to bake bread without depending on any fuel, other than a bit of wood.
Do check out The Fresh Loaf for bread-making tutorials, a great forum, and more bread recipes than you could make in a lifetime!
Mexican food lovers rejoice!
Homemade tortillas are easier to make than you might think, and for the Mexican food lover in you, that’s great news! Olé! Here’s a simple recipe passed on to me by Suzie Brown, manager of the Honeyville Farms store in Salt Lake City. She uses shortening, which, as you know, has a very impressive shelf life.
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1 t. salt
1 c. water
Combine all ingredients together. Mix till smooth. Form a small ball of dough, approximately 2″ across, and roll into a circle using a rolling pin. As each tortilla is finished, you can either cook it in on a dry griddle or in a frying pan with some oil.
I’ll be posting a recipe soon for End of the World Enchiladas, using this very recipe for the tortillas, so brush up on your tortilla making skills and get ready!
Bottom line: wheat is a must-have for your food storage. Don’t be intimidated by all the wheat jargon cast about by bread-making experts and food storage snobs. Shop around for the least expensive wheat you can find. Get an inexpensive grinder and start experimenting.
Tip: Some people buy their wheat from animal feed stores. No kidding. It’s the same wheat you’ll get from other sources but may not be as thoroughly cleaned. When you’re ready to store it, or use it, just pour it through a sieve first to clean out any dried grass or small rocks.
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