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Home Food Storage

Posted by grainlady (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 3, 10 at 16:50

Anyone else out there doing SERIOUS home food storage? Please share your frugal ideas on the subject. I can always use more real life experiences and good resources.

I've been storing beyond a well-stocked pantry for several years now and I'm sure the value of the food has earned more "interest" than if it would have been in the bank, considering how much food has increased. Once I got serious, it took 18-months to accomplish on a $200/month food budget, to set aside enough food for at least 1-year.

Three levels of food storage:

#1 - 72-hour Emergency Foods - foods that don't require heating or refrigerating from all the food groups. Portable.

#2 - Pantry Foods - Items I need for preparing food each day. Amounts for 6-12 months.

#3 - Long-term Emergency Foods - Mostly in #10 cans for long storage times. Powdered, freeze-dried, dehydrated and vacuum-sealed foods, as well as dry goods (grains/beans/seeds). At least enough for one year, and many of the "Seven Survival Foods" (grains, legumes, sprouting seeds, sweetener, salt, oil, and powdered milk) I have more than one year in storage.

There are many methods to accomplish this task, many good books written on the subject, lots of on-line information, but the important thing is to give it some consideration and see if it's right for you. The old story of the "Grasshopper and the Ant" comes to mind.

If you've thought about this, but didn't exactly know where to start, perhaps you'll get some ideas.

Now that the food storage is established I am fine-tuning things. One thing I'll be doing beginning January is reducing the amount I spend on food. In 2009 it was $200/month. In 2010 I reduced it to $150/month, and for 2011 it will be $100/month (fingers crossed as I become a food bargain specialists to the max...;-) - for two adults.

-Food is only purchased at rock-bottom prices, so I generally get more for my money than folks who shop for what they need or want.

-Make all baked goods and "convenience" foods. I store wheat and variety of grains/seeds/beans and mill my own flour for even more savings. With ideas such as "Gifts In A Jar" type recipes, I can make my own "convenience" mixes.

-Storage is restricted to real food - basic food, not a lot of convenience foods.

-I store food with nutrition in mind. Empty calories never fed anyone.

I hope there is some good discussion in this thread.

-Grainlady


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Home Food Storage

You have probably mentioned it before but which canning system do you use? Until I saw a canning system with metal cans in a seed catalog I had never considered cans to hold food. Your mention of using it for long term storage would seem to keep things fresher than freezing or putting in large glass jars.


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RE: Home Food Storage

Hi Grainlady!
I always get so much from your posts. Unfortunately, I am allergic to wheat. Other than rice do you store a lot of grains and if so which ones have you had success with? Baking is really hard for me as I have had to limit the use of yeast and learn how to bake using other leavening agents as well as no wheat or spelt. Any insight you may have on storing alternate grains is appreciated.
Thanks!!!


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RE: Home Food Storage

maifleur - I purchase dry-goods, as well as freeze-dried, dehydrated, and powdered foods which are already in #10 cans, but there are home canners (a fairly expensive investment for home use), and if you are a member of the LDS church you can use their canneries for canning dry-goods (you need to purchase your cans and oxygen absorbers). I also store dry-goods in canning jars and vacuum seal canning lids on them with my FoodSaver.

Other more affordable options:
-Mylar bags, plastic buckets, glass jars and oxygen-absorbers to remove the oxygen.

-Removing oxygen with a vacuum-seal (such as a FoodSaver), which can be done in bags, canning jars, and with the Universal Lid on containers with a smooth rim (i.e. a 1-pound coffee can, a large glass storage jar...).

The biggest reason for using cans for dry-good storage is, as you mentioned, longer storage time. Oxygen-free storage will always lengthen the storage time. Foods degrade fastest due to oxygen, heat and light. The more food you can keep oxygen-free and at room temperature (50-70-degrees F.), or colder, the safer and more stable your food sources will be. A freezer, although it's great for food storage, isn't a stable source because it relies on electricity.

I no longer do home canning in jars because of the expense, lower amounts of nutrients, and the suggested storage time of 1-year for home-canned foods. I get more nutrients and a longer storage time by purchasing freeze-dried foods for long-term storage.

Even though one can safely use heat-processed home-canned jars of food well after 1-year, a large percentage of the nutrients are destroyed during processing and even more the longer you store them. Consider this information from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning" (the "bible" of home canning), "Nearly half of the vitamins may be lost within a few days [of harvest] unless the fresh produce is cooled or preserved. Within 1-2 weeks, even refrigerated produce loses half or more of some of its vitamins. The heating process during canning destroys from one-third to one-half of vitamins A and C, thiamin, and riboflavin. Once canned, additional losses of these sensitive vitamins are from 5 to 20 percent each year. The amounts of other vitamins, however, are only slightly lower in canned compared with fresh food."

I also dehydrate a lot of garden produce and even dehydrate frozen vegetables and fruit when I find a good bargain, and store it in vacuum-sealed canning jars. Once again, the storage time isn't as long as commercially canned foods.

You might enjoy information in Wendy DeWitt's videos. She places a large amount of dry-goods in canning jars and vacuum-seals them with a FoodSaver.

http://allaboutfoodstorage.com/2009/05/wendy-dewitt-food-storage-presentation/
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veggrljo -

At one time I had 28 varieties of grains/seeds/beans in storage - not sure how many I have now.... All of them can be made into flour or other variations of the grain with many uses. Most of my grain is stored in oxygen-free storage. The exception is grain/seeds/beans I use for sprouting. They are stored in air-tight containers, not oxygen-free.

I mill beans into bean flour. Using pinto bean or black bean flour I can make "instant" refried beans in a few minutes by adding water and cooking for about 8-minutes, as just one example. There are a lot of uses for bean flour in cooking and baking. Check your library for a copy of "Country Beans" by Rita Bingham.

My mother was gluten intolerant, so I'm very familiar with your plight to avoid wheat, and other gluten-containing grains. I've developed gluten-free cookie recipes for a sorghum mill just outside of town and still do a lot of gluten-free baking.

I store LOTS of gluten-free grains/seeds/beans. Corn (dent and popping corn) would be #1 on that list, as well as sorghum, rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, tef, amaranth (which I grow myself), quinoa, flax, large variety of legumes.... I've always gone into shock at the prices of commercial gluten-free flour. And as with all whole grains/seeds/beans, buying in bulk is less expensive and milling your own will give you the most nutrients - FRESH IS BEST!!! Just remember to use your mill EXCLUSIVELY for gluten-free grains to avoid cross contamination.

Many gluten-free seeds/grains can be milled in a Coffee/Spice Mill and don't require a large mill or grinder. For the life of me, I've never understood why anyone would buy rice flour when it's so easy to mill in a Coffee/Spice Mill. It's also best to use short-grain rice for baking. Long-grain rice does well for a thickener and breading, but not baking; while short- or medium- grain rice are used for ALL applications used for rice flour.

I also store (vacuum-sealed in canning jars) large amounts of gluten-free coconut flour and almond flour (Honeyville Grain) and use them on a regular basis for baked goods. They could also be stored in the freezer for longer storage time. Coconut flour and almond flour are great choices for low-carb diets and people who have diabetes. We just enjoyed Date Pecan Muffins made with almond flour for breakfast (recipe source: The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook - by Elana Amsterdam).

When using coconut flour, you have to use a large number of eggs, and that may be a drawback to using it. I generally use powdered whole eggs (also purchased in #10 cans) - especially when they are less expensive per egg than fresh shell eggs.

Recipes:
http://www.tiana-coconut.com/coconut_flour_recipes.htm

http://www.simplycoconut.com/Coco Flour Recipes.pdf

http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/

-Grainlady


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RE: Home Food Storage

Thanks Grainlady!
I had been actively working on food storage for several months last year and had built up a about a 4 month supply of all but dairy items. Even had a supply of soap, toothpaste, cleaning items etc.
Because we live in Hurricane Country we keep a 3 to 5 day supply of food and water on hand. We also have a water purifier and purification tablets as well as survival gear as we do a lot of camping and hiking.

Currently, our supplies are down to about a month and a half as I have been trying to use up what we have and rotate in new items. I know I should be rotating as I go but have not mastered that as yet.
I do some home canning because I enjoy doing so. I make jams and jellies as well as pickled vegetables. I canned tomatoes and salsa last year. They taste great but were a lot of effort for the amt. canned. I have even made saurkraut.
Unfortunately, where I live if you have a full pantry you are called a food "hoarder". The thing is we share the wealth (donate) and can whip up meals fairy quickly since almost everything is usually on hand.

We do keep some convenience foods mainly cold cereal, and salty snacks. My husband really likes cold cereal. I am ok without.

I have been working 2 jobs and am glad to be going back to be going down to one this week. Hopefully, this will free up some time to get my winter garden back in order and clean out my pantry to regroup.
Thanks for all of your information Grainlady!


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RE: Home Food Storage

grainlady,

I know from reading the wealth of information you provide on the cooking forum that you use a solar oven. I�ve been looking into them and am curious as to what you would recommend. DH has also been working on a plan to build me an outdoor bread oven. Something we could use in emergencies and just have fun with.


In the last couple of years I have managed to stock an emergency food pantry. I think I could feed us for at least a year and probably longer and as you have noted I hardly spend any money on food most weeks and only buy when it really cheap. I hope we have an edge on the inflated food prices that are coming plus now it�s a game to see if I can beat the system. I know the grocery stores play a game with us changing the prices every week and so far I thing I am winning hands down.

Claudia


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RE: Home Food Storage

Claudia -

I don't know about you, but it is such a comfort knowing there is a well-stocked pantry. And like you, I now only purchase food at rock-bottom prices for home food storage, which is another way to save.

I have two Solar Ovens, a Tulsi-Hybrid and a Sun Oven. The Tulsi-Hybrid has an electrical back-up. If the temperature of the Tulsi drops to an unsafe cooking temperature (due to clouds or hazey conditions), the electric back-up will heat the oven. You can also use the Tulsi like a Crock-Pot, using the electric mode to cook food anytime day or night. If an unexpected rain shower comes up, I'll wheel my oven into the garage, plug it in and finish cooking in there. Still keeping the heat out of the kitchen.

I can cook more food in the Tulsi than the Sun Oven. It comes with 4 lidded containers (reminds me of candy tins painted black) that work very well in the oven so you can cook 4 things at once. When I make bread in the Tulsi, because of it's lower profile than the Sun Oven, I bake small loaves or rolls. A large loaf of bread could easily rise to the top of the oven and destroy the rise and the bread.

The Sun Oven is used for a large loaf of bread, anything I cook in a quart jar (I paint the outside of the jars with paint designed for repainting bbq grills), and is a great all-around oven.

There are a lot of tips and tricks for using a Solar Oven. I'd suggest one or two cookbooks on the subject (you may find some at your library, which is where I first got my information about solar cooking) - "Cooking With the Sun" by Beth and Dan Halacy is a favorite, and you can also find good recipes on-line. This link has a large selection of books: http://solarcooking.org/books.htm

-Meat cooks best in smaller portions, but you can cook a small turkey or whole chicken.

-I bake small potatoes in a black sock (used only for baking potatoes). Large potatoes are a challenge to get done, so I only use small-medium sized potatoes. Some foods will cook best if you place them in a Reynolds Oven Bag.

-Start early. You have to pre-heat the oven (20-30 minutes) before adding food. As soon as you add food expect the temperature to drop, but it will gain heat again. Try not to open the doors in order to maintain good cooking temperatures. With the Tulsi, I can use the electric portion to aid in getting the oven pre-heated. With all the reflectors and the electric on high, I can quickly get 350-degrees F to bake bread.

-You can't put the dinner in the oven at 4:00 p.m. and expect it ready at 5:00. You will do most of your cooking/baking at mid-day.

-Use thin, dark bakeware and containers.

-You need to be around to move the oven so it tracks the movement of the sun. I strap my ovens on a heavy-duty cart (to keep the wind from blowing them off). The cart is one my husband used to keep his tool boxes on - it was purchased in the automotive department at Sears. It's on wheels, so I can keep my ovens in the garage and wheel them out to the side patio which has good south exposure to the sun.

-Wear sunglasses when getting in and out of the ovens so you protect your eyes from possible sun damage, should you reflect the light towards your eyes.

-Wear heat-resistant, gloves or mitts. I prefer the "Ove Glove" (check Big Lots for lowest price). Having fingers to use is safer than hands locked in a mitt or holding onto a hot-pad. I take a jelly roll or cake pan to the oven to use as a tray to safely transport hot food to the house.

I think you will find the link below helpful. You can download the free information by Wendy DeWitt "Everything Under The Sun" - Food Storage for the Solar Oven. All her home food storage and recipes are designed to be prepared in a Solar Oven.

Solar cooking takes some getting used to, but it works well once you get the hang of it. I've considered an outdoor oven as well. I also have a large supply of charcoal in storage to use with our Cobb Grill. If you aren't familiar with the unique features of Cobb Grills, you may want to give them a look.

Good luck sifting through all the information... It can be a bit overwhelming. My first solar oven was a flimsy, rinky-dink, piece of junk I purchased from Lehman's (on-line). But it was good enough to show me I could get better results by getting a better quality solar oven. I couldn't use it very much because it's always windy in Kansas and it would blow apart or bend with the wind, but well worth the lessons learned from it - so all was not lost ;-).

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: All About Food Storage - Wendy DeWitt


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RE: Home Food Storage

Grainlady,

One again you are a wealth of information. I have the Sun Oven on my wish list on Amazon just waiting to save up enough gift cards to get it. We use our Visa card for everything, even utilities and insurance, so I get a $50 gift car about every few months. It�s just another way to beat the system and something I wish I would have started doing years ago. I will look into the Tulsi-Hybrid as well and check out the library for the books.

We live in the mountains of central Ca. just below the snow level. Summers are very hot and dry and even today in mid December it going to be almost 70 and sunny. We are trying to be prepared for any emergency that may come up. Earthquakes are always in our future and the way things are going civil unrest in even a possibility. We really only have one market in our valley with a couple of small grocery stores that cater to the tourist so if something happens we know we will be on our own. The Red Cross will not be coming. If we have a big earthquake the canyon would fall down, the bridges will fall and our very small town will be cut off for months. We do have the river within walking distance for water and keep our big propane tank filled even in the summer. I think I am just about as prepared as I can get we could probably live pretty good just shopping in our own closets for several years. DH teases me about the amount of toilet paper we have in stock and I always remind him that it could be used as barter if it really came to that. Thank again for sharing your knowledge.

Claudia


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RE: Home Food Storage

Claudia - You might consider adding one more thing to your list, a non-electric water distiller or a small Berkey water filter (we have both).

There are so many chemicals used in farming around here, which has contaminated water supplies today, it would be scary to use untested well water without some kind of purification system. We also have an electric distiller that I use everyday. It costs me 21-cents per gallon to distill water and I use a lot in my humidifiers this time of the year.

When it comes to TP, I've got a good stock of it as well, but I also have a stock of cloth wipes I made from flannel (a bundle of inexpensive washcloths would also work) and cleaning supplies for soaking water (Grapefruit Seed Extract, Lysol - in the brown bottle), as well as a soaking container (plus rubber gloves).

Just remember if you ever have to resort to catalogs, phone books, etc. -- crumple the sheets first, to soften them - especially slick paper. I also keep several end-rolls of newsprint paper I buy from the local newspaper. It has a LOT of uses (coloring paper for kids, gift wrap, packing...), but in the back of my mind I'd rather use it in an emergency if TP were unavailable, than some other things I could think of. People who go through disasters will tell you how the value of TP goes up.

-Grainlady


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RE: Home Food Storage

Boy I hope we never have to resort to catalogs, phonebooks. I do have a good supply of old sheets and towels that I keep for rags plus I stocked up on those wet wipes that are very inexpensive. I didn�t realize they I could still buy Lysol. I do have a several gallons of regular bleach and I always have peroxide on hand I use it doing whites in the laundry.

Our water company pumps our water from wells and if the pumps failed the water from the river is very good. There is nothing but wilderness between us and Mount Whitney well except the river rafter and a few fishermen. DH is in charge of water purification and he said he has it handled I may have to boil it but I�ve been drinking water from the river on camping trips for years and haven�t died yet. Edison Co. our electric supplier has 3 power plant on the Kern River the first just a few miles upriver from us. The other 2 are below the dam. Our town gets it electricity from the power plant upriver and all the guys that run it live here. I have been told that even if the entire grid across the US went down they could get our small town going. Maybe not in an EMP attack!

I would love to watch the Wendy DeWitt videos but living where we do we have dialup and YouTube just doesn�t work well with dialup. I�ve always kept a well stocked pantry but not until DH and I both read One Second After did we invest in any long term food storage. Without getting political not much of anything our current administration will do would surprise me. I hope I am wrong but feel we need to be prepared for just about any circumstance. My 90 year old father said to me not long ago that for the first time in his life he is afraid for his children and grandchildren. It made me sad to know he is worried for us.

Claudia


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RE: Home Food Storage

I definately will get going on food storage after Christmas. I have a lot already, but I know I don't have enough protein. I intend to get many more beans, some rice, and some more grains.

We prefer brown rice, but I know it doesn't store as well. I'll be doing some research.

I also plan to order some kefir grains. The buttermilk that I have been putting in the whole wheat bread is not cheap.

The reason I have so much in the freezers is that we had a great garden. But I plan on learning to dry as much as I can.


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RE: Home Food Storage

I have a few side comments for Claudia and any others doing long term storage. TP starts to break down in about year 4 and can be dust and be just a whisper of it's former self by year 6.

You can not tell how healthy water is by just looking at it. There are many protozoa that are spread by water. Giardiasis can cause intermittent diarrhea or urinary tract problems for years before being diagnosed.

If you live in a valley and the walls collapse, the collapse will probably cause any streams to back up forming a lake.

One of the things I have noticed especially where buildings are damaged is the authorities try to keep you out of your homes. For this reason I have been considering placing some supplies in a shed away from the main house. If you run the risk of being shot because you try to sneak into your own house to recover your supplies it is not worth stocking up.

Freezers are good storage but if the lights go out you may have several months of food rotting. Better to have a neighborhood feed and use the food than tossing it away. I always find it funny the amount of frozen food you see in peoples carts when a hurricane or bad winter storm is expected. With a winter storm you can stick the food outside in a shady area but not after a hurricane.


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RE: Home Food Storage

Can someone tell what you use to mill white beans?

Today I added 100 lbs of wheat, some oatmeal, apples and some beans in #10 cans.

I ordered my kefir grains and the first batch should be ready now.

I have my 4 gallon bucket of Charlies soap and some toilet paper. Maifleur stated that tp breaks down between year 4 and 6. If disaster lasts that long, I'll probably be ready to lie down and die! :>)

I have a lot of other things, too. I will be taking inventory and adding as needed.


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RE: Home Food Storage

You mill beans (of all kinds) just like you would mill wheat.

Check your library for the book "Country Beans" by Rita Bingham and you'll find all kinds of recipes for using all kinds of bean flour. The link below has several recipes from the book.

It sounds like you've got a good start on home food storage - way-to-go!

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Country Beans - by Rita Bingham


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RE: Home Food Storage

What kinds of fats are best for long term storage? What about sweeteners? I know honey is reommended, but what about it turning to sugar? I know you can warm it to liquify it again, but isn't that a pain?


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RE: Home Food Storage

In my opinion, and according to some home-storage "experts", the best fat for LONG-term storage is coconut oil, and it's the one I have the most of and use daily (approx. 3-years worth). Fat is an important storage item and is one of the "Seven Survival Foods" (grain, legumes, seeds for sprouting, fat, sweetener, salt, and powdered milk).

Coconut oil has an extremely long shelf-life compared to vegetable oil, shortening, butter or margarine - the more common fats used and stored, and can be used wherever they are called for. Click on the link below for more information and a comparison chart.

I purchase LouAna brand from Wal-Mart or my local grocery store (Dillons) - which ever is cheapest - and it's sometimes on sale. I also have Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and a couple other brands in storage - I purchase them on-line. LouAna has no coconut taste or smell, so works well for all cooking and baking. Nutiva (and the other brands) smell like coconut and also have a light coconut flavor (which may not be to the liking of everyone - you coconut-haters know who you are (LOL)! Coconut oil can also be used as a bread-spread, instead of butter or margarine.

Other foods that provide "fat" found in our food storage room... peanut butter, olive oil, nuts, flax seed, chia seeds, whole egg powder, etc.... I also keep powdered butter in storage.

I store a wide variety of sweeteners, including several kinds of honey. Honey has an indefinite shelf-life, as does granulated sugar, and that's why they work so well in storage; and you're right - you warm it in a pan of water when it crystallizes it to reliquify it.

Raw honey with high pollen content will crystallize even faster than your normal processed commercial honey products from the store, and cold temperatures also cause crystals. Some people store honey in the freezer, but should expect crystals if they do.

You might like to store dried honey (expensive), but it may include ingredients other than honey - but it's another option. http://www.honey.com/images/downloads/driedhoney.pdf

I also have some imitation sugar-free honey as part of my low-glycemic sweeteners. I don't use a lot of "sugar" and usually use the low-glycemic sweeteners. We don't use chemical sweeteners (Nutrasweet, Splenda, etc.). Diabetes runs in my husbands family, so we watch all carbs, including "sugar".

Other low-glycemic sweeteners: Agave Nectar (a honey-like product with long storage life), palm sugar (aka Coconut Sugar, or coconut palm sugar), Stevia and Sun Crystals (a stevia/sugar blend).

Other sweeteners: REAL maple syrup and maple sugar (it has important glyco-nutrients not easily found in food today), molasses (an important food source of iron) and powdered molasses, sorghum, Steen's 100% Pure Cane Syrup, Lyle's Golden Syrup (another cane syrup), Succanat and Turbinado sugar. Oh, yes, granulated sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar.

Store the type of sweeteners you like to use, and possibly some sugar-substitutes or low-glycemic sweeteners if you need to prepare food for a diabetic or someone with glucose problems. I like to "play" with food and try different sweeteners - that's why I have so many.

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Shelf-life Comparison of Fats


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RE: Home Food Storage

Grainlady, I have been trying to put a little bit away every week in case of emergency. We live out in the country and I know we wont get any help if anything happens. My biggest concern is proteins. Two of us in our family of 6 have IBD (ulcerative colitis) and we cannot handle soy products very well. I have been looking at some of the companies that sell storage foods and they mostly do not use real meat in their products. Do you have any ideas I could use? Thank you, I have been reading your post for some time and I am an admirer.


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RE: Home Food Storage

caavonldy-

That's a great plan... It took me 18-months to get a full year of food in storage on a $200/month food budget, plus I have 3-years worth of the "Seven Survival Foods". Now my food budget is $125/month, so that's one of the benefits from having home food storage (this amount is for two adults).

I talked with my best friend about this very subject just last night because she's diabetic and very carb sensitive and can't eat soy either.

These are sources of protein I have in storage. You probably already have many of them.

1. Protein powders, especially whey protein. Whey has the highest BV (Biological Value) and you will assimilate more protein from whey than any other source of protein. The next highest are eggs, then beef, chicken, fish and legumes - on down the scale.

2. Powdered whole eggs. I get mine from Honeyville Grain in #10 cans. When powdered eggs are less expensive per egg than shell eggs I use powdered eggs. About the only shell eggs I use these days are when the store sends me a coupon for a dozen eggs - free. There are approximately 80-90 eggs per #10 can. I love powdered eggs when I want to make 6-muffins and I need 1/2 an egg. Many foods we make don't need a whole egg, so using 1/2 an egg in pancakes, for instance, it also saves some money.

3. If you have a pressure canner you can home-can all kinds of meat. (see link below)

4. Canned meat from the store. When I was a child back in the mid-50's we had a refrigerator that had a freezer about 12-inches square, and for a family of 6 who only got groceries once-a-month, there wasn't enough room for much meat in it, so mom served all kinds of canned salmon, tuna, Chicken A la King, Spam, Ham Spread, Chunk Ham, Roast
Beef, Chicken, Dried Beef for you-know-what on a shingle....;-) I remember whole stewed chickens coming in cans and made wonderful chicken noodle soup.

Now I make White Chili with a 10-oz. can of chicken, can of white beans (or home-cooked beans), cup of water and some McCormick White Chicken Chili Seasoning Mix - all are pantry foods.

I have many of those same foods in storage and most of them have very long storage times. When you start looking at the store you'll find a good assortment of meat in cans. I even have Yoder Bacon in cans.

5. Most expensive... Freeze-dried meats which reconstitute in a few minutes in hot water. I have freeze-dried ground beef, sausage crumbles, white turkey, chicken, beef roast, and diced ham (I've also noticed freeze-dried shrimp and pork chops recently...). Check Mountain House, Emergency Essentials, Honeyville Grain, Nitro-Pak, Augason Farms.

There is freeze-dried cheese and cheese powder in storage. Shredded Colby or Mozzarella will rehydrate in a few minutes in warm water and will feel, taste, and melt just like freshly-grated cheese.

6. I also keep Vital Wheat Gluten in #10 cans in storage to use as a meat extender or meat substitute and make "wheat meat" (aka fake meat, seitan or gluten) with it. There is nearly as much protein in ground "wheat meat" as there is in ground beef. I mix it 50/50 with any kind of ground meat I'm using to get more protein for my money - I also cut fat and cholesterol. I can make this from whole wheat flour, but it's easier to make it from Vital Wheat Gluten. Ground gluten can also be used as a high-protein granola-like "cereal". For more information: "The Amazing Wheat Book" by LeArta Moulton or http://www.livingwithbasics.com/documents/awb-recipes/pdf/wheatgluten.pdf

7. Lesser amounts of protein from powdered milk, peanut butter, beans/seeds/grains/nuts. The bulk of the milk in storage is a whey-based milk substitute - Morning Moo's - www.augasonfarms.com. And I also use another non-fat dry milk product - Country Cream - http://www.grandmascountryfoods.com/ Morning Moo's is less expensive and makes 22-quarts per #10 can while Country Cream makes 20-quarts. Both of these milk products come in bulk amounts for a real savings on milk if you are going to use it on a regular basis, or for storage - #10 cans. Both taste as good as regular store bought milk. We only use powdered milk.

Good luck.

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: National Center for Home Food Preservation


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RE: Home Food Storage

Thank you Grainlady, you have given me some good ideas. I do have protein powder on hand as will as lots of tuna, canned chili, soups, peanut butter, beef stew, powdered eggs and milk. I keep lots of rice, beans, pasta and mac and cheese as the girls really love those. I also have powdered cheese that I use to add extra flavor to casseroles.

I didn't know you could do so much with the Vital Wheat Gluten, I keep it on hand for when I bake bread. it adds more protein and helps the bread rise more.

Before Y2K, I did a lot of stocking up and I thought I was well prepared. I had a Molena hand crank grain mill , lots of corn and wheat to grind.

I don't have as much storage here and I also have a retired hubby who goes to the store with me. He is not so supportive of my efforts to put away for emergencies as I am. We are lucky that we have a propane stove and two older Colman stoves and many cans of fuel. I have also squirled away a few oil lanterns and a kerosene heater. I do have to get the hubby to buy more kerosene as he uses it around the garage.

We have two teenage granddaughters and a disabled son so I tend to worry about being able to take care of my family. With the world the way it is, I just keep buying an extra few cans or bags of rice or beans and tucking them under one of the beds or in the back of the closets. I use the 1/2 gal mason jars to keep foods in and use the vacuum sealer on the lids.

One thing that I don't see mentioned here is the importance of having a really good stash of first aid items.I have a big plastic tote that I keep filled with all kind of bandages and materials. A good first aid book is important also.


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