Tag Archive: cooking

Must-Have Canned Foods You may not Know Exist

14 Must-Have Canned Foods You Didn’t Know Existed

There’s a reason preppers and even just people who like a well-stocked pantry purchase canned goods. They hold up for a long time, years even. They’re generally easy to prepare, many items requiring no more preparation than a quick warming in order to make sure the food is free from harmful microorganisms. Cans also come ready to store, no extra prep needed to sock them away for long-term storage.

Plenty of staples like beans, soup, veggies, fruit, and pasta are commonly found in the average family’s pantry, and found in great quantities in preppers’ stores. Those staples would get boring quickly, though. If you’re looking to add some unique and exotic foods to your food storage for either variety in your diet or for trading, read on for a look at the following canned goods you didn’t know existed.

canned-brown-bread image

Bread- Canned bread is totally a thing, and it’s available in several different varieties. While it’s likely more practical to store ingredients to make your own bread for the long-term, canned bread could be a tasty, quick way to a full belly and to get some carbohydrates into your system. You can find Original and Raisin Brown Bread by B & M in many stores or online.

(B&M Brown Bread – plain and also B&M Brown Bread Raisin)

There is no cholesterol in this classic bread. While there’s no need to cook, you can slice it, toast it, bake it, microwave it*, or
use it for sandwiches with cheese and luncheon meats! You can also drop the can in boiling water after putting a hole in the can, and serve with butter. Made with water, whole wheat flour salt and corn oil, you’ll enjoy Brown Bread in a Can the New England way with the classic brick oven Boston baked beans.

Related: How to Make AmishSweet Bread


 

canned butter

Butter- Would you miss butter if you suddenly didn’t have access to the supermarket? No big deal, you can get that canned, too. There are a few brands of canned butter available, (canned butter) and it’s rather expensive since it’s not canned in the US. However, it’d be a lovely treat in a SHTF situation, and fat is a crucial part of the diet. For a less expensive canned butter, opt for powdered butter, instead.

     Related: Making Butter at Home,Like Our Grandparents


 

canned pudding image

Pudding- Canned pudding is more often found in Europe, but you can find it in stores in the US, too, as any buffet or cafeteria worker attest. Whatever your favorite type of pudding, it’s likely available in a can.  (Chocolate Pudding, Vanilla Pudding, Butterscotch Pudding)


 

canned cakeimageimage

Cake- A pudding in the European sense that refers more to a desert dish in general, you can get canned Spotted Dick made by Simpson’s. It’s essentially a sponge cake with spices and raisins. While it doesn’t quite fit into what we think of as a cake in everyday life, I bet it’d be an incredible birthday treat in a SHTF situation.                                                               


 

canned bacon

Bacon- Very few people don’t like bacon, so it’s great that Yoder makes it in a can for long-term storage. It’s salty, fatty, and flavorful, which makes it great for spicing up boring food made from more traditional prepper food items. You don’t need much of it to transform a pot of soup or some powdered eggs.


 

canned cheese

Cheese- While making your own cheese isn’t rocket science, there is a lot of actual science involved, and the raw materials needed may not be easy to come by. So, there’s canned cheese.While it’s not quite like what we think of as ‘real’ cheese, canned cheese has plenty of fat and flavor to be a worthwhile addition to your prepper’s pantry. Check out Kraft’s Prepared Pasteurized Cheddar cheese or Heinz’s Macaroni Cheese for reasonably priced options.  (Also Bega canned cheese when available)



canned hamburger imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Hamburger and other meats – Generally, people think of canned hamburger being home-canned. However, it’s available in cans from both Yoders and Keystone. There are even pre-seasoned canned hamburger products available, like the taco meat by Yoders.  (Ground Beef, turkey, pork, roast beef, pulled pork, chicken breast, chicken)

Related: Pressure-Canning Hamburger Meat for Long Term Preservation


 

canned chicken

Whole Chicken- Canned whole chicken, like those available from Sweet Sue, are good for more than just the meat. When the entire chicken is canned, all the gelatin and fat is preserved, allowing you to make a fantastic chicken soup. 

Related:  How To Can Chicken(Step By Step Guide With Pictures)


 

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Sandwiches- Also known as the Candwich, these canned sandwiches will be available in several different flavors. They haven’t quite hit the open market yet, but they’re coming! They come in a can about the size of a soda can with a peel off top. They’re perfect for on-the-go eating. 


 

canned potato salad

Potato Salad- Who knew this traditional, delicious picnic side was available in a can? Canned potato salad would be a good way to add a little flavor into your preps, and it can be eaten warm or chilled, making it a more versatile side dish than you’d possibly realized.                                

Related: How To Can Potatoes for Long Term Preservation


 

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Tamales- We’re talking whole tamales here. Simply heat these canned tamales up, maybe add some fresh veggies or canned cheese to them, and voila! You’ve created an entire meal by simply opening the can. These provide a ready-made meal in a solid form, which can have profound positive psychological impacts. While canned soup is great for filling you up and providing a decent balance, it’s simply not the most satisfying food out there. 


 

canned cheeseburgerimage

Cheeseburger- Made in Switzerland, these rather expensive canned cheeseburgers aren’t very practical, but they’re a fun addition to your preps. You simply boil the whole can and open for a tasty (that’s subjective, of course) cheeseburger.

 


 

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Escargot- Even if you don’t care much for fancy seafood, there are plenty of canned sea food items that could be great for bartering. Apart from escargot, you can find crab, lobster, clam, oysters, and other shellfish canned for long-term storage. 

 


 

canned duck confit

Duck Confit- Popular in France, canned duck with fat doesn’t seem terribly popular in the US. However, the high fat content in this canned dish could prove to be helpful in a SHTF situation. It’s great for soups and stews, and it adds a sumptuous touch that you won’t often find in the world of canned goods. 

 

 

 


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Peanut Butter- Peanut butter powder is a product that’s made by pressing roasted peanuts to remove most of the natural oils, and the remaining peanut “particles” are ground into a fine powder. Out with the oil/fat go many of the calories. You can reconstitute the powdered product to create lower-calorie, less-fat peanut butter, but the texture is not as smooth and creamy.

 


 

Whatever you goals, consider adding some non-conventional canned goods to your stores. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. We need a variety of foods to stay at our healthiest, and because of this, people generally want a bit of variety in their diet. The humor factor that many of the above items bring to the table shouldn’t be discounted, either. Psychological health will be remarkable important if society collapses or any disaster, as well, so attending to our psychological needs shouldn’t be overlooked. As is always the case with canned good storage, be sure you’re properly storing cans and rotating your stock as necessary.

 

Want more exotic foods? check out this list. From possum and rattlesnake to pork brains.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via:  askaprepper, happypreppers,


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Make Coffee From Chicory Root

Here’s my story of how I discovered a simple, common weed can be used to make coffee from chicory!

For several years, I’ve noticed a beautiful blue wildflower lining the road during the summer. It starts out looking like a weed, but when it blooms, the flower is the color of a Tanzanite gemstone. I’ve noticed that it also grows well along sidewalks, in gravel, or any other harsh environment you can think of. The plant is a dark green and is about 12-24 inches high. The bluish flower petals are flat at the ends, and slightly “fringed”. The leaves closest to the ground look exactly like dandelion. If you are looking for it on a sunny day, they are easy to see. But, on an overcast day or late afternoon, the flowers close up, and it’s harder to spot.

I decided to take some photos and find out what it was.

To my surprise, I found out it was chicory. I remembered hearing that it can be used to make a beverage similar to coffee, but wanted to learn more about it. I also wondered if it had any medicinal properties.


According to Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants & Herbs, the root can be mixed with water to make a diuretic or laxative. It’s used homeopathically for liver and gallbladder ailments, it can lower blood sugar, and has a slight sedative effect. Chicory root extracts have been shown to be antibacterial, and its tinctures have an anti-inflammatory effect. You can learn how to make your own tinctures fairly easily.

Next, I wanted to find out what parts of the plant were edible and how to use it to make “coffee”. I learned that its root must be dried and roasted before making a hot beverage. Its’ leaves are good for both salad and cooked greens. The white underground leaves are great as a salad green in the spring, and the outer green leaves can be boiled for 5-10 minutes and eaten. I decided to go dig up some roots and try roasting them for coffee.

Make coffee from chicory

I found plenty of chicory right around my house and along my street. I thought I could just pull them out of the ground but I was wrong.

It’s had been dry for the last week and we have a lot of clay soil, so I went and got a shovel. Once I started digging, I found some of the roots are very long. Many broke off as I tried to pry them up with my shovel, but I got a decent sized batch quickly.

I soaked them for a short time, then scrubbed the roots clean, and chopped off the rest of the plant. I put those parts in my garden to add to the compost, which is an ongoing project. I patted the roots dry, and sliced them up. I did have to get a heavier chopping knife because some of the roots have a center that is like wood. The really tough stuff, I just added to my garden, and the rest I put on a cookie sheet.

I thought I’d try roasting it slow and low. I turned my oven on to 250 degrees and watched it for a half hour or so. It seemed to dry out but not really “roast” the pieces. So, I turned up the heat to 350 degrees, and about 20-30 minutes later, a wonderful smell came from the oven. The root pieces were turning brown and smelled like chocolate, caramel and coffee, all in one. The darker it got, the better it smelled. Once I thought the chicory root was dark enough, I turned down the oven to 300 degrees, so it wouldn’t burn but just roast a little bit more. I would say the total time was about and hour and a half. I took the roasted root pieces out of the oven and let them cool to room temperature.

I took out my blender, and used the “chop” setting to grind up the roots. I checked on them after several seconds and found it was still too coarse, but once again, the smell was incredible. I think the blades created enough heat to warm the grounds and send the smell wafting up in the air. I knew I needed a finer grind, so I set the blender to “liquify”, and that worked much better. I ended up with a finer grind that almost had the appearance of cigarette tobacco.

I was finally ready to brew a cup of chicory coffee! I added 2 teaspoons into my coffee filter and add enough water to the pot for one cup of coffee. I watched it brew, and it looks dark, just like regular coffee. By the way, in a power outage, a French Press is highly recommended for every coffee lover. You can get one for less than $30, and it’s worth every penny.

Now, the taste test. First, I tried it black. It tastes just like a strong black coffee (too much chicory?) but with a definite mocha, possibly caramel flavor. I may have used too much chicory, so next time I’ll use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons per cup when I brew.

Since I don’t normally drink black coffee, I added a tiny bit of stevia and some Coffee Mate to this aromatic concoction. Oh, my, GOSH!!!!! This is like a fabulous cup of coffee from a pricey coffee house. I really thought it wouldn’t be this good. I can’t wait to go out and gather more chicory root! If SHTF, this will be priceless. There is no caffeine in this drink, so you can have a warm beverage, late at night. I had no idea how easy it would be to make coffee from chicory.

I highly recommend foraging for this wonderful and amazing plant. I can’t believe we’ve lost so much knowledge over the years about living off the land. We all should learn foraging skills. This coffee alternative is free, abundant, delicious, and a great barter item. Better yet, just try it now to enjoy, but save some for yourself for later!

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: thesurvivalmom


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How to Make Homemade Artisanal Jam Without Pectin

Nothing is more of a summer tradition here at our house than making enough homemade jam from fresh fruit to see us through the winter. Get some fruit, some sugar, and a box of pectin and you’re good to go, right? Not so fast! You can actually make jam without pectin if you use my favorite old-fashioned method of thickening your product.

Why You Might Want to Make Your Jam WITHOUT Pectin

As the name of this website implies, we like to keep things nourishing and natural.  A while back, I spent some time reading up on store-bought pectin and I was very unhappy to discover the jams I had been making for my family have been tainted with GMOs. I had unknowingly been contaminating the carefully sourced fruit and pricey turbinado sugar with the very things I strive to avoid, and I hadn’t even given it a second thought.

Most brands exclaim breathlessly, “All natural pectin” or “Made from real fruit”.  And this is true – it does originate from fruit. Sound okay, right? Don’t be deceived.  This misleading label makes it sound as though this is nothing more than some powdered fruit.

Here’s the label from the Ball pectin that was lurking in my pantry.


Storebought pectin contains additives that are most likely genetically modified.  Dextrose is generally made from corn products (GMOs that are absolutely SOAKED in glyphosate).  It is made from cornstarch, the main ingredient in good old High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Don’t let anyone tell you that citric acid is “just Vitamin C”.  It is derived from GMO mold.

Not only does store-bought pectin contain unsavory ingredients, but it is also very highly processed. According to Wikipedia, this is how it is produced:

The main raw materials for pectin production are dried citrus peel or apple pomace, both by-products of juice production. Pomace from sugar beet is also used to a small extent.

From these materials, pectin is extracted by adding hot dilute acid at pH-values from 1.5 – 3.5. During several hours of extraction, the protopectin loses some of its branching and chain length and goes into solution. After filtering, the extract is concentrated in vacuum and the pectin then precipitated by adding ethanol or isopropanol. An old technique of precipitating pectin with aluminium salts is no longer used (apart from alcohols and polyvalent cations, pectin also precipitates with proteins and detergents).

Alcohol-precipitated pectin is then separated, washed and dried. Treating the initial pectin with dilute acid leads to low-esterified pectins. When this process includes ammonium hydroxide, amidated pectins are obtained. After drying and milling, pectin is usually standardised with sugar and sometimes calcium salts or organic acids to have optimum performance in a particular application. (source)

So, if you want to avoid GMOs and processed foods, what’s a homemade-jam making mama to do?

Jam has been around for thousands of years.  The first known book of jam recipes was written in Rome in the 1st century (source). Since, I’m pretty sure our ancestors didn’t have those handy little boxes of Sure-Jell or RealFruit or Certositting in their pantries, I set out to learn how they made a thick delicious preserve to spread on their biscuits.

My first attempt at breaking up with the box was to make my own pectin with green apples. While I ended up with a tasty product, it wasn’t really jam-like.  It’s possible, considering the time of year, that the apples were too ripe to allow this to work for me. You can find instructions on how to make your own pectin from apples HERE.

I continued to read recipes and methods from days gone by. It soon became clear that adding pectin wasn’t really necessary at all. In days past, the sugar and the fruit worked hand-in-hand to create the desired consistency. If you are determined to use pectin (some fancier jams are nicer with a thicker set-up) I strongly recommend Pomona’s Universal Pectin, a non-GMO, non-toxic pectin.  Don’t be put off by the higher price – you can get several batches of jam from one packet of pectin, so it works out to a similar cost as the yucky stuff.

I combined bits from a few different methods and finally came up with a jam that the entire family was happy with. In comparison with the boxed pectin jam, it doesn’t gel quite as much, but after trying this jam, the texture of the other now seems slightly artificial to me. This produces an artisanal jam, a softer preserve with an incredibly intense fruit flavor. When using this method, you don’t get that layer of foam that you have to skim off the top like you do with the boxed pectin method. And best of all, you get two products for the price of one. You’ll have an additional sweet juice or syrup at the end of your process.

How to Make Jam without Pectin

First of all, I want to encourage you not to be deterred by the lengthy amount of time to make this jam. Very little of that time is spent hands-on. Nearly all of it is draining time. You’ll end up cooking your fruit down for far less time than the standard pectin-included method, and your fruit will taste fruitier because it’s so concentrated. Give it a try! You’ll be hooked!

  • 7 pounds of fresh or frozen fruit (approximately 14-20 cups)
  • ¼ cup of lemon or lime juice
  • 3-5 cups + 2 tbsp of sugar (I’ve varied this and have even used no sugar at all, but this seems to be the happy place for my family’s preferences)
  • A piece of clean, non-linty cotton fabric for draining (I used a flour sack towel. This will be permanently stained, so don’t use something you want to keep pretty.)

Directions:

  1. Prepare your fruit.  For berries, this means washing them and sorting them, removing little leaves and twigs, as well as berries that are shriveled.  For fruits like apples or peaches, this might mean blanching and peeling them, then removing the cores. Leave the odd green bit of fruit in, because less ripe fruit has more naturally occurring pectin than ripe fruit.
  2. Mash, finely chop, or puree your fruit.  I used a blender to puree half of the fruit, and a food processor to finely chop the other half. We prefer a rough puree texture.
  3. Pour this into a large crock or non-reactive bowl, layering your fruit with half of the sugar.  I use the ceramic insert from my crock-pot for this.
  4. Leave the fruit and sugar mixture in your refrigerator overnight.  The juice from the fruit will combine with the sugar and form a slightly gelled texture. Some liquid will separate from the sugar and fruit.
  5. The next day, line a colander with a flour sack towel.  Place the colander into a pot to catch the liquid from the fruit and sugar mixture. Pour your fruit and sugar mixture into the fabric-lined colander. Put this back in the refrigerator for at least an hour to drain. You can let it drain for longer with no ill effect – in fact this will result in an even thicker jam.

    From this point on, you’ll be making two separate products: jam and fruit syrup.

  6. When you’re ready to make jam, scoop the fruit out of the fabric-lined colander and place it in a pot with lots of open area to help it cook down faster. (This gives more space for the liquid to evaporate.)
  7. The liquid that you caught in the other pot is the basis for your fruit syrup.  You’ll have about 1-2 pints of liquid.  Place that on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and a tbsp of lemon juice per pint and reduce heat to a simmer. I like to add one big spoonful of jam to this to add a little texture to the syrup.
  8. Meanwhile, on another burner, add lemon juice and bring your fruit and sugar mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently. After about an hour, the texture will have thickened. If you still have a great deal of liquid, you can use a fabric lined sieve to strain some more out. (You can add this liquid to the syrup.)
  9.  Fill sanitized jars with your products (syrup or jam).  Process the jam in a water bath canner, according to the type of fruit you are canning and making adjustments for your altitude.  Refer to the chart below for processing times.

    And there you have it…it’s easy to make an intensely fruity artisanal jam without pectin!

    Universal Jam Making Chart

    The processing times are based on sea level. Adjust these times based on your altitude.

    FRUIT

    SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

    PROCESSING TIME

    Apricot Peel, slice in half to pit 5 minutes
    Blackberry optional step: mill to remove seeds 10 minutes
    Blueberry optional step: puree 7 minutes
    Cherry Pit with a cherry pitter, chop before cooking 10 minutes
    Grape Mill to remove seeds 10 minutes
    Huckleberry Check for stems 10 minutes
    Peach Peel, slice in half to remove pits 10 minutes
    Plum Slice in half to remove pits 5 minutes
    Raspberry Crush with a potato masher 10 minutes
    Strawberry Remove cores, mash with a potato masher 10 minutes

    Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

    Via: theorganicprepper


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Expiration Dates Explained

When dealing with with food storage, we always check expiration dates and try to get the furthest expiration date possible.  But product dates can get confusing, as various descriptions appear in different types of food.

Difference between “Best By,”  “Sell by,” “Use by” or just plain “Expiration Date”

Here’s a handy infographic from Kitchen Sanity (www.kitchensanity.com) that helps sort it out:

For more information on expiration dates, check out these articles:

 Is Expired Food Safe to Eat?

Is Expired Bottled Water Safe to Drink?

Read this Before You Toss Out Expired Medications

There are definitely a lot of considerations when it comes to deciding whether to keep or toss.   I’ve also seen foods, especially dairy that have gone bad even before the expiration date is reached.  If you see, smell, taste food that seems bad, just get rid of it.  I prefer to be cautious in this regard.  “When in doubt, throw it out.” is a safe bet.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: apartmentprepper


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How to Make Cheese from Powdered Milk

As a prepper you may have buckets and buckets of powdered milk stored. Many of us hate the taste of powdered milk. It’s cheaper to buy this bulk and store it in a 5 gallon bucket, then you can not only make milk, you can make cheese too.

It’s really easy to do and tastes pretty good too. If SHTF, I guess any cheese would be better than no cheese. This also gives you something else to use your powdered milk for other than drinking. As we all know powdered milk isn’t the best tasting drink in the world!

You can try making this from a small box of powdered milk which will cost you about 3 bucks. Then you can see how tasty this actually is without spending a fortune.

Here’s another recipe I wanted to test out that puts to use the buckets of powdered milk I have stored. Remember if you are constantly rotating your stored food (especially the 3-month food supply) not only will you greatly reduce the chance of anything going bad, but you’ll actually be learning to use your bulk-stored food and eating what you store — some of the most important rules in food storage.

To make cheese from powdered milk is an easy process (unexpected since I never had any experience making cheese before this). Here’s how it works:

What You’ll Need

  • Powdered Milk
  • Water
  • Cooking Pot
  • White Vinegar or Lemon Juice
  • Cheesecloth or Clean Cotton T-Shirt

    How to Make Cheese from Powdered Milk

  • I used a small amount of ingredients so I could test it out first before using the full recipe. The full recipe calls for:
  • 3 cups powdered milk
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup plain white vinegar
  • In my instructions I quartered this recipe as follows:
    Step 1: Mix together 3/4 cups of powdered milk with 1 1/2 cups of cold water in a cooking pot. Stir until dissolved.
    Step 2: Stir milk over a medium-low to medium temperature until it becomes hot to the touch but not scalding (this should be around 140º if you’ve got a cooking thermometer)
    Step 3: Maintaining the same temperature, stir in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. You should immediately begin to see the curds separating from the whey.
    Step 4: Continue cooking to allow the curds to separate from the whey. After a few minutes there should be large globs (if that’s a real word :)) of curds in an amber pool of whey. If it’s still too milky, add another tablespoon of vinegar, stir and cook it on medium to medium-low heat until the curds completely separate from the whey.
    Step 5: Pour the curds and whey into a colander lined with a clean cloth, cotton t-shirt or cheesecloth to drain off the whey (this sweet liquid can be used in the place of water in other baking recipes so drain it into a bowl if desired).
    Step 6: Taking the cloth or cheesecloth (a t-shirt in my example) squeeze the curds to press out any remaining whey.
    Step 7: Rinse the curdswhich is essentially ricotta cheese (I’ve been informed that this is more a paneer style cheese and not ricotta. Ricotta is made by further processing the poured-off whey. For more instructions into this, check out the links in some of the comments below) at this pointunder cool water and eat fresh or store in the fridge.

    Conclusion


    What you should be left with is about the same amount of curds as you measured out in powdered milk.

    Since I used 3/4 cup of powdered milk in the above recipe, it resulted in about 3/4 cup of curds — so plan your recipes accordingly.

    I was really excited when learning this, since I love lasagna. Pasta as well as tomato sauce — in the form of canned tomatoes (or powdered tomatoes) — stores very well, but fresh cheese doesn’t. Now that I know how to make fresh cheese easily from my stored powdered milk, even lasagna can be enjoyed during the end of the world.

    The cheese you make here is more of a paneer style cheese not a ricotta. Ricotta is actually made from the whey. So you could go on to make ricotta from the left over whey you got here and then get more use from your milk by having the nice cheese you made plus ricotta.

    This link to guide anyone who is interested on how to make ricotta.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Ricotta-Cheese

    Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

    Via: tacticalintelligence


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What Is Honey Powder & How Do I Use It?

Honey powder is a food item that has become popular in food storage circles. It’s grown in popularity because of its versatility (use it as you would any other powdered sweetener), it’s very long shelf life (up to 30 years when stored properly), and the fact that a little goes a long way.

Honey powder is simply dehydrated honey. Depending on the brand you buy, some sort of stabilizer will have been added in order to keep the powder from clumping. You may see that fructose or even starch has been added in order to create a shelf stable product.

Honey powder, available from Augason Farms, comes in large #10 cans or plastic bags. As long as the honey is stored in a cool, dry location, it will have a very long shelf life. Honey powder purchased in a plastic bag should be repackaged in order to avoid the damage done by humidity, light, and oxygen. One way to repackage honey powder is by using a Food Saver machine, canning jars, and a jar sealer attachment as explained in this video:

Put honey powder to use in seasoning rubs, sprinkled over oatmeal or other hot or cold cereal, mixed in with iced tea or lemonade, or added to recipes that call for honey. It can be rehydrated for a sweet, honey drizzle over French toast, pancakes, or muffins. Yumm!

These two recipes from Augason Farms incorporate honey powder as either an ingredient in the recipe itself or rehydrate to create a honey syrup.

Honey Scones

6 cups Augason Farms Honey White Bread & Roll Mix
2 ¼ cups warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
1/3 cup oil

Instructions

Combine bread mix, yeast, water, and oil. Knead until smooth and elastic, or mix 10-12 minutes using dough hook on 2nd speed (3 speed mixer).

Cover and let rest for 20 minutes, roll out and cut.

Fry at 375°F. Turn when golden brown on the underneath side, fry until golden brown.

Serve with Augason Farms Honey Powder, rehydrated according to package directions.

Yield: 24 scones

Whole Wheat Nut Muffins

1 egg
3 tablespoons Augason Farms Country Fresh 100% Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup Augason Farms Honey Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Sugar or sugar-cinnamon mixture – optional

Grease bottoms only of muffin pan.

Beat egg and stir in next six ingredients. Mix well.

Add flour and baking powder and stir just until flour is moistened. Do not over mix.

Fill cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle with sugar or sugar-cinnamon mixture if desired.

Bake at 400˚F for 10 minutes.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: thesurvivalmom


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How To Make Homemade Masa & Corn Tortillas


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 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 yellowwhite, 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

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-photo shopped 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!

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: thesurvivalmom


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Surprising Facts About Corn, Popcorn, And Malnutrition


This is the first in a two-part series addressing the practice of making homemade cornmeal out of popcorn. In this first part I will address the dietetic science that shows why this is a bad idea and some surprising facts about corn, popcorn and malnutrition. The second part will address other things that can be done with corn that are much better for you than grinding it into cornmeal.

All about corn, popcorn, and malnutrition

Regular pre-ground cornmeal has a relatively short shelf-life. Five years is the usual rule of thumb. Unpopped popcorn, however, can be stored for decades under the right conditions. Someone put two and two together and figured that grinding popcorn into cornmeal as needed would be a decent solution to this problem. I’ve heard people insist that it is more nutritious than cornmeal from the store, “…which has the bran removed,” and that it tastes better.

I must admit that I have not tried it myself, so I can’t say that I can speak with authority about the taste, but I will tell you that it is not nutritious. In fact, if you made ground popcorn your primary staple you will put yourself at risk for contracting a lovely little disease called pellagraPellagra and its relationship with corn is one of those things that intersects food, history, and science.

Popped popcorn, when it is not smothered in fake butter and preservatives, is very good for you. It is high in niacin and fiber, and low in calories. Corn tortillas made from cornmeal, have undergone processing of their own and are similarly nutritious. The peoples of Pre-Columbian America built their empires on corn.

If a corn tortilla is good for you, corn muffins from ground popcorn must be just as good, right? Wrong.

Prior to processing, the nutrients found in corn, niacin, in particular, are inaccessible to the human body. In order for our bodies to absorb all the good stuff, corn must be either cooked with an alkali to form nixtamal (pronounced “neesh-tamal”), or popped. Eating corn meal from unnixtamalized field corn or unpopped popcorn is nutritionally equivalent to eating a cardboard box.

When corn was first brought back to Europe from the New World, Europeans really liked the idea of eating corn. Unfortunately, they didn’t understand the value of nixtamalization. To them, it was an unnecessary step. In places where corn became the primary staple, people started getting this “strange disease” that caused skin lesions, neurological problems, and death. This disease was pellagra. In the Southern United States alone, pellagra accounted for more than 100,000 deaths. Pellagra was also widespread in Spain, France, and Italy. Only in the early 20th Century did scientists figure out that pellagra was caused not by a toxin found in corn, as previously thought, but a niacin deficiency.

This is the reason why food companies fortify our breakfast cereals. If you grab a box of cornflakes, in particular, or regular store bought cornmeal, you’ll find niacin and folic acid on the list of ingredients. This does not constitute the native vitamins already found in corn, but synthetics that are sprayed on. Those spray-on vitamins are both a good and a bad thing. Good because when the FDA began to require niacin fortification in cornmeal, pellagra all but disappeared in the United States. Bad because there is some concern that synthetic vitamins do not behave the same way inside the human body.

Additionally, many nutritionists caution against eating highly processed foods that have more than 5-10 ingredients on the label, which leads some to actively search out unfortified corn products. Thrive Life Cornmeal, for example, lists only one ingredient on its cans of cornmeal: Ground Yellow Dent Corn.

This is not a step towards better health

Grinding popcorn for cornmeal is not going to be any better for you than grinding dent corn. In fact, it would be worse because the structure of a popcorn kernel is different from a dent corn kernel. Popcorn has a much thicker pericarp – that’s the bit that gets stuck in your teeth – and a much smaller amount of starch per kernel.

If you have a reasonably well-balanced diet, it’s unlikely that you or anyone you know will actually develop pellagra and die from the odd batch of cornmeal made from unfortified corn. But don’t kid yourself: cornmeal, and especially popcorn cornmeal, is empty calories. That’s a luxury that will come at too high a price in a survival situation, where you must make every calorie count towards optimal nutrition.

Cornmeal in your food storage pantry isn’t a bad thing, but add other foods rich in Vitamin B3 and, in fact, B3 nutritional supplements as well. Food to consider are:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Coffee
  • Meat, chicken, and tuna
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Sunflower Seeds

    This is not to say that you should not store popcorn at all. When properly stored, popcorn can have a shelf-life of 15-20 years. Be sure to also store a small amount of (regularly rotated!) cooking oil or other fat along with it, so that you can pop it.

    Stay tuned for my Part Two popcorn article, in which I will talk a little more about what you can (and should!) do with corn that will keep you well-fed and healthy: nixtamalization, masa, and tortillas.

    For further reading, I recommend, Red Madness by Gail Jarrow, about Pellagra in the deep South and “Pellagra: Curse of the Unprepared“, an article by Liz Bennett.

     

    Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

     

    Via: thesurvivalmom

     


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How To Make Self Rising Flour

Self rising flour does not require yeast. Dry yeast has an approximate shelf life of about 4 months after it’s opened (and if kept refrigerated) while the shelf life of the key ingredient in self rising flour is about 2 years and does not require refrigeration.

Sounds pretty good for preparedness and/or making edible biscuits without yeast…

The key ingredient to self rising flour is baking powder. Baking powder is a leavening agent that releases carbon dioxide when moistened. This produces air bubbles in baked goods which cause them to expand and become lighter while baking.

Technical:

Baking powder contains three ingredients:

Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
Monocalcium phosphate (acid salt)
Cornstarch (filler and moisture absorbent)

Baking powder works by releasing tiny carbon dioxide gas bubbles into a batter or dough through a reaction between the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and acid/salt (monocalcium phosphate) when exposed to moisture, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and thus leavening the mixture.

A beneficial aspect to utilizing baking powder to make a self rising flour is that it does not require refrigeration. It’s not a living organism like yeast. So long as you keep it dry, the unopened shelf life is up to several years and once opened it’s good for about 6 months at room temperature.

To test your baking powder, add about 1/2 tsp to some hot water in a cup. If it foams and bubbles, it has enough zip left. If it just sits there, well, it’s no good…

Self Rising Flour Recipe

To make 1 cup of self rising flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir/mix until well blended together. That’s it!

Self Rising Flour Biscuits Recipe

In the spirit of cross-training in the kitchen, I decided to try my hand at making something edible from my self rising flour. I actually surprised myself by successfully making a simple but tasty batch of biscuits.

All the ingredients used required no refrigeration, making this a reasonable food source for post-SHTF. I only cheated by using the oven for baking. However you could substitute by cooking over a fire (dutch oven?), or using a solar oven, or even improvising by using a covered pan on low heat over a hot burner.

This makes 8 or 9 biscuits.
First mix all the dry ingredients well.

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup sugar
4 tbsp powdered butter (or 1/4-cup real butter)
1 tbsp powdered egg (or 1 real egg)

Then add 1 cup water and mix well.

This will produce a sticky blend of dough. Unlike a yeast mixture, the self-rising-flour does not ‘rise’ prior to cooking. The rise will happen as it cooks. I spooned the mixture into foil baking cups (they will stick to the paper ones) and set them in cupcake trays. I suppose you could use and shape aluminum foil in a pinch, or you could even spread the batter mixture into a do-it-yourself foil ‘cake’.

Bake at 375-degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden.

It doesn’t rise like a traditional loaf of bread would, but it makes for a decent tasty biscuit…

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via: modernsurvivalblog


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Homemade Yogurt from Powdered Milk

We must, all of us, be honest. How many of you really enjoy drinking reconstituted powdered milk? Not me!

On the occasions when I have had to drink it, it was with the deepest loathing. It has that stale “powdered milk” taste, and leaves the uncomfortable feeling I am really drinking white water. I think I speak for the majority of us when I say, Ick!

I have a much better use for powdered milk, turning it into homemade yogurt!

I bet some of you are thinking, “Ugh, that sounds pretty complicated. I’m sure it’s not for me.” Don’t despair! While some advocate carefully monitoring the temperature of your milk through the whole process, using special equipment, I am much more laid back. I have been making yogurt on a regular basis for a few years now and have had great success.

The end product is smooth, tasty and completely devoid of all the characteristics I so hate about powdered milk. Once you try this, you will want to make it all the time! This recipe makes eight cups.

Ingredients:

You will need:

1/2 cup yogurt (your “starter”) – This needs to be yogurt with LIVE bacterial cultures. It can be plain grocery store yogurt or 1/2 cup of yogurt from your own last batch. If using your own yogurt, it will have to be less than two weeks old. Any older than that and the cultures die off and the old yogurt will not properly inoculate your milk to turn it into new yogurt. As an alternative to actual yogurt, cheese supply companies sell powdered bacterial cultures that are specifically formulated for yogurt-making. These will keep in your freezer for up to a year.


Enough milk powder to make eight cups when reconstituted – A quick word here about what kind of powdered milk to use: There are many different brands on the market. I’ve tried several different kinds and some work better than others.

To make sure your yogurt is smooth and creamy instead of grainy or chunky, use a brand that is smooth and fine in texture while it is still in powdered form, similar to powdered sugar or white flour. Grainy milk powder will make grainy yogurt. I use a non-name brand that says to use 3 Tbsp of powder for every cup of water. When making yogurt, I round it up a bit and use 1 1/2 cups of powder for my yogurt recipe.

Eight cups of water

A crock pot – If you have a yogurt maker, you can also use it. You may also be able to find online tutorials that use an electric heating pad or a dehydrator. I understand that these methods also work well. I have always used a crock pot and have never gone wrong, so this tutorial will discuss that method.

A whisk

A food thermometer

Method:

1) Put eight cups of water in your crock pot and then add your milk powder and whisk it vigorously until all lumps are gone. If you miss a teeny little lump or two, it’s not a big deal. Put the cover on your crock pot and leave it on low heat for three hours, after which your milk should be in the neighborhood of 180 degrees F.

2) When your milk has come up to temperature and /or has spent the appropriate amount of time in your crock pot, turn off the heat and unplug it. (Unplugging it is very important if you live in a house with little children who live for toggling knobs and pushing buttons that should not be pushed.) Leave it to cool down for about 2 hrs and 45 minutes, when it is at around 110 degrees. Do use a food thermometer at each step to make sure it’s at the correct temperature.

3) Now, take one cup of warm milk from your crock pot and put it in a bowl with your yogurt starter, to temper your inoculant. Whisk it together until it is smooth, pour it all back into the crock pot and stir it together.

4) Cover the crock pot with a beach towel to hold in the heat and let it sit for about 6-8 hours. You might think that a measly little towel isn’t enough to keep it warm – trust me, it is. If you peek under the crock pot lid after a couple of hours, you will be greeted by a warm, slightly sour yogurty smell that will tell you that the live bacteria are doing their little microscopic jobs.

5) After your yogurt has sat on the counter under the towel for the prescribed amount of time, move the crock into the fridge overnight. You might be tempted to stir it a bit at this point, but this is not recommended. In fact, this is a good way to get grainy yogurt. For best results, don’t disturb the gel until it has completely cooled.

Great! Now What Do I Do With Half A Gallon Of Homemade Yogurt?

My children love this stuff and have been known to go through a whole batch in less than four days. One of my sons prefers it with homemade jam, and the other likes it with a bit of vanilla extract and some sugar for sweetening. I also use it to make naan, a variety of Indian flat bread. It can be drained in cheesecloth to make Greek yogurt or even yogurt cheese.

I want to emphasize that none of these instructions are hard and fast rules. I have sometimes left the milk warming in the crock pot for four hours instead of three, and one more than one occasion I have left the crock pot on the counter overnight! It still has turned out fine

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via :  thesurvivalmom

 


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