The Survival Mom » Food Storage http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 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!

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Fall Comfort Foods from Augason Farms http://thesurvivalmom.com/comfort-foods-augason-farms/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/comfort-foods-augason-farms/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 15:00:23 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18720 I don’t even need cold temperatures to begin craving my favorite comfort foods. It’s enough to turn the calendar page from September to October for me to start craving things like meatloaf and mashed potatoes! Here are 2 comforting recipes Read More

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fall comfort foods

I don’t even need cold temperatures to begin craving my favorite comfort foods. It’s enough to turn the calendar page from September to October for me to start craving things like meatloaf and mashed potatoes! Here are 2 comforting recipes from Augason Farms that will help you stay warm and cozy on the coldest of winter days.

Potato Gems 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

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.

Add the hot chicken bouillon to the sauce.

Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick.

Add salt, pepper, heavy cream, prepared chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley.

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

Prepare Potato Gems according to label directions and set aside.

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.

Distribute vegetables and beef mixture evenly in the bottom of an oven-proof baking dish.

Top with mashed potatoes. Create peaks with a fork that will brown nicely.

Bake at 400°F about 30 minutes or until bubbling and brown. Broil for last few minutes, if necessary, to brown.

 

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Fast, Healthy Meals in a Jar http://thesurvivalmom.com/fast-healthy-meals-in-a-jar/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/fast-healthy-meals-in-a-jar/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:02:58 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=9392 Winter is a time that I usually spend organizing and cleaning stuff since I can’t spend a whole lot of time outdoors without turning into a human popsicle!  So one of my winter projects is usually to go through my Read More

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meals in a  jarWinter is a time that I usually spend organizing and cleaning stuff since I can’t spend a whole lot of time outdoors without turning into a human popsicle!  So one of my winter projects is usually to go through my root cellar and my food storage, rotate stuff, check quantities, check the seals on all of my canning jars to make sure they’re good, and make a list of the things that I need to restock.

I want to share something that’s gotten me pretty excited, and maybe it’s something that will excite you as well: meals in a jar.  These meals will:

  • Help you take inventory of your food storage from a different perspective.
  • Help you rotate your food storage.
  • Give you a better idea of how much you actually need to store of specific food items that you know your family likes.
  • Allow you to experiment and work with your food storage without compromising the shelf life.
  • Allow you to create healthy, delicious, and inexpensive “fast food” meals for your family with a 5-8 year shelf life.
  • Extend the shelf life of some of your spices, pastas, and other store packaged items.
  • Give you one skillet meals that will be ready in less than 30 minutes, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and have more time for things you’d rather do.

Stephanie Peterson, aka Chef Tess Bakeresse, has been creating recipes for these meals with ingredients that will fit into a quart sized canning jar. Who would have thought that a meal for 4 people could fit into a quart jar?!

Well, I decided I had to try this. The idea of being able to combine ingredients from dehydrated and freeze-dried foods** to create meals ahead of time was really appealing. (I might also have a ‘thing’ about seeing glass jars with yummy contents lined up neatly on my pantry shelves, but that’s another story.)

Starting my Meals in a Jar adventure

So this is how it happened.  First, I had to order some 300 cc oxygen absorbers.  I chose some that were in packages of 20. I figured working with 20 jars at a time would be comfortable. (I realize you can purchase them in larger quantities and repackage the unused portion with a vacuum sealer, but, hey, I was already getting ready to do enough repackaging, for Pete’s sake!)

image by Chiot’s Run

Next, I checked my pantry to make sure I had the proper quantities of ingredients. In some cases, the freeze-dried and dehydrated foods I had on hand required me to experiment, so I cooked one or two of the recipes with what I already had and made adjustments accordingly. I made sure to jot this new version of the recipe down so I could duplicate it multiplied by 20!

I printed out labels with the cooking instructions and a place to mark the date that I packaged them. Then I gathered my 20 jars (wide mouth works best) and sterilized them. I did this far enough in advance to make sure that my jars were good and dry. I also made sure I had lids and rings on hand.

The process in detail

The morning I attempted this, I assembled the ingredients and began systematically filling the jars with the ingredients.  (Oh, and I measured a set of them into my skillet too…might as well be fixing tonight’s dinner while I’m putting in my kitchen time!)

Using a wide mouth funnel, I measured an ingredient into a jar and shook it down to help it settle. (If you’ve not worked with canning jars, I’ll just mention that it’s tempting to bang the jar on the counter, but it’s bad for the jar and can weaken the bottom of it.  So, bang it on the palm of your other hand or on a towel covered counter.)

Once those ingredients have settled, throw in more ingredients, and shake it down again. Throw in still MORE ingredients….  Shake your head and mumble about how, “That’s never gonna fit.”  Shake down the ingredients and be pleasantly surprised that they all really DO fit after all!

At this point I placed my lids in a warm place, like on a cookie sheet on the wood stove or in a warm oven.  This softens the gasket a bit so it’s easier to screw the ring down and get a good seal.

It’s also important at this point to make sure the rim of the jar is completely clear of any food particles.

Continuing on, I placed the oxygen absorber in the top of each jar, being careful that the corners would not interfere with the lid coming in contact with the rim of the jar. I positioned the lid and tightened down the ring. Then I waited for the ‘plink’ as a vacuum formed inside the jars.  It was really that easy! No hot water bath.  No pressure cooker. It’s called, “dry packing”. Using the oxygen absorber to form an air tight seal, these meals will have an extended shelf of 5-8 years on average, according to Chef Tess as long as they are stored in a cool, dark, dry location.

What I discovered pretty quickly is that I need to stock up on more spices. When you make a dozen or more batches of a recipe, you quickly go through items like basil, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder. It was interesting to find out exactly how many meals I could hope to get out of a # 10 can of freeze dried ground beef or sausage crumbles. When you are making twenty dinners at one time, you get a real good perspective on what you should be stocking in your pantry!

Other things I learned:

  • I now have a cool new way to store pastas and rice!
  • I need to stock up on more canning jars, lids, rings.
  • I had the best success rate of jars sealing when I warmed the lids with a dry heat so that the gasket was softer.
  • Wide mouth jars worked the best. Standard will work, too, but I REALLY had to work to get the ingredients shaken down enough to seal.  I also had to finagle the corners of the oxygen absorber down and ‘hold my tongue just right’ to get the lid and the ring on without the oxygen absorber trying to creep out.
  • I live in an area where it can be very humid in the summer time. Planning to assemble these meals in the winter with the wood stove going was probably the best environment for working with my freeze dried foods.
  • I did the math and found that if I purchased everything I needed to make 20 of these meals (assuming I already had the jars, lids, rings), each dinner for 4 would cost between $6.00 and $8.00. That means the cost per serving is $1.50 to 2.00. That’s pretty good for a nutritious, delicious meal! At that price, my food storage is a really economical option. Not to mention the money I’ll save on gas going to the grocery store.
  • It feels really great to see those ready-made, healthy ‘fast foods’ on my pantry shelf!  A couple of hours of work have saved me time in the future for other things. And they look beautiful lined up on my pantry shelves.

I modified one of Chef Tess’s recipes based on what I had in my pantry, and this is what I made.

 Saucy baked Ziti with Sausage and Mushrooms

*Put the following in a quart jar:

2/3 cup tomato powder

½ cup freeze dried onion

2 T freeze dried spinach

1 t oregano

1 t basil

¼ t marjoram

Dash of thyme

2 T  cheese blend

1 t sugar

1 cup  sausage crumbles

1 cup (3 oz) ziti or other pasta

1/3 cup freeze dried mushrooms

2 T carrot dices

If there was extra space, I packed more pasta in there, piece by piece.

Label for Jar:

Directions:  Place contents of jar in a covered skillet, along with 4 3/4 cups water. Simmer 15-20 minutes until pasta is tender and sauce is thickened.  Serves 4.

Thanks to Chef Tess, I’ve found a terrific way to not only rotate some of my food storage, but open it up and see exactly what’s inside! Taste it, study it, make sure my family likes it, and then have fun repackaging it into ready-made meals that will be quick and easy to fix in a pinch! Meals that will still have a lengthy shelf life! I hope you give this a try as well.

Also read:

Dehydrated Dinners, Part 1

Dehydrated  Dinners, Part 2: 20 Tips for Getting Started

*This recipe was created using food products from Thrive Life.  Using other brands may require slight adjustments to measurements.

** Lisa’s Note: I highly recommend Thrive Life foods but have also had very good experiences with Honeyville Farms and Augason Foods as well.

Guest post by Holly Cooley. This article was previously posted but we updated the article.

 

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15 Ways to Store & Use Winter Squash http://thesurvivalmom.com/15-ways-store-use-winter-squash/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/15-ways-store-use-winter-squash/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:00:38 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18421 Winter Squash is a great vegetable for our short-term food storage needs. It doesn’t need much from a preservation stand point, can be grown easily, purchased inexpensively, and tastes good in a variety of recipes.  Here are 15 Ways to Store & Read More

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15 Ways to Store & Use Winter Squash - The Survival MomWinter Squash is a great vegetable for our short-term food storage needs. It doesn’t need much from a preservation stand point, can be grown easily, purchased inexpensively, and tastes good in a variety of recipes.  Here are 15 Ways to Store & Use Winter Squash if you’re looking to add more of it to your family’s diet this coming year and beyond.

Storing Winter Squash

1. Winter squash can be stored in a root cellar for months with no other preservation requirements.  If you don’t have a root, an unheated guest room works well too.

2. Winter squash can be canned in chunks if you have a pressure canner. Canning the puree is not considered a safe home canning practice, so chunks only.

3. Cooked and pureed winter squash freezes easily and can be used in a variety of recipes.

4. Strips of squash can be blanched and dehydrated. Pureed winter squash can be made in pumpkin pie leather. Any winter squash will work, don’t let “pumpkin” scare you off.

Using Winter Squash

Don’t let recipes with specific squash stop you from making it. Most any winter squash can be substituted for any other.  It might say pumpkin but butternut will work just as well. If it says acorn and all you have is hubbard – go for it and don’t worry! The results will be just as tasty.

5. Pumpkin Smoothies & Pumpkin Hot Cocoa

6. Squash Millet Bake

7. Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

8. Butternut Squash & Tart Cherry Quinoa

9. Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup

10. Squash Risotto

11. Pumpkin Cheesecake

12. Pumpkin Waffles

13. Black Bean & Squash Enchiladas

14. Roasted Hubbard Squash Soup with Hazelnuts & Chives

15. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have a favorite winter squash recipe? Please share it with us in the comments.

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Comforting Hot Drinks http://thesurvivalmom.com/comforting-hot-drinks/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/comforting-hot-drinks/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 15:00:08 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18412 Winter is coming and with the cooling air comes a desire to drink something warm. In fact, I’m learning that whenever I’m in the need for a little mental comforting I reach for something warm. It seems many of us do Read More

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Comforting Hot Drinks - Finding comfort for body & soul from food storage.Winter is coming and with the cooling air comes a desire to drink something warm. In fact, I’m learning that whenever I’m in the need for a little mental comforting I reach for something warm. It seems many of us do that, we reach for a favorite drink to help give us comfort and a moment of rest to face whatever needs facing. As we get ourselves prepared with the practical matters of flashlights, medical supplies, blankets, etc., let’s also take some time to prepare for some comfort in the form of hot drinks as well. Comfort in a cup, after all, can be accomplished for everyone in the family and easily be a part of our food storage plans. Need some inspiration? Here are some comforting hot drinks to get you started:

Hot Drink Ingredients to Stock

Keep your favorites as part of your food storage rotation – coffee beans, tea bags, cocoa powder, dried herbs for tea. Even a bottle or two of whiskey, brandy, or liqueurs for an extra adult comfort now and then. A person can always buy hot cocoa mixes but those tend to be full of artificial things many of us try to avoid and it’s easy and cheap enough to make from powdered milk, sugar, and cocoa powder anyway. Beyond the things like coffee and tea that come immediately to mind think of bottles of apple cider for hot cider, even orange juice concentrate can be used in a warm fruity punch.

Mixes to Make Ahead of Time

1. Hot Cocoa: 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar – 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder – 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Milk.  Combine everything together well and store in an airtight container. To make a cup: mix 3 Tablespoons of mix with 8 ounces of boiling water or coffee.

That cocoa mix makes a great gift too, if you wanted to help someone else find comfort in a cup.  A splash of coffee or mint liqueur in hot cocoa is a nice relaxing adult treat.

2. Chai tea concentrate make and freeze for a quick fix when the need for comfort strikes.

Don’t Forget Your Health

Hot drinks are comforting to our minds but they’re also very often nourishing and healing to our bodies as well. Keep some things stocked to boost immune systems, soothe sore throats, calm upset stomachs, and generally care for your families bodies too:

Other Recipe Ideas

What’s your favorite hot drink recipe?

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Casseroles Forever! Pantry Substitute for Canned Cream Soup http://thesurvivalmom.com/casseroles-forever-pantry-substitute-canned-cream-soup/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/casseroles-forever-pantry-substitute-canned-cream-soup/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:00:12 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18424 It’s a key ingredient in almost any casserole: cream of mushroom soup. Or cream of chicken, or cream of potato, or cream of celery. I used to buy cans and cans of the stuff. Then, as I slowly started to Read More

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creamed soup

It’s a key ingredient in almost any casserole: cream of mushroom soup. Or cream of chicken, or cream of potato, or cream of celery.

I used to buy cans and cans of the stuff. Then, as I slowly started to substitute healthier items for what I had in my pantry, I discovered a healthy cream of “whatever” soup mix.

And, the best part – it’s made from easy pantry items that you can stock up on for emergency situation. Instead of cans of creamed soup, you just need dry milk, cornstarch, bullion, dried minced onion, and seasoning.

Cream of “Whatever” Soup Mix

Mix together and store in an airtight container:

  • 2 C powdered dry milk
  • ¾ C cornstarch
  • ¼ C bullion (chicken or beef, personal preference)
  • 2 TB dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp seasoning, such as Italian or vegetable (personal preference)

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together 1/3 cup of the mix and 1¼ cup water until desired thickness is reached. This equals roughly 1 can of creamed soup.

If a recipe calls for adding milk and a can of creamed soup, I often just double the soup mix instead. Mushrooms, potatoes, or chicken can also be added to the dish, if desired, to come closer to the old recipe with canned cream soup.

Now you can have casseroles at any time – emergency or not!

Recipes for this mix can be found on several websites, but I found this one at One Good Thing by Jillee.

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10 Condiments That Make Life Better http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-condiments-make-life-better/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-condiments-make-life-better/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16780 So something really, truly bad happens. The grid has been down for a month or a deadly pandemic has us sequestered in our homes. Or you’re simply out of work for months and the savings are gone. You are living Read More

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So something really, truly bad happens. The grid has been down for a month or a deadly pandemic has us sequestered in our homes. Or you’re simply out of work for months and the savings are gone.

You are living on your food storage.

Hey, it’s all good! You’ve got staples like grains,beans and rice. You’ve got a wide range of canned, freeze dried, dehydrated and home-canned foods. There’s a well stocked root cellar. You’ve even got waxed cheese and waterglassed eggs.

Guess what else you’ve got?

Scared people. And you’re one of them. One of the reasons for prepping is to provide a sense of continuity (not normalcy – things aren’t currently normal: river…Egypt…). Continuity is a tether to how things were and holds the hope of a return to that state or something like it.

No matter how well you’ve prepped, sooner or later you’re going to be eating a lot more basic staples than you’re used to. So imagine this: you’ve grilled up some bean-based veggie burgers or you’ve mixed up some mashed potato flakes and…then what?

Let’s lay aside spices, sauces and ingredients like honey for another day and confine ourselves to ready-made condiments. And really, even if things are perfectly normal, these are still great to have in the house.

The 10 Condiments that will save your sanity

1) Ketchup

Why? Because it’s ketchup, that’s why! Ketchup is the duct tape of the kitchen. Unrivaled for versatility on the table, it’s also indispensable on the stove and in the oven. It can make almost anything edible.

BTW,there’s more to ketchup than just tomatoes. Ketchups made from blackberries, lobster shells, onions, and more used to be produced at home and commercially. There are parts of England where mushroom ketchup is still commonplace. If you’d like to try your hand at these heritage flavors, you’ll have to resort to out-of-print cookbooks like an old Joy of Cooking. Or there’s this.

2) Mayonnaise

Sure, you’ll be making a lot of tuna and chicken salad with all that canned meat. But there’s also creamy salad dressing, pasta salad and the basis for tartar sauce. Mayo is an ingredient in a wide range of recipes.

This brings us back to Continuity. Try telling a 6 year old who’s life has already been upended that there’ll be no birthday cake this year. There are a lot of food storage chocolate cake recipes out there. Most taste odd or have  weird ingredients/procedures. Burrowing holes? Puréed beans?  No.

My mother used to make a good and simple one, but this recipe is even better. Top it with powdered sugar or soft-whip some canned cream.

3) Soy / Worcestershire Sauce

There’s a lot of overlap between them because they both have high Umami. That’s a Japanese concept that boils down to a savory, meaty flavor where (typically) no meat is present. It’s caused by naturally occurring amino acids called glutamates, which are the source of concentrated laboratory MSG.

Ketchup has a lot too, but soy sauce and Worcestershire don’t have the high sugar and fruitiness, so it’s a very different flavor profile. Either one is a great way to perk up sad stew.

WARNING: Glutamate-rich foods like salami, mushrooms, red wine,aged cheese and walnuts are often migraine triggers.

4)Mustard

Mustard has a staggering number of other uses besides the “barbie,” especially in pan sauces and casseroles. You can’t make civilized baked beans without it. Sneak a touch into Alfredo sauce, turkey tetrazzini, and mac ‘n cheese. There’s also plain old honey mustard on almost anything. Combine with onions, rosemary and peach or apricot jam for an epic meat glaze!

5) Jam

You’re gonna make some bread with all that wheat,right? Also use on pilot bread or crackers, and in innumerable recipes, like the technique above. It can be stirred into plain muffin or coffee cake mix to make any flavor you choose, or thin it down and substitute for pancake syrup. Try sweetening herb tea with it and save the honey and sugar for other things.

6) Salsa

Tortillas have an impressive shelf life. Fry some up and crack open a jar of salsa as a treat when nerves get frayed. It can also be tossed with rice or pasta for a quick one-skillet meal or added to soups and casseroles. If you bottle it at home you must use a pressure canner!

7) BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce makes the list in part because it covereth a multitude of sins. It also covereth game meats your family isn’t used to yet.

I grew up in suburban Rhode Island but was once in a rural conversation where hunters were discussing the pros and cons of various game meats. The subject of squirrel was broached. I remarked, “I’ve never had squirrel.” Someone at whose house I’d eaten many times wryly informed me:  “Oh yes you have…”

8)Something Hot

Tabasco, sriracha , whatever your family likes. Even if you don’t use any, store a couple bottles for barter or the inevitable guests you’ll be taking in. It can also be used medicinally in soup to clear a badly stuffy head.

9) Gravy ( or the stuff and knowledge to make it)

Okay, not exactly a condiment, but for our discussion it functions like one. Think of all that rice, pasta , potatoes, canned/ freeze dried meats, and game. All just crying out for gravy.

Sure, you can make it from ingredients, but it’ll help to have some ready to roll, and it’s shockingly cheap around the holidays. It’s also another cheap thing that becomes a valuable barter item.

10) That Thing You Love

The condiment your family can’t live without, whatever it may be. If your family can’t go a week without Thai peanut sauce or Branston Pickle, you’d better store some – especially if That Thing is laborious to make or contains lots of arcane ingredients!

What’s Left Out?

I’ve left off things that aren’t used as often (plum sauce) or are easily and quickly made from common ingredients (tartar sauce and teriyaki). As for salad dressing, see my article here.

Hey, where’s the peanut butter?

(Warning: Heresy Alert!) I have several problems with PB.

  1. Classic PB is full of hydrogenated oil. Don’t be fooled by ” interesterified” oil, it’s even worse than just sounding like a made-up word from Calvin and Hobbs. It also contains a ton of sugar and varying amounts of salt. “Natural” PB has to be stirred and is often hard and rips up the bread or breaks the crackers.doit
  2. People use far more of it per serving than they think they do.
  3. Even if it’s all-natural and you only use a tablespoon, it’s a tremendous amount of fat for the protein you get.

In my search for the right wrap-up to this post , I let my family read it. When it was suggested to me that my beef with PB just might be sour grapes because I’ve become allergic and can’t have it anymore, my brother channeled Darth Vader: ” Search your feelings, Beth. You know it to be true…”

( Defiant huff…)  Fine. Be that way.

11) Peanut Butter

Being a pastry chef, I think of PB more as a baking ingredient than actual food; it’s baking and confectionary applications are almost endless. Then there are the obvious uses on bread, crackers, apples, jicama, celery. The “Fam” suggested the aforementioned Thai peanut sauce, fried PB sandwiches, curry, and more…

…if you’re into that sort of thing.

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Top 10 Foods for Stocking Up http://thesurvivalmom.com/top-ten-foods-for-stocking-up/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/top-ten-foods-for-stocking-up/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 22:00:55 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=1245 You’ll want to pin this list for future reference! Click here. To get started with the basic building blocks of food storage, these are the top 10 foods I recommend. If these aren’t a good fit for your family, for Read More

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You’ll want to pin this list for future reference! Click here.

top 10 foods for stocking up

To get started with the basic building blocks of food storage, these are the top 10 foods I recommend. If these aren’t a good fit for your family, for whatever reason, stock up on the alternatives that you’re currently using. Be very aware of the enemies of food storage and always try to store your food in the most optimal conditions possible.

Wheat 

Once ground, wheat is the building block for varieties of bread, tortillas, flat bread, pizza crust and more.  I’ve stocked up on hard red wheat for hearty breads, general purpose hard white wheat, and soft white wheat for pastries.

Rice 

On its’ own, it’s a side dish.  Mixed with herbs and a vegetable or two, it’s a simple main dish.  It’s a great meal-stretcher when topped with, or served alongside, main dishes such as a stir fry.  Note: brown rice contains oils which will eventually become rancid. If you can keep it stored at very chilly temperatures, say below 60 degrees, it will be fresher, longer. Otherwise, plan on a shelf life of about a year or so.

Dried milk

Without electricity, fresh milk will go bad in hours.  In an emergency situation, fresh will be difficult to come by unless you own a cow or a goat.  Dried milk provides not only milk to drink, but milk to use as an ingredient in other dishes. Also look for shelf-stable milk that comes in cardboard cartons. It’s a very good option to dried milk.

Salt

Stock up on table salt at your local Costco.  It’s inexpensive and has multiple uses. I’ve purchased boxes of Kosher salt, along with the regular iodized table salt.

Beans

Buy canned beans and dry beans in different varieties.  Versatile,  economical and a good source of fiber. Dried beans can be ground into a powder and added to everything from cookies to soups.

Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato puree, etc.  Watch for them on sale and then grab a few dozen cans.  Learn how to can and dehydrate tomatoes. They’re the basis for salsas, soups, stews, and sauces. I’ll bet you’ve eaten something made from tomatoes in the past 48 hours!

Other canned veggies and fruit

These will help provide important nutrients, variety to your recipes, and have a very long shelf life.  If you can’t stomach canned veggies, try dehydrating your own or purchasing freeze-dried.

Peanut butter 

High in protein, yummy on warm, freshly made bread!  Add some honey and you have a winner! Keep a new, sealed jar in emergency kits for a quick dose of protein when you might need it most.

Oil

Without oil, you’re pretty much stuck with boiling your meat and veggies. The problem is that oil goes rancid very quickly. Most oils have a shelf life of only a year. Some food storage experts recommend packing vegetable shortening in canning jars and then using a Food Saver jar sealer to vacuum out all the air/oxygen. Stored this way, shortening can stay fresh for years as long as it’s stored in a cool location. When the time comes to use it, just measure out what you need for a recipe, melt it, and you have oil. While many of us have moved away from the use of vegetable oil, this is probably the best option for having a supply of oil on hand, long term.

Dried pasta

Another meal stretcher and a kid-pleasing dish any day of the week.  My own kids have been known to dip bow-tie pasta in ranch dressing. I really, really like the egg noodles from Ready Reserve Foods, which are actually dehydrated. As they cook they expand and become thick, hearty noodles, much like the homemade noodles my mom used to make.

Sugar and honey

Okay, that makes eleven, but I’ve known women who were ready to kill when deprived of sugar for too long! Both honey and sugar will last indefinitely.

NOTE: This article was originally published on September 3, 2009. My blog had launched only 4 months prior! This list continues to be what I recommend for basic food storage, so I wanted to publish it again with additional information.

 

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