Tag Archive: food

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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5 Great Reasons You Need To Be Preparing. We Are Living In Times Of Total Unpredictability

One thing we know for sure about these times that we are living in is that they are totally unpredictable. It’s not just the weather that can cause immediate change. Unpredictability can be found in our current political, social, economic, and financial situations facing our country.

There are many things happening right now that could set off a domino effect, and through us into total chaos. We hope it doesn’t happen, however putting our head in the sand doesn’t make it any better. We thought these 5 reasons to start preparing might at the very least be food for thought.

5 Great Reasons To Start Preparing Now

  1. Climate change – We have all witnessed the super storms, the tsunamis, and the widespread droughts that have been relentlessly battering America. Some are blaming harmful emissions and pollutants, while others feel it is from forced geopolitical warfare. Either way, the shift in our climate has created a food crises where food prices are rising dramatically due to shortages.
  2. Economic uncertainty – The Great Recession is acknowledged as the most devastating global economic crisis since the Great Depression. Unemployment, prolonged economic stagnation and price inflation are issues that can strike at the very core of a family’s stability. The sluggish economy caused many to quickly adapt to tighter budgets and now have less savings to fall back on. Naturally when this occurs, people become concerned with their family’s wellbeing and they want to protect themselves from the outcome.

 

  1. Epidemics – We are witnessing an unparalleled rise in infectious diseases. Many of these epidemics can be caused from poor sanitary conditions following natural disasters, such as the cholera epidemic that occurred shortly after the Haitian earthquake in 2010. According to WHO, the number of weather-related natural emergencies has more than tripled since the 1960s. When there is a sharp rise in severe weather-related events, there is also an increase in infectious diseases. Further, due to the increased consumption of unhealthy commodities such as junk food, soda, alcohol and tobacco, health-related epidemics are becoming an issue of concern.
  2. Political upheaval – Due to the political polarization in Washington, any form of progress has come to a screeching halt. To make matters worse, laws are being put into effect that take away the rights that have made America great. This is causing many issues with the political structure and if things don’t change, will cause this political upheaval to worsen.
  3. Societal downturns – Our society is in at a critical point. Social media and “reality” television have dumbed down our children resulting in a lack of discipline and an inability to focus on making responsible choices. Further, because of the need for two paychecks in order for households to pay the bills, the absence of parents present in the home are causing children to be left alone more frequently. This is causing a sharp increase in delinquency, teen pregnancy, lack of morals and low interest in education. The result is mob attacks, bullying, young single mothers and these things are causing our society to plummet.

Many believe these issues are the perfect recipe for catastrophe. While we can theorize about what may or may not happen, we need to understand that we are operating on limited information. Logically speaking, the best way to prepare for the unpredictable nature of these types of scenarios is by getting ready for them and making preparations ahead of time. Read More: Stayingprepared.net

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via:  thegoodsurvivalist


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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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In Venezuela, a Box of Pasta Can Cost $300 — And That’s Not Even the Worst of It

Imagine devoting your entire month’s paycheck just to get a few eggs and a couple of bags of pasta. This is the unfortunate reality for many of Venezuela’s 30 million residents, Vox recently reported. The country is currently in the midst of a massive political and economic collapse that has left the population hungry and in dire need of food.

Venezuela’s inflation rates are currently the highest in the world, Vox wrote, and some economic analysts expect the inflation rate to hit 2,200% by the end of 2017. As a result, the bolívar, Venezuela’s currency, has been significantly devalued, making it more difficult and more expensive for the government and retail stores to purchase food to stock shelves. This has led to steep price tags and lack of access to basic needs.

There are three types of markets where people can buy food in Venezuela. There are government-owned stores that offer food at a subsidized price, which makes them more affordable. These stores implement strict rules, however, CNN noted. Customers can only buy food on a certain day of the week, and they often have to stand in lines for hours — with no guarantee that there will be food left to purchase. Another option is the private supermarket, which is more expensive and still faces the same shortage issues.


People waiting in line to go grocery shoppingSource: Juan Barreto/Getty Images

The last option is to buy food on the black market, a method that CNN reported is “illegal and can be dangerous.” This option is also incredibly expensive: Oftentimes, an item can cost about 15 times more than it would cost at the government-owned markets.

When the national minimum wage is about 15,000 bolívars per month, or about $1,507.58 USD, black market prices are nearly impossible to afford. One bag of pasta can go for the equivalent of more than $300 USD dollars when purchased through illegal means, CNN noted. That equates to about one fifth of a minimum wage salary, and provides just a few meals-worth of food. A bag of pasta of the same size costs just a few dollars in the U.S. It’s worth nothing that, according to a 2015 study, 76% of Venezuelan citizens are living in poverty when it comes to income, the Wall Street Journal reported.

(Venezuela has multiple exchange rates, Bloomberg noted. Because of this, the financial website estimated in October 2015 that the monthly minimum wage is actually closer to $13 USD per month. For consistency’s sake, Mic used the official exchange rate of 10 bolívars to the U.S. dollar for this piece.)

While the country has turned to other means to bring food into the country — such as letting Jamaica pay off its oil debts with food, according to the Independent — it looks like food prices, and hunger rates, will remain sky high for the near future.

Here’s a look at just how costly basic groceries sold in Venezuela’s black market can be:

1. Powdered Milk


The cost of powdered milk. Source: Walmart

Fresh milk is nearly impossible to find in Venezuela right now, CNN noted, so many are turning to powdered milk instead. Though it didn’t specify, assuming CNN used the same weight for its powdered milk evaluation as it did for pasta and flour, a kilogram goes for 7,000 bolivares ($703.54 USD), or nearly half of a minimum wage monthly paycheck, on the black market. Two pounds of powdered milk, which is just under one kilogram, goes for $7.24. This means for the price of one box of powdered milk in Venezuela, people in the U.S. can purchase 97.2 boxes.

2. Maize Flour


The cost of arepa or maize flour. Source: Amazon

Arepas, or stuffed, thick-tortilla like sandwiches, are a staple in Venezuela. They are made from maize flour, which can cost about 3,000 bolivares ($301.50 USD) for just one kilogram of the flour, CNN noted. The same sized bag goes for about $9.27 on Amazon in the U.S. This means that for the price of one bag of flour in Venezuela, people in the U.S. can buy 32.5 bags of flour.

3. Pasta


The cost of pasta. Source: Amazon

Pasta is an affordable staple in the U.S where two pounds (which is approximately one kilogram) is just $2.50. In Venezuela, a kilogram of pasta currently sells for 3,000 bolivares ($301.50 USD) on the black market, CNN reported. This means for the price of one box of pasta in Venezuela, people in the U.S. can buy 120.6 boxes.

4. Eggs


The cost of a dozen eggs. Source: ekkachai /Shutterstock

When people talk about affordable sources of protein, eggs are often first on the list. Unfortunately in Venezuela, a dozen eggs can cost 1,500 bolivares ($150.76 USD) on the black market, the Los Angeles Times noted. In the U.S., the average price of 12 eggs is just $1.49. This means that for the price of one dozen eggs in Venezuela, people in the U.S. can buy 101 dozen eggs.

5. Watermelon


The cost of watermelon. Source: topsellers/Shutterstock

While fresh produce is hard to find in Venezuela right now, when it is available it is expensive. Watermelon from a government subsidized store can go for 400 bolivares ($40 USD), the L.A. Times reported. It likely costs much more than that on the black market. In the U.S., watermelons cost just $4.99 at a number of Sam’s Clubs locations. This means for the price of one watermelon in Venezuela, you can purchase 8 watermelons in the U.S.

6. Coffee


The cost of ground coffee. Source: elisekurenbia/Shutterstock

Every once in awhile, a fancy coffee shop will sling a $16 cup of coffee, but for the most part coffee tends to be affordable — unless you live in Venezuela. According to Forbes, a 1/2 kilogram bag of ground coffee goes for 2,000 bolivares ($201 USD) on the black market. In the U.S., it’s possible to purchase a one-pound bag (which is just a little less than half a kilogram) for $19.88 on Amazon. This means that for the price of one bag of coffee in Venezuela, people in the U.S. can purchase 10.1 bags of coffee.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: mic


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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.

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Via: apartmentprepper


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10 Survival Uses for Blackberries


Summer is here, and so are the blackberries!

These dark berries are like sweet little gems from the wild. They are a delicious and nutritious source of food that we can forage almost anywhere, since they are found around the Northern Hemisphere. But there’s more to these berries than just a snack. Here are ten ways these plants can help you survive when times get tough.

1. Leaf tea

Blackberry leaves are a common herbal tea ingredient (particularly for the Celestial Seasonings company). Steep one teaspoon of dried leaf in one cup of hot water for 10 minutes, sweeten (if you have sweetener) and enjoy. This can boost morale, warm the belly and hide the flavor of an “off” water source.

2. Diarrhea remedy

The leaf tea can also be drunk repeatedly to help diminish the symptoms of diarrhea. Steep two teaspoons of dried leaf per cup of hot water. Start with half a cup every hour, and continue until the ailment improves. And if the leaf tea isn’t getting the job done, steep one ounce of fresh blackberry root in a cup of hot water and drink half of a cup per hour.

3. Flower petals

The fragrant white petals can be added to salads and other dishes. They don’t contain many calories, but they can make those bitter wild greens taste much better.

4. Perimeter alarm

Carefully tie up the thorn-covered strands of blackberry stalk to block the trails at night. This can give you a perimeter alarm around your camp. When any two-legged and tender-skinned predators hit the thorns in the dark, they’ll have a hard time staying silent.

5. Trap guidance 

Need to funnel a game animal into your snare noose or foothold? A wall or carpet of prickly blackberry stalks can direct their movement and guide them into the trap.

6. Pemmican ingredient

Dried berries are an ancient and traditional ingredient in Native American pemmican recipes. These “meatballs” are typically a blend of powdered jerky, dried berries and rendered fat. Rolled into balls and eaten as trail food, pemmican provides a massive amount of calories (thanks to the fat), and it supplies protein and carbohydrates, too.

7. Hand drill spindle

Need to make a friction fire? While de-thorned blackberry stalks aren’t the best hand drill spindle, they’re not the worst either. If it’s the best you can find, give it a try.

8. Juice

No food or water? You shouldn’t eat when you have nothing to drink, but you can squeeze blackberries in a cloth and drink the juice. This provides hydration, sugars, vitamins and minerals. It’s like nature’s Gatorade! You can even turn it into wine.

9. Fishing

Small slivers of blackberry stalk with the thorns still attached can be turned into emergency fish gorges, a hook style that works then the fish swallows a sharp object that sticks in their throat. Land them gently with a dip net, as it’s easy for fish to shake these “hooks” out.

10. Eat them

Eaten by the handful or bucketful, blackberries are good food and good for you.

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Via: outdoorlife


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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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These Pictures and Video’s Explain Exactly Why Preppers Are Getting Ready For An Imminent Collapse

For years the mainstream media and their following of myrmidons have made a joke out of those who have taken time, effort and money to prepare their homes, assets and families for “Doomsday” scenarios that may include anything from financial collapse to natural disasters.

For those who laugh at “preppers” it boils down to the belief that this time is different from the countless historical examples showing just how bad things can get. World wars, monetary hyperinflations, depressions, tyrannical governments, pandemics, Tsunamis, you name it; according to the experts, these things can never happen, especially not here in America. Plus, in the off chance that something does go wrong, we can always depend on our government to bail us out.

But what if, for the sake of argument, something does go wrong? And what if – just humor us here – the government doesn’t have the ability to help? What happens then?

The answer is simple and can be summed up in the following picture and video taken within the last 24 hours in Greece, where their financial and economic systems have collapsed to such an extent that people are now hoarding food, gas and even money (if they can get their hands on it).

Do you want to know why your prepper relatives, friends or neighbors are so adamant about being ready for disaster? It’s because they don’t want to end up like the hundreds of pensioners shown below. As Zero Hedge notes, the situation was heartbreaking:

1,000 Greek bank branches chanced a stampede in order to open their doors to the country’s retirees on Wednesday.

The scene was somewhat chaotic as pensioners formed long lines and the country’s elderly attempted to squeeze through the doors in order to access pension payments.

As Bloomberg reports, payouts were rationed and disbursals were limited according to last name.


As you’ll see in the video, it was virtually impossible to get through the bank’s door and tensions were running high:

 

Such scenes have played out time and again throughout the course of the financial crisis since late 2008.

In the following video, shot in February of 2008, Greeks were fighting for food in the streets:

 

httpv://youtu.be/ExNkBgFQ1F

(Via: Greeks Fight For Food: “I Never Imagined That I Would End Up Here”)

 

And for those who would still argue that the American government, through multi-billion dollar FEMA and DHS initiatives, is ready for such a crisis, we direct your attention to these images taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Within 72 hours people were starving, had no clean water, no gas and were standing in hours-long food lines in the hopes of getting an MRE (Meals-Ready-To-Eat) from the National Guard. Some were even dumpster diving looking for scraps:





And this all happened in modern-day America, just a few years ago.

So, if you happen to be one of those people laughing at the preppers, think about how funny it will be when you’re having to dig through the trash for your next meal, because that is how bad it can get.

According to analyst Greg Mannarino, the debt collapse could be so severe thatmillions of people may die from starvation as credit lines lock up and the normal flow of commodity commerce ceases.

That may sound impossible, but consider what happens when the food stamp Electronic Benefits Transfer system goes down for just 12 hours. You guessed it – complete pandemonium. When the system failed across 16 states in 2013 one person dependent on these benefits summed it up with this one statement:

“How Am I Going to Feed My Family?”

The simple answer in a real crisis where our currency crashes or a cyber attack takes down payment systems?

Your family will starve.

 

Another interesting compilation

 

 

In his book The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic CollapseFernando “Ferfal” Aguirre puts a first-hand perspective on the plausibility of these types of events coming to pass:

During good times people can afford to be spoiled, lazy, and let others handle issues that they should solve themselves. Crime rates are low and “those things” just don’t happen where you live. It doesn’t happen to people like you, or those around you.

 

The survivor of the Argentine collapse and hyperinflation of the early 2000’s explains that drastic changes can come out of nowhere and so quickly that they seemingly happen overnight:

 

But one day that changes and it does happen. The guy next door, a friend or a family member gets hit and you see how vulnerable you are.

I’m not talking about crime alone. I’m talking about serious problems or disasters of all sorts. It can range from floods to hurricane, social disorder or a family member getting sick and requiring medical attention. You didn’t have the foresight to prepare for it financially and with proper medical and insurance.

…And you may live like that for years without worrying about a thing, simply because the system is working better than usual. 

But once you realize that our society is based on rather complex and fragile structures that can fail, or when you see how life just enjoys throwing you a hardball every now and then, then you see the wisdom in preparing.

Those who would target preppers with jokes or humiliating one-liners often suggest that the preparedness community is doing nothing more than creating fear. But nothing could be further from the truth, as Tess Pennington explains in her widely popular best seller The Prepper’s Blueprint:

I don’t want to promote distress, or for that matter, teach others to live in it. Rather than staying in the presence of trepidation, I chose to take another daring step and search for a way to prepare that promotes the freedom and gratification we are all searching for. My goal was to be 100% self-reliant during a short or extended disaster.

Once I adopted this mind-set my attitude shifted from living in fear to living with courage to face whatever may come. 

Tess and Ferfal, like many preppers out there, realize that the system within which we live is fragile and that even a minor disturbance could lead to widespread implications.

In Greece today there were thousands of retirees lining up at banks. Most assumed that now that they are retired the government would always be there to help them. Others assume the government will always find a way to feed them and provide them with health care.

As we now know, the reality is starkly different.

Those who ridicule the preparedness movement may be laughing and snickering today. But you can be certain that when it hits the fan and America goes the way of Greece, they’ll be the first ones knocking on the door looking for help.

Related Reading:

Free: 52 Weeks to Preparedness: An Emergency Preparedness Plan For Surviving Virtually Any Disaster

Follow Ferfal: The Modern Survivalist

Follow Tess Pennington: Ready Nutrition

Green Beret’s Guides to Survival

Strategic Relocation

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: shtfplan


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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.

 

 

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Via: thesurvivalmom


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