The Survival Mom » Food http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:51:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Stock Your Pantry From Scratch: Homemade Apple Pie Filling http://thesurvivalmom.com/homemade-apple-pie-filling/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/homemade-apple-pie-filling/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:00:26 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19664 Apples just seem to overflow here at our homestead. And thankfully so! They are an excellent staple to have on the pantry shelf, easy to can & put up and best of all…delicious! If /when the SHTF, comfort foods will Read More

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Stock your pantry from scratch with this amazing apple pie filling you can yourself. Super easy recipe! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Apples just seem to overflow here at our homestead. And thankfully so! They are an excellent staple to have on the pantry shelf, easy to can & put up and best of all…delicious! If /when the SHTF, comfort foods will be soooo appreciated, even if the “S” in question is just a big Snowstorm!

Each year, we can huge quantities of applesauce, make apple butter for the grandparents, and dehydrate apple chips, but far and away our favorite way to preserve all the beautiful apples we get in the Fall is Apple Pie Filling! No matter how much we make, there can never be enough for our family and friends.

I can seasonally and in bulk, to stock the pantry shelves, teach my children the art of canning and have shelf stable (delicious) foods on hand, at the ready. This helps me use sales and in-season foods at the best price and quality, while keeping the pantry stocked.

Apples are so versatile that we came up with 27 Things You Can Do With Apples.  Now, it’s prime time to finish canning those apples and stock your pantry from scratch!

Homemade Apple Pie Filling!

When we think canning, most of us think about things like green beans and chili. But there is so much more to canning than vegetables and the old standards! Let’s can some DESSERT for those deep pantry shelves!

I love to have this super simple, yet very delicious, pie filling on my pantry shelf! It’s easy to can and makes for effortless desserts all year long. What’s not to love? Here’s my recipe for apple pie filling.

Apple Pie Filling

18 cups (of your favorite!) apples, peeled & sliced (about 6 lbs.)

1/4 cup lemon juice

4 cups brown sugar

1 cup cornstarch

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

¼ 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

8 cups water

In a large bowl, mix the apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside. In a large pot, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for two minutes. It will start to thicken up.

Add your apples and return to a boil. (You may want to drain off some of the lemon juice, but some folks think it adds a nice flavor.) Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Don’t forget to stir OFTEN. You don’t want this to burn!

Have your canner, quart jars, and lids hot and ready. Pack each jar with filling, leaving head space, 1 inch from the top.

Process in your water bath canner for 20 minutes. Makes about 5 – 6 quarts! Carefully remove your jars from the canner. Set your jars on a towel, counter, or table for 24 hours, then line your pantry shelf!

Enjoy! You’ve just made it so simple for yourself to have a homemade dessert ready in minutes for your family, to take to a family in need, or that last minute congregation or family gathering! We use this as a base ingredient to make apple pies, crisps, ice cream topping, dump cakes, etc., etc.–in minutes! Apple pie filling always makes a welcome gift, too. :-)

Take advantage of what He gives us. Canning  is truly a labor of love for me.

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45 Recipes For the Potato Lover in You! http://thesurvivalmom.com/potato-recipes/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/potato-recipes/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19667 I adore potatoes. Grew up with baked potatoes served at every Sunday-after-church lunch and mashed potatoes in the school cafeteria (back in the days when cafeteria food was awesome!) To celebrate cooler weather, but, heck!, potatoes can be enjoyed year-round, Read More

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45 Incredible potato recipes for snacks and meals. No need for boring potatoes when you can make one of these recipes! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comI adore potatoes. Grew up with baked potatoes served at every Sunday-after-church lunch and mashed potatoes in the school cafeteria (back in the days when cafeteria food was awesome!)

To celebrate cooler weather, but, heck!, potatoes can be enjoyed year-round, I tracked down 45 different potato recipes for you.

Food-Storage Friendly Potato Recipes

When you purchased dehydrated and freeze-dried food, you can count on it to last for many years and be available when you need that ingredient. These 2 recipes are examples of how creative you can be with what some folks call “survival food.” It’s not just for survival!

Both these Augason Farms recipes call for “Potato Gems”, which are instant mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes made with fresh taters, but sometimes the instant kind is all I have around.  Try cooking this first recipe in a cast iron Dutch oven for awesome flavor!

Potato Lover Stew

Ingredients

5 cups Augason Farms Freeze Dried Chicken Breast Chunks, prepared

6 cups water

5 teaspoons Augason Farms Chicken Bouillon, prepared

12 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups Augason Farms Dehydrated Chopped Onions, rehydrated

1 cup Augason Farms Dehydrated Cross Cut Celery, rehydrated

3/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons Augason Farms Iodized Salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

¼ cup heavy cream

2 cups Augason Farms Dehydrated Diced Carrots, rehydrated

2 cups Augason Farms Dehydrated Sweet Peas, rehydrated

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 cup Augason Farms Potato Gems, prepared

Directions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the onions and celery over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the hot chicken bouillon to the sauce.
  3. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick.
  4. Add salt, pepper, heavy cream, prepared chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley.
  5. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.

In a saucepan, prepare 1 cup of Augason Farms Potato Gems according to directions. Transfer chicken stew to serving dish. Place spoonfuls of prepared potato gems on top of stew. Enjoy.

 

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Augason Farms Beef Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute, rehydrated

1/2 cup Augason Farms Dehydrated Chopped Onions, rehydrated

1/2 cup each Augason Farms Freeze Dried Peas and Freeze Dried Corn, rehydrated

1/2 cup Augason Farms Dehydrated Diced Carrots, rehydrated

3 cups Augason Farms Potato Gems, prepared

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup beef broth

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

Directions:

  1. Prepare Potato Gems according to label directions and set aside.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large frying pan then add rehydrated vegetables, meat substitute, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Distribute vegetables and beef mixture evenly in the bottom of an oven-proof baking dish.
  4. Top with mashed potatoes. Create peaks with a fork that will brown nicely.
  5. Bake at 400°F about 30 minutes or until bubbling and brown. Broil for last few minutes, if necessary, to brown. Serves 4.

45 Incredible potato recipes for snacks and meals. No need for boring potatoes when you can make one of these recipes! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Here are 43 more recipes that I couldn’t resist! See them all on my Pinterest board!

20- Minute Mashed Potatoes

Bacon Breakfast Cupcakes

Cheesy Bacon Oven Chips with Chipotle Sauce

Cheesy Garlic Fries in Foil

Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

Corn & Cheddar Mashed Potato Fritters

Crock Pot Comforting Cheesy Potatoes

Crisp Potato Cake

Easy Crock Pot Potato Soup

Easy “Pierogi” Casserole

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Grandma’s Cream Potatoes

Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion, and Potato Hash

Lemon Herb-Roasted Potato Nuggets

Loaded Monster Mash Bites

Loaded Potato Pinwheels

Pioneer Woman’s Potatoes au Gratin

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Melting Potatoes

Mile-High Twice Baked Potatoes

Mini Shepherd’s Pot Pies

Oprah’s Baked Potato Chip Recipe

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Pepper Jack Scalloped Potatoes

Potato, Corn, & Bacon Chowder

Potato Dinner Rolls

Potato Leek Soup

Ranch Chicken with Potatoes & Green Beans

Salt & Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Sausage Potato Spinach Soup

Sheepherder’s Breakfast

Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

Skinny Garlic Parmesan Fries

Spicy Potato Wedges

Spinach & Feta Potato Gratin

Sweet Bacon Tater Tots

Tex-Mex Ranch Potatoes

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Warm, Roasted Baby Potato Salad with Crispy Bacon (…stop right there! You had me at ‘bacon’!)

 

 

 

 

 

Want to store shelf-stable ingredients so you can make your favorite potato recipe years from now?

More recipes from some great cookbooks!

 300 Best Potato Recipes: A Complete Cook’s Guide

101 Things to Do With a Potato

The Great Potato Cookbook

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Food Storage just isn’t for me! http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-just-isnt/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-just-isnt/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 08:00:47 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19634 I realize that I may be preaching to the choir here but then again, maybe not. Perhaps there are a few among the readers of this blog that will make a change because of it. Like most of us, I am not a Read More

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Some people say food storage just isn't for them, but here are some reasons to reconsider that and start preparing your family. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comI realize that I may be preaching to the choir here but then again, maybe not. Perhaps there are a few among the readers of this blog that will make a change because of it.

Like most of us, I am not a one-trick wonder. We all wear lots of hats. (Hey, a good string of cliches on a weekday morning gets them out of my system; don’t judge.) One of the hats I wear is EMT. This past week I wore that hat to attend a 3 day EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Conference. Attendees were from at least 14 states.

Some things I learned from the Conference

We were taught and entertained by some amazing people who have ‘walked the walk’. They have lived what they teach. Of the 12-15 classes I attended, three stood out as exceptional. Two of those were so great that I felt compelled to reach out through Thank You notes I handed them on Day Two. One replied and granted me an interview for a post I wanted to write.

The next day, we talked about my article topic for about 30 minutes. This man was the Incident Commander in charge of all immediate medical response efforts during the 48 hours immediately following a major Natural Disaster in the Midwest a few years ago. He saw devastation, destruction and death far beyond what our eyes should ever see. In his presentation, he shared lessons they learned while responding to this disaster.

I had to consciously keep myself from letting my jaw hit the floor when, in the course of our conversation he stated, “You know, I don’t really feel the need to store any food, there’s enough stores in our area and the surrounding areas that it isn’t a problem.” I asked how much he had on hand for his family and his answer is what stunned me. “Oh, we’ve got 2-3 days worth.” A man with a front row seat to one of the decade’s major natural disasters says he doesn’t see the need to store more than 2-3 days worth of food in his home. This floored me.

I expect that people who have regular, non-emergency-services jobs might feel this way until they are taught why they should care about food storage, but this sentiment coming from him surprised me.

If he can’t answer the following question, how can we convince other people who haven’t seen disasters first-hand?

Why might you want to consider starting to build up the food storage for your family?

Why I Disagree

So for a minute or two I just want to share several scenarios that might make you want to rethink your strategy,  if you don’t already have food storage.

1.    Buffalo, New York –  7 feet of snow. Can you get to the store in 7 feet of snow? Do you even want to try?

2.    Ferguson, Missouri – Violence, Looting, general civil unrest. Is your favorite grocery store even still there, or is it a pile of smoldering ashes on the ground? If it is still standing, do you want to risk your safety for a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and some Oreos? Did you have to think twice about the Oreos? I won’t say if I did, but I digress.

3.    Frigid cold temps across much of the country – Will the car even start to get to the store? Can you find your car under all that snow? I vote instead for a nice cup of hot chocolate, a warm fire a pot of cream of something soup simmering on the stove and a great book to cuddle up with instead of venturing out in that frostbiting weather.

4.    Family-related expenses. A teenager in a hood-crumpling car crash, and the car has liability-only insurance – Guess where the food budget is going instead of the grocery store?

5.    Unexpected car repair. Since ours are all paid for older cars, I count these as my ‘car payments’  but they don’t come at regular intervals and again, the food budget is my slush fund for things like this.

6.    Health problems. In our case, knee surgery for one child, an ER visit and 4 days in the hospital for another, and kidney stone for the dad…all in the same month.

These are just a few of the ‘emergencies’ that can keep you from being able to get food and other supplies for your family. We might not have any experiences with any of these…and to that I say, thank goodness! But that doesn’t mean they won’t happen in the future. Only one gave any real warning.

Why You Should Just Get Started

Food Storage IS NOT HARD. Yet, so many just won’t even ‘go there,’ for whatever reason.  The rest of this article is for those ‘not in the choir’, the ones who haven’t ever thought about needing a supply of food in their home.

There is no perfect food storage program, but there are many that are super organized and tell you exactly what to buy, including a schedule.

Honestly, the best food storage program around is the one that works for your family, the one that increases the amount of food you have in your pantry. Please JUST START. Just buy an extra can or case of Ready to Eat Soup or Just add water muffins or Macaroni. Do that EVERY TIME you go to the store. Before long you’ll be shopping out of your cupboards instead of running to the store every few days. When that happens, you can increase your shopping interval and buy things by the case when they are on sale rather than 1 can at a time at full price. Pretty soon you’ll be able to prepare a meal for your family from what is in the pantry and you’ll only need to go to the store for fresh things.

Dave Ramsey is a financial guru, I totally recommend his teachings. One of the things he talks about is that women, in particular, have a ‘Security Gland’. If we don’t have an Emergency Fund, we get ugly. I’m here to tell you that although an Emergency Fund is super important, having an Emergency Food Fund is equally, if not MORE. important to that sense of Security.

The last three ‘Emergencies’ listed above were my personal ones and they all happened in one period of 30-ish days. Please share the emergencies you’ve had where you wished you had some food on hand, or were grateful you did.

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Leftover Turkey Recipes That Don’t Suck http://thesurvivalmom.com/leftover-turkey-recipes/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/leftover-turkey-recipes/#comments Sat, 06 Dec 2014 07:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19635 The big meal is over. The sink is full of dishes. The stove has cooled down and the guests have gone home. Now it’s time to ask yourself the big question: where can I find some great leftover turkey recipes?!? Read More

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We all need great leftover turkey recipes sometimes. Turkey Jerky, creative (not dull!) sandwiches, PIZZA!, and more. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

We all need great leftover turkey recipes sometimes. Turkey Jerky, creative (not dull!) sandwiches, PIZZA!, and more. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

The big meal is over. The sink is full of dishes. The stove has cooled down and the guests have gone home. Now it’s time to ask yourself the big question: where can I find some great leftover turkey recipes?!?

Help has arrived! Here are some great ideas for ways to use leftover turkey that go beyond a simple sandwich.

SONY DSCSandwiches and Sandwich Fillers

Turkey sandwiches are a classic leftover meal for a reason – they are fast, tasty, and (can be) yummy. That “can be” is the problem. Who hasn’t gotten sick of turkey sandwiches in the week after Thanksgiving? These give you more options for your lunch box.

Curried Turkey Salad

12 Creative Turkey Sandwiches

Turkey Wraps with Curry-Chutney Mayonnaise and Peanuts

And more…15 Best-Ever Leftover Turkey Sandwiches

Dinner (Pizza and more!)

stumboHere are some fun twists on classic meals, like turkey and dumplings instead of chicken and dumplings and turkey tetrazzini. Instead of delivery pizza, make your own barbeque turkey or turkey Alfredo pizza. It is so much healthier than delivery, and cheaper!

Meat and Potato Casserole

Turkey and Dumplings

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Stuffing Casserole

Barbeque Turkey Pizza

Turkey Alfredo Pizza

Slow Cooker Cranberry Turkey Breast

Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

Carolina Style Leftover Turkey Stumbo (a stew that is so delicious that it wants to be a Gumbo)

Preserving it for (much) Later

Sometimes, we just have too much to eat before it goes bad. That’s when it’s time to make some jerky and can some turkey to enjoy weeks or months later.

Turkey Jerky

Canning Turkey

What favorites of yours did we miss? Add them in the comments so the rest of us can try them the next time we have a turkey at our own homes.

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The Top 10 Foods to NOT Store! http://thesurvivalmom.com/the-top-10-foods-to-not-store/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/the-top-10-foods-to-not-store/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 22:40:33 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11944 STOP! Before throwing any of these items away, read this post about repackaging food!! Based on my own personal experiences and mistakes, I do not recommend storing these foods in large quantities, long-term. Let me know what you think of Read More

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These are the top 10 foods I do NOT recommend storing, long-term! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

These foods should probably not be stored long-term.

STOP! Before throwing any of these items away, read this post about repackaging food!!

Based on my own personal experiences and mistakes, I do not recommend storing these foods in large quantities, long-term. Let me know what you think of my list and what other foods you would add.

I discuss this list in this episode of The Survival Mom Radio Show.

Foods to not store, long-term

1.  Any canned vegetable or fruit that you do not like

Don’t assume you will fall in love with slimy, aged canned apricots five years from now if you detest apricots now! Canned veggies and fruits aren’t nearly as tasty as fresh versions, so if you decide to store them, make sure you really like them.

2.  Tuna

I know that canned tuna is a staple in many food pantries. However, I’ve discovered that after a couple of years, canned tuna becomes mushy. Now, if you love the taste of tuna, you may not mind the mushy version, but for me, I really didn’t like it. Also, tuna from various parts of the world has been known to contain mercury and other contaminants.

3.  Flour

As flour ages, it can develop a stale, rancid smell. Additionally, it likely contains the microscopic eggs of flour weevils, which will hatch at some point. To get the longest possible shelf life out of flour, first place it in an airtight container and freeze it for about a week. This will kill the insect eggs. Then, before storing it, add an oxygen absorber or two, depending on the size of the container. Still, you can expect a shelf life of 18 months or so from flour, which is why most preppers prefer to store wheat.

4.  Saltine crackers

Just for fun, take a sleeve of saltine crackers out of the box and set them aside, at room temperature, for 3 or 4 months. You’ll never get over the stench of rancid saltines! If you must, you could store them in an airtight container with oxygen absorbers, or learn how to make them from scratch. Buy and enjoy saltines but do rotate through them and don’t depend on a giant stash staying fresh a year from now.

5.  Graham crackers

I didn’t think our family favorite, graham crackers, could go bad, but they do go rancid with time. Again, you can repackage them in an airtight container  using oxygen absorbers, but that’s a lot of extra work. You can also store the ingredients to make homemade graham crackers. Have an extra 3 or 4 boxes around is quite fine. Just remember to rotate and use up the oldest crackers first, while storing the newly purchased crackers for later.

6.  Breakfast cereals

These are not packaged for long term storage, likely contain GMO ingredients, and probably contain a lot of additives that you would just as soon not consume. However, I know they’re a quick and handy breakfast food, especially if you have kids. If you must store them, again, rotate and repackage them for the longest possible shelf life.

7.  Canned tomato products

Personally, I have always stored a number of canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, but then, we use those products often in our meals. Over the years I have heard more complaints about canned tomatoes than any other canned foods: the cans leak, they bulge, a seam opens. If you store these, be sure to rotate through them and plan on growing your own fresh tomatoes so you’ll have those to rely on instead.

8.  Home-dehydrated foods

Again, these aren’t bad, but for long-term storage they won’t last nearly as long, mold-free, as commercially dehydrated foods. This is because we have no way of measuring the actual moisture content of our home-dehydrated foods. We dry them, “until crispy” or “leathery” but those are pretty subjective measurements. Commercially dried foods are tested for moisture and then packaged in a container in which most or all of the oxygen has been removed. If you dehydrate your own foods, and please continue to do so!, just keep in mind that it has a shelf life of a year, maybe two, and rotate through them.

9.  Brown sugar

There really is no need to store brown sugar if you have granulated sugar and molasses on hand. Molasses has an extremely long shelf life, as does sugar, and when you combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses, you have freshly made brown sugar.

10Bottled salad dressing

When a bottle of Kraft ranch salad dressing is the same color as Thousand Island, you know something went very, very wrong on your pantry shelf! That was our experience just last week. About 4 years ago I used a number of coupons to buy bottled salad dressings for my brand new food storage pantry. I didn’t stop to think that I usually make my own homemade dressings, so here these 8 or 10 bottles sat. Needless to say, we tossed them into the trash. It’s too easy to make homemade from fresh or shelf-stable ingredients, so forget the store-bought dressings unless you rotate through them fairly quickly.

Please keep in mind that I’m not saying to never buy these or never have a few of these on your shelf. They just aren’t good candidates for long term storage, so don’t stock up on them in large quantities unless you really are going to rotate through them on a regular basis.

What foods would you add to this list? What have I forgotten?

 

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20+ Foods that must be re-packaged for long-term storage and how to repackage them http://thesurvivalmom.com/20-foods-that-must-be-re-packaged-for-long-term-storage-and-how-to-repackage-them/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/20-foods-that-must-be-re-packaged-for-long-term-storage-and-how-to-repackage-them/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 20:11:24 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11969 As a follow-up to my blog post about which foods you shouldn’t plan on storing long-term, here’s a list of foods typically found at grocery stores that can be stored but must be repackaged. Keep in mind, that by repackaging Read More

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Tutorial for20+ Foods that must be(3)As a follow-up to my blog post about which foods you shouldn’t plan on storing long-term, here’s a list of foods typically found at grocery stores that can be stored but must be repackaged.

Keep in mind, that by repackaging these foods you will also be protecting them from oxygen, pests, and humidity, three of the five enemies of food storage. (The other 2 are heat and light.)

  • Raisins and other dried fruit
  • Oatmeal
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Any type of cookie or cracker
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread crumbs
  • Cornmeal
  • Candy
  • Pancake mix (Sometimes these are packaged directly inside the cardboard box without any type of inner plastic bag.)
  • Pasta, rice, and potato convenience mixes, such as Rice-a-Roni, Pasta-Roni, instant potatoes, scalloped potato mixes, etc. (These may either have microscopic insect eggs inside the package already and/or be invaded by insects and rodents from the outside.)
  • Tea bags (Repackage for best flavor and longest possible shelf life.)
  • Dried, instant milk (If not already in a sealed can.)
  • Spices and herbs packaged in plastic bags
  • Shortening (Pack it into canning jars and then seal using a vacuum sealer.)
  • Chocolate chips, baking chips of any flavor
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar
  • Any type of mix to make bread, cornbread, pizza dough, etc.
  • Most anything else that is packaged in flimsy plastic bags and/or cardboard. This type of packaging is not intended for long-term storage, but that doesn’t mean the food inside can’t have a longer shelf life if repackaged correctly.

Repackaging with a vacuum packing machine

A vacuum packing machine, such as the Food Saver is my own preferred method of repackaging small to moderate amounts of food. These machines can be found on eBay and Craigslist at very affordable prices. Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Cabela’s carry them as well.

Pour the food into one of the plastic bags suitable for your machine and follow the machine’s instructions for vacuum sealing the bag. Use a Sharpie to mark the date sealed on the outside as well as the name of the food. (“Golden raisins, June 21, 2013″)

If a food can be easily crushed, such as cookies or crackers, place them in a large canning jar and seal it with your machine and a jar lid attachment. This is very convenient and gives long term results. If you want to store shortening, pack it into a canning jar, place the lid on top, cover with the jar sealer and seal it. Here is more information from the Food Saver company.

All the foods on my list can be packaged in canning jars. This is especially handy if you are storing food for just 1 or 2 persons or cannot lift heavy buckets and large mylar bags.

This video shows how to seal foods in canning jars.

Some foods with sharp edges, such as pasta, can wear through the plastic storage bag. To avoid this you can seal the food and then place it in a second sealing bag and seal a second time or place it first in a zip-loc bag (do not seal) and then into the food storage bag. The machine will suck the air out of both bags, sealing them shut at the same time.

Use food safe plastic buckets

Yes, the big plastic bucket — a staple in many a prepper/survivalist pantry. These buckets are popular because they can hold a very large amount of food, making many smaller containers  unnecessary. The plastic protects food from light, and although rodents and some insects can chew their way through the bucket to the food, that takes some time, and hopefully, you’ve pest-proofed your pantry!

It’s easy to obtain 5 gallon buckets, but smaller sizes may be harder to come by. If you’re lucky enough to live near a food storage retail store, such as Honeyville Farms, you can buy them in person. Grocery store bakeries buy things like frostings and fillings in food safe buckets and those are smaller. Often they will sell used buckets and may even give them away for free.

The biggest downside to the 5 gallon bucket is its weight. I cannot easily lift one of these when it’s filled with food. Dragging it along the ground is about all I can manage. And, once the bucket is opened, you’ll have to plan on using the food inside within a reasonable amount of time, say 6 months or so if storage conditions are optimal, or reseal the bucket.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to protect the food in an opened bucket from pests and deterioration caused by heat and humidity. I recommend using Gamma Seal lids to make it easier to open and close buckets. They will also help to keep pests out of the food.

I’ve written about storing food in buckets with more details here.

Add oxygen absorbers to extend shelf life

Pour your food into a canning jar, mylar bag or a food-safe bucket of an appropriate size. Just before sealing with the lid, drop in oxygen absorbers according to this chart:

100 cc absorber            32-ounce canning jar

300 cc                             #10 can

300 cc                              1 gallon container

1500 cc                            5 gallon container

For more detailed  instructions, read this. Oxygen absorbers are available on Amazon, from food storage retail stores, and I’ve even seen them in Winco grocery stores.

I also use empty and sanitized 2-liter soda bottles for things like rice and oats and add a 100 cc absorber just before capping the bottle.

Keep mind that as you open the package of absorbers, they start absorbing oxygen. You’ll know this is happening because they get hot. Quickly place the required number of absorbers in each container with the food and then store the remaining absorbers in a canning jar. (The lid of a canning jar gives a much tighter seal than other jars.)

The process of vacuum sealing using a Food Saver removes most of the oxygen that exists inside the bag. This will prolong the shelf life of those foods. However, over time I’ve found that air can and does leak into the sealed bags. When storing these vacuum sealed bags, do check on them at least once a year to see if any have refilled with air, and if so, open the bag and reseal.

A word about dry pack canning for long term storage food

Dry pack, or oven, canning is a process that involves pouring DRY food into canning jars, heating the jars, and then sealing them with lids and rings.

To be very clear, dry/oven canning is not the same as traditional canning, which uses a water bath or pressure canner. It’s simply heating up dry foods in canning jars and then closing them with seals and lids.

Since this article was first posted, I received a number of questions about dry canning, sometimes called oven canning. At first, the method sounded like an inexpensive way to repackage dry foods but with quite a bit of research, I haven’t come up with any true advantages and there are a couple of reasons to avoid this method.

From my research, it seems like the only advantages to this process is possibly killing insect eggs with the heat and that it doesn’t require the expense of a Food Saver.

A much better way to insure insect eggs are killed is by placing tightly sealed containers of food in the freezer for at least a week.

Heating these jars in the oven does not remove oxygen, which is a necessary step in prolonging shelf life. Storing any food in glass jars continues to allow the food to be affected by light, which also deteriorates food. (Store filled glass jars in boxes, under beds, and in any container that doesn’t allow in light for longest possible shelf life.)

The possibility of glass breakage exists since canning jars are designed to be heated in wet environments, such as a hot water bath, and not in a dry oven. Canning jars are made from tempered glass, which is designed to break into hundreds of fairly harmless little particles, not shards. However, to be on the safe side, it’s best to use canning jars for their original purpose only.

How dangerous is dry/oven canning? If only dry foods, such as flour or oats are involved, I’d say the risk of a glass jar exploding in the oven is very slight. Bacterial growth in such foods is negligible as long as no moisture is present. Some nutrients will be lost due to the application of heat, but dangerous? In my many hours of research, I’m not convinced, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason to use this method, either! All it seems to do is heat up the food, maybe kill insect eggs, but little else.

The previous repackaging methods I’ve listed are far easier and more effective in lengthening the shelf life of food, which is the main point of this activity in the first place!

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Tutorial for20+ Foods that must be(3)

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Parboiled Rice: The Rice You’ve Never Heard Of http://thesurvivalmom.com/parboiled-rice/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/parboiled-rice/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19401 In our family, rice, not potatoes, is King of the Starches. This is because my husband grew up in places like Hawaii, Guam, and the Marshall Islands, eating rice every day of his life. When I started stocking up on Read More

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parboiled rice

What is parboiled rice?

In our family, rice, not potatoes, is King of the Starches. This is because my husband grew up in places like Hawaii, Guam, and the Marshall Islands, eating rice every day of his life.

When I started stocking up on various foods, I knew that rice would be a big part of my starches. Potatoes, not so much. Rice is just as versatile as potatoes and has the added advantage of coming in numerous varieties, each with their own particular flavor, scent, and texture.

Parboiled rice was new to me when I first saw it on a food storage company website. At first, I thought it was somehow pre-cooked rice, maybe similar to instant, but then I bought a #10 can, began cooking it, and now I’m hooked.

The process of creating parboiled rice

When rice is harvested, each grain is inside a hull. That hull is removed and brown rice is the result. We get white rice when the rice is processed even further when the bran is removed. Parboiled rice is processed completely differently.

The parboiling process occurs when the just-harvested rice is soaked, steamed, and then dried with the hull still on each grain. This allows the grain of rice to absorb the nutrients in the hull and bran and it gives the rice a firmer texture. Once this has been completed, then the hull is removed. The rice ends up having a pretty light yellow color, although once cooked, the color of the rice is more of a creamy white.

Parboiled rice will never be sticky rice. It has a much drier and fluffier consistency.

Using the rice in meals

I’ve found that parboiled rice is excellent in recipes because it stays firm throughout the cooking process. A couple of years ago I was making a chicken and rice soup, and noticed that the rice never got mushy, no matter how long I cooked the soup or warmed up leftovers.

Leftover parboiled rice is nice to have on hand because, again, it doesn’t become mushy and can be added to other recipes or reheated as a side dish.

Parboiled rice is an excellent type of rice to store for long-term storage. It has more nutrients than brown rice, but because the bran has been removed, it won’t become rancid as brown rice will. The rice should be stored in air-tight containers with an oxygen absorber or, for smaller amounts, stored in canning jars which have had the air removed via a vacuum system like Food Saver. Store all food, not just parboiled rice, in a cool, dry, and dark location.

A recipe for you

I created several different recipes using parboiled rice, and this one is extremely simple, filling, and comforting on chilly days.

Herbed Chicken & Rice Soup

5 c. water

2 T. chicken soup base or 3 T. chicken bouillon

1/2 c. parboiled rice

1 T. Italian seasoning

1/4 t. garlic powder, or 1 garlic clove, crushed

1 t. dehydrated chopped onion, or 1/4 c. fresh onion, chopped

1/4 c. chicken TVP or 1 1/2 c. chopped, cooked chicken

Easy instructions:

In a medium size saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat 20-25 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.

Where to buy it

Now, there’s the rub. It’s not so easy to find. Mahatma sells parboiled rice in 2 and 5 pound packages. I found this listing on the Costco website. If you are shopping in regular grocery stores, the store manager might be able to order the rice for you.

I’ve purchased a fairly large quantity of parboiled rice from Ready Reserve Foods, a small family-owned company in southern Idaho. A few years ago my family was on an epic camping trip, traveling from Arizona to Oregon, through Idaho, Utah, and then back home. Since I had become acquainted online with the owners of Ready Reserve Foods, we stopped at their offices.

We visited their food packaging area, where they explained how they use nitrogen to remove the oxygen from the foods they package, and I got to learn about parboiled rice for the first time. The parboiled rice they sell is grown in the U.S. and is processed at a plant just 10 miles from their offices.

If you’ve been hesitant about stocking up on white rice because of its limited nutritional value and on brown rice because of its limited shelf life, perhaps parboiled rice is what you’ve been looking for.

Discount for you: Through December 31, 2014, Ready Reserve Foods is offering 20% off all their food products, including parboiled rice. Use coupon code SURVIVAL.

 

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Try it Today: Build your Food Storage from Scratch with Canning http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-canning/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-canning/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 07:00:08 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19259   Stocking your pantry with home canned goods is not only prudent, it’s a simple and inexpensive way to build your food storage. When you can up what is in season (at the peak of freshness, flavor and low price) Read More

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food storage canning

 

Stocking your pantry with home canned goods is not only prudent, it’s a simple and inexpensive way to build your food storage. When you can up what is in season (at the peak of freshness, flavor and low price) you’re taking a seasonal approach to your canning. I know that in June or July, I’ll be canning as much strawberry jam as I possibly can. I know that in the Fall it’s apple pie filling and applesauce, and in Winter it will be venison soup with fresh venison and all those potatoes and carrots I stored away from the garden!

We can year round, in bulk. We can jams, condiments, soups, fruits & veggies, chili, stews, meats and more. When I started canning I had no idea that first batch of Apricots for my husband would turn into my primary method of food preservation for our family. Canning has turned into a lifelong endeavor for me. I really enjoy it, not to mention what a blessing it is to our family.

Canning is very simple to do; fills your pantry with delicious healthy foods, and gives peace of mind. Yes, it takes time and effort, but ‘anything worth doing’ does!

Canning has become a lost art; a lost method of food preservation. Folks let themselves be intimidated, thinking, “surely it must be too difficult” – not at all. With a few safety rules engrained in your brain, the proper equipment and instruction, you can build your food storage from scratch!

In canning, there are 2 types of processing: Water Bath and Pressure Canning. We’re going to start with Water Bath canning and the supplies and tools you’ll need to get started.

Must Haves:

Canning jars

Deep kettle with jar rack

Canning jar lids and rings

Lots of old kitchen/ hand towels & hot pads

Canning Tongs & Wooden Spoon

You’ll want a “Ball Blue Book of Canning” – a must have. You can find them at Amazon, or any place that sells canning supplies & equipment, it is the “canning bible”. I constantly refer back to mine each year!

Jars! You can buy canning jars, again, at any store that carries canning equipment. They can range, from $8 to $15 per case of 12. I scour garage sales in the summer hunting good canning jars. When buying from a second hand source, be SURE to pick up every jar and inspect it for cracks and for nicks in the mouth of the jar. If the mouth of the jar has one little nick in it, the lid will not seal or if it does it won’t hold or will result in bad food that could possibly make your family sick. Make sure to double check the jars!

I often hear ‘what size jar do I use’? Well, that is relative to your family. Are there 2 of you? More than likely half pints & pints will work (depending on what you are canning and your preferences) if you have 4 or more in your family, chances are a half pint of anything is a waste of time & effort– you might want to can in only quarts! I use a variety from half pints to quarts, depending on what I am canning. Anything larger than a quart, is NOT recommended, as you may not get your food to hot enough temperatures, evenly, inside the jar due to its size and therefore your food can end up being unsafe. I tend to can in quarts for the most part, that serves our family well, fits my canners well and saves me on wasting lids.

A deep canning kettle and rack are for water bath canning and can be bought online or anywhere that sells canning equipment, or look to relatives that possibly don’t can anymore, estate, garage or tag sales! I picked up the two I have, at garage sales for $1.00 or less each–they’ve served me for years!

Canning Jar lids & Rings; you will need brand new lids to seal your jars. Lids have long been that of the metal with rubber seal, one time use only, variety. Those are great, I’ve used them for years—and the rings, are obviously something you save and use repeatedly. I’ve stocked up on these through a couple places that I found the best price for bulk buying. I’ve also discovered REUSABLE canning jar lids! These are fantastic, and can be found at www.reusablecanninglids.com I’d highly recommend checking into them. Great to have on hand, especially when ‘running to the store’ for more disposable lids, is not an option.

You will go through a lot of towels; between setting jars on them, to wiping rims (the rims of the mouth of the jar must be perfectly clean to meet with the rubber on the lids and form that ‘seal’), and of course the occasional mess to clean up! Have a bunch on hand; garage sale or thrift stores are a great place for these if you don’t already have them on hand.

You’ll want canning tongs (this is just what I call them—they are just ‘tongs’ that you’d use in everyday cooking) and a wooden spoon as well; simple things that make the job easier. Canning tongs, a magnetic wand “lid lifter” (or a plain ol’ dinner fork) will lift your lids out of very hot water; enough said. Having a wooden spoon (or a chopstick!) on hand is great for poking down into your filled jars to release any air bubbles. I pick up extra wooden spoons at garage sales often, I love to cook with them and the old ones are sturdy and last!

Some other ‘nice’ but you can ‘get by without things’ are the canning funnel to keep your foods IN the jar and save you messes and loss of spilled/lost food, I have a couple plastic ones & a stainless steel one—LOVE them all and they’ve saved me countless messes! A jar lifter is quite handy, really great tool to SAFELY lift your jars out of the water– this should be on the MUST HAVES LIST, but you can let your water cool and then get them out that way, too. The magnetic wands they have out these days are pretty nice too–but then again an old pair of tongs or a fork will do the job as well. A ladel would be wonderful for scooping hot jam or soup or chili into jars, but an old coffee mug does the job too.

As you can see, much of your canning equipment can be picked up pretty cheap (think grandma’s attic, thrift store and garage sales!), and it’s completely worth it– the food you preserve is tastier, healthier and just all around better for you and yours; not to mention it is a great way to stock the pantry as foods are in season and at their best price! This is the ONLY way for me to get healthy produce on my table year round, keep my pantry stocked and keep adding continually to my food storage. When I am not canning I attempt to keep all my canning ‘stuff’ tucked away in my water bath canner on the shelf, that way, it’s all easy to find for the next batch of whatever I am blessed to put up for my family!

I watch for things on sale at the store and as I go through my freezers or if I have a neighbor that is giving away their garden overflow…always be on the lookout for things you can put up and you’ll have those shelves stocked before you know it.

Some other items you’ll want to have stocked up and on hand for canning are:

Pectin: You can buy this by the little box or in bulk, you can get a variety from no sugar, to some sugar to full sugar to all natural (Pomona’s Pectin).

Canning Salt: Lots of varieties, and every canner has their own preference. There is standard in the box Canning Salt, Kosher Salt, Sea Salt…the list goes on…use your favorite (just not standard “Iodized”) I like Kosher Sea Salt.

Sweetners: Some folks use good ol’ “C & H Sugar”, some use raw honey, some use organic sugar and some doesn’t use any sugar and use grape juice in their jams (I do all of the above depending on the recipe and my family’s preferences). Whatever you choose, have it on hand.

Vinegars: White and Apple Cider (Braggs is fantastic).

That’s our ‘get prepared list’ for Canning 101. Get your canning supplies together and let’s stock our pantry!

Let’s start with Applesauce; it is versatile, easy to make and is great for everything from just eating out of the jar, to baking with, creating a base for baby foods and more! There are as many ways to do this, based on your taste, as there are apple varieties! For us, it goes something like this:

We take our apples (any variety or a mixture, depending on your favorites!) and wash them. My grandmother always used Pink Ladies or Jonagolds; she was right, they make the most beautiful applesauce! When stocking the pantry I’ll use whatever apples I can get a hold of. We then peel them & slice off pieces (smaller sized chunks or thinner slices-no ‘half apple’ pieces here) of apple down to the core, right into a stock or crockpot. Once we have our stock/crockpots about 3/4 full or so, I turn them on low, add in about a cup of water, and a cup of sugar. Then put the lid on and let it cook for about 30 minutes on a stove top in a stockpot or 4-6 hours in a corckpot (depending on temps, etc) , checking it every hour (or a little more often, you do not want it sticking or burning–if it gets dry, just add a bit more water) and giving it a good stir. Once it has cooked down and is the consistency/taste we want, we prepare to water bath can it.

Now, that being said, you can certainly add in some other goodies to create a different flavor to your applesauce! We’ve done ours with cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar…I’ve even heard of folks adding a few ‘red hots’ candies to each jar! Some folks will sprinkle their apples with a tiny bit of lemon juice before putting the lid on the crockpot, some cut up their apples into a bowl of water and lemon juice to prevent browning; however it will brown up a bit when cooking in the crock nonetheless. Crockpot applesauce is extremely forgiving and simply adapts to the makers personal preferences, it’s a beautiful thing! When I do make a batch with cinnamon, I just sprinkle a bit in at a time and stir, until my taste-testers unanimously agree on the end result.

I water bath my pints for 20 minutes and my quarts for 25 minutes; check your Ball Blue book or County Extension office for times based on your elevation.  Putting up homemade applesauce is a great staple for the pantry and one of the easiest ways to preserve the apple harvest.

Look for more lessons in canning and preserving– coming soon– learn to build your pantry and food storage, from scratch, through canning!

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Simple Food Storage Meals for Tight Times: Stock up on three months worth, fast! http://thesurvivalmom.com/simple-food-storage-meals-for-tight-times-stock-up-on-three-months-worth-fast/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/simple-food-storage-meals-for-tight-times-stock-up-on-three-months-worth-fast/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 07:31:51 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=7276 When a summertime monsoon storm is on the way, I quickly track down my kids, bring them indoors, and prepare to hunker down.  It’s a mom-instinct.  We  unplug the computers, make sure all the windows are securely closed and locked, and Read More

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fresh vegetables on wooden tableWhen a summertime monsoon storm is on the way, I quickly track down my kids, bring them indoors, and prepare to hunker down.  It’s a mom-instinct.  We  unplug the computers, make sure all the windows are securely closed and locked, and if my husband isn’t home, I call to make sure he’s okay.

A storm of a different kind is on its way to America and has already been wreaking havoc with family incomes and our sense of security. No one knows what the extent of the damage will ultimately be, but moms everywhere are responding to their maternal instinct to gather everyone together.  Since food and meal preparation is part of our responsibility, food storage is a basic, simple step to take in order to keep our families healthy.

Having enough groceries on hand for a period of three months is a good first goal, but if buying enough for three months is too daunting and not in the budget, start with buying enough to have a pantry fully stocked for one month.

If you’ve been losing sleep over the state of our economy or your own personal finances or you’re worried about an Ebola pandemic or just a really bad winter storm, there’s no time to waste.  Use coupons and grocery store sales to get the most bang for your buck, examine your budget for anything that can be cut (temporarily) until you’ve reached your food storage goals.

To get you started, here are some of the simplest ways to stock up.

Plan for simple food storage meals

Stock up on ingredients to make 24 batches of soup

That’s two batches of soup per week for three months. If you make a double batch, you’ll have leftovers for the next day. As a first step, buy high-quality bouillon in bulk, such as Ready Reserve Foods beef and chicken stock. I like this brand because you can buy it in larger quantities.

Add to your soup stash:

  • 1-2 #10 dehydrated potato dices.  This will provide potatoes for both soups and chowders.
  • 1 #10 can of each vegetable (dehydrated or freeze-dried) you typically use in soup: onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, corn (for chowders), mixed vegetables, etc.
  • 1 #10 can tomato powder for tomato based soups.  You can also use this to make homemade pasta and enchilada sauces.
  • 1 #10 can instant milk for chowders
  • Rice, beans, and small pasta can be added for extra bulk, calories, and variety.

Do you have to buy these ingredients? They will end up lasting longer and will be more cost effective in the long run, but go for store-bought cans of soup if that’s what it takes to get you going! Use coupons, buy generic brands, and shop store sales, and you’ll end up with a very large stash of canned soup, quick.

Calculate how many cans you’ll need for 24 meals and then set that number of cans as your goal.

Learn how to bake a loaf of homemade bread 

If you already know how to do this, stock up on enough ingredients to make a loaf of bread per day if you have more than four people in your family, or a loaf every other day for smaller family units or individuals.  Keep the recipe very simple, as your goal is to stock up quickly, using every penny and dollar wisely.

You’ll use bread for sandwiches, toast, garlic bread, French toast, bread crumbs, etc.  If you don’t have a grain mill for grinding wheat, buy enough flour for not only bread but other, occasional treats such as cookies.  Before storing the flour, place it in a container with a tight lid and freeze it for at least ten days.  This will kill off any microscopic insect eggs so there won’t be any nasty surprises when you’re ready to use the flour.

Check out this list of Depression-era meals that show just how versatile bread can be!

Plan at least 15 pasta meals

They are inexpensive and pasta is very versatile.  You can buy 15 jars/cans of ready-made pasta sauce or buy enough ingredients to make 15 batches of homemade sauce.  Plan on eating a hot vegetable and slices of garlic bread with each meal.  This utilizes your homemade bread and hot veggies can either be from your stash of dehydrated/freeze-dried, canned or frozen veggies from the grocery store, or home grown.

Whip up white gravy

A batch of white gravy is easy to whip up with flour, milk, and some form of fat (butter, bacon grease, or oil). Buy a #10 can of sausage crumbles and make your own sausage gravy served over homemade biscuits.  If you’re stocked up on ingredients for bread, you’ll only need to add a can of shortening for the biscuits.

Use butter as your fat, add a little garlic, salt, and you’ve got a nice white sauce to pour over pasta or egg noodles. With some cooked vegetables, you have pasta primavera.

Plan on a “white gravy” meal once a week with a couple of biscuits and gravy breakfasts thrown in the mix.

Tuna or chicken casserole

Tuna casserole is a simple budget-friendly dinner. Multiply the ingredients in your recipe times 12 in order to serve it once a week for three months.  Keep in mind that the size of tuna cans has been decreasing, much like those containers of ice cream that keep getting smaller and smaller!  You might have to buy more cans of tuna in order to have the same amount of actual tuna.

My recipe includes cream of mushroom soup, canned/fresh/freeze-dried mushrooms, and sometimes cheese. Use canned chicken if you can’t stand tuna, or plan on making both versions for variety.

In order to make this once a week, buy 12 cans of the soup, 12 cans of sliced mushrooms (or use freeze-dried mushrooms), and splurge on a #10 can of freeze-dried jack or mozzarella cheese.

Rice and beans can be your budget’s best friend

The classic meal of beans and rice is versatile and the ingredients can be stored for years.

Keep in mind that repetitive meals can be quite boring, so stock up on a variety of beans, buy multi-bean mixes, and different types of rice. Most importantly, stock up on spices, herbs, and seasonings! Keep them stored in a dark, dry, and cool location for longest possible shelf life.

Just this simple array of ingredients will allow you to make dozens of different dishes. Check out this recipe book for more ideas.

More simple dinner ideas

For more simple dinner ideas, buy 100-day Pantry by Jan Jackson.  Choose a recipe, multiply the ingredients by 12, and start shopping!

Your dinner menu will be complete with soup/chowder twice each week, a pasta meal or two each week, tuna or chicken casserole, white sauce with vegetables served over noodles, and two dishes of rice and beans.

Keep the simple theme going with breakfasts

Oatmeal. Oatmeal is simple.

Oatmeal makes a healthy and filling breakfast and has the added advantage of being versatile.  It’s also inexpensive.  Some stores carry oatmeal in their self-serve bins, along with beans, cornmeal, etc.  Three pounds of oatmeal will provide 30 servings.  Figure out how much you need to buy in order to have an oatmeal breakfast 3-4 times per week, one serving per person, per day.

For an easy change, make baked oatmeal.

Buy extra if homemade granola, oatmeal cookies, and homemade granola bars sound good to you.  In addition, buy 6 pounds of brown sugar and/or 2 quarts of honey, extra cinnamon, raisins, and any other add-ins you and your family enjoy.

A few other breakfast suggestions

Plan on eating pancakes (homemade or using a mix like Bisquick), French toast (from the loaves of bread you’ll be making), homemade muffins, gravy and biscuits, and eggs for the remaining breakfasts.  Leftovers are good, too.  Keep breakfast quick, easy, and filling.

Miscellaneous tips

Cooking three meals from scratch will get old fast.  There’s nothing wrong with planning on canned ravioli, chili, tuna sandwiches, canned stew, peanut butter and jelly, and even Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (stock up on instant milk and butter powder).

Freeze-dried cheese is pricey, but it can be used in quesadillas with homemade tortillas, sprinkled over a baked pasta dish, pizza, and so much more.  When it’s rehydrated, it melts and tastes just like real cheese.  In my opinion, it’s worth splurging on a can or two, and then using it as a luxury ingredient, sparingly.  I keep cheese in my freezer, but for long-term storage AND a quick way to reach your food storage goal, freeze-dried is a really good option.

Finally, make sure you have at least one alternative way to cook your food and heat up water.  If a Sun Oven is too pricey, many people make their own solar cookers.  Many moms on this blog have been using an energy efficient rocket stove, such as EcoZoom, and find them easy to use.  Should your power go out or energy rates skyrocket, cooking a few meals off the grid will be smart.

What other easy food storage ideas do you have to share?

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Get Started With Food Storage: 24 Meals Everyone Will Love! http://thesurvivalmom.com/get-started-food-storage-24-meals-everyone-will-love/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/get-started-food-storage-24-meals-everyone-will-love/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 16:00:08 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18208  Get Started With Food Storage! I get asked on a daily basis: How do I get started with food storage? It can be very confusing because everyone you ask will give you a different answer! I’m not professing to have the best Read More

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Get Started with Food Storage: 24 Meals Everyone Will Love!

 Get Started With Food Storage!

I get asked on a daily basis: How do I get started with food storage?

It can be very confusing because everyone you ask will give you a different answer!

I’m not professing to have the best and only way to get your food storage (OK, maybe a little), but for anyone I consult with my #1 advice is:

“Store What You Eat & Eat What You Store”

Too many people go about it the opposite way (which I guess is better than nothing)! I just feel if you’re going to go through all the work and expense of buying and storing food, why don’t you benefit from it now, instead of letting it rot in a corner for TEOTWAWKI?

One of the best ways to make sure you are storing what you eat, is by doing doing just that – STORE WHAT YOU EAT! Find your family’s favorite recipes and then figure out how much food you’ll need to be able to make those meals for 3 months, 6 months, or however long you want to hide out in your home away from zombies. ;-)

You might have to make some minor adjustments to your recipes –  like having canned chicken on hand, or buying some freeze-dried fruits and veggies – but if you plan ahead you will have everything you need in case Ebola strikes your town and you need to hide out for awhile.

Food Storage Meals (That are Actually Good):

Don’t have any favorite recipes? Maybe looking to add some variety? Or do you still believe food storage is Yuck? Well don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

I went to the experts of food storage to find the very best meals out there. These are tried and true meals you can easily add to your food storage! I’m only going to share the top 24 with you, but if you need more inspiration be sure to check-out my expert panel for more recipe ideas!

The Food Storage Experts:

24 Meals You Can Make From Your Food Storage!


Let’s Get Cooking:


1- Baked Shells Casserole

2- Italian Chicken

3- Taco Soup

4- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

5- Pasta Fagioli Soup

6- Chicken Parmesan

7- Mexican Tortilla Lasagna

8- Chicken Helper: Shelf Stable

9- Bayou Chicken Pasta

10- Pizza (A must in our home!)

11- Sweet and Sour Chicken

12- Lasagna Rolls

13- Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

14- Quick Pantry Clam Chowder (This is seriously the best clam chowder ever…and it’s food storage)

15- Hearty Chicken Chipotle Soup

16- Hawaiian Sesame Chicken

17- Chicken Cordon Bleu

18- Chow Mein Casserole

19- Cream of Celery Condensed Soup 

20- Beef Stroganoff

21-  Blender Wheat Pancakes (It’s always fun to have breakfast for dinner!)

22- Simple Sesame Noodles

23- Creamy Enchilada Soup

24- Pantry Jumbalaya

 

 Bonus Food Storage Desserts:


Dutch Apple Pie

Rice Pudding (try it using coconut milk…yum!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Best Krispie Squares

Cake-Pops

How to Calculate How Much Food You’ll Need to Make These:

Now that you have your meals, go ahead and calculate how much food you’ll need! Make sure to substitute your own families favorite recipes! Most recipes can be adjusted with ingredients that can be stored long-term.

First, you need to decide on how long you want the food to last. For example, three months is approximately 92 days (365 days per year divided by 4) and one year is 365.25 days. Next, count the number of different meals / recipes you plan to store for. Then divide the number of days you want to save for by the number of recipes you like, whether is 24, 17, 7, or 43. This will tell you how many times you can expect to make that particular meal in your time frame.

In the examples below, the number is rounded up to the next whole number because wouldn’t you rather have a little extra than go hungry?

  • 3 Month Supply of Food Storage Meals –> 92 divided by 24 meals = 4 of each meal (3 months worth) (3.8 needed of each meal, rounded up to four)
  • 6 Month Supply of Food Storage Meals –> 183 divided by 17 meals = 11 of each meal (6 months worth)
  • 12 Month Supply of Food Storage Meals –> 365 divided by 7 meals = 52 of each meal (12 months worth)

Now that you know how many times you will make it, you can figure out how much you need to store of each ingredient and start shopping for it. Once you’ve finished your calculations, you should now have a grocery list of items that you need to complete your food storage. You can take it slow and budget it out over months/years, or you can buy it all at once – your choice!

Next Steps

This is just for one meal. You will need to decide if you want to store food for all three meals every day, two meals and assume lunch is found elsewhere, three meals plus a hearty snack, etc. Keep in mind that your meal needs may vary on different days, and almost certainly for different meals. If you always, always, always go visit the grandparents on Sunday, you may not need to store food for that meal – but you’ll probably want to make sure the grandparents have enough to cover everyone who visits on Sundays.

Once you have reached your goal, you can either extend your goal or add more items. If you have stored enough to make 7 meals for 3 months (approximately 13 of each one), you have a choice for continuing your food storage. You can add another 3 months (or whatever) of that meal, or you can choose new and different recipes and store the items for those. That might be breakfast food to start filling your tummies well for that day, or it could be more dinner items to extend how many months your food storage is good for.

The main point, of course, is that you can do any number of meals, by any number of days or months, and customize it until your heart’s content! If you have any questions or need some help with calculations, just post your question in the comments for some help.

Good luck!

The post Get Started With Food Storage: 24 Meals Everyone Will Love! by Jamie S. appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

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