The Survival Mom » Food Storage http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 27 May 2015 18:17:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 How to Make Homemade Masa & Corn Tortillas http://thesurvivalmom.com/homemade-masa-corn-tortillas/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/homemade-masa-corn-tortillas/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 07:06:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22881 This is the second half of my two-part series addressing the trend in survival circles of grinding popcorn for cornmeal and nutritional concerns about cornmeal, in general. In part one, I outlined how corn must be processed before eating in order to to free up the nutrients. Skipping this step can result in a terrible […]

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how to make homemade masa and corn tortillasThis is the second half of my two-part series addressing the trend in survival circles of grinding popcorn for cornmeal and nutritional concerns about cornmeal, in general. In part one, I outlined how corn must be processed before eating in order to to free up the nutrients. Skipping this step can result in a terrible vitamin deficiency known as pellagra.

If you’ve stocked up on popcorn, planning to grind it, skip the grinding. Just go ahead and pop it. Eat it lightly salted, and relish the joy that comes from knowing that you are eating popcorn the way it was meant to be eaten.

But popcorn is only part of the story. It’s not the only whole grain corn available on the open market. Honeyville Grain, for example, sells yellow, white, and blue corn in bulk. From this, you can make homemade masa, the key ingredient of many tasty food items, such as tortillas, tamales, and pupusas.

Corn was developed by the ancient American peoples to make specific foods unique to their culture. Corn was a staple in the Americas long before the Europeans arrived on the scene, but they never contracted pellagra. However, the Europeans using the same became quite ill. They were using this new grain to make foods that they were already used to eating, namely bread (cornbread) and porridge (grits/ polenta). In other words, they were using a New World ingredient to make Old World food, and it didn’t entirely translate. They were missing something crucial: nixtamal! To get out of corn everything that it has to offer, you can’t use it in a European way. You have to use it in a Native American way.

Homemade Masa and Corn Tortillas

Disclaimer: this takes a lot more preparation and effort than merely grinding it in your Nutrimill. However, I’m confident that once you try real, homemade tortillas from real, homemade masa, you will never want to go back.

Ingredients

2 cups whole dent corn
2 Tbsp calcium hydroxide (also called cal, or pickling lime – sometimes found in the canning aisle at the supermarket)
6 cups water
1 tsp salt

Equipment

Food processor
Tortilla press
Plastic wrap

Instructions

Rinse your corn and put it in a saucepan over medium heat with the calcium hydroxide/pickling lime and water. Slowly bring it to a boil over a period of 20 minutes or so. Let it continue to boil for 10-15 minutes, then remove from heat. Let it sit undisturbed overnight or for at least 8 hours. This is when the magic happens — the chemical reaction that changes the nutrients in the corn so that they can be absorbed by the human digestive tract.

When the allotted time has past, the pericarp, the outside bit of the corn, will have loosened considerably. Put the corn in a colander and rinse with cool running water as you rub the corn with your hands. Keep rubbing and rinsing the corn until all traces of lime and pericarp are washed away.

Place the corn, now technically nixtamal,  in the food processor with the salt. Process on High until the corn is at the proper consistency – it should be chopped up finely enough that it can be formed into balls. Sometimes I have to add as much as 3-4 tablespoons of additional water to get it the proper consistency.

Ta-da! You have made masa. This can be used for humble corn tortillas, tamales, and also pupusas, which are a kind of stuffed tortilla.

homemade blue masa

Homemade blue masa

Here’s a picture of some masa I made. You may notice it is blue. No food coloring was added. That is the real, actual, non-photoshopped color. That is because I have a lot of blue corn in my food storage. I chose blue corn for two reasons:

1) Why bother with boring yellow corn when it can be blue?

2) Blue corn is higher in protein.

Also, there does not currently exist any GMO blue corn on the market. You can be guaranteed a non-GMO product when purchasing blue corn, if that is something that is important to you.

Making homemade corn tortillas

To turn your masa into tortillas, first line your tortilla press with plastic wrap to keep the masa from sticking. Place a small portion (about 2-3 tablespoons worth) in the tortilla press. Cook about 1 minute on each side on a HOT griddle or skillet.

I adore homemade masa and corn tortillas, and I love making them from scratch. They are immensely popular with my family, including the picky toddler.

I hope you will look at corn a little differently from now on. It is an extremely versatile food and full of nutrition when prepared correctly. Grinding unpopped popcorn into cornmeal, while it might sound like a good idea, is not an efficient use of food resources, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about corn as a food storage item. Popcorn can be popped, and dent corn can be made into masa to make tortillas. If you haven’t already included corn in your emergency preparedness, do so today!

how to make homemade masa and corn tortillas

 

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7 Ways Blueberries Pack a Powerful, Nutritional Punch to Your Food Storage Pantry http://thesurvivalmom.com/health-benefits-blueberries/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/health-benefits-blueberries/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 21:23:39 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=23282 When I was growing up, my parents would buy blueberries in bulk. We would freeze them in little sandwich bags. Whenever we wanted a treat, my siblings and I would fill a small cup with the frozen berries and eat them one at a time until our fingers and mouths were purple and sticky. We […]

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Blueberries pack powerful nutritional punch via The Survival Mom

When I was growing up, my parents would buy blueberries in bulk. We would freeze them in little sandwich bags. Whenever we wanted a treat, my siblings and I would fill a small cup with the frozen berries and eat them one at a time until our fingers and mouths were purple and sticky. We also found that frozen blueberries were excellent bribes for our dog, though our mom was not pleased to discover we had been wasting berries in such a fashion.

We knew the blueberries were “healthy,” whatever that means when you’re ten years old, because our mom would go so far as to actually buy them for us. Fruit roll-ups and Froot Loops were not exactly welcome at our house because these were “mostly sugar.” The health benefits of blueberries were unknown to us, nor did we much care.

Fun fact: Blueberries are from the genus, “Cyanococcus,” which is literal Greek for “blue round things.”

Now that it’s been a few years and I have become a grown-up with kids and a mortgage and everything, it turns out that blueberries really are good for you! Most discussion on the health benefits of blueberries veers toward the technical side, tossing around mysterious words like “flavonols” and “anthocyanins,” and “antioxidants.” What does this mean in plain, non-organic chemistry English?

The health benefits of blueberries are numerous!

Simply put, foods with naturally-occurring blue and purple pigments (anthocyanins) are known to reduce the risk of developing certain kinds of cancers. This is the “antioxidant” property of blueberries at work. Blueberries are also high in manganese, copper, and zinc; elements important for maintaining heart health and bone structure. Manganese deficiency, in particular, is relatively common but difficult to diagnose. Feeling under the weather? Try some blueberries!

That’s just scratching the surface. It seems that there is no part of the body that does not benefit from ingestion of blueberries. Blueberries have been known to lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and to improve short term memory. The fiber content is good for your digestive system, and they can help lower blood pressure Their low glycemic index makes them an excellent food for diabetics. Doctors suggest eating raw blueberries as a treatment for urinary tract infections.

Antioxidant compounds are a little finicky and can break down easily, so most nutritionists recommend eating raw blueberries instead of cooked in desserts. Even though the antioxidants may break down a little in cooking doesn’t mean that all of the blueberries’ goodness is destroyed if you put them in a batch of muffins. Blueberries are extremely versatile and taste amazing in a wide variety of baked goods, while retaining a good portion of their health benefits.

You can store blueberries by freezing them and dehydrating them at home. They can be safely frozen for long periods of time (at least 3-6 months in clinical studies) without any detriment to the antioxidants. In general, dehydration is not as efficient as freeze-drying in this respect. However, if you have a lot of blueberries on hand and want another way to preserve them, dehydrating is still a good way to store them over a longer period of time.

If blueberry smoothies or frozen blueberries in a cup aren’t your thing, don’t despair.

Freeze-dried blueberries in your food storage pantry

Including blueberries in your diet shouldn’t have to end at the door of your refrigerator. Freeze-dried blueberries are readily available, for example, these from Emergency Essentials. The freeze-drying process retains nearly all of the fruit’s original nutrients but because the berries contain zero moisture, they have a very, very long shelf life.

I add a small handful of freeze-dried blueberries to smoothies, along with a small scoop of Greek yogurt, some almond milk, and sometimes, a tablespoon of cocoa powder!

These two recipes from Emergency Essentials are perfect for using freeze-dried blueberries. The ingredients in each recipe can easily be stored long-term, making it possible to whip up a batch of muffins and bars any time!

Blueberry Granola Bars Recipe

½ cup honey

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ cup instant rolled oats

2 cup freeze-dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. Reconstitute the blueberries; Drain excess water.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 9″ square baking pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine honey, brown sugar, oil, and cinnamon. Bring to boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes without stirring.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats and blueberry.
  5. Stir in honey mixture until thoroughly blended.
  6. Spread into pan, gently pressing mixture flat.
  7. Bake until lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  8. Cut into 3″ x 1 1/2″ bars.

Blueberry Drop Muffins Recipe

1 cup flour

½ tsp salt

1 Tbsp butter

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ cup dehydrated fat-free milk

½ cup freeze-dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Work in butter with fork or pastry blender.
  3. Add milk, stirring in just moisten. Carefully fold in blueberries
  4. Drop by tablespoon on greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 375°F for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.

Blueberries pack powerful nutritional punch via The Survival Mom

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10 Uses For Tomato Powder http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-uses-tomato-powder/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-uses-tomato-powder/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 07:00:10 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22951 Tomato powder is hands down one of my very favorite products to have in my food storage. I love it because it’s: Inexpensive — especially when compared to things like tomato powder or tomato sauce Pure — just 100% tomatoes with no additives or preservatives Healthy — check out all these heath benefits of tomatoes Versatile Tomatoes are […]

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Tomato Powder

Tomato powder is hands down one of my very favorite products to have in my food storage. I love it because it’s:

  1. Inexpensive — especially when compared to things like tomato powder or tomato sauce
  2. Pure — just 100% tomatoes with no additives or preservatives
  3. Healthy — check out all these heath benefits of tomatoes
  4. Versatile

Tomatoes are a critical ingredient for your food storage pantry and tomato powder gives you even more options for tomato based recipes. Here are TEN ways you can use tomato powder:

1. Homemade tomato sauce

2/3 cup powder + 2 cups water = just a bit more than one 15 oz can

2. Homemade tomato paste

6 T powder + 1/2 cup water = one 6 oz can

3. Tomato juice from scratch

1 cup powder + 8 cups water = one 64 oz bottle

4. Marinara sauce — Use this recipe for homemade or this popular Survival Mom recipe.

Combine together in a large pot:

1 T. freeze dried or fresh onion
4 Cups Water
1/2 Cup tomato powder
1.5 tsp freeze dried parsley
1.5 tsp freeze dried basil
1.5 tsp freeze dried oregano
1.5 tsp freeze dried Italian seasoning
1.5 – 2 tsp salt
1.5 T garlic powder
1/4 Cup brown sugar

Bring to a simmer and cook on Low for an hour.

5. Red meat sauce

Simply add some sausage or ground beef (fresh or freeze dried) to the marinara sauce above. You might also consider mushrooms (fresh or freeze dried) and tomato dices (fresh, canned or freeze dried)

6. Enchilada sauce —

  • 1/3 cup tomato powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 T. cumin (adjust to taste)
  • 1 T. chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp freeze dried onions (or use fresh)

Full recipe and instructions here:  Homemade Enchilada Sauce.

Or use tomato powder instead of tomato sauce in the recipe found on Survival Mom here: Stock Your Pantry From Scratch: Enchilada Sauce

7. Tomato soup (just like Campbell’s)

  • 6 tablespoons water plus 4 T flour
  • 1/4 cup water plus 3 T instant milk powder (or 1/4 cup whole milk)
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup tomato powder
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

See full recipe and instructions here: Copycat Cambell’s tomato soup

8. Spanish rice

Just add a tablespoon or two of tomato powder plus some onion, garlic and a bit of green chili (I use freeze dried) to a pot of regular rice before you cook it. You’ll end up with some yummy Spanish rice.

9. Homemade ketchup

  • 6 T. Tomato powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ¼-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder

10. Barbecue sauce

  • 1-1/2 cups Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 6 T Tomato Powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons Ground Mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper

 

Tomato Powder uses

 

 

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Build your Food Storage from Scratch: Canning Bing Cherries http://thesurvivalmom.com/canning-bing-cherries/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/canning-bing-cherries/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 18:00:40 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22846 Bing cherries. Everyone in the family LOVES them and they are so very simple to can up! My family eats them faster than I can put them up, and cherry season doesn’t last long, so I have to be quick! Here are my step-by-step instructions for canning bing cherries yourself Canning Bing cherries First, get out […]

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canning bing cherries

Bing cherries. Everyone in the family LOVES them and they are so very simple to can up! My family eats them faster than I can put them up, and cherry season doesn’t last long, so I have to be quick! Here are my step-by-step instructions for canning bing cherries yourself

Canning Bing cherries

First, get out all your canning equipment, jars, extra bowls and strainer for cleaning your cherries, etc. and don’t forget a stack of kitchen towels or old washcloths–you’ll need them.

Step by step, here we go:

1. Wash cherries

2. Stem cherries. Get the kids in on this! My 4 year old did the majority of this task and he is darn good at it! My 14 year old helped, but she ate more than she stemmed!

3. Prick a hole in each cherry if you’re not going to pit them, and I don’t. I just grabbed handfuls of clean stemmed cherries and gently poked each one with the end of a steak knife, and then I pack them into canning jars. S I M P L E!

 

packing cherries

4. Get the canner heated up, the pot of sugar syrup going and my lids heating up in hot water too. I get this started while we’re getting the cherries ready to pack into jars.

My sugar syrup is just water and organic raw sugar, boiled for a few minutes and simmered. I used a 4-quart pot and about 3-4 cups of sugar. My husband likes the canned cherries in a heavier syrup than I normally use for our fruits, so I obliged since he will be the one to eat the vast majority of the canned cherries!

While everything is getting ready on the stove, I am poking holes in the cherries and stuffing them in jars!  If you have children/family around to help you– this may well be your quickest canning project–ever!

cherries in canner

The canning process

When the cherries are in the jars, I cover them with my sugar syrup to about 1 inch headspace, and make sure the rims/mouths of the jars are wiped clean with a wet, hot cloth. Then I put the lids on and screwed down the rings.

At this point, set them in the rack in the canner, lower the rack and make sure the water level covers the jars. Process them in the water bath for 30 minutes. When done, carefully remove each jar and set them on a towel, (listening for the ‘PING!” as each jar seals up) on your counter or table for about 24 hours, then label and line your pantry shelves! DONE!

 

canned cherries

That’s it!  Told you it was easy!

Helpful resources

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Sprouting Seeds – An Essential Part of Your Food Storage Plan http://thesurvivalmom.com/get-started-sprouting-seeds/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/get-started-sprouting-seeds/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 23:26:51 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22571 Do you like sprouts? I had only ever eaten plain, long white mung bean sprouts from the grocery store and didn’t really care for them. Then I discovered home sprouting and the wide variety of seeds, beans, lentils and nuts that could be sprouted. My family now eats them on salads and sandwiches and sometimes […]

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Get started sprouting seedsDo you like sprouts? I had only ever eaten plain, long white mung bean sprouts from the grocery store and didn’t really care for them. Then I discovered home sprouting and the wide variety of seeds, beans, lentils and nuts that could be sprouted. My family now eats them on salads and sandwiches and sometimes even just straight from the sprouter!

Beside the fact that sprouts are healthy for everyday eating and should be added to your diet for nutritional reasons, sprouting is an excellent prepping skill to have.

Top 5 Reasons Preppers Should Sprout

1. Nutrition

Certain seed mixes combine not only for great taste, but for high nutrition. Some seeds provide every amino acid, a long list of vitamins and minerals, and many are high in protein. Access to a fresh, non-meat/dairy source of protein during hard times is highly desirable. Broccoli sprouts are one of the most nutritious… eating one ounce of broccoli sprouts gives you as many antioxidants as 3 pounds of mature broccoli! Check out this link for a list of nutritional content for the most popular sprouts.

2. Garden Indoors All Year

If you live in an extreme climates that limit your outside growing months, you can grow a variety of fresh greens year around. No dirt under the nails, no back breaking work, no worries about early frost.

3. Security

If you have a security reason for not gardening outside, you can still have fresh greens by sprouting indoors. In fact, you can hide them even more if needed by putting your spouters inside a cabinet, under a bed, etc. Sprouts do not need any light for growth. Exposure to sunlight at the end of growing will activate the chlorophyll and green up the sprouts, but it is not a requirement for taste or nutrition.

4. Portability

You can sprout on the go by taking your sprouter in the car or even by putting it inside a backpack. In a bug-out situation, you can carry a great deal of food in very little space. (See #5.)

5. Shelf Life and Compact Storage

Sprouting seeds have a shelf life of 1 to 5 years depending on the variety. Refrigerating can double the lifespan while freezing can extend it 4 to 5 times. See a full list here. Most sprouting seeds are very small, but grow exponentially. A single pound of alfalfa sprouting seeds can produce 7 pounds of edible food!

Get started sprouting seedsThe only potential “downside” with sprouting during emergency situations is the amount of water needed. Sprouts need to be initially soaked and then rinsed twice a day. If access to safe water is an issue, it could be difficult to impossible to grow the sprouts. However, sprout water does not need to be discarded. In fact, the water used for the initial soak is full of nutrients that could be consumed as is, used as soup stock, or as needed to reconstitute dehydrated or freeze dried foods.

My Favorite Sprouters

Sprouting is so easy, a child can do it. If you can measure and rinse seeds, you can sprout! All you need is the right sprouter.

Four Tray Sprouter – The trays of this sprouter allow you to either sprout a variety of different seeds and beans in one compact footprint, or enable you to stagger your growth by starting the trays a couple days apart so you have fresh sprouts constantly at the ready. Watch this video to see how this sprouter works.

The Easy Sprout Sprouter – Simple, compact and likely the most popular sprouter of all. This one is a must if you want to sprout on the go. Here’s an instructional video to show you just how easy it is!

Get started sprouting seedsIt’s surprising how quickly sprouts can begin to go bad, so both these sprouters allow you to make relatively small amounts of sprouts so they can be eaten within just a couple of days.

My Favorite Sprouts

There are dozens and dozens of seeds, bean, lentils and nuts you can sprout on their own, but mixing them together for a gourmet treat is what I like best. Here are three of my favorites, but be bold and be sure to try a wide variety to find your own favorites. The best way to do that is to find variety samplers like this one or this one.

French Garden – Put this on your sandwich (if you have any left over after eating it straight from the sprouter!). Healthy, high protein and so good.

Nick’s Hot Sprout Salad Mix – Spicy and fragrant and 35% protein.

Pea Carnival – A mix of different peas. I was surprised at how much I liked this one. Yum!

 

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Is your food storage plan missing these six essential pieces? http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-plan-missing-six-essential-pieces/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-plan-missing-six-essential-pieces/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 11:35:51 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22452 Ask any “food storage expert” what they recommend in a basic food storage plan and they will likely recommend the same types of things: wheat, rice, dry milk, salt, beans, sugar / honey, oil, pasta etc. The Survival Mom recommends many of these important items on her list of top 10 foods for stocking up. […]

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food storage planAsk any “food storage expert” what they recommend in a basic food storage plan and they will likely recommend the same types of things: wheat, rice, dry milk, salt, beans, sugar / honey, oil, pasta etc. The Survival Mom recommends many of these important items on her list of top 10 foods for stocking up.

But with all their similarities, sometimes these lists include an item here or there that I hadn’t thought of before…something useful that I suddenly see as essential to my food storage plan. I thought I’d share a few of these with you today. Some you may have, or plan to have eventually. Others may be new to you. Or, you may have something to add to the list!

Don’t forget the vinegar!

Vinegar has many many uses: just look at all the uses for it you can find on pinterest!

Some of my favorites include prolonging the life of flowers in a vase, keeping ants away, getting rust off of things, sterilizing laundry (instead of bleach), removing perspiration stains and more.

The uses in the kitchen are just as varied: use it to make fluffier rice, use it to make buttermilk, wash fresh vegetables and fruits (especially berries) in it to make them last 2-3 times as long, use it to tenderize meat, make salad dressing or pickle anything.  I also use it to get rid of onion or garlic smell on my fingers..

Vinegar is truly versatile!


In addition, vinegar is inexpensive, readily available and stores very well.

Are seeds a part of your food storage plan?

The ability to grow your own food is essential for true self-reliance. Storing heirloom seeds is simply smart. You will need to rotate them every couple years or so, but seed packets are inexpensive so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Vitamins

Often, many “basic” food storage plans lack variety. They include items that provide a lot of calories, are inexpensive and easy to store for a long time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean they provide a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins.

This is often true even if you buy a pre-made food storage package. Often, they are heavy on nutrient-weak calories such as sugar and drink mixes. There are many reasons I don’t recommend pre-made food storage packages, but this is one. People invest in these packages thinking they are getting a certain number of calories. I feel it is a bit deceiving when a heavy number of those calories are nutrient-less.

However, not everyone can afford to go out and buy nutrient dense freeze dried fruits and veggies as part of their food storage plan: especially right at first. They may be able to invest in some canned produce, but even these are lacking in nutrients compared to their fresh counterparts.

A diet full of calories, but not balanced nutrients will not be likely to give you the energy and mental acuity you will likely need in a disaster situation.

While fresh is always best, storing vitamins can help combat this issue until you reach a point when you can invest in more nutrient dense foods.

Nuts can be stored, long-term

Nuts are a great protein and fat source, are less expensive than freeze dried meats, and tastier and healthier than TVP. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and are available in a large variety.

But nuts have one issue: they are tough to store long term because of the oil in them. Jane from Mom with a Prep solved this problem with one amazing post: Awww Nuts! A Guide to nuts and their long term storage benefits.

Spice / Herbs / Bouillon

A diet full of items recommended in many food storage plans: rice, pasta, bread, milk and beans would become pretty boring very quickly without some flavor!

Spice it up a little! Bouillon can be used to make soups and flavor rice. Spices can add an incredible variety to basic staples. If you are adventurous, you can dry your own or if that is too overwhelming simply buy a few extra of the spices and herbs you use most often now so that you can easily rotate through them.

Cookbooks

How many of you have the majority of your family’s favorite recipes stored electronically (on your computer or online somewhere)? What would you do if you couldn’t access those electronics? Do you have recipes specific to the food you have stored?

Make sure you have recipes for the food you have stored in a non-digital format so that you can access and use them anytime you need to. The more recipes you gather, the more variety you will have in your meals. Old cookbooks can be especially valuable for many reasons!

 

That’s it! Which of these items were new to you? What would you add to the list?

Food Storage Plan missing essentials2

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A Short Guide To The Proper Storage of Cookie Ingredients http://thesurvivalmom.com/storing-cookie-ingredients/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/storing-cookie-ingredients/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 07:00:19 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22361 If the #1 rule to purchasing a home is, “Location, Location, Location,” then the #1 rule of food storage is, “rotation, rotation, rotation.” I mention it because some thirty-year-old brown sugar and chocolate chips recently came into my possession, and it probably would have been good if it had been rotated out a few decades […]

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Storing cookie ingredients. If the #1 rule to purchasing a home is, “Location, Location, Location,” then the #1 rule of food storage is, “rotation, rotation, rotation.” I mention it because some thirty-year-old brown sugar and chocolate chips recently came into my possession, and it probably would have been good if it had been rotated out a few decades ago, but no one gave a thought to storing cookie ingredients.

Because I am an intrepid prepper, and also slightly reckless, I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies with it, as an experiment.

Before I tell you how they turned out, I’ll relate some useful information I discovered about storing cookie ingredients — precious ingredients crucial to making our favorite treats.

Storing cookie ingredients the right way

A lot of people store chocolate as an important part of their emergency preparedness. Even though something like chocolate cannot be considered a necessity, the availability of your most beloved dessert can do wonders for morale during a crisis. Let us discuss the humble chocolate chip cookie as an example.

The main ingredients of this treat include butter, sugar (white and brown), white flour, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips. Some of these are trickier to store than others, but with good planning and efficient rotation, you can always be confident that you can have cookies within your grasp at a moment’s notice.

Properly storing the key ingredients

Butter

The zoning laws in my town prohibit me from keeping a dairy animal in my (very small) back yard, so I have had to make do with keeping a stash of butter in the freezer. I’ve never needed to keep any single package of butter in the freezer for more than a couple months – not nearly enough time for it to go bad.

Commercially canned butter is also available, and it has a guaranteed shelf life of at least two years, according to the manufacturer. This option is much pricier, but may prove a godsend if you are without electricity, and by extension, refrigeration. Other manufacturers also offer powdered butter. Powdered butter is useful in recipes, including baking, and when mixed with water, it produces a nice spread for bread and rolls.


Sugar

White sugar is exceedingly shelf-stable and can practically withstand a nuclear blast. Brown sugar, however, has a tendency to become rock-hard over time. One suggestion is to nix brown sugar entirely, and store white sugar and molasses, instead. Add a small amount of molasses to the white sugar, and voila! Messy, but effective. Molasses has a shelf life of 18 months to two years.

Before you throw out all your old brown sugar, though, know that it can easily be softened by storing it with a piece of bread or another moist food item. I was able to soften some brown sugar that was at least thirty years old. Once it had regained some of its moisture, it looked and tasted completely untouched by time.

White Flour

So much digital ink has been spilled discussing the pros and cons of storing white flour, I don’t feel the need to further expand upon it. In short: white flour is not something that can be stored for long periods of time, but with proper rotation it can be a very good thing to have. Around the holidays, prime baking season when prices are quite low, stock up on a year’s worth of flour and store it in the freezer for longest shelf life.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla and other flavoring extracts are alcohol-based and if stored improperly have a tendency to quietly evaporate away. Stored in a dark place in a tightly sealed container, however, vanilla extract can have a very long and happy shelf life.

Chocolate

Alas, chocolate is temperamental. Chocolate in bar and chip form contains a lot of fat solids, and these can bloom or go rancid. Some people recommend storing chocolate in the freezer in its original packaging, taking care not to allow condensation to appear upon the surface of the chocolate, and also ensuring that it does not change temperature too rapidly.

Chocolate manufacturers suggest that under ideal conditions, chocolate will remain in its pristine condition for up to two years, though it will still be edible for some time after that. Another thing to consider is that chocolate can absorb the flavors of other foods – flavor transfer can occur through plastic packaging.

An option that works quite well for a lot of food storage experts is storing chocolate in canning jars, and using a jar sealer to vacuum out the air and damaging oxygen.

To summarize, while some of these ingredients can be stored for several decades with no ill effects, others will benefit from a good system of rotation. Successfully storing cookie ingredients is possible.

So what about those chocolate-chip cookies made with thirty-year-old chocolate chips? Before baking, the chocolate chips tasted decidedly “off,” though in a way that is difficult to describe. One taste-tester suggested that they had absorbed some flavor from the brown sugar with which it was stored.

After baking, the chocolate chips failed to melt in the usual way to which I have become accustomed. I thought the cookies tasted fine so I served them to several people who noticed no difference in taste – including some picky toddlers I happen to know. My husband, however, was aware that the chocolate chips were put into storage during the Iran Hostage Crisis and did not appreciate being fed poison. He said, “I feel like I just got hit with something weird.” That was definitely the chocolate chips.

Rotation, rotation, rotation.

The post A Short Guide To The Proper Storage of Cookie Ingredients by Beth Buck appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

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31 Delicious Apple Recipes for Every Day of the Month! http://thesurvivalmom.com/31-delicious-apple-recipes-for-every-day-of-the-month/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/31-delicious-apple-recipes-for-every-day-of-the-month/#respond Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:25:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22426 One of the most popular blog posts here on The Survival Mom blog is, 27 Things You Can Do With Apples. What’s funny, is that I just threw that list together on a whim, based on my own search for delicious apple recipes. Apparently, I’m not the only apple-lover out there! I love fresh apples […]

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Delicious apple recipesOne of the most popular blog posts here on The Survival Mom blog is, 27 Things You Can Do With Apples. What’s funny, is that I just threw that list together on a whim, based on my own search for delicious apple recipes. Apparently, I’m not the only apple-lover out there!

I love fresh apples and buy them almost weekly for snacking, but I also have plenty of dehydrated and freeze dried apples for baking and other recipes. They’re handy, year round, and when I’m in an apple-baking mood, they’re ready to go. Here are 2 delicious recipes from Augason Farms using dehydrated apple slices. Try the cobbler in a Dutch oven!!

Augason Farms Apple Cobbler

Crust
1/2 cup butter
1 cup Quick Rolled Oats
2 cups flour
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Apple Filling

4 cups Augason Farms Dehydrated Apple Slices
5-6 cups Augason Farms Apple Delight Drink Mix
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon orange rind – optional

Vanilla Sauce

2 cups Augason Farms Country Fresh Milk, prepared
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch

To make the crust, melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add sugar and stir. Mix in oats. Add flour and walnuts, mix together until crumbly. Put half of crumbs in bottom of a 9×13” baking pan.

Place apple slices and  juice in a large saucepan and bring to a low boil, simmer 15 minutes. Add sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and orange rind. Spoon onto crust, sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake at 350˚F for 40 minutes.

Get the vanilla sauce ready by placing milk, sugar, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Heat on low – do not boil. Add cornstarch and stir well. Beat egg yolks, take about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture and add egg yolks, mix well. Add to pan, stirring constantly until sauce thickens slightly. Pour over cobbler and bake 20 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature, with or without ice cream.

Apple Cinnamon Upside Down Cake

Cake

3 1/4 cups apple cinnamon muffin mix
2/3 cup cold water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup Augason Farms Brown Sugar
2 cups Augason Farms Dehydrated Apple Slices – rehydrated

Topping

2/3 cup white frosting
1/2 cup whipped topping (thawed)
Caramel topping if desired

In 1-quart heavy sauce pan, cook butter, whipping cream and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter melts.  Pour into a 9×13” pan.  Sprinkle with pecans; top with softened apple slices (fresh apple slices may be used).

In large bowl, beat muffin mix on low speed until moistened, then on medium speed 2 minutes.  Carefully spoon batter over apple mixture.

Bake at 350˚F for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of cake from pan.  Place serving platter upside down on pan; carefully turn platter and pan over and let rest about 1 minute before removing pan.  In a small bowl, mix frosting and whipped topping.  Frost cake and drizzle with caramel topping.

How to substitute dehydrated apples for fresh

If your recipe calls for fresh apples, you can plan on substituting 1 pound of dehydrated apples for 4 pounds of fresh or figure that the dehydrated version will be about 25-30% of the fresh. Keep in mind that when measuring out the dehydrated fruit, it packs a lot more loosely in a measuring cup, so either use a “heaping” measurement or pack the dried fruit into the measuring cup to get a more accurate amount for your recipe.

The dried fruit will need to be reconstituted in water before adding to the recipe. In a small bowl, place your dried fruit and twice the measurement of warm water. Example: 1 cup of dried apples to 2 cups warm water.

Allow the fruit to absorb the water for about 20 minutes. Before adding to the recipe, drain the fruit well.

Here are 29 more delicious apple recipes for you to try! One for every day of the month!

You’ll find all these, and a lot more, on my Desserts Pinterest board!

 

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Why You Should Include Junk Food in Your Food Storage Pantry http://thesurvivalmom.com/junk-food-storage/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/junk-food-storage/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:40:12 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21932 Disasters are stressful, no question about it. The power goes out, maybe the water and heat along with it. The kids are whining and probably at least a little scared. You and your spouse are edgy, perhaps getting more than a little short with each other. You’re all stuck at home, either because the roads […]

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Add junk food storage to your food storage pantry.Disasters are stressful, no question about it. The power goes out, maybe the water and heat along with it. The kids are whining and probably at least a little scared. You and your spouse are edgy, perhaps getting more than a little short with each other. You’re all stuck at home, either because the roads are terrible or because there’s just no place to go, no stores or restaurants are open.

This is just the time to break into your junk food storage to bring a bit of comfort.

Comfort food is just that, food that provides psychological, if not physical, comfort. It does so not because it is chock full of nutritious goodness but, in many cases at least, because it doesn’t do a damn thing for you but taste good. Much of the time, comfort foods are what we call “junk food”.

Junk food is a guilty pleasure. We know we shouldn’t eat very much of it. We know that fruits and vegetables are a far better, healthier choice for snacking. But, y’know what? Sometimes a body just needs salt, grease, and chocolate!

Now, I’m not suggesting you abandon your food storage plans and get rid of the home canned veggies, the soups, the stews, and all that good stuff. What I am suggesting, though, is you add to your storage at least a few selections from the shady side of the food pyramid.

Popcorn is a great choice, but go for the bagged, already popped, corn. Keep in mind that in an emergency, your ability to cook, whether with a microwave or stove top, may be limited. While yes, it is great fun to make popcorn the old fashioned way, with oil and a pan over a flame, that just might not be feasible depending upon the nature of the crisis. Some movie theaters sell gigantic bags of pre-popped popcorn already salted and ready to eat.

Chips are usually a hit as well. Many varieties will stay fresh a while as long as the bags are sealed. My own preference is for nacho cheese Doritos. Seriously, Doritos ranks rather high on my list of things I’m going to miss should the world come crashing down around my ears.

Of course, candy and chocolate deserve to be included on our list of comfort foods. Ideally, you already have a nice cool, dark spot in your house where you’re storing much of your disaster supplies. A few chocolate bars, maybe a few boxes of theater candy, and an assortment of other sugary goodies would be a great addition to the home emergency kit.

Most junk food isn’t packaged in a way that is intended for long-term food storage. Cookies, candy, crackers, and even smaller chips like Fritos will need to be repackaged if you plan on having junk food storage.

Now, I will readily admit that I’m a fiend for soda and I drink far more of it than is healthy for anyone. That said, I do actually drink less now than I did when I was younger, so that’s a step in the right direction. If you have a similar fixation on carbonated beverages, you might consider packing a few cans or bottles in with the other comfort foods. Keep in mind, though, that most of these fizzy drinks don’t have a very long shelf life. A bottle of soda I bought today at a convenience store is showing an expiration date about ten weeks from now. I can tell you from experience that, unlike the expiration dates you’ll find on other food products, the ones listed on Mountain Dew bottles are pretty factual. I tried a bottle once that was about two months out of date. That, um, did not go well.

I strongly suggest that any food items be stored in some sort of pest-proof container. A small Rubbermaid tote would work well, as would any other container made from heavy plastic that has a tight lid. It wouldn’t be very comforting to open up your box of goodies only to find that mice have made a nice home out of the now-empty chip bags. Keep in mind the enemies of food storage, rotate your junk food (that probably won’t be a problem!), and keep a stash for those stressful post-crisis days.

The post Why You Should Include Junk Food in Your Food Storage Pantry by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

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7 Reasons to Buy Old Cookbooks http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-reasons-buy-old-cookbooks/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-reasons-buy-old-cookbooks/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 07:00:43 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21792 I keep my eye out for old cookbooks when I go to thrift stores or garage sales. They are part of the books we keep on hand for reference material and I like to buy old cookbooks for many reasons. By “old,” I mean cookbooks from the early 1980’s or earlier. 7 Reasons to buy old […]

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buy old cookbooksI keep my eye out for old cookbooks when I go to thrift stores or garage sales. They are part of the books we keep on hand for reference material and I like to buy old cookbooks for many reasons.

By “old,” I mean cookbooks from the early 1980’s or earlier.

7 Reasons to buy old cookbooks

1. Cooking without a microwave

Microwaves didn’t become household items until the mid-1970s, according to the IEEE Global History Network. If the power ever goes out for any amount of time, the microwave will not be an option. We will be cooking on the grill, over a fire, on a rocket stove, a solar oven, or on a handmade stove.

While I do know what recipes I can make out of my food storage, my husband and children might need to figure things out if something happens to me. Or, if we get bored with the meals out of storage, we can find new recipes for variety. Older cookbooks rarely, if ever, have you use the microwave as part of the recipe. This makes it easier to convert the recipe to another cooking method.

2. Fewer convenience ingredients

How many of the recipes that you use contain baking mix or canned beans as ingredients? What happens when the Bisquick runs out and you only have dry beans? Older cookbooks have you use the ingredients that you would probably have in your food storage because there weren’t as many convenience products to buy in the stores, which also means fewer processed foods, with their GMO ingredients and additives.  That’s a win-win, all the way around.

3. More real ingredients for healthier eating

This ties to fewer convenience ingredients, but older cookbooks usually use more “real food” ingredients. You need to have the basics on hand – flour, sugar, salt, beans, seasonings, butter, etc. They won’t call for Hershey’s syrup or pre-mixed seasonings. This can be helpful not only for cooking from the food pantry but also if you want to move more towards a real food diet. For example, the older cookbook I have has six versions of a basic fruit cobbler (7-10 ingredients), while the new one only has a version that uses quick-cooking polenta mix or cornmeal (about 10 ingredients).

4. Calls for using fewer kitchen gadgets

Electric mixers, food processors, blenders are all part of most people’s kitchen and cooking routines. However, if there’s no power, there’s no way to use those gadgets. An EMP, as featured in One Second After, could eliminate every electric appliance in your kitchen.

Do you know how to knead bread without your mixer? Do you have a way to blend ingredients without the blender? Good knives and the right non-electric tools would come in handy. Older cookbooks have tips on how to make recipes using these types of tools instead of electric kitchen gadgets.

For example, I found a 1989 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (I’m still looking for an older one). While it does say how to proof yeast in a microwave, it also explains how to alter a recipe if using a hand mixer instead of an electric mixer.

5. More variations for recipes

I noticed more recipes with cornmeal in older cookbooks, like corn waffles and fried mush. There are recipes for sauces and salad dressings. If you want to make anything from scratch, you can usually find a recipe for it in an older cookbook. The older the cookbook, the more it will use basic ingredients and have more variations on the recipes with fewer ingredients. (Think of depression era recipes). The older cookbook I have has recipes for rabbit and spiced tongue. Whenever I can, I buy old cookbooks!

6. They’re inexpensive

A new cookbook with glossy photos can easily cost $20 and more. Especially when purchased at a bookstore. Old cookbooks can cost fifty cents, or less, in second hand bookstores, thrift stores, yard sales, and similar places. You can easily buy several for less than ten bucks.

7. They bring back memories of old favorites

Thumbing through an old cookbook, you will probably come across recipes that you remember from your childhood, your grandma’s kitchen, and potlucks from past holidays and church events. It’s a little bit like going on a treasure hunt — you never know what you’ll find!

Don’t forget the new …

I’ve found some great “new” cookbooks that provide all these features, too.

Have you found any hidden gems in old cookbooks? Do you think they are worth looking for and adding to your reference library?

Helpful resources mentioned in this article:

 

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