Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nutritional Information on Wheat Berries

Quoting Denise Santoro Lincoln on Bay Area Bites:

Okay, here's the health info. According to a smarty pants nutritional study at Harvard (Susan's Note: You should really go check that out!), there is a "connection between eating whole grains and better health." Eating wheat berries and other whole grains lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. These grains additionally offer modest protection against colorectal cancer ... They are full of fiber, protein and iron.


Per 1/2 cup:
  • 151 calories;
  • 1 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono );
  • 0 mg cholesterol;
  • 29 g carbohydrates;
  • 0 g added sugars;
  • 6 g protein;
  • 4 g fiber;
  • 265 mg sodium;
  • 2 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 2
Exchanges: 2 starch

More Ideas for Cooking with Food Storage

Did you think I disappeared forever? Nah. I took a trip to South Dakota to clean out a store room of things that were left there the fall before Paul died. But now I'm back! I'm finding all kinds of opportunities to substitute food storage items for the things I buy at the store normally. The powdered eggs are about $1.14/dozen, which is cheaper than my local stores sell fresh ones. Since I do like the egg yolk, not just the whites, and since I don't like fried eggs, this works just fine for me. In scrambling the Thrive eggs, I can't tell the difference. I toss in my favorite additives, and they are yummy.

Cookies, breads, any kind of cooking that requires eggs, I haven't found a significant difference in taste or texture. To be honest, I haven't found any at all. I mix the egg first and then put it in the recipe.

The Taco TVP has replaced entirely the hamburger I used to use for tacos, for chili, and for anything else that requires cooked ground beef. I haven't tried it in meatloaf yet, but I'm contemplating replacing at least half the ground beef in that. The Ingles near me grinds up steaks each morning - not that they are old steaks or expiring, but they cut new ones each day - and the hamburger is 95% fat free. Still, I figure it can't hurt, and I'll have to figure out the cost to see how that works out.

Freeze-dried vegetables work wonderfully in soups, stews and casseroles. The fruits and the yogurt bites make great snacks. I'm still not convinced I want to stock the freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches. No you don't add water to those. It's just that I don't think I'll get that desperate for ice cream. I know people who love them, though, not as ice cream, but as a sweet snack - almost a cookie.

So I'm finding more and more ways to use the food storage, and I want to move further and further in that direction. It requires planning ahead, because I don't live in American Fork and can't run over to their facility if I let myself run out of something. But planning? Yes, I can do that!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shelf Reliance Party

I had a Shelf Reliance/Thrive party at my house a week or so ago (and then took a trip to South Dakota, hence the long time span before I posted about it!), and it was delicious. My friends and I enjoyed the sample foods our consultant fixed, and seeing how easy it is to incorporate the foods into our daily cooking.

We had scrambled eggs with sausage and peppers, all Thrive products. We also had chicken salad. That was interesting because she mixed all the dried ingredients and it was warm. Then we stuck it in the freezer to cool while she made the eggs, and then she just added mayo to the cooled ingredients. I can't put the recipe up here, because it isn't mine, but I do have a wonderful one I'm going to put up tomorrow - a Christmas cake!

We also tried the dried ice cream sandwiches - very interesting textures - and yogurt bites. If I order those, I'll be eating the whole can in one sitting, I'm sure! I'd have to measure out a quarter cup, then put the rest under lock and key and give the key to my neighbor!

You know the time of packing on the pounds for the holidays is coming. I'm looking for recipes which will be healthy, delicious, and made from home storage foods. Let's see how many I can find!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Keeping Track

I thought a lot about how I could keep track of my food storage contents. There are labels on the boxes, yes, but since I didn't buy many things by the case, the kinds are spread all over the place. How do I know what I have? I'm talking about the long term storage. The three month supplies sit on the shelf and I use and replace (rotate), but rarely really keep track. If you want to keep track of that 3 months' supply, or even what's in the cabinet, you might try the inventory sheet here.

For the long term, though, I knew a glance at the shelf wouldn't be enough. In addition, I knew if I let it get too far ahead of me, I'd never catch up. About the third week I brought home a mixed box of six cans, I started a spread sheet in Excel. On the first page, I typed in all the foods available in #10 cans from the Home Storage Centers. Don't let it confuse you that it says, "For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - anyone can go there and buy what's on the shelf, or order what is needed on canning day and work for a couple of hours. Call your closest one for the days they are open. There are even three international locations.

I entered those items available, the shelf life expectancy (kept at 75 degrees), then made a columns for how many I have, how many I need, and the date I acquire them - that turns out to be several columns. On page two, I entered other things I bought like a gallon can of peaches at Kroger or the foods from Thrive/Shelf Reliance. Each time I acquire more, I enter the additions the same day. It's a habit. Now, I really can tell at a glance what I have. It's all stored in one place, or I would add a column for location, too.

If you don't know how to make a spreadsheet, most word processing programs, like Word or Neo, have the ability to make tables in documents. That works just as well. Buy and use a book of green ledger pages. Get a spiral notebook. Make something fancy with your scrapping supplies. Doesn't matter how you do it, make sure you're keeping track so you know what you have. Variety is important, and you'll want to know when you meet your goals!

Right now, I'm 100% on oats, cornmeal, and rice. I don't have to buy any more for storage for years. That makes me feel good!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Things I Learned By Stacking Boxes

Today was the day - finally! The day I tackled my food storage closet under the stairs. The movers had stacked the boxes somewhat willy-nilly, but I guess I was lucky they even put them in the closet, right?

First, I took everything out. I can't believe I hauled all those boxes up three floors to my apartment! One box at a time. It's much nicer to have it on the first floor with the garage in my house. Make a note. Food storage is heavy! Apple slices, not so much, but boy those boxes of wheat or beans - wow! You can't see much of the water, but I realized - I don't have enough! 14 gallons for three days, and I have 5 gallons.

Here are some other things I learned.

  • Put all the labels on the side which is going to show when you stack them. (Sounds obvious, doesn't it?) But I had some on the ends, because the sides were full. If you have things together in a case, not much of a problem, but if you have 6 different cans, labels either overlap, or you have to write on the side of the box.
  • Be sure I write at least the year on at least one label!
  • Thrive boxes are not quite as sturdy as the ones from the Home Storage Center. (But they've also traveled with UPS, and survived, so they will do fine.)
  • Don't stack the boxes too high. I stopped at eight, because nine was just too high for me to lift.
  • Take a moment to stand back and feel some satisfaction that I have what I have, and are trying to follow the prophet's direction to accumulate food storage. I need more, but this is progress from the first of April, when I only had a couple of boxes stockpiled from the grocery store.
  • Oh, yes. I need a wider door under there. Plenty of room for it. I don't know why they put such a skinny door in!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Back to Budgeting

"The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah." ~ Pres. Ezra Taft Benson

The idea of coming up with a year's food supply, as recommended by the prophet, is a little daunting. It reminds me of the old joke. Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time.

That's exactly the same idea I have about food storage. Even focusing on 3 months might be a little overwhelming. So my rule is the motto of the old fable of the tortoise and the hare. Slow but steady wins the race.

Having decided to tithe my food budget for storage, I determined that I spend $100 most weeks, some weeks less. Remember, I'm a widow living alone, so that seems high to me, but probably low to you if you're feeding a family of four. In the years when I never went to the grocery store, because Paul was the cook and he did the shopping, prices went way high. Every time I leave the store, I look at what I bought and try to figure out how that could possibly be $100 worth of groceries!

This means I have $10/week allotted to food storage. Not much, right? Not so! It makes a big difference in slowly acquiring that storage. What can I get for my ten dollars? If I choose to spend it as ten, as opposed to saving a few weeks, here are some ideas.

  • Four #10 cans of oatmeal from a Home Storage Center.
  • 10 small cans of fruit or vegetables or beans (only things your family will eat!) from the local grocery. Check the sales. Last week, I could get 10 cans of pineapple, a national brand, for $10
  • 9 double rolls of toilet paper and one #10 can of white rice or hard red wheat.
  • Makings for a meal your family likes - something that doesn't contain perishables. Or something you can use freeze-dried foods to complete.
I'm sure you can think of lots more. If you save your budget for 4 weeks, you have $40 and can buy a starter kit ($22 at the storage center, $34.50 including tax and shipping from The LDS Online Store) and still have some left over for other items. A starter kit contains #10 cans of wheat, rice, beans and oats. I think it's 2 cans of wheat and 2 cans of beans, but I could be wrong. If you can go to a Home Storage Center, you could get the starter kit, a case of oatmeal, and a can of something else.

Or you could use that $40 online with Shelf Reliance/Thrive Foods, buying either #10 cans (costlier) or pantry cans (more variety for the $40). What I'm trying to do is buy both - store the #10, use the pantry cans in my recipes. It's working pretty well. The other night, I fixed the Taco TVP according to directions, then added salsa and put it on a hamburger bun. Quick and easy, and with a side salad, very nutritious. Oh, and it tasted good, too!

Don't forget, if you're going to store these things, you need to *use* these things. Your body needs to physically be accustomed to the foods, and you need to be familiar with how to use them. Have you tried one of the wheat recipes I've posted? I'm going to add another one in a few minutes.

Do you have this booklet? It's a guide with suggestions for gardening and producing items at home and for storing a year’s supply of food and other necessities - available here for only $1.50.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's Harvest Time!

Most of us don't live on farms, but we might live where we can find fruits and vegetables cheaper than at the store, or we may have a store which sells cases of fruit more cheaply this time of year. One friend of mine in Oregon raises enough tomatoes to can all her family's ketchup and salsa and tomato needs for the next year.

Some may think that canning is too expensive a proposition to bother, but it's like anything else. You start slowly and accumulate as you go. Fruits and jams can be canned in a water bath canner, and that is much less expensive than a pressure canner. You need that and a good pair of tongs, then jars. If you have jars (and you might find some at the thrift store, though last time I looked, I thought it was cheaper to buy new ones!), you just need new lids and possibly screw bands. You want them clean and tight, no rust or peeling spots. Always use new lids (the flat part), no matter what, or you won't get a good sealing.

If you are making jams, you can forego the canner and the jars if you seal your collected jars of any kind the last one-quarter inch with beeswax, available in the grocery store. Don't skimp on the wax!

It may be that you have a Dollar General around which has decent prices on the jars. I saw stacks of them on the sidewalk at one near my post office. It may be that you will wait until the end of the season and find a canner at a reduced price, or one with a dent. The dent doesn't hurt things a bit! It must have the basket inside, though, or you've just bought a huge soup pot.

Is it worth the trouble? Yes! I have never felt such satisfaction after a job as looking at my counter and seeing lines of jars of fruit and jam. It's one thing we can do for our families which is tangible, which has a result we can see. The taste and the quality are so much better than store bought, and if you re-use your jars each year, and amortize the cost of your equipment over the years you use it, then the cost is also much less than the store.

Give it a try. You can do it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Better Living Through Home Food Storage Supplies

I've spent a lot of time thinking about long term food storage, and the advice to store what we eat. It's easy enough to store a 3-month rotating food supply and have it be what I eat. Easy except for the money required, so here's a tip I got from a friend some time ago. (There will be more tips as time goes on!) Tithe your food budget for food storage. In other words, spend 10% of your food budget for extras to store. I have no idea what your budget is, or how large your family is, but 10% of whatever is required each week or month or however you shop.

It might be that some weeks, you spend that on sales at the store, for the 3-month rotating supply. I would suggest that until you have the three months to feed your family. Afterward, it's easy enough to take something from the front of the shelf and replace it at the back. (I'll do a post soon on exactly what a rotating supply is, for those who aren't quite sure how it works.)

After that, I'd suggest taking that money and spending it on either #10 cans from the Home Food Storage Center at the Bishop's Storehouse, or spending it with a company like Thrive/Shelf Reliance. You don't have to do a lot of money each time. When I started working at the Storehouse once a week, I took home a case of mixed cans each week. Mostly, I bought whatever was available on the shelf, but sometimes I stayed and helped can specific things I wanted. The whole system runs on volunteer labor, and those buying are usually the labor for the day. The cases mounted pretty fast.

Eventually, I realized I was limited in what I was storing. It was basics, but there would be other things I wanted. That's when I started looking around for other companies, knowing it would cost more. There are several companies which manufacture foods for survival. I decided to go with Shelf Reliance/Thrive because of the variety, the quality, the size of the cans and cases. The first thing I bought was a case of cornmeal. Their service was fast, and it was costlier than the storehouse, but I'm slowly diversifying with foods I can store for 10 or more years.

Then I realized that not only should I store what I eat, but I should be eating the things that I store. Otherwise, in an emergency, when I'm already stressed to the max, I'll be trying to figure out how to cook my stored foods, and my body will be trying to adjust to a new diet. Probably not the best plan.

Now, when I buy a #10 can from Thrive, I also buy the pantry-sized can for the eat-it-now grocery shelf. I love their freeze dried meats and TVP. The taco TVP is actually tastier than the bland stuff I had at the Mexican restaurant last week! Thrive has parties, and when you host one, you choose whether it's a mix-and-mingle kind of thing where people can taste the foods, while socializing, or a cooking class, or perhaps a class on food storage. You get a percentage off your purchases, and friends have the opportunity to try the foods. I'm having one at the end of October, as a cooking class, and I look forward to acquiring more recipes!

My hope is never to have to depend on my food storage. If I ever do have to, I want it to be tasty and delicious!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

East Tennessee Emergency Preparedness Fair

I went to the Emergency Preparedness Fair today. Even without considering classes which were offered, it was a good experience. There were "booths" there - everything from Child Find to home food storage, water purification, emergency kits, disaster planning - you name it, and it was there if it had to do with being prepared. Of course, everyone knows you can't be completely prepared, but there is an amazing amount of preparation you can do.

Outside, there were fire department, ambulances, police bomb squad, the command center purchased for the 16 surrounding counties (by Homeland Security - one thing I can applaud that they've done), a Sheriff's Dept. helicopter, and any number of Disaster Relief vehicles from the Baptist Church.

There was also an area set aside for an emergency shelter display. They had brought a 10-person shelter on a trailer and it had a cutaway so I could see inside it. Now, we aren't talking about a place to stay for months after a nuclear bomb. It's a temporary shelter from things like tornadoes and other kinds of disasters that might involve a few hours' stay. This particular one is fiberglass and was quite impressive.

I don't know that I'd want to spend more than a few hours, and I'd definitely want to toss down some pillows for comfort, and have a stash of books on my kindle, and maybe a porta potty and some snacks. However, the price is much less than any other kind of shelter, it meets and exceeds all FEMA standards, and it's very sturdy.

My son pointed out that buying the 20-person one would enable one to be a bit more comfortable, and he is right about that. More expensive, of course. The 4-man version is $3900. So it's down the list a way, but I remember typhoons (a hurricane, only in a different part of the world) in Okinawa and having to spend 2-3 days locked inside our house with wooden shutters over the windows, and hoping that the winds didn't cause too much destruction. Not a hope always fulfilled.

One good thing about attending the fair, other than all the information available in one spot, was the table with recipes on using wheat. Not flour, not cracked wheat, but the actual wheat that I buy in cans for storage. I don't have a flour mill, though it's on the list. (You'll see that a lot on here!) This gentleman, Dennis Taylor, had all kinds of recipes for using the wheat just as it is, right from the can. He's given me permission to share the recipes, so there's going to be a new tab shortly with some of them. He had samples of each one, and were they ever good! So, a new option opens up!

Until next time,


Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Purpose

Greetings! If you've found your way here, you are probably interested in home food storage for the long haul, or in using your home food storage in actual meals, so you can rotate your stock and keep it fresh. For a can of rice from the Bishop's Storehouse, Home Storage Center. with a shelf life of 30 years, if kept at 75 F or less, this might not be a huge issue. But who wants to live only on rice?

Right up front, you need to know I'm LDS, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Mormon, in the vernacular, and no we don't worship the golden statues on top of some of our temples, and we don't worship seagulls, either, in spite of their being most helpful birds. (Did you see my smile there?) This isn't a religious or conversion site, but a lot of my information comes from church sources, so just be aware of that.

In this time of natural disasters and economic calamities, it is more important than ever to keep a supply of food stored. I know quite a few families living off their food storage while one or both parents tries to find a job. I know a few more who wish they had that storage, but they didn't listen to a prophet's voice.

For as long as I've been a member of the LDS church, we've been advised to have a supply of food stored. In the 1960s, it was two years, now it's one, but have some, even if it's a week or a month or three months. In fact, start small. Start with food for a 72-hour emergency. In the first three days of calamity, not having to worry about food for you and your family could mean the difference between coping and not. Then build a week, then a month, then three months, and keep building.

We are told it is not only for ourselves, but for our neighbors. I've heard friends say, "Yeah, and someone finds out you have it and comes after it with a gun." It's always possible. And I have a gun, too. Nevertheless, the prophet has said the Lord advises us to store for ourselves and our neighbors, and I believe that if I do what the Lord advises, I will be alright.

In the coming days, I'm going to share the things I've learned the hard way, and some easy ways that have been shared with me. There's no need to think, "Oh, my gosh, a whole year's supply???" We will start small and build. There's time to do that still.

On the sidebar, there are links, in alphabetical order, to some of my favorite sites - coupon hints and links, recipes, and other food storage information. I hope you'll bookmark this site, become a follower, and begin to store food against emergency times. It can never hurt to have it, but if you need it and don't have it, it could spell disaster.