The Survival Mom » Dehydrated Foods http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:53:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook: Review & Giveaway http://thesurvivalmom.com/ultimate-dehydrator-cookbook/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/ultimate-dehydrator-cookbook/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18710 This giveaway has now ended. Congratulations to our lucky winners, Beki and Karen! IMAGINE being able to preserve your own food at home safely, economically, conveniently, and with no harmful additives. EVEN BETTER, your food storage will take up very Read More

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ultimate dehydrator cookbookThis giveaway has now ended. Congratulations to our lucky winners, Beki and Karen!

IMAGINE being able to preserve your own food at home safely, economically, conveniently, and with no harmful additives. EVEN BETTER, your food storage will take up very little space, and will last you for years to come!

Whether you are an avid gardener or you bring your produce home from the grocery store, The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff will inspire and motivate you!

indexI was a skeptic at first. I purchased a dehydrator over a year ago and dried some fruit. After the first batch of strawberries and banana’s were dried and immediately eaten by my family, I boxed up the dehydrator and tucked it away on a shelf. I am almost certain that if I had read the Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook in the beginning, I would probably be the proud owner today of not one, but two dehydrating machines!

Convincing a Skeptic (me!)

I was originally unenthusiastic about dehydrating because I’m a home canner. Dehydrating food is far different from home canning fruit, vegetables and meat, because canning is preserving with water. With dehydration, the goal is to eliminate water. After reading the book, I was very surprised at the amount of nutrients that are lost when it comes to preserving food by freezing, canning and dehydrating. And you guessed it, dehydrating is the best option for preserving those nutrients!

Although I do think it’s important to can my own meat, and will continue to do so, I now find that dehydrating my fruits and vegetables makes a lot of sense. Not only will this take up less space in my food storage, but most important, it takes less time! For example, when I’m canning, it takes me at least 3-4 hours from start to finish.

With dehydrating, I just plug it in, fill the trays, and go to bed!

More Uses: Drying Herbs

THIS IS THE PART where I want to jump up and down. The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook has shown me the ease in drying my own herbs for tea and medicine!

In the past, I have spent a small fortune buying commercial herbal teas. I stock up like crazy for sick days. After reading this book, I am more inspired than ever to grow my own, dry my own, and create my own herbal tea remedies! I can only imagine how much money I will save, not to mention the joy and peace of mind in knowing exactly what my family is consuming.

Not only will the book inspire you to dehydrate more, but the wonderful recipe section will have you dreaming up all kinds of meals and desserts for your family.

From dehydrating your own baby food, to crackers, or for creating unique holiday gifts, I have discovered that this book truly is THE Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook!

The Giveaway

We have so many awesome items from Dehydrate 2 Sell that we made it into two different giveaways, and EACH ONE INCLUDES A COPY OF HER BOOK!

The first, larger, also includes a Dutch baby pan, a coffee / tea press, a mesh tea infuser, an herb mill, an herb chopper, a pie lattice, a mini pie mold, an egg beater, silicone oven mitts, a set of three scoops, and a bucket / barrel opener.

The smaller prize package focuses on canning and adds a cherry pitter, apple peeler / corer, 6 piece canning set, canning lid holder, and a bucket / barrel opener to her book.

Feel free to enter both contests! Contest ends on October 21, 2014, and winners are selected at random. Winners will be notified the following day and have 48 hours to respond or prizes will be forfeited and a new winner selected.

GIVEAWAY #1

a Rafflecopter giveaway
GIVEAWAY #2 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Try It Today: 10 Ways to Use Cabbage http://thesurvivalmom.com/try-today-10-ways-use-cabbage/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/try-today-10-ways-use-cabbage/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 06:00:43 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16676 Cabbage is a nutritious, frugal, and often abundant vegetable. It grows well in home gardens and can generally be found at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and vegetable stands everywhere. Often cabbages with less-than-ideal outer leaves can be found for super cheap prices Read More

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10 Ways to Use Cabbage - The Survival MomCabbage is a nutritious, frugal, and often abundant vegetable. It grows well in home gardens and can generally be found at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and vegetable stands everywhere.

Often cabbages with less-than-ideal outer leaves can be found for super cheap prices too. Pick up these deals, peel off the outer layer and likely you’ll still be left with plenty of usable inner leaves. There’s no shortage of ways to use cabbage fresh and preserve it for later either.

My favorite 10 ways to use cabbage:

  1. No compilation of cabbage uses would be complete without Sauerkraut. Here are three different recipes that include some zip and heat. It took me a little while to develop a taste for sauerkraut and I developed it by starting with a sweeter version that included apples and raisins.
  2. Cabbage rolls are a great and filling way to use up cabbage, bits of other vegetables and meat. They freeze well and make for a great, quick garden fresh meal even in the midst of winter.
  3. Fresh fall cabbage and beets make for a wonderful borscht sure to warm up the family as the air begins to chill.
  4. All those large heads of cabbage, shrink up considerably when dehydrated. Use dehydrated cabbage in soups all winter long for added nutrition and bulking up.
  5. Can up some chow-chow relish for burgers, hot dogs, and more.
  6. Coleslaw is always great for potlucks and picnics, and there are so many ways to change it up for a tasty, satisfying side dish.
  7. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Haluski was pretty much the ultimate comfort food. It’s quick, easy, and frugal.
  8. There’s something very special that happens when vegetables are roasted. It brings out their natural sweetness and seems to turn even the most skeptic of vegetable eaters into believers.  Roasted cabbage slices are delicious and the different, slightly crispy taste and appearance might win over your pickiest eater.
  9. Braise the cabbage with sausages in beer for a one dish meal, that cooks up fast and can easily be doubled for planned leftovers.
  10. Mix together mashed potatoes, sliced onions, sliced cabbage, and some salt and pepper.  Spread that in a casserole dish and top with cheddar cheese. This is a Rumbledethumps, a traditional Scottish dish that will quickly become a favorite side dish.  It will or at least it did at my house.

What’s your favorite way to use cabbage?

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How to Stretch your Grocery Budget on Taco Night http://thesurvivalmom.com/stretch-grocery-budget-taco-night/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/stretch-grocery-budget-taco-night/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 12:00:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15530 Tacos are a favorite with our crew. Not just tacos, I mean all things related to the humble taco. Crispy tacos, Soft Tacos, Taco Salad, and even Taco Soup. With a family of 8, it can be tough to stretch Read More

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Extending Ground Beef

Tacos are a favorite with our crew. Not just tacos, I mean all things related to the humble taco. Crispy tacos, Soft Tacos, Taco Salad, and even Taco Soup. With a family of 8, it can be tough to stretch that pound of hamburger as far as it needs to go to feed everyone. With teenage boys, it’s even tougher. If you’re like us, then you need to stretch your grocery budget.

With meat prices on the rise, family food budgets shrinking, and the kids still just as picky as ever, we sometimes have to get a little creative to make mealtimes work at our house.

When I was a kid my mom would extend the ground beef by adding TVP. Umm. Yuck!   No offense mom but texturized vegetable protein from the 70’s left a lot to be desired in the texture department. If you aren’t a child of the 70’s or 80’s just imaging those little rubber bouncy balls ground up and added to your taco meat.

It did take on the taste of whatever flavorings you used for your dish but there was no hiding that icky texture.

I’m pretty sure the TVP has improved over time because it’s still on the market with lots of variety in flavorings. But you won’t find me using it at my house…I think I must have been traumatized by TVP as a child.

Remember those picky eaters I mentioned above? If there is a ‘green thing’ visible in the dish it might as we’ll be horse manure as far as getting them to eat it. So, I have to get a little creative with my bunch.

Stretching ground beef has become a bit of a challenge, but over the years I’ve landed on a few things that work at my house. The following list is by no means all inclusive. In fact, I’m sure that there are dozens of other ways to extend ground meats but I’m a little on the lazy super busy side. I’m all about easy, convenient and fast.

Favorite Ground Meat Stretching Tactics:

  • Oatmeal - Yes the humble oat. I use Quick Oats or Rolled Oats interchangeably. It just depends on which #10 can the child fetched when I sent them after another can of Oatmeal from the food storage room. You can use the plain oatmeal as is, or if you are like my family and the oats can’t be recognized for their true selves…blend away. We end up with an oat powder that we make into a paste. The paste is added as beef is browning, about half way through the cooking time when there isn’t much pink left.
  • Potatoes - The execution of this one depends on the pickiness of your family. I’ve diced up frozen hash brown shreds, they are pretty small and blend well, but for the uber picky, the potato form of choice is potato flakes. I buy them in bulk but you can also get them in the grocery aisle. These are the ones we use to make mashed potatoes. These are very forgiving, sometimes I sprinkle them with the ground beef as its browning and sometimes I mix them into a paste first. These work great as a soup thickener too. Just add water as needed.
  • Dehydrated Re-fried beans are, by far, my favorite ‘stretcher’ for taco meat. Beans naturally go with Tacos so there’s nothing weird or foreign here. Add the beans (they look like dark cornflakes) as the ground beef is browning. I add these early on so they have time to rehydrate and I then add additional water as needed depending on how it looks.

The main thing I LOVE about these three is that they’re all shelf stable items just hanging out in the pantry waiting for me. They all have very long shelf lives and I don’t have to worry too much about rotation. Viewing shopping as an annual activity, not weekly or even monthly one, has really helped me.

When it comes to rotation and babysitting food items, I have enough to worry about just making sure the milk doesn’t get chunky or the cheese doesn’t develop green fuzzies. Who really needs one more thing to keep track of?

I’m curious if any of you were also traumatized by TVP from your childhood? If so, have you recovered?

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Sweet Summer Giveaway: Day 1 – Wise Foods and Kelly Kettle http://thesurvivalmom.com/giveaway-day-1/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/giveaway-day-1/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 10:00:26 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14513 This giveaway is now closed and winners have been selected and notified. Let’s get the Summer of 2014 off to a rollicking start with a super 5-day series of giveaways! Every day this week we’ll be giving away all kind Read More

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This giveaway is now closed and winners have been selected and notified.

Let’s get the Summer of 2014 off to a rollicking start with a super 5-day series of giveaways! Every day this week we’ll be giving away all kind of great products, some survival related and some just for fun!

Be sure to check right here on The Survival Mom blog every day to see what’s new.

1-Month Wise Foods Emergency Food Supply

wise foodsOur first giveaway is a Wise Foods 1 Month Emergency Food Supply. The box includes 116 servings of dehydrated meals including breakfast and dinner options. Take a look at the full contents here. This food supply is great to have on hand for sudden emergencies that leave you without power, and if you are just getting started with food storage, this is a good place to start.

This product is provided by Problem Solvers, a great website with all sorts of creative, practical, and unique products. Check out their website here for tons of great gadgets that are useful for both emergency and everyday situations.

The Kelly Kettle Complete Kit

Today’s second giveaway is the Medium Scout Kelly Kettle – Complete Kit. This is a must-have for any emergency or camping kit. stainless_steel_scout_kit-50114

The Kelly Kettle was designed by fishermen in Ireland and is a safe, easy, and fast way to boil water or cook food. The Kettle will boil water in just a few minutes (the scout size kettle boils about 5.5 cups of water at a time) using only small kindling and tinder, so there is no need to keep fuel for it.

This makes it perfect for any kind of outdoor activity like camping, scouting, fishing, or hunting. Of course it also makes an excellent addition to a BOB or car emergency kit.  The complete kit includes a cooking pot, pot support, pot gripper/handle, and a grill, so you can prepare and heat meals. Check out some reviews of the Kelly Kettle here, here, and here.

Ready for emergencies?

You can win one of these great prizes by entering this fun Rafflecopter giveaway. Enter once using the FREE Entry or take advantage of all the different ways to increase your chances of winning.

This giveaway is open until midnight on May 30. One winner will receive the Wise Foods package, and a second winner will receive the Kelly Kettle. The 2 winners will be selected at random the following day and notified by email. Winners must respond to this email within 72 hours or the prize will be forfeited and given to another winner.

Good luck and check back each day this week for new giveaways and prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Start dehydrating your own foods with this GIVEAWAY! An Excalibur dehydrator! http://thesurvivalmom.com/start-dehydrating-foods-giveaway-excalibur-dehydrator/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/start-dehydrating-foods-giveaway-excalibur-dehydrator/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 14:00:05 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12893 Years ago I began learning how to dehydrate my own food. I loved being able to buy fresh produce in bulk, wash and cut it up, and then dehydrate it for long-term storage. I bought my original dehydrator on Craigslist Read More

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Years ago I began learning how to dehydrate my own food. I loved being able to buy fresh produce in bulk, wash and cut it up, and then dehydrate it for long-term storage.

I bought my original dehydrator on Craigslist for about $35 and it’s chugging along just fine, but today YOU have a chance to win the dream dehydrator of most every Survival Mom: an Excalibur!

A group of  bloggers decided to pool our money to host this giveaway for our awesome followers and readers. With spring right around the corner and so many are planning, or have already planted their gardens, we thought an Excalibur Dehydrator would be just the right item for our giveaway.

Please let us know what food you would really like to learn how to dehydrate. Please enter today, and good luck to all of you! What better way to be prepared for the unexpected than by learning to dehydrate food we grow in our gardens.

Excalibur 3900 Dehydrator 1Here are the bloggers/websites involved in this fantastic Excalibur Giveaway:

1. Whole New Mom
2. Food Storage Moms
3. Home Ready Home
4. Common Sense Homesteading
5. Food Storage And Survival
6. The Survival Mom
7. Simply Canning
8. Prepared Housewives
9. Geek Prepper
10. The Backyard Pioneer
11. Survival For Blondes
We will need to keep this giveaway limited to the US (48 contingent states) because of the shipping expense.
This giveaway is not sponsored by ExcaliburDehydrator.com, Facebook or Pinterest. The Excalibur Dehydrator will be very similar to the picture shown. A FREE Dehydrating Book is included in the giveaway.
Giveaway ends on January 23, 2014, at 8 p.m. MT. The winner will be selected at random and notified within 48 hours. You MUST respond to that winning email or your prize will be forfeited, and we don’t want that to happen!

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19 Tasty Things to do with Freeze-Dried Pineapple http://thesurvivalmom.com/19-tasty-things-to-do-with-freeze-dried-pineapple/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/19-tasty-things-to-do-with-freeze-dried-pineapple/#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 18:09:58 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11675 When I first began my venture into food storage, I was met with a dizzying array of choices, among them freeze-dried and dehydrated produce. I didn’t have a ton of money to spend and had to give some serious consideration Read More

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When I first began my venture into food storage, I was met with a dizzying array of choices, among them freeze-dried and dehydrated produce. I didn’t have a ton of money to spend and had to give some serious consideration as to what I should buy.

pineapple freshI decided that I would buy canned, dehydrated, and freeze-dried versions of fruits and vegetables that I used most often and/or were next to impossible to grow in the Phoenix climate. Pineapple met both those criteria.

My kids love a good, juicy pineapple any day of the week, but the freshest ones aren’t always available. Freeze-dried pineapple has a light, sweet taste and a nice crunch and is ready, in its #10 can, whenever you are!

Here is what I’ve discovered I can do with this tasty, tropical fruit:

  1. Add it to oatmeal cookies! Yummm! You can rehydrate it first or just add a half cup or so directly from the can.
  2. Add it to Oatmeal Pecan Bars! Double yummm!
  3. Rehydrate the pineapple and use it in a sweet-and-sour sauce for chicken or pork.
  4. Add some pineapple to a chicken and veggie stir fry, along with some cashews!
  5. Include it in a snack mix with other dried fruit, nuts, freeze-dried yogurt, and mini chocolate chips. Surprisingly, pineapple and chocolate go very well together, my friend!
  6. Add to your favorite bran muffin mix.
  7. Mix in a half cup or so with zucchini bread batter!
  8. Rehydrate a cup or two. Drain and add to butter and brown sugar for a tart-yet-sweet topping for Pineapple Upside Down Cake (or muffins).

    image by DeaPeaJay

    image by DeaPeaJay

  9. Mix a bit of freeze-dried pineapple in with cream cheese for a bagel topping.
  10. Add a cup or two to a super simple party punch recipe: equal parts lemon-lime soda and citrus juice.
  11. Mix up some pineapple cocktails for a luau!
  12. Toss it into a salad, either rehydrated or not. The crunchy texture is a nice addition to a salad of greens.
  13. Rehydrate half a cup or so and sprinkle it over vanilla ice cream.
  14. Add it to yogurt. It tastes great with vanilla Greek yogurt.
  15. Use it for a tropical tasting smoothie.
  16. Use it in place of fresh or canned pineapple in any recipe with “Hawaiian” in the title!
  17. Add it to any granola recipe.
  18. Sprinkle it over pizza, along with some chopped ham or bacon!
  19. Eat it straight out of the can for a healthy, no-sugar-added treat!

 

 

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Survival Skills: Try This Quick, Easy Way to Make Jerky http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-skills-try-this-quick-easy-way-to-make-jerky/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-skills-try-this-quick-easy-way-to-make-jerky/#comments Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:38:06 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=5567 Jerky is the original high energy survival/snack food, and maybe you’re thinking about making your own. Here’s some expert advice about a quick, easy method that uses meat from the grocery store, items you already have in your kitchen, and Read More

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Jerky is the original high energy survival/snack food, and maybe you’re thinking about making your own. Here’s some expert advice about a quick, easy method that uses meat from the grocery store, items you already have in your kitchen, and an oven.

image by Stuart Bassil

Maybe you had a successful hunting season, and ended up with lots of meat to experiment on. Or possibly, the idea is to learn another do-it-yourself skill, so you can make a healthy snack for the kids’ lunches.

Regardless of your motivation, preppers, survivalists and folks looking for a way to preserve meat for long term storage should learn how to make jerky. Like any survival technique, it may be one of those skills that could prove to be vital sometime down the road.

But making jerky can be expensive. First, there is the cost of the meat. (As a hunter, I can attest to this fact: There is no cheap meat!) Then, there is the investment in a smoker or food dehydrator, and the cost of commercial jerky seasonings. When the math is done, it may appear that it’s cheaper to just buy jerky.

But you can produce top quality jerky fairly inexpensively, according to one expert, using meat from the local grocery store. All you need to do is watch your grocery store ads for sales, and for equipment, you need  an oven with some sort of wire rack.

“Jerky is just dried meat, and you can make it out of any kind of meat, and many kinds of fish,” says Clem Stechelin, 79, of La Pine, OR. “People have been making jerky forever, and the process isn’t complicated.”

Stechelin is a retired meatcutter, owner of “Clem’s Oregon Trail Seasonings,” and has been making jerky and sausage for decades. He says jerky can be simple to make, inexpensive and doesn’t require an elaborate smoker or dehydrator system. Originally, Stechelin said, primitive hunters who killed a large animal dried meat by solar power.

“They probably hung strips of meat over a bush or on some sort of rack in the sun,” he said. “Some of the different flavorings, like sage, might have started out when they realized meat dried on a sage bush tasted better.”

Later, these hunters figured out they could dry meat faster if they hung it over a smoky fire, Stechelin said, and people acquired a taste for smoked, seasoned meat. Primitive hunters probably smoked and dried whatever meat they had to use, he said, and some of it probably tasted pretty bad.

This is some very good organic elk meat that has been cut into strips to make jerky. Talk about expensive ingredients! image by Leon Pantenburg

Today, great-tasting jerky starts with a quality cut of meat.

“It’s like a computer analogy: Junk in, junk out. If you start with a piece of tough meat with gristle, it will end up as jerky that is tough and hard to chew.” Stechelin said. “You shouldn’t use an inexpensive piece of meat, and expect the jerky to turn out well.”

Some of the cheaper roasts have lots of fat and gristle, he said, which needs to be trimmed off before baking.

“By the time you’re done, there won’t be much usable meat,” he said. “You would have been better buying some London broil to start with.”<

Stechelin recommends watching store ads for meat sales. London broil and top round are on sale for about $1.98 per pound “at least once a month,” he said, and those cuts make excellent jerky. Other, more expensive meat cuts that work well for jerky are top round, bottom round and sirloin tip.

Probably the best cut for jerky is flank steak, but it is usually pretty expensive,” he said. “When you cut it across the grain and make jerky, it ends up tender, is easy to chew and has great flavor.”

Most of Stechelin’s seasoning customers buy beef to make jerky, and use the oven method. (The jerky seasoning feature all natural ingredients, with no nitrates.) It is the quickest, simplest technique, he claims, and anyone can use it to produce healthy, tasty energy snacks.
Here is what you do:

*Cut the meat, across the grain, into uniform slices between one-quarter and one-half in thick. Rub whatever seasonings you choose into the meat.

* Put the meat on a wire pizza rack or cooling rack for bread.

* Set the oven between 200 and 220 degrees. (Individual ovens vary, so some experimentation may have to be done.) Place the loaded racks in the oven, and put a piece of foil or cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drippings.

From start to finish, this jerky took about three hours to make. image by Leon Pantenburg

Clem Stechelin has been making jerky and sausage for more than 50 years.

* Prop open the oven door with a towel, so the moisture escapes. If you forget this step, Stechelin said, the batch of jerky will bake instead of drying, and the result won’t be good.

* Cook the jerky for about two and one-half hours, or until it looks done.

“Take the meat out when you can still bend it. The meat will still dry a little more after it’s out of the oven,” Stechelin said. “Don’t leave it in the oven until it’s crisp, or it will end up being too hard and tough.”

All that’s left to do then, is let the jerky cool completely and store it. If you’re going to put the jerky in plastic bags, put it in the freezer, Stechelin advises. Otherwise, put the finished jerky in a cloth or paper bag so any moisture completely evaporates. Then hide some for outdoor excursions.

Home-made jerky is a great after-school snack, but be careful if there are teenagers in your house. Snacking on jerky is addictive, and the kids and their friends may wipe out the entire supply before you know it!

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Book Review: Food to Go, Portable Food the Aussie Way http://thesurvivalmom.com/book-review-food-to-go-portable-food-the-aussie-way/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/book-review-food-to-go-portable-food-the-aussie-way/#comments Fri, 29 Oct 2010 22:52:41 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=5369 I’ve always loved Australians ever since I went to Russia with a large group of them way back when.  It wasn’t unusual to meet them for breakfast and find that one or more had, “had a fight with the sidewalk,” Read More

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image by mikebaird

I’ve always loved Australians ever since I went to Russia with a large group of them way back when.  It wasn’t unusual to meet them for breakfast and find that one or more had, “had a fight with the sidewalk,” the night before. And how can you not like a gregarious guy who goes around with the name Fugly?  Seriously!  So when I had the chance to review Food to Go, written by three Australian hikers, I jumped at the chance.   I hoped it would contain some great survival and preparedness tips and recipes, and I was right.

The authors of Food to Go are absolutely mad about hiking and enjoying delicious food along the way. Some of us are absolutely mad about delicious food and enjoying a hike or two along the way, and that works too!  Although their primary audience is other hikers, SurvivalMoms will find the book a great addition to their survival libraries as well.  We don’t have to settle for eating cold ravioli or SPAM.  As these authors say, “Great food is always a priority!”  But this takes time and planning.

Planning what and how much food to keep in a Vehicle Emergency Kit or a Bug Out Bag is a dilemma for many of us.  As a mom, it’s hard enough to get those bags packed and ready, much less sit down to make plans for the best foods to pack.  I find myself tossing in bags of sunflower seeds or peanut butter/cracker snacks, when the truth is, it would be hard to keep a family happy on those snacks alone.  Likewise, camping trips and ventures into outdoor survival require forethought and planning ahead.

Note:  Americans may need a dictionary to help translate some of the terms in this book into American English!  I’ve never heard of a, “sachet of coffee”, before, but frankly, Frank!, that makes reading the book that much more fun.

In my family I’m not known as the Detail Person.  I tend to be more happy-go-lucky, so the planning charts in Chapter 1, have been very helpful to me.  Their menus assume the availability of water and a heat source, both of which should be part of a 72 Hour Kit.  Included in the chapter are the meal plans created by other hikers, and these include some valuable tips.  One in particular suggests putting servings of granola in Zip-Loc bags along with a couple of tablespoons of dried milk.  What a great idea for a quick meal on the road!

To further help with organization, there’s an entire chapter on organizing your meals.  Emergency bags are heavy enough with the basics of survival, and the authors include dozens of tips for reducing the weight of packed food.  I love the tip for using an empty milk, or soda, bottle for storing things like crackers.  Suggestions for adding flavor, different textures and combinations to keep food interesting can easily be applied to food storage.

Storing food for a hike is not all that different from storing it in a pantry.  The authors include twenty pages of directions for dehydrating individual foods and entire meals.  I had never thought of dehydrating a meal of curry and rice, but this book shows how to do just that in text, colorful photos, and charts.  Creative and portable ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks all get the same, thorough treatment.  I’m excited about trying their recipe for dehydrating Chicken Fried Rice!

The more I read, the more impressed I was with this 161-page book.  I even signed on as an affiliate to promote the book on my blog.  Food to Go is an e-book, so you don’t have to track it down in a bookstore or wait for mail delivery, and readers of my blog can purchase the book at a 20% discount by using the discount code GOTOFOOD.  Enjoy the savings, and I know you’ll enjoy the information and recipes this book offers.

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Dehydrated Dinners, part 2: 20 Tips for getting started http://thesurvivalmom.com/dehydrated-dinners-part-2-20-tips-for-getting-started/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/dehydrated-dinners-part-2-20-tips-for-getting-started/#comments Tue, 17 Aug 2010 10:33:15 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=4845 Welcome to the second in a series of article that will teach you, step by step, how to create your own dehydrated meals suitable for long-term storage.  You can read Part 1 here. Freeze dried and dehydrated main dishes, such Read More

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Welcome to the second in a series of article that will teach you, step by step, how to create your own dehydrated meals suitable for long-term storage.  You can read Part 1 here.

Freeze dried and dehydrated main dishes, such as those made by Mountain House, are on many a prepper’s To Buy list.  However, for some families, the extra expense or unwanted additives place these commercially produced meals off limits.  With a little planning, you can make your own.  Here are a few tips for getting started.

image by Nina Matthews Photography

  1. Although you can definitely include your own dehydrated foods, keep in mind that putting together numerous meals using the same recipe will require a lot of each ingredient.  Therefore, it might be worth spending a bit extra to purchase commercially dehydrated or freeze dried foods for this project.  DIY dehydrated foods have a shorter shelf life than do their commercially dried counterparts.  Keep that in mind.
  2. Three good resources for dehydrated and freeze dried foods are Shelf  Reliance, Honeyville Farms and Harmony House.
  3. The shelf life of your finished dinners will be equivalent to that of the ingredient with the shortest shelf life.  For example, a recipe containing pasta will have a shelf life of about seven or eight years, maximum, because that is the shelf life of pasta.
  4. Some freeze dried vegetables are more delicate than their dehydrated counterparts.  You may want to place those veggies at the top of the mix to prevent them from being crushed over time or use the dehydrated version.
  5. Dehydrated eggs, sour cream, butter and milk will have to be purchased.
  6. IMPORTANT!  If you’re making a mix from one of your own recipes, your first batch will be experimental.  Combine the ingredients, keep a record of the amounts, and then prepare the recipe as a meal.  How much water did you add?  How long was the cooking time?  Be sure to record this information and make adjustments before preparing the remaining meals.  Make sure to have your family do a taste test!
  7. It makes sense to prepare several batches of each recipe rather than just one.  Be sure to have enough of each ingredient on hand.  You may be surprised by how much is required, but keep in mind you’re preparing many future meals.
  8. In addition to ingredients, you’ll need some sort of storage container.  Canning jars and mylar bags are your best bet.  Use oxygen absorbers if you plan on storing the mixes long-term.  If a camping or backpacking trip is in your future, the mixes can be kept in large zip-loc bags.
  9. A Food Saver system works as long as none of the ingredients are likely to puncture the plastic bag.
  10. For storage, keep in mind the five enemies of food: heat, humidity, oxygen, light, and pests.
  11. Here’s a tip for organizing your mixes.  Store mixes of the same ingredient in a labeled food-grade bucket.
  12. To get started with your own recipe, choose a soup or a casserole.  The ideal recipe will contain ingredients that can all be converted to a dehydrated version.  Be prepared to do a bit of tweaking.  Choosing the right recipe is the hardest part of this process.
  13. Recipes that contain a lot of cheese aren’t good candidates for Dehydrated Dinners.
  14. If a recipe contains an ingredient that is normally canned, such as diced tomatoes, it’s perfectly fine to omit that ingredient in your dehydrated mix and then plan on adding that canned item when it’s time to prepare the meal.  Just make a note of it, and then be sure to have enough stored in your pantry.
  15. One dehydrated recipe to master is marinara sauce.  Combine tomato powder with garlic, herbs, and salt.  Taste test small amounts with a bit of water until you have a combination you love.  You can store the mix in jars or mylar bags or use it in recipes that call for prepared marinara sauce.  Emergency Essentialscarries tomato powder or you can make your own by processing dehydrated tomato slices in a blender until completely powdered.

    image by WordRidden

  16. Start searching for recipes!  Here are a few I found at AllRecipes.com that have a lot of potential as Dehydrated Dinners: Chili Bean Soup, Pasta Bean Soup, Flatlander Chili, and Homemade Pizza Supreme.
  17. If you only convert five recipes to Dehydrated Dinners and prepare eight of each recipe, that’s forty dinners!
  18. Dehydrated Dinners will only be one part of your food storage.  They’ll come in handy when you’re too sick to cook or the family needs a really quick meal.  Their main purpose is convenience.
  19. It’s better to give than receive.  Having multiple Dehydrated Dinners will allow you to share them with others in need.
  20. Jump right in!  The more practice you get in spotting suitable recipes, the easier it becomes.  Once you have a recipe your family enjoys, it’s just a matter of converting it to a dehydrated version and assembling all the ingredients.


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Dehydrated-to-Death Chili http://thesurvivalmom.com/dehydrated-to-death-chili/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/dehydrated-to-death-chili/#comments Tue, 11 May 2010 10:30:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=4054 I tried a new chili recipe recently and decided to play around with it a bit.  I dehydrated the tomato sauce, kidney beans, added a few seasonings and stored it in my pantry for about a month.  When I decided one Read More

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image by trekkyandy

I tried a new chili recipe recently and decided to play around with it a bit.  I dehydrated the tomato sauce, kidney beans, added a few seasonings and stored it in my pantry for about a month.  When I decided one night to make one of my family’s favorite meals, Chili and Rice, I added four cups of water to the dehydrated chili mixture and was amazed!  I think it was one of the best pots of chili I’ve ever made!  Give it a try.

2 cans tomato sauce

2 cans kidney beans, drained

1/4 c. chopped yellow onion*

1 T. chili powder

1 t. cumin

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. garlic powder

1/8 t. ground black pepper

In a food dehydrator, dehydrate the tomato sauce, kidney beans and chopped onions.  To dehydrate the sauce, spread it evenly on two fruit leather trays and dry until it can be easily peeled up and no moisture remains.  The dehydration time for these three ingredients varies from dehydrator to dehydrator, but plan on at least six hours.

To store, combine the sauce, beans, onion and seasonings in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, a Food Saver bag or even a Zip-Loc bag, depending on how long you wish to store it.  The sauce can be rolled up or even torn or cut into small pieces to better fit into the jar.

Cooking the dehydrated chili is a dream.  Pour the dry ingredients in a large saucepan or pot, along with four cups of water.  Cook over medium heat for at least 15-20 minutes or until the beans are completely rehydrated.  You can add cooked meat or canned tomatoes at this point, if you wish.  As the chili heats, the sauce thickens quite nicely, but you may want to add a bit more water for a thinner consistency.  Of course you can cook this in your Sun Oven!  Just place the ingredients in a covered pot and set outside in your oven for a couple of hours. 

Serve alone, over rice, topped with grated cheddar cheese, saltines, tortilla chips, sour cream, or your own preferred chili toppings.

*As long as you’re dehydrating this amount of onion, you might as well dehydrate a whole lot more.  Chop enough onion to fill the rest of your dehydrating trays, and you’ll be a step ahead the next time you need chopped onion.

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