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

By Kellene Bishop

Dharma Food Supplies

Food Storage photo c/o westword.com

If you could only store four foods for you and your family, what would they be? Come on, take your best guess. The good news is you could indeed survive with some knowledge and creativity on just four foods for you and your family for an entire year, and you wouldn’t necessarily get bored either. The reason I share these four foods with you is in response to so many pleas to simplify food storage. Although I feel more strongly about storing what you eat and eating what you store using the “meal method”, some folks just simply won’t tackle their food storage needs unless it’s broken down to ultra simple. Well, here’s ultra simple, broken down to just four foods.

Allow me to share with you what I call “The Vital Four.” I don’t call them that to be cute or cunning. These four foods are not only ideal and relatively simple to use, they are also still relatively affordable.

Hard White Wheat photo c/o pgward.org

Hard White Wheat photo c/o pgward.org

So, what would The Vital Four be? In order of priority:

  • Wheat
  • Powdered Milk
  • Honey
  • Salt

Now, before you get crazy, these foods would NOT be appropriate if you currently aren’t eating wheat. Remember that due to the significant lack of fiber in our diet today, if you were to go on an all wheat diet, you would be dead within 30 days due to the shock to your digestive system. So don’t plan on using these foods “cold turkey”, folks. You’ve got to get your body used to this kind of fiber ahead of time if you intend to survive on it. With four of the most simple foods, could this list be any more “ultra simple?”

So why this particular order?

Vital Four #1: Wheat. Wheat is at the top of the list due to its enormous amount of protein, multiple uses, fats, amino acids, carbohydrates, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins—not to mention its longevity in your storage. An unbroken wheat kernel has the ability to retain its fat without going rancid. For those of you who don’t know, wheat was discovered in the Egyptian pyramids dating back to 2500 BC. The story is told that 36 of the kernels were planted and grew and thrived into 1,500 bushels of wheat over six years. Even those who are gluten intolerant can still use wheat by sprouting it. Once you sprout it, it’s no longer a gluten compound. It’s a vegetable—particularly high in vitamin C and B which is great for blood sugar regulation and energy. (1 ounce of sprouted wheat contains an entire day’s supply of vitamin C.) In other words, sprouted wheat can compensate for the absence of fruits and vegetables in a diet. As you’ve heard me say, sprouting is ultra simple.

Milk is Good for Bones. photo c/o franklinpierce.edu

Milk is Good for Bones. photo c/o franklinpierce.edu

Vital Four #2: Milk.  An important part of the “promised land” duo, milk has a great nutritional content–particularly protein and vitamin A and D, multiple convenient uses, and also stores very well–especially with today’s technological advances. Milk is a quality food which is found to be important for the proper function of the muscles and the bones, but even more so in times of stress. Very few foods can claim to assist the body in these two critical areas in one fail swoop, and none of the others I’ve found which do assist the body in this manner taste very good in baked goods, cheeses, and sauces like milk does. I mean really. Whoever heard of spinach cheese?  There’s nothing difficult about using milk. Measure it. Water it. Mix it. That’s it. Super simple!

Vital Four #3: Honey. Honey is the ONLY food which stores indefinitely (except maybe Twinkies. But it remains to be seen whether we can really call the Twinkie “food”). It was also found in the Egyptian pyramids, and serves as a necessary sweetener in everything which may call for sugar. As you may have read in a previous article, it also has amazing medicinal virtues. One aspect you may not have considered is that the sweetness of honey is so fulfilling, it’s not likely to be over indulged in. The last thing you need in an emergency is to be addicted to a particular food. Unlike so many other sweeteners out there, honey is NOT addictive. In fact several university studies have shown that withdrawing from sugar is just as challenging to most humans as withdrawing from heroine. Honey also has small amounts of protein, iron, and vitamin C. Hmmm… sweet, nutritious, and an indefinite shelf-life. Sounds like a food storage dream.  

Vital Four #4: Salt. Many folks are surprised to hear “salt” on my list of The Vital Four. Frankly, I’m surprised as well. I’m not one to “salt my foods. I rarely use it in my cooking, preferring other sources for a salty taste instead. In actuality, our bodies are just as reliant on salt as we are on water. In fact, it keeps our fluids in balance. It is necessary to all of the cellular processes in our body. ALL of them. It’s particularly necessary for muscle contractions, such as your heartbeat, nerve impulses, and the digestion of proteins. Our bodies do not produce salt. We deplete it through normal function. And we deplete a lot of salt when we’re involved in heavy labor or intense stress. Thus we must conscientiously feed it to our bodies. In addition to all of this, it’s also a great preservative for meats and vegetables without the need of any fancy equipment. Better yet, working salt into your diet doesn’t take any trickery.

If you want to still keep things ultra simple but add a few more “luxury items” to the list, I would recommend vegetable/olive oil, peanut butter, legumes, yeast, molasses, and dried fruits.

Passport to Survival photo c/o amazon.com

Passport to Survival photo c/o amazon.com

In summary, I find it interesting that The Vital Four are referred to in the Bible as foods of prominence: wheat—“the staff of life,” “land flowing with milk and honey” (mentioned 70 times in the Bible), and salt—“the salt of the earth” and “savor.” If you want a bundle of easy and creative recipes to use with your ultra simple food stores, I highly recommend Esther Dickey’s book, “Passport to Survival.” It was published in the late 60’s so you will most likely acquire a used copy on Amazon. But I find my copy to be just as useful—if not more so—today than perhaps it was intended to be several decades ago.

So I’ve made food storage as simple as is absolutely possible. Got any more excuses for delaying your food storage?  🙂

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!

Advertisements

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

By Kellene Bishop

(Please note: This article is not for those who are repulsed by the use of puns. 🙂

Incorporate dairy into your food storage. Photo c/o cookmyfoodstorage.blogspot.com

Incorporate dairy into your food storage. Photo c/o cookmyfoodstorage.blogspot.com

When it comes to long-term food storage, many feel that getting enough dairy is a significant challenge.  Well today, I’m going to show you how you can milk the most from your powdered milk to provide your family with the dairy products you love.

For starters, I cannot state emphatically enough how good powdered milk is today. When I teach my “UNDERwhelmed in Food Storage” class, I insist that those who attend at least try the powdered milk samples I’ve got. You should see some of the faces I get when I make this announcement. You can tell that some of these folks have some serious nightmares from their childhood when it comes to powdered milk.  But inevitably, ALL courageous tasters admit that it tastes VERY different than when they were growing up. While I still have some folks who feel that it doesn’t take “just like ‘real’ milk” they will at least concede that they could live with it if they needed to. Personally, I find it delightful. I LOVE the independence I feel when running out of milk doesn’t mean a trip to the store. And when I purchase it in the big 50 pound bags at the wholesale stores, it breaks down to only about $1.27 per gallon—a great deal in this economy. Today, the only time I actually buy milk is when I’ve got double coupons and can get it for less than 50 cents a gallon. (I just got a gallon and half the other day for only 17 cents!)  In fact, the taste of powdered milk has come so far, that my otherwise persnickety husband actually grumbles a bit now when we have to drink the “real” stuff now.

So, what can you do with powdered milk? You can make some downright heavenly items that you usually pay a small fortune for. So let’s see how we can milk the most from your food storage.

Homemade Condensed Milk photo c/o examiner.com

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk photo c/o examiner.com

One of the pleasant surprises I discovered is how easy it is to make sweetened condensed milk. I make it in a blender presently, but I have practiced a couple of times and can easily make it with a non-electric blender. All you have to do is combine a ½ C of hot water, 1 C of non-instant powdered milk, 1 C sugar and 1 T of butter. (Yes, butter. You know, the stuff that you’re now canning for a rainy day?) Just mix it all in a blender and presto! You’ve got your very affordable, sweetened condensed milk to use in any great recipe!

Making evaporated milk is just as easy. To make 12 ounces of evaporated milk, simply mix 1½ C of water with a generous ½ C of non-instant powdered milk.  You may not be aware of this, but you can use evaporated milk successfully as a substitute for cream, half-and-half, or even whole milk in any recipe. Pretty darn simple, eh? I LOVE to mix 12 ounces of this in a sauce pan along with ½ C of butter and  about 1 C of strawberry puree to make humdrum pancakes taste a bit more gourmet! Also, The Food Network showed me that adding some evaporated milk to your meatloaf is the key to keeping it moist and yummy!

Add some powdered milk to some flour and butter and you’ve got the makings for some GREAT white sauces to go on pasta, vegetables, and even as a soup base. YUM!

And last, but not least is using powdered milk to make buttermilk. Just take 1 C of  your milk (made from powdered, of course) and add 1 T of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it stand for 5 minutes and then proceed to use it in your recipe that calls for buttermilk. Some of my favorite treats are made from buttermilk and I’m not about to do without them. So, just because I love my readers, I’m going to share my two most favorite buttermilk treats. You’ll LOVE them!

Celestial Syrup

Pancakes, anyone? Photo c/o unabashedlyvegan.blogspot.com

Pancakes, anyone? Photo c/o unabashedlyvegan.blogspot.com

Combine the following in a small sauce pan:

¾ C sugar
½ C buttermilk
¼ C butter

  • Boil for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and add ½ t. baking soda and 1 t. vanilla.
  • The puree of any fruit can be added, but is not necessary. It’s heavenly without it.
  • Serve over pancakes, waffles, or your favorite ice cream.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pudding

2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding
2 C of cold buttermilk (If you don’t have refrigeration, this will still taste just fine.)

  • Whisk together until well blended.
  • Fold in 1 16 oz tub of Cool Whip. (You can make whipped topping from powdered milk as well, of course.)
    Fold in 2 small drained cans of mandarin oranges. (I like to cut the oranges in half to create more “perfect bites.”)
  • Then fold in the entire package of Keebler Fudge Striped cookies, crushed. (I just got a bunch of them for only 50 cents each and then sealed them in a large Mason jar for maximum shelf life.)
  • Chill for about 30 minutes or more. (Again, refrigeration isn’t necessary to serve this dish–only if you’re going to store it. I like to fold in the cookies just before serving, but this is a still yummy even a couple of days out!)

There’s more to discover to your powdered milk. Just keep exploring and “milking it” for all it’s worth. We haven’t addressed yet everything that’s possible to make out of powdered milk, but it’s a worthwhile start. Enjoy!

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.

 

powdered-milkOk, I admit it. I used to hate powdered milk as a kid.  But I have to admit, it’s come a long ways in 30 years, thank goodness.  With the cost of milk nowadays, if you’ve got more than 2 mouths to feed, it can cost as much for milk as it does to fill up your car with gas.  And if you’re a “dairy freak” like I am, you’ll wonder what in the world you’ll do in the event of an emergency when you may be FORCED to use powdered milk regularly.


powdered-milk-21Other than the fact that I always type the word “powdered” incorrectly, I truly do value this storage staple.  It will indulge my every dairy craving in a pinch, including buttermilk, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese.  Just a little bit of culturing and it turns into whatever dairy product I desire.  In fact, I can even combine it with an equal amount of ice water and some flavoring and turn it into a yummy fluffy dessert topping.  And it’s great in all of my recipes.  It costs half as much as “fresh” milk, has zero cholesterol, zero fat, and is high in calcium, vitamin D and protein.  And hey, it even comes in an easy to store box which I can neatly stack on my shelves.  I have found no problem using it as a milk substitute in every recipe with just a bit of water added to it.  I can also make dry baked mixes or beverage mixes ahead of time with it with no need for anything else but water.  Ironically, the only thing I don’t care for powdered milk is as a substitute for just plain milk.  However, I have discovered the trick of adding in a ½ teaspoon of vanilla per half gallon of powdered milk mixture to make it taste a lot better.  I find that powdered milk tastes just fine when mixed equally with whole milk as well.  Plus, I’ve never had kids complain when I mix chocolate syrup or strawberry syrup in it straight.

 

Powdered milk tastes best if it is mixed up and allowed to chill overnight before serving, or for at least 4 hours.  Chilling actually aids in dissolving the powdered milk completely and gives it a fresher flavor.

 

OK.  To use powdered milk for just about anything, you first need to learn to reconstitute it.  So let’s start with that.

 

Reconstituted Powdered Milk:

refrigerate-milkTake a 2 quart pitcher and fill it just over half with very cold tap water.  Then add 2 and 2/3 cup of powdered milk.  Using a long whisk, whisk the milk until it appears to be well mixed and the milk appears to be mostly dissolved.  Then fill the pitcher to full with additional cold water.  It’s best to have a lid on the pitcher and then place it in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours.  

 

To make buttermilk from reconstituted milk, you’re going to need some “starter.”  But don’t worry.  You can buy the small pints of buttermilk and store them in your freezer until you’re ready to use them. 

Cultured Buttermilk: You won’t believe how easy this is!  Take 3 and ¾ cups of reconstituted milk and add it to ½ cup of commercial buttermilk.  Allow it to sit on the counter overnight (8 to 10 hours at room temperature) and Voila! You’ve got buttermilk!  (I store it refrigerated thereafter, just so you know.)  I have to have buttermilk to make my all time favorite syrup recipe (Sorry, I’m going to save that for another post).

chocolatemilkHere’s another idea that I have loved to use with powdered milk.  It’s called “molasses milk.”  All you do is warm up about ¾ cup of reconstituted milk and then stir in a regular spoonful of molasses (double and triple accordingly).  It’s yummy.  It kind of tastes like caramel toffee.  And here you thought that molasses was just for cookies.  

Hopefully from reading this you’ve thought about the importance of having powdered milk in your supplies, along with molasses, chocolate syrup, and vanilla extract in your storage items.  For future reference I would also add that you’ll want lemon juice and cocoa as well.   

 

I look forward to sharing more with you later.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.

You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!