Most food storage products purchased from food storage companies are pretty much the same all across the board. Foods like wheat and freeze-fried fruit are all very similar no matter what brand you choose to buy.
Other products, and dairy products in particular, are not that way so much. They vary from company to company, and since food storage companies are changing their recipes all the time, a can of something like butter powder or dried milk that you bought four years ago may bear little resemblance to a can purchased from the same company today.
The upshot of all this means that food storage products are getting better, tastier, and higher in quality all the time. The tricky part is that sometimes there is a little bit of a learning curve while you are trying to find a brand you like for a particular product, and in figuring out how to best use it.
Learning to use butter powder
This was my experience with butter powder. Fats and oils are one of the trickiest things to store because of their tendency to go rancid. Like all things stored in large #10 cans, the appeal of butter powder is in its shelf life, which can be up to five years under the right storage conditions. Compare this to regular butter, or even shortening, which can last up to 18 months.
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The first time I tried to cook something with butter powder, I tried it with sugar cookies. One of the primary ingredients is butter, and I figured if any recipe would be a good test of this particular food-storage product, sugar cookies would be it.
I hesitate to use the word “disaster,” but…well…if the shoe fits, right? The cookie dough had the consistency of cookie “batter,” and wouldn’t firm up no matter how long I refrigerated it. My kids and I adore taking “snitches” of cookie dough during the cookie-making process, but I was particularly unhappy with the taste. It was reminiscent of reconstituted powdered milk: somewhat “off,” but in a way that is difficult to quantify in words. When baked, the texture of my cookies resembled cake. That’s fine when you are baking a cake, but not so great when you are hoping for a batch of cookies.
Being a prepper, though, means you don’t let little things like that stop you. As previously mentioned, not every can of butter powder is created equal. While my first experience made me want to weep, subsequent experiments with butter powder were much more successful. For one thing, I discovered that even though the the label on the can said to reconstitute the powder with an equal amount of water, this was a big mistake – the result was far too runny and didn’t at all behave in cooking the way regular butter does. The trick, then, is to cut down the amount of added liquid so that your reconstituted butter has the consistency of butter. This alone will go a long way toward avoiding disaster cookies. Some even use a bit of vegetable oil when they reconstitute the powder.
Another lesson to take away from this: the whole point of butter powder is that it is supposed to taste and act like butter, that you will be able to bake cookies during times of emergency. Good butter powder does just that – you can put it on popcorn, in mashed potatoes, and cook with it to boot. The only thing it doesn’t do is melt in a pan. Therefore, if you are going to buy it at all, don’t get the cheapie kind – you will be disappointed. A high-quality product is absolutely worth the extra cost. If possible, buy it in smaller quantities, like a #2.5 can, and compare brands.
So how can you use butter powder?
- In baked goods
- Mixed in with mashed potatoes
- Combine it with honey for honey butter!
- Add to pancake mix
- Reconstitute as a spread for toast, muffins, and breads
- Combine with other savory seasonings as a popcorn topping
- Sprinkle it over hot, cooked veggies
- Add it to macaroni and cheese
Apple Crumb Cake
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/3 cup Thrive Life Scrambled Eggs
1 3/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup Thrive Life Apple Slices – chopped & rehydrated
In large bowl, blend all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased 9×13” baking dish.
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup Thrive Life Butter Powder
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In small bowl, mix all topping ingredients with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of cake. Bake at 375˚F for 25-30 minutes.
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