fruits and vegetables


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By Kellene Bishop

Morning Moo's Cans photo c/o everyday_something

Morning Moo's Cans photo c/o everyday_something

If you’re in Las Vegas, NV; Henderson, NV; Gilbert, AZ; Southeast Gilbert, AZ; or Mesa, AZ you should feel pretty darn special cause you’re getting a product that isn’t available anywhere else. Costco now has 2 special 6-packs of the Morning Moo’s/Blue Chip foods that they are selling.  In one 6 pack they have “breakfast items” and in another 6-pack they have “dinner items.”  The 6-packs contain 6 #10 cans. Some of these items are SO dang good I can’t believe they are freeze dried! 

In the Breakfast Pack they have the whole Freeze-Dried Strawberries (scrumptious!), Creamy Wheat, Buttermilk Pancakes (amazing!), Scrambled Egg Mix (I use these all the time), Imitation Bacon Bits (only 1g of fat!) and the Potatoe Shreds. There’s over 200 servings in these 6 packs, and they have up to a 25 year shelf life. 

I like to add a bit of cinnamon to the pancake mix and let the batter rest a moment. I served some of these to a girlfriend who has 9 people in her family and she says that she’ll never make homemade again.  Also, if you recall, I’ve shared with you how great the strawberries are. They are WHOLE, not flakes. You can eat them right out of the can or make syrup or pie filling or jam with them. The creamy wheat is really hearty. I enjoy it! (See my fried creamy wheat recipe below.) I have served the potatoe shreds and folks can’t believe they are freeze-dried. I use them in casseroles as well. And I use the scrambled egg mix to make quiches, all kinds of scrambled eggs, and even French Toast. (Dang, do I sound like a “foodie” or what?)

In the Dinner Pack they have the Creamy Potato Soup (yum), Imitation Beef Bits (TVP), Potato Gems (I eat them RAW–they are THAT good), Honey White Bread and Roll Mix (Divine and idiot proof), Freeze-dried Sweet Corn (great right out of the can!) and the Vegetable Stew Blend. 

I use the corn, potato soup and bacon bits all in the same soup for a chowder like soup. The vegetable stew is just plain vegetables like cabbage, tomato, red and green bell peppers, celery, potato dices, and onion. So it’s REALLY versatile!  The Potato Gems are already flavored with butter and salt. So I LOVE eating them raw, in their freeze-dried state right out of the can!  And when I want to make them I just have to add a little warm tap water. So dang easy.

These foods are just “food storage” to me folks. I use them everyday. But even I don’t get them in this Costco priced 6-pack. Only you folks in NV and AZ will get them. Stop in to one of these stores this week and get some samples. If I remember correctly, Blue Chip demonstrators will be there all the ding dong day for 3 days, so call your store to see which days this week.

In addition to the 6 packs they will also be offering the oats and the Morning Moo’s milk at these same stores as well. (The oatmeal is a great deal and has an awesome shelf-life!)

If you’re not in AZ or NV, you can still purchase the products in Utah Macey’s stores and most of Utah’s Central and Southern Wal-Marts. The good news is that I that I have an inside track as to when they’ll be coming to other parts of the country. I do know that there are plans in the works, folks, so just be patient. I also just spoke last week with a new internet store that will be selling the less common Blue Chip products nationwide at low prices, so I’ll let you know what that comes on line too.

As you know, Preparedness Pro doesn’t sell anything, and we never will sell any products. But I am in LOVE with these products. I’ve compared them to several others and I’m just happiest with these. As a result, Blue Chip found out what a fan I am and asked me to develop some recipes for them. So I did and I’m sharing some of the recipes with you.  Enjoy!  PS- just got an update on the pricing for you folks.  The breakfast pack is only $53.99 and the dinner pack is only $48.99!  Considering it has 200 servings in each pack, that’s only 25-27 cents per serving!!!  Crud, just the strawberries alone retail in my area for about $25!  Go get em’ AZ and NV!

Corned Beef and Veggie Stew

½ cup of Morning Moo’s Vegetable Stew Mix

6 cups of Water

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of pepper

½ teaspoon of caraway seeds

1 can of corned beef (broken into bite sized pieces)

Bring all ingredients to a boil for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, in a small skillet add 3 Tablespoons of flour to 2 tablespoons of butter. On medium-high heat, stir constantly until small bits of golden brown mixture are cooked. Add to the soup mixture and still until thickened.

Morning Moo’s White Chili

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Creamy Potato Soup

4 cups of chicken broth

2 cups of cooked, boneless chicken cut into small cubes

1 can chopped green chilis

1 can (19 oz.) white kidney beans (cannelloni), undrained

2 green onions, sliced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of ground red pepper

½ teaspoon of oregano leaves

1 teaspoon of cilantro leaves as a garnish, optional

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese as a garnish, optional

In a medium saucepan whisk together the soup and the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Add all ingredients except for garnishes and beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans and cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve topped with cheese and cilantro.

Morning Moo’s Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder photo c/o Never Trust a Skinny Cook

Corn Chowder photo c/o Never Trust a Skinny Cook

1 Tablespoon of butter

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Creamy Potato Soup

1 cup of Morning Moo’s freeze-dried Sweet Corn

2 cups of Morning Moo’s milk (in powdered form)

4 cups of chicken broth

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

2 Tablespoons of Morning Moo’s Bacon Flavored TVP

½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup of diced of red or green bell peppers

½ teaspoon of sea salt

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the butter, soup, milk and chicken broth. Add all other ingredients and simmer for approximately 20 minutes on medium heat.

Melt in Your Mouth Bread Sticks

3 cups of Morning Moo’s Honey White Bread and Roll Mix

2 Tablespoons of instant dry yeast

1 cup and 1 Tablespoon of warm water

½ cup of oil

3 Tablespoons of lecithin granules

Salad Supreme Seasoning

4 Tablespoons of melted butter

Dissolve yeast in water. Add the bread mix and mix well. Add the oil and lecithin granules and then knead for about 7 to 10 minutes. Dough should be elastic and soft. If dough is too stiff, add a little bit more water in 1 tablespoon increments.

Spray a large piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover the dough in a bowl with the non-stick spray side down. Allow dough to sit in the bowl for about 30 minutes at room temperature, until dough has doubled in size. Gently pinch off 2 tablespoon pieces and with your hands roll into small bread stick shapes. Dip in the melted butter, and then place on a large cookie sheet. Continue until you’ve used all of the dough. Allow the dough to rest on the baking sheets at room temperature for 15 more minutes. Generously sprinkle the dough with Salad Supreme. Bake rolls in the oven at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Red Carpet French Toast

French Toast with Whip Cream and Strawberries photo c/o ehow.com

French Toast with Whip Cream and Strawberries photo c/o ehow.com

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg mix

3/4 cup of warm water

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 cup of prepared whipped cream

½  cup of Morning Moo’s freeze-dried Whole Strawberries

Whisk together the egg mix and the warm water until all lumps are removed. Add spices and whisk to incorporate. Dip thick slices of bread into the egg mixture, covering completely and then place on a hot skillet. (About 325 degrees)  Let cook about 1 ½ minutes on either side. Top with whipped cream and strawberries and serve.

Fried Creamy Wheat

Prepare Morning Moo’s Creamy Wheat according to directions on the package, but omit about ¼ of the water. When finished cooking mixture should be cooked nicely but very thick. Place prepared creamy wheat in a non-stick bread pan. Allow to cool at room temperature and then place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, release the loaf of creamy wheat and slice into ½ inch slices. Place on a hot skillet greased with butter and fry on each side about 2 minutes. Top with your favorite syrup and butter.

Divine Scrambled Eggs

 1 cup of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg Mix

1 ½ cup of warm water

1 Tablespoon of Morning Moo’s Imitation Bacon Bits

1 teaspoon of Johnny’s Garlic Bread Seasoning

Salt and pepper

¼ – ½ cup of shredded cheese

Whisk together the egg mix and water until no lumps are visible. Add TVP and seasoning. Place mixture into a hot skillet and let cook on one side for about 30 seconds. Then scramble and flip to other side of the egg mixture. Allow to cook about 30 seconds then add the cheese. Continue cooking until the eggs are at the desired texture then serve.

Breakfast Casserole

2 cups of Morning Moo’s Potato Shreds

2 cups of water

2 cups of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg Mix

3 ½ cups of warm water

1 teaspoon of black pepper

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce

¼ cup of Morning Moo’s Imitation Bacon Bits

1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Combine the potato shreds and 2 cups of water and boil for approximately 20 minutes in a small saucepan. When finished, drain the potatoes and place them flat on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

Whisk together the egg mix and the 3 ½ cups of warm water until all lumps are dissolved.

Add seasonings and mix well. Pour over the potato shreds.

Top with bacon bits and shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.
By Kellene Bishop
Grapefruit

Grapefruit

Interesting. I have a new find that I want to share with you all. The funny thing is that I’ve had this item in my preparedness supplies for some time. But I admit, I had no idea what it was capable of doing. I had it in there simply as a “just in case” item as opposed to a SUPER multi-purpose item. It is *drum roll*… Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE).

It usually comes in a 4 ounce bottle and is a clear, relatively thick liquid. The tiny hole at the top of the bottle allows you to squeeze it out drop by drop because each drop is some kind of a powerful stuff. Powerful for what you may ask? I’d be happy to tell you.

In a nutshell, grapefruit seed extract is believed to possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-VIRAL properties. (Anything you can find that’s anti-viral is a find!) It’s also known to be an effective preservative. A little tiny bit goes a long way! The oil is prepared as an extract from the entire grapefruit—seeds, peel, and all. Even reluctant scientific research has found that GSE kills certain bacteria, molds, and yeasts. (Google it, folks)

NutriBiotic

NutriBiotic

Grapefruit Seed Extract is great for internal and external uses. Internally, you can use a diluted amount as a throat gargle, ear rinse, nasal rinse, and a vaginal rinse. You can also use it as a facial cleaner, a skin cleaner for irritation, and scalp treatment.

Since it’s also an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, you’ll also find it useful to clean your meats, fruits, and vegetables. You can dilute it in a sink full of water and wash your foods that way, or you can dilute it in a spray bottle and use it just as efficiently. It’s also a great option for cleaning your toothbrushes in. You can clean them periodically, or leave the toothbrushes soaked in a diluted mixture in between uses. It’s also fantastic for cleaning and disinfecting your cutting board as well. 

One thing I would caution you on, though. You should not use it full strength—ever.  It’s effective with just a couple drops in some water (No, I’m not going to confess to that one). This is kind of embarrassing, but I had a really painful…um…zit…in my ear. That’s DANG painful. (If you’ve ever had these then you know that they go on for days and days and they HURT.) So on the first day of the noticeable pain, I put a drop of the GSE on the end of a Q-tip and then a couple drops of water and then applied it to the “owwee” area. I only had to suffer for a day and a half instead of the typical week. 

I took some as a throat gargle 2 weeks ago when I noticed that I was trying to fight a sore throat (It’s no wonder with all of the traveling and talking I do). I had no problems the next day. Sore throat was gone.

Now that I’ve finished my research on this product (and after using it this weekend for a head cold) this is definitely one item I’m going to have more of in my supplies. (By the way, the brand I found and liked is NutriBiotic. Just Google it and you’ll find it all over the net at an affordable price. Remember, a little goes a long way.)

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Freeze Dried Blueberries. Photo c/o thereadystore.com

Freeze Dried Blueberries. Photo c/o thereadystore.com

While I am able to obtain produce periodically, I have to say the majority of the fruits and vegetables in my food storage are of the freeze-dried variety? Why? Cost and convenience.

Consider this. I can purchase a flat of fresh blueberries for $30-$35 at a farmers market. Undoubtedly there will be some waste, bruising, and I may or may not be able to use them all before they spoil. I will also need to wash them and dry them off prior to using (depending on what I’m making with them). However, if I purchase a #10 can of freeze-dried blueberries, I still get 90-95% of the ORIGINAL fresh produce nutrition, without any bruising or waste. Plus there’s no need to wash and dry them, or to sort through them and clean off any stems. The freeze-dried produce is picked at their prime and I get them without any pesticides or any other “yucky” ingredients. In addition, the shelf life of the brand I prefer (I haven’t checked on ALL of the brands) is 20 years. Not only that, but the Blue Chip brand (a.k.a. Morning Moos) also guarantees that AFTER you’ve opened that big #10 can, it’s guaranteed for its taste, texture, and nutrition for a full 18 months! So there’s no need to be overwhelmed at the thought of opening the can.

My husband and I munch on the freeze-dried fruits as snacks quite frequently during the day. And when I watch for the sales, I’m paying LESS than I would have had to pay for fresh produce.

Photo c/o freeze-dried-food.com

Photo c/o freeze-dried-food.com

The benefits of freeze-dried foods deserve restating:

Last 20 years on the shelf
Last 18 months after opening
No yucky ingredients
Taste great
Easy to use
AND COST LESS

Sometimes the “costs less” component of freeze-dried foods is hard to wrap our minds around. We think in terms of paying $1.29 for a small pint of berries, for example. But then when we see the price tag for a #10 can of freeze-dried produce at $25-$30, we choke. Keep in mind you’re getting a LOT of produce that can easily replace a flat of produce you would purchase elsewhere.

As opposed to dehydrated foods, freeze-dried foods reconstitute with much less water and time. In fact, in many instances, I don’t even bother reconstituting a lot of what I use by relying on the moisture in the dish I’m making or the heat from cooking to do the work for me. That way I get a much fresher, powerful burst of flavor. Even better, with freeze-dried products I don’t have to waste freezer space on the items which may or may not taste mushy or get freezer burn.

Even more important, these foods are really nutritious FOODS as opposed to somethings I bring home from the processed foods aisles. Can words ending in “oxins” “ose” “itrates” or ithin” really be considered “food?”

Freeze-dried foods also look prettier and more appetizing in my meals. I recently purchased a muffin mix with “real blueberries” in it. The “blueberries” were just shredded little bits. So the next time I had a hankering for blueberry muffins, I simply put some of my whole freeze-dried fruit in them. My volunteer munchers scarfed them down.

The other day I made jam in a jiffy just by using a little bit of sugar, the freeze-dried raspberries (or strawberries or blueberries) and some water. No cooking or refrigeration was required. And just as important it didn’t require an entire day of canning. I just made up exactly how much I needed/wanted to go with my homemade bread.

Toast and Jam photo c/o Dinner with Julie

Toast and Jam photo c/o Dinner with Julie

Ultra MaxiGel Jam/Syrup

1 cup Morning Moos (Blue Chip) freeze-dried raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 T. UltraMaxigel
Water (about 1 cup+)

Blend all ingredients well with a high speed mixer or blender. Add enough water to create the consistency you prefer. You may add more water for a syrup consistency as well.

That brings me to another point of using freeze-dried fare everyday. It’s so simple. The recipe I just gave you is easy enough that a 4-year-old could make it. For example, when I’m making meatloaf, I just throw in a handful of freeze-dried spinach flakes and some freeze-dried red and green peppers that are already diced up. Cooking with freeze-dried foods simply couldn’t be easier.

As you may be able to tell, this food isn’t “just” for food storage. In fact, I kind of think of the two words “food storage” as a bit of a nasty connotation in my home given that I use these kinds of ingredients every day. While these types of products may be great FOR food storage, these everyday items are vital ones of convenience in my home. So keep your eyes open for freeze-dried products in your area. And if you have any doubts as to the taste, write to the company and ask for some samples to be sent to you before you spend the money on them. I’m a true convert to this kind of product—especially when it comes to my produce.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Is there a better way to store fruits and vegetables? Are there better kinds or times to purchase them? Is there one preservation process that’s more nutritious than others? The answers to these questions all depends on what you are ultimately more concerned about. Taste, texture, freshness, appearance (familiarity) or nutrition. What I’m going to provide you with today is simply a rule of thumb as to the hierarchy of the condition of the fruits and vegetables to obtain in terms of nutrition and cost. Then you’ll need to decide, as always, which type really fits your family.

Fresh Produce photo c/o Wiedmaier

Fresh Produce photo c/o Wiedmaier

The first choice for most people when obtaining fruits and vegetables is to get them fresh–either they grow their own or they purchase them from the store. However, you should be aware that the nutritional content does vary dramatically dependent on what types of pesticides and other chemicals are used and WHEN the fruits and vegetables are harvested. Obviously, harvesting them at their peak time in an organic setting will be the most enjoyable and nutritious for your family. The downside to fresh produce is that you don’t know if they were harvested at the ideal time. And even if they were, how long did they travel before they got to your store? How much will you end up having to toss as a result of spoilage? These types of mostly unanswerable questions make the top dollar you pay for fresh produce a bit of a gamble. I wonder if fresh really does belong at the top of the produce hierarchy?

Having said that tough, I’m all for making my own FRESH produce by growing my own sprouts. Sprouts have significantly more nutrition in them than just about any produce you can purchase anywhere. Not only that, but they are economical and they contain no nasty chemicals. Remember, you can easily sprout any whole grain, nut, legume, or seed. (Stay away from the flowers on tomatoes and potato sprouts. They are toxic.) I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my husband actually got me hooked on having sprouts on my sandwiches instead of lettuce. In fact, at the end of this article I’ve got a GREAT Orange Marmalade Sprout Salad recipe for you. Yum!

Blue Chip Freeze Dried Products photo c/o utahdealdiva.com

Blue Chip Freeze Dried Products photo c/o utahdealdiva.com

So, if not fresh, then what’s next on the hierarchy? Freeze-dried. Not to be confused with dehydrated. Freeze-dried produce typically contains 90-95 percent of the same nutrition as picked-in-their-prime fresh produce. And there are no contaminants with freeze-dried produce. I’ve not kept it a secret that I’m in love with all of the freeze-dried fruits and vegetables that Blue Chip Foods manufacturers. They truly are my favorite. I can do just about anything with freeze-dried produce as I can with fresh. They take very little, if any, time to reconstitute. The taste packs a punch of REALISM that you wouldn’t expect. The fruit doesn’t taste soggy like frozen, defrosted fruit does and I’ve also discovered that it’s actually quite economical. I don’t end up throwing away ANY freeze-dried produce despite the fact that my hubby isn’t a veggie fan. I find myself eating the strawberries, raspberries, bananas, and peas right out of the #10 cans. Dollar for dollar, the purchase price is the SAME between fresh and freeze-dried when you get the cans at regular price—even better when they go on sale. That’s right. I can pay $35 for about the same amount of raspberries at a farmer’s market right now as I would get freeze-dried in a #10 can. Yet there will inevitably be some waste with the fresh produce. That’s just how Mother Nature works. Whereas the freeze dried product I purchase is guaranteed to maintain its nutrition, taste, and texture for a full 18 months AFTER I’ve opened the can, and for years and years when prior to opening. This is why I use the freeze-dried versions as much as possible, everyday. I use the peas in my tuna casserole, the apple slices in my apple crisp, the strawberries in an easy jam made with clear gelatin and water, etc. etc. etc. I love how I never have to cry over cutting an onion. I just open the can, scoop up the amount I need, sauté it, and I’ve got carmelized onions or whatever the recipe calls for. I never have to slice or dice peppers, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli—well, you get the point. (I AM a bit zealous when it comes to my freeze-dried produce, aren’t I? I sometimes even get goosebumps just telling people about it in my classes. Too bad you aren’t close enough to get a sample of these yummy raspberries right now.) 🙂

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables photo c/o yes-green.com

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables photo c/o yes-green.com

Next in the hierarchy are dehydrated fruits and veggies. This level of nutrition is at approximately 70-75 percent of the same nutrition as fresh produce—even when you dehydrate your own.  You can enjoy dehydrated produce easily as a snack and they make easy additions to slow cooking dishes. Otherwise you need to reconstitute them and that may take a while and a bit of water. (You can also dehydrate meat successfully, but that’s another article.) When you dehydrate produce you don’t have to use your oven to do so. You can simply use the good old sunshine by itself or make use of a great solar oven. Dehydration is quite simple to do yourself, however, most dehydrated foods sold commercially are about the same cost as freeze-dried. If you have the choice, pick the freeze-dried version. Here’s a tip. When you’re rehydrating your foods, instead of using water to do so, use broth, juice, milk, or the water from the cans of other ingredients—whatever is already a part of your recipe. It will give your dish a much greater flavor. When I reconstitute apple chips, I use this yummy “Apple Delight” drink I get from Blue Chip. When reconstituting vegetables, I’ve also been known to use the water from the cans of other veggies I may be using in order to no throw any more nutrients and flavor out than necessary. I’ve also used the pasta water, potato water, etc.

Next, and definitely last in the hierarchy is canned. Canned produce keeps about 40-45 percent of the same nutrition as fresh right off the bat. Even when you do it yourself, you’re not likely to obtain more than 50 percent of the nutritional value as you would a fresh piece of produce. Obviously, the longer you store it, the more of its nutrition you lose. I personally do not can my own fruits and vegetables. Why? Because I can purchase the canned goods for a much better price than what my time and energy are worth—especially with coupons! And considering what all I get in return, in terms of nutrition, I just don’t think it’s worth the money. I’d rather pay more for the other options.

One point I do want to make. When you purchase fresh produce, such as the oversized bags of spinach at Costco, don’t hesitate to freeze it. The frozen produce is great and you don’t need to do anything special with it. Just seal it and throw it in your freezer. (The frozen spinach makes for great healthy smoothies or a lightly blanched spinach salad.) Of course you know that tomatoes, lettuce, and other high water content produce don’t freeze so well. So use your best judgment on that.

Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two about what produce to select for your family for long and short term storage. While it may be more important that your family see something familiar at mealtime as opposed to something freeze dried, at least you can now make an educated decision.

Orange Marmalade Sprout Salad

Orange marmalade photo c/o notecook.com

Orange marmalade photo c/o notecook.com

Dressing:

Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk

2 T. Orange Marmalade

4 T. Olive Oil

1 T. Balsamic Vinegar

1 pinch of red pepper flakes

 Drizzle the dressing over about 4 to 6 cups of fresh sprouts of your choosing. I also like to lightly toast some nuts and put these on the salad as well. This is yummy and something you can easily make with food storage ingredients.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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