This is a survival board on our groups forum. Many of our members joined our 18th century Living History forum because they had a strong interest in survival & prepping, so we also added The Survival Connection board.
This board is like a separate forum, it is not just for primitive gear & primitive skills, it covers anything & everything in regards to survival.
The Survival Connection Forum: http://neclhg.freeforums.net/board/18/survival-connection
Discovering or Rediscovering Herbs!
Host: Lynna… “A Preppers Path” Audio player provided!
Our relationship with the herb reaches back thousands of years and at one time herbs were an essential part of life. We used them to preserve food as well as make foods more nourishing. We used them for medicinal purposes and for religious ceremonies. There was hardly anything in our daily lives that herbs didn’t have a role in.
In our modern kitchens, we hardly feel the passing of the seasons. We have the luxury of New Zealand apples, Chilean grapes and Hawaiian pineapple, all cheap and plentiful even in January.
For our ancestors, winter meals were a very different thing. They were limited to whatever they could store, hunt or harvest. Those same food traditions survive in our modern cooking, in wintertime “comfort foods.” Foods heavy with flour, fat and salt.
Even with modern refrigeration, salt-preserved meats still make their way onto our modern tables. That’s because they’re more than just practical, they’re delicious.
Some people will tell you that all you need is salt to preserve a whole pig without refrigeration. While that is technically true, there’s an art to preserving it well. Each cut has its own flavors, brought out by time-honored preservation techniques.
The pioneers would have known how to make the best use of each and every part because it was knowledge passed down through every family.
Beyond charcuterie, there are plenty of other ways to preserve meat without refrigeration.
Grains & Dry Goods
If left whole and not ground, wheat berries will last for decades, and have the added bonus that they can either be planted in a pinch or ground into flour at home.
Other dry goods, like dried beans, oats and rice, are great staple winter foods used by the pioneers, as well. Though you might not be happy about it, you can survive the winter on beans and rice alone.
The pioneers would have had dried beans and grains on hand to get them through not only this winter, but possibly the next winter, too. Crop failures are not uncommon, and if next summer’s grain crop never comes in, keeping two years worth on hand may just save your life.
Root Cellar Fruit & Vegetables
Modern fruit and vegetable varieties are a bit different than their heirloom counterparts. The pioneers had specific storage varieties of just about every fruit and vegetable. True, some kept longer than others. The best storage grapes will keep about on month, while the very best storage apple variety, Newton Pippin, will keep for over a year.
Many other apple varieties will keep for five-plus months, more than enough to get you through the winter.
Now that people know about the benefits of probiotics in your diet, fermented foods are making a comeback. Historically, lacto-fermentation was a practical way of keeping vegetables fresh for six months or more. A crock of sauerkraut bubbling away in the basement or root cellar would have kept until springtime, adding much-needed nutrition and variety to heavy winter meals.
Just about any vegetable can be lacto-fermented at home with just a bit of salt and patience.
If left in their shells and kept in a cool, dry place, most nuts will keep through the winter and into the following spring. The pioneers didn’t just keep the nuts we know and love today.
The Little House on the Prairie books record that the pioneers foraged beechnuts in the fall in great number, and processed them using the same thresher that they used for oats, beans and grain. With three times the protein in acorns, and none of the tannin, beech nuts were a smart choice for winter.
Even today, most of the wild nut varieties foraged by our ancestors are still available and plentiful.
Hard Cheese & Eggs
While we think of cheese and eggs as highly perishable today, the pioneers managed to keep them for extended periods. Unwashed eggs keep at room temperature for weeks, and they’ll keep longer if waxed or stored in ashes.
Hard cheeses were once waxed to keep them shelf stable in a root cellar all winter long.
Cows don’t produce nearly as much cream in the winter. Hay isn’t as rich as summer forage, and the composition and flavor of the milk changes. True, you can still make some butter, but wintertime is by and large the time for making use of lard from fall processed pigs.
Properly rendered lard doesn’t taste like pork. It has a clean, neutral flavor and snow white color. It’s perfect for making pie crusts and biscuits, and for frying homemade doughnuts.
Even more importantly, it’s a source of much-needed calories and comfort. While lard may not be as appealing in July, it’s a welcome friend in January.
Like it or not, liquor is a practical way of preserving food and calories. Cider (fresh sweet cider) as we know it today was almost unheard of. In as little as 24 hours, sweet cider begins to ferment into hard cider. Once fully fermented, it’s only about half as strong as wine.
Beyond direct fermentation, settlers would make something known as “gentleman’s jam” in a crock in the root cellar. Layering in fruit, covering with sugar and then submerging in spirits, summer fruits were preserved all winter long.
A single large crock would begin with the early summer fruits like strawberries, and then layer in summer and fall fruits A few months to condition, and by midwinter the flavors had combined into a sweet, albeit highly alcoholic, treat.
What foods would you add to our story? Share your thoughts in the section below:
From backyard gardens to large-scale farms, fall is often viewed as harvest time. But “nature’s garden” is in full yield in the autumn, too, as the trees begin to lose their leaves and heavy frosts set in.
Following are a few of the highest-yielding, nutritious wild foods that are ready for harvest in the fall. You will need a good plant ID book to make sure you get the right plant. As with foraging at any time, do NOT eat anything you are not 100 percent certain is the correct plant.
Many plants begin to bring their energy into their roots in the fall to wait out the winter underground, in preparation for a growth explosion in the spring. Most root crops can either be dug up with a shovel, or pulled up after loosening the soil around them with the garden fork.
1. Burdock (Arctium species): a variety of burdock has been eaten in Japan for centuries, and with a delicious sweet flavor and a delightful crunchy texture, it’s well worth trying. Burdock should be harvested the fall of their first year (before they produce along central stock with flowers) and can be dried or eaten right away.
2. Chicory (Cichorium intybus): known as an excellent coffee substitute, chicory is best harvested once the top of the plant mostly dies, sending its energy to the roots. It can be roasted and ground into a powder for a delightful tea high in nutrients.
3. Dandelion (Taraxacum species): another potential coffee substitute, dandelion roots are known as a powerful medicine and can be roasted much the same way as chicory. Be careful not to confuse them with chicory, since the leaves look similar.
Many nuts are available in the fall, and they are available from year to year under two categories: mast year nut producers, and annual producers. Mast year nuts produce nuts irregularly from year to year, with some years being “mast years” of high production, and other years yielding few or no nuts at all. Many nuts can be harvested simply by waiting until they fall to the ground, particularly after strong winds around the time they are ripe. One can put a tarp under the tree to catch the nuts during windy periods, knock the branches with a long stick, climb a ladder and shake the branches (or shake the whole tree if small enough), or get a good, solid throwing stick and chuck it at the nuts to dislodge them. Nuts keep longer once dried for two weeks either in a cotton sack (e.g. old pillow case), or on screens, and then roasted. You may also choose to purchase specialized “pickers” for your nuts to pick them up off the ground, which can be purchased online.
4. Acorns (Quercus species): With mast years every 2-3 years, acorns fall when they are ripe in early- to mid-fall, especially during wind events.
5. Walnuts (Juglans species): Irregular mast producers, walnuts may still produce at least some nuts during low-production years. They are both delectable and nutritious, though some species such as black walnut (Juglans nigra) are more difficult to shell, with relatively little nut meat, while others, such as English walnut (Juglans regia) have much bigger nuts with thinner shells. Depending on the species, they ripen throughout the fall. The hulls can be removed by stomping on them and rolling them with your feet, or they can be cut off with a knife by cutting a line around their diameter and removing by hand with a good, thick set of gloves (the hulls will stain your hands). You can then put them in a bucket with a lid, some gravel, and a bit of water, and shake the bucket vigorously to remove hull remnants, followed by a good rinse before drying (old pillow cases hung indoors away from sun work well). Dispose of the hulls by spreading them across the landscape away from gardens, as black walnuts especially can damage soil life and inhibit plant growth.
6. Hickories (Carya ovata, Carya laciniosa, Carya palida, Carya tomentosa, and Carya ovalis): Closely related to pecans, but often sweeter tasting, most hickories produce annually, ripening in the early fall, or late summer. Once dry, husks are easy to remove.
7. Pecans (Carya illinoinensis): Another irregular mast producer, they are usually ready in November, when they fall consistently from the trees. Some trees may have very small nuts that are difficult to remove from shells, though as with other hickories, husks are fairly easy to remove.
8. Hazelnuts (Corylus species): Ripening from late August through September, as with all nuts, you’ll have to beat the squirrels to hazels. Nuts can be found during mast years under the leaves and are easy to remove from the shell.
Other Fall Forage Crops
9. Apples (Malus domestica): There are many wild or untended apple trees growing throughout North America and elsewhere. Once you start looking in the fall, they shouldn’t be hard to spot in a good year. Similar to nuts, many apple trees don’t produce a heavy crop every year. Lower quality apples can be used to make apple chips (simply by cutting and dehydrating), or apple cider.
10. Hackberry / Sugarberry (Celtis species): There are several species of hackberry, many of them containing a delectable and sweet date flavored dark, light brown or orangish berry ready in mid to late fall. One way to harvest them is to wait until the leaves fall from the tree, put a tarp under the tree and shake the tree or branches vigorously. Due to their low moisture and high sugar content, the berries keep quite well without any processing and can be stored in paper bags or simply in a bowl or container that allows excess moisture to escape.
Although there are many other wild foods available for harvest in the fall, this list of higher-yielding foods is a good place to start. Other wild foods to look out for in the fall include rosehips, elderberries, watercress, amaranth seed, ground nut and many others. Fortunately, most plant ID books give a good indication as to the season that a given crop is available, so hopefully this will only be the start of your journey to find the best foods nature has to offer in your area.
If you have your own favorite fall forage crops you like to harvest in the fall, please share in the comments below!
We have already had health problems here in Australia caused by contaminated frozen fruits from China, this threat though could trigger TEOTWAWKI!
The Great Depression, with all of its hardships, was one of the most prolific times in the history of the American diet. This period required homemakers to develop creative new ways to feed their families, sometimes for less than pennies a day. But as the economy improved and more Americans went back to work, many of these dinnertime staples simply faded out of style.
Yet they haven’t faded from memory. Here are 10 Great Depression foods that seemed strange and even weird at the time.
1. Prune Pudding
Prunes were a humble, inexpensive food source during the Depression. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt actually made headlines by pressuring her husband to eat prune pudding when guests came to the White House for a visit. Why prunes? They were easily stored and didn’t cost as much as other fresh fruits.
2. Dandelion salad
Foraging was not uncommon during the Great Depression, and it was easy and free to scavenge in the backyard for edible greens. Dandelions weren’t the only produce of choice; many Depression-era homesteaders also made soups or salads out of burdock root, wild onions and other weeds. Although dandelion salad is still popular in many cultures today, it’s typically accompanied by sweet or tangy ingredients to offset the bitterness of the plant.
3. Fish …. anything
Fishing was a popular pastime during this era, not just because it was an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday, but also because it put food on the table! A weekend fish fry would produce enough leftovers for the entire week. Bones, heads and tails could be used for soup or gravy stock.
4. Creamed chipped beef
This curious dish originated in Pennsylvania Dutch country and consisted of salted beef and milk. Any kind of beef-like meat could be used (cows were difficult and expensive to raise, so goats or wild game could also be used).
It was typically served on toast and became a staple for soldiers fighting overseas during World War II. Ever heard your grandparents talk about you-know-what on a shingle? This is it!
5. Ritz cracker crust
The purpose behind this crust has nothing to do with the crust itself, but what the buttery flavor of the Ritz crackers does for the apples. Apples were in short supply during the Depression, so the rich flavor of the crackers helped to supplement the limited apple flavor.
6. Spaghetti with boiled carrots
Carrots were easy to grow in most homestead gardens during the Great Depression. As a result, spaghetti with boiled carrots—with the addition of a simple white sauce—was a heavily promoted, relatively nutritious dish in schools throughout the country.
7. Meatless loaf
When raising livestock was impractical or impossible, many Depression-era cooks turned to meatless loaves for sustenance. Made out of vegetarian ingredients such as peanuts, rice, cottage cheese and flour, these cakes were popular before tofu was even a thing.
8. Vinegar pie
As mentioned, fruits were in low supply and high demand during the Great Depression. During cold winter months, most families found themselves without any fruit at all. What to do about dessert? Many bakers added vinegar to a mixture of spices (such as cinnamon and cloves) and—if fortunate enough—butter or cream to create a low-cost version of a pie or cobbler.
9. Peanut butter stuffed onions
This dish was commonly suggested in newspapers and magazines as a nutritious and delicious recipe for any family’s table. Although the glop wasn’t popular for its taste, texture or nutritive qualities, it must have contributed to at least a small uptick in oral hygiene.
10. Kraft macaroni and cheese — wait, what?
James Lewis Kraft, the founder of Kraft foods, patented the process of emulsifying and powdering processed cheese in order to give it a longer shelf life—a necessity during this time period. Although the packaged dish was originally sold as a bag of pasta with a package of powdered cheese attached to it, it still exists today as one of the few Depression-era meals with lasting popularity in American households.
Making ends meet was tough during the Great Depression, but with some creative thinking and adventurous palates, these homesteaders made the most of whatever they were given. Whether you’re planning meals for a large family or on your homestead, keep these tips in mind for ultimate success in living off the land.
What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
According to the CDC, 75 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure, which brings with it an increase of strokes and heart disease.
Eating certain foods, though, can help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Eating foods high in calcium, potassium and magnesium can cut your risk of heart attack nearly in half. Try eating these foods – all of which you can grow yourself:
1. White beans
White beans are super-high in magnesium and potassium. In fact, one cup of white beans contains the RDA of 30 percent magnesium, 24 percent potassium and 13 percent calcium.
Furthermore, white beans are an excellent source of meatless protein, and it’s a good way for vegetarians not only to get their intake of minerals, but protein, as well. Try eating them in soups, salads and as side dishes.
Choose no-salt or low-sodium white beans. It’s best to cook your own; an easy way to do this is to use a slow cooker.
Broccoli is a good source of all three minerals and even can be cooked to receive the benefits. One cup of cooked broccoli contains the RDA of 14 percent potassium, 8 percent magnesium and 6 percent calcium.
3. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes make for a yummy side dish with any meal. In addition, you will get 15 percent of the RDA of potassium, 8 percent magnesium and 4 percent calcium (with the skins). Without the skins, they provide the RDA of 10 percent potassium, 7 percent magnesium and 4 percent calcium.
Have you ever considered adding a cooked sweet potato to your favorite smoothie? If not, they make a delicious addition. Bake several potatoes at a time.
Everyone knows that bananas are a good source of potassium. In fact, one banana contains the RDA of 12 percent of potassium. However, did you know that it also contains 8 percent magnesium?
Banana skins can turn brown quickly, but don’t toss them out! It is perfectly fine to use browned-skinned bananas in smoothies or for cooking.
Kale is good raw or cooked and doesn’t lose too much nutritional value when cooked. Try a cup of kale in your salad to get the RDA of 9 percent calcium, 9 percent potassium and 6 percent magnesium.
Just half of a medium-sized avocado contains the RDA of 10 percent potassium and 5 percent magnesium. In addition to minerals, avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and health-promoting carotenoids.
Peel carefully, as the dark green flesh just under the brittle skin comprises large amounts of these disease-fighting compounds.
Can’t forget about fish! Tilapia – which is easily raised off-grid — is a mild, white fish extremely low in environmental toxins, such as mercury and PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls. Moreover, it is considered a sustainable, environmentally friendly choice of fish.
Four ounces of tilapia provides 8 percent magnesium and 8 percent potassium towards your RDA.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
Do you exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, do not smoke nor drink alcohol excessively? If that is you, then congratulations, you are in the 2.7 percent of Americans who live a healthy lifestyle. However, the other 97.3 percent live dangerously, even deadly, lifestyles.
It’s not too late to turn your health around, however, with exercise and the right diet. Eating certain foods can help to literally unclog your arteries, resulting in a major reduction in the risk of heart disease.
To help, here is a list of foods that you should be eating regularly:
Asparagus comes in at the top of the list because it’s full of minerals, fiber and vitamins, such as B1, B2, C, E and K which can lower blood pressure and prevent clots from forming. For maximum vitamin potential, try steaming raw asparagus.
Broccoli is loaded with vitamin K, which helps prevent calcification and the hardening of arteries. It is also full of antioxidants and fiber, which averts oxidation of LDL cholesterol, normalizes blood pressure, and reduces stress that may cause tears and plaque build-up in arterial walls ─ all leading to severe heart conditions.
Studies show that a daily consumption of avocados literally results in improved cholesterol levels with a decrease of the bad cholesterol by 22 percent and an increase of good cholesterol by 11 percent.
Additionally, avocados are full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
According to studies, adding one teaspoon of ground cinnamon to your food daily will help reduce your high cholesterol levels. Cinnamon can clear plaque from the arteries and prevent further build-up. Moreover, cinnamon is full of antioxidants that improve cardiovascular health by protecting blood from destructive oxidation. A simple way to get a daily dose of cinnamon is to add a teaspoon to your tea or coffee.
5. Chia Seeds
Just two ounces of chia seeds eaten daily contain enough fiber and alpha-linolenic acid to help clear out arteries and maintain a healthy blood pressure. Chia seeds additionally reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering triglycerides and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Moreover, they are full of protein and other essential nutrients.
Cranberries are another “superfood” that lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol levels due to its high antioxidant content. In fact, cranberry juice has the highest level of antioxidants, coming in only second to 100 percent black or red grape juice. What’s great about cranberries, though, is that they are essential to urinary tract health, as well.
7. Green tea
Matcha green tea contains high levels of catechins, which are antioxidant phenols contained in plants that hinder the absorption of cholesterol during the ingestion of food. Drinking a cup or two of green tea will improve your blood-lipid levels, help to reduce arterial blockage, and even boost your metabolism.
8. Orange juice
Drinking two cups of 100 percent orange juice will reduce inflammation of the arteries and help to improve blood pressure. Orange juice is high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that prevents oxidation from occurring in the blood stream, keeping arteries clear. Additionally, orange juice improves and maintains a healthy circulatory function, keeping your heart and arteries healthy.
Studies show that eating one serving each day of folate-rich greens, such as spinach, can reduce homocysteine levels that are a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis. In fact, spinach is loaded with potassium, folate and fiber, all of which help to keep arteries clear and reduce blood pressure levels.
Curcumin, the primary components of Turmeric, is a potent anti-inflammatory. By adding turmeric to your diet, you can reduce inflammation and damage to arterial walls that are leading causes of plaque build-up and blood clots. Moreover, recent studies show that the high levels of curcumin in Turmeric can benefit in the decrease of fatty deposits in the arteries by up to 25 percent.
Flaxseeds are a potent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Eating them regularly can reduce inflammation and blood pressure significantly. This helps to keep arteries clear and to improve and maintain overall heart health
There are five essential and basic foods that you should store in your emergency pantry in order to have an adequate and well-planned short- or long-term food stockpile.
Do you know what those five foods are — and why you should pick each of them up every time you shop?
The First Food: a Protein (Start With Peanut Butter)
Peanut butter, jerky, beans, tuna, trail mix and power bars are good sources of protein. Pick one of these protein staples each week you shop, and change it up each week so you have a variety of protein sources in your stockpile. Protein, of course, is one of the building blocks of life. It supports muscles, blood, enzyme and hormone production. Protein also is responsible for building and repairing cellular tissue.
The Second Food: a Carb (Start With Bread)
Bread, rice, crackers, pasta and flour are good sources of carbohydrates. Pick one of these carbs to add to your grocery cart each week (and change them up each week as above). Carbs are responsible for energy. The fiber in carbs supports digestive health as well as heart health. Fiber can lower cholesterol levels, too.
The Third Food: a Fat or a Condiment or a Spice
Mayonnaise, oils, butter and cheese are essential fats for cooking. Fats are necessary in sautéing, greasing baking pans, making tuna salad and grilled cheese. Also in this category are condiments like ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper and other spices.
Fats are responsible for healthy skin, hair a healthy brain (did you know the brain has a large percentage of fatty tissue?) and the transport of non-water soluble vitamins (such as A, D, E and K) throughout the body. Fats also contribute to immune system health, insulin levels and blood sugar control.
The Fourth Food: Produce
Of course, fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of a broad array of vitamins and minerals and fiber, all of which are essential to good health. Fruits and vegetables will provide you with potassium, Vitamins C & A, and folic acid. For stockpile items, choose ones that can store long-term (dried or frozen).
The Fifth Food: Comfort Food
In times of stress, you are going to appreciate easy-to-prepare foods. These are your comfort foods. The best stockpiles factor in your family favorites: canned soups, canned stews, mac and cheese, chocolate, potato chips, cheese, coffee, sugar and bread (freeze it!). Comfort food can make for an easier adjustment during a transitional or tough time, particularly with children.
In Practice: Change it up
Would you rather have 78 jars of peanut butter and no other protein source, or would you rather have a variety of different protein sources? Buy a variety of items.
Try to group the five you buy so that you can make a meal or two with the five ingredients. For example, the first week buy peanut butter, bread (freeze it), cheese, dried apricots, and canned soup. With those five foods, you can make a peanut butter sandwich, a grilled cheese sandwich, soup on the side, and dried fruit for a snack. The following week, buy tuna, mayonnaise, flour, canned tomatoes and coffee. Your meal? Tuna fish sandwiches, homemade pasta from the flour and a sauce from the tomatoes.
By adding these items to your cart each time you shop, you will be able to gradually and easily build or maintain your food stockpile.
What advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Did you know that one out of three people over the age of 80 gets Alzheimer’s disease? In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
Alzheimer’s can creep into your life slowly. Starting with simple forgetfulness, the disease can quickly escalate to wreak havoc.
Instead of sitting back and hoping you are one of the fortunate ones who will not get this degenerative disease, fight it with the proper diet. In fact, eating the right diet cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent.
Try eating these types of foods:
1. Omega-3 fatty acids.
Recent research shows that eating a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by 10 percent. The key is eating Omega-3s known as DHA that are found in such fatty fish as white herring, salmon and white tuna. High levels of DHA are needed for healthy brain development.
However, Omega-3s of all varieties, including walnuts, extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed, prevent inflammation of the brain that results in unhealthy protein build-up that can contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
2. Foods high in flavonoids.
Foods and beverages high in flavonoids are high in antioxidants, which are important for brain and body health as they combat free radicals and their damaging effects. Flavonoids are protective chemicals, known as polyphenols, found in plants.
People who eat a diet rich in flavonoids are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, research shows.
Foods that are high in flavonoids include fruits, such as blueberries, apples, grapefruit and cranberries, as well as vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts, asparagus, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, lima and kidney beans, garlic, spinach, peas and onions.
3. Foods rich in vitamins E and C
Busy brains create chemical reactions, and the by-products are free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells; in the brain, they can lead to deterioration and mental decline. Foods high in vitamin E and C fight the free radicals and support healthy brain function.
Foods rich in Vitamin E include:
- Sweet potatoes.
- Sunflower seeds.
- Buttermilk squash.
Foods rich in Vitamin C include:
- Red peppers.
- Brussel sprouts.
4. Curry powder/turmeric
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce brain plaque in the brain that can cause memory issues. Curry powder is used abundantly in India, where the rates of Alzheimer’s are considerably lower. A major ingredient in curry powder is turmeric, which contains curcumin.
Research shows that those who eat foods made with curry powder, or eat or drink turmeric regularly, have better brain performance overall. Turmeric also can protect the cardiovascular system and lower cholesterol.
5. Foods rich in folate
A deficiency in B vitamins, especially folate, can lead to memory loss and difficulty performing cognitive tasks.
Foods high in folate include:
- Pinto beans.
Other areas of your health are also important to help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. Encourage healthy habits such as exercise, healthy weight and adequate sleep.
What foods do you eat to fight off Alzheimer’s? Share your thoughts in the section below:
2. Eucalyptus oil
3. Billy goat plum/Kakadu plum
4. Desert mushrooms
5. Emu bush
Everyone has had the unfortunate experience of throwing out spoiled food. It’s a sad experience that we all share. You opened up your fridge to grab a snack, only to find that it’s riddled with small moldy spots, and is exuding a funky smell. However, what isn’t shared is the reaction to that situation. That’s because there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who respond to the sight of moldy food by grimacing and immediately throwing it away, and those who wonder if that food can be salvaged.
So which is the correct decision? That’s highly dependent on what kind of food you’re dealing with, according to the FDA. The government agency has released a handy guide to determine which foods should be avoided when they begin to grow mold, and which foods can be saved by scraping off the mold.
According to that guide, the main thing you need to consider is how mold grows in certain foods. In some cases, it only resides on the surface of the food. In other cases however, the mold has roots that burrow deep into the food, and can’t be seen. When that happens, you can’t simply cut the mold away. Once the mold is visible, it’s probably burrowed into everything.
So which foods are most likely to promote this kind of deep-seated mold growth? It’s mainly foods that have a high moisture content, such as:
- Leftover meats, lunch meats, bacon, and hotdogs
- Cooked Pasta and other grains
- Yogurt and sour cream
You also should avoid eating soft fruits and vegetables that have become moldy, such as peaches, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Hard produce however, such as carrots and bell peppers, have a much lower water content. If they become moldy, you can simply cut it away. The FDA recommends cutting out at least an inch of material below the mold.
Cheeses have a similar recommendation. Mold on hard cheeses can be cut out; again by removing an inch of material around the mold in every dimension. Soft cheeses, like brie, camembert, cream cheese, and cottage cheese, should always be thrown out.
However, there are some items that don’t have a high water content that should always be thrown out. Bread in particular, tends to grow mold with deep roots, despite having very little moisture. And though they don’t produce mold with deep roots, Peanut butter, legumes and nuts should be thrown out as well.
The only moldy meats that you can eat, are salami and dry cured hams. When these foods grow mold, it’s almost always restricted to the surface. Unlike hard cheeses and produce, you don’t have to cut away a huge chunk of meat to remove the mold. You can just scrub it off of the surface.
Of course, there’s a lot more you can learn about dealing with foods that have mold. Check out the rest of the FDA’s article, which contains an abundance of information on mold, and how to protect yourself from it.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
One of the biggest culprits of disease is foods that are cheap and bad for you – full of sugar, salt and fats.
The key to eating healthy is to look past the processed food and reach for organic, disease-fighting foods instead. You may already have these foods hidden right in your kitchen.
Once you learn which foods actually fight disease as opposed to cause disease, you can combine them into nutritious meals.
1. Garlic and onions
Garlic and onions are from the same plant family and offer heart and immune system support. Garlic has more than 70 phytochemicals which can decrease high blood pressure as much as 30 points. Phytochemicals also prevent cancer. Garlic can help prevent colorectal, ovarian and other cancers.
Onions are high in quercetin, a flavonoid and an antioxidant that fights free radicals, prevents blood clots, and promotes blood health.
Furthermore, both garlic and onions can help reduce allergies.
Beans are one of the most affordable, nutritious foods that you can purchase. They are high in isoflavone, which improves prostate and bone health, prevents heart disease, and can ease the symptoms of menopause.
Beans also are high in protein and low in fat. It’s easy to add beans to soups, salads and pasta dishes. You can use pureed beans to make sauces and dips, and even substitute beans for red meat in certain dishes.
It’s best to use dried beans and not canned beans, which can have salt and harmful preservatives added.
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, and boost the immune system. The high level of antioxidants found in cinnamon can activate insulin sensors in cells and fight free radicals. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, cinnamon is shown to kill E. coli bacteria that grows in some foods.
It’s easy to add a teaspoon of cinnamon to a lot of your meals, your breakfast foods, and even your coffee or tea.
Ginger is a spice that is found in most spice cabinets. Gingerol is the compound found in ginger that has many medicinal properties. A lot of people don’t realize that ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and can help to ease aches and pains. Furthermore, ginger can contribute to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Studies have also shown that ginger can help boost the immune system and fight viruses, such as the flu.
You can use ginger bought as a spice, but a more potent form is fresh ginger root. You can buy ginger root and crush it yourself. Ginger can be added to many dishes, and ginger tea is a popular way to get the daily health benefits of this herb.
5. The mint family
There are hundreds of plants included in the mint family, and you probably already have some of these in your kitchen. Oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and of course, peppermint are all classified as a mint.
These herbs have lots of health benefits. Some advantages include aiding in digestion and preventing indigestion and nausea, reducing aches and pains (especially headaches and pain from arthritis), combating respiratory disorders and helping to relieve coughs and congestion, fighting fatigue, and even reducing the feelings of depression.
It’s easy to add herbs from the mint family to your daily meals or steep them in a tea. Consider growing your own in a windowsill herb garden!
6. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are full of antioxidants and contain more than 200 cancer-fighting properties. They can prevent numerous diseases such as heart disease and even skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Citrus also contains cholesterol-lowering fibers and inflammation-reducing flavonoids.
Citrus fruits are not only high in antioxidants, but are high in fiber, vitamin C and A, calcium, folate and potassium.
It’s easy to buy organically grown citrus fruits or to grow your own. Either eat them as-is or include them in your daily meals. Fruits are a great addition to any breakfast food and also will give you much-needed energy for the day!
Turmeric is another common spice found in most kitchens. Unfortunately, many people only associate it with certain dishes. This habit should change, because turmeric has a multitude of health benefits.
Turmeric contains bioactive compounds called curcuminoids, with the most potent being curcumin. It is a very strong antioxidant which fights diseases and is an anti-inflammatory to reduce bodily aches and pains.
Furthermore, turmeric is shown to boost brain function and also can reduce your risk of heart disease and other cancers.
New studies show that turmeric even fights anxiety and depression.
It’s easy to get your daily dose of turmeric if you add it to your food or steep it in a tea. Buy fresh turmeric root for the best results.
You don’t have to go far to find disease-fighting foods! The key to unlocking the health benefits is to add them to your daily meals or steep them in a tea.
Not all health conditions are avoidable, but certain lifestyle choices can increase your risk of illness, including diseases such as cancer. These lifestyle choices include smoking, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, and eating an unhealthy diet.
Certain foods, often called “superfoods,” have cancer-fighting properties. These superfoods are comprised of antioxidants, healthy fats, a high content of vitamins and minerals, and fiber – elements that are known to have cancer-fighting properties:
There is no single food that will fight cancer alone. The key is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
So, are you ready to discover foods that can help prevent cancer? Here is what your doctor would tell you:
1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk for many types of cancer. This is true because plant-based foods are rich in nutrients which boost your immune system.
- Fruits and veggies are high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and beta-carotene. These powerful vitamins can defend against cancer and aid the cells in your body with functioning optimally.
- Diets high in fruit may lessen the risk of lung cancer and stomach cancer, among others.
- Veggies high in carotenoids, such as Brussels sprouts, carrots and squash, may decrease the risk of mouth, lung, larynx and pharynx cancers.
- Berries, oranges, bell peppers, dark leafy greens and peas — along with other foods high in vitamin C, such as broccoli and papaya — can fight cancer cells due to their high level of antioxidants.
- Foods high in lycopene, such as guava, watermelon and tomatoes can lessen the risk of prostate cancer.
2. Eat foods high in fiber
Foods high in fiber keep your digestive tract clean and healthy.
Fiber aids in keeping foods moving through your digestive tract, and clears out cancer-causing toxins before they can cause much harm. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- There is no fiber in dairy, sugar, meat or “white” foods such as pastries, white rice and white bread.
- As you eat more fiber, drink plenty of water because fiber absorbs water.
- Eat whole grains such as whole wheat bread and brown rice, instead of white breads and rice.
- If you need a snack, popcorn has more fiber and is healthier than chips.
- Bananas, pears and apples are high in fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Baked potatoes, including the skin, are high in fiber.
- Substitute beans, soy and legumes for meat, which are high in fiber.
3. Eat foods with cancer-fighting fats
Eating a diet high in “bad fats” can increase your risk of cancer. However, there are healthy fats that can fight cancer cells. The trick is to choose foods with the healthy fats.
Healthy fats that can help fight cancer
Healthy fats are unsaturated fats that are found naturally from sources such as fish, olive oil, avocados and nuts. Furthermore, focus on omega-3 fatty acids that support brain health and heart health, and that battle inflammation. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include tuna, flaxseeds and salmon.
- Eat fish at least two times per week. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include black cod, herring, sardines and salmon.
- Cook with high-quality olive oil (but don’t let it smoke, which can decrease its nutritional value).
- Add nuts, seeds and avocados to your meals as much as possible.
- Eat more flaxseed, or try flaxseed oil, as well.
Unhealthy fats that can raise cancer risk
The most destructive type of fats are saturated fat and trans fat. While some saturated fats — from eggs and dairy — may have health benefits, unhealthy saturated fats from processed foods, fried foods and fast foods might escalate cancer risk.
- Avoid fast foods that are high in trans fats and saturated fats.
- Limit consumption of packaged and processed foods.
- Avoid vegetable oils that are made with the use of high heat and toxins.
- Watch sweets. Not only can they contain unhealthy fats, but are mostly full of empty calories with no nutritional value.
Remember to exercise to keep your body and mind healthy! A healthier body is a natural immune system boost, and can fight off illnesses and diseases much better than a fatigued, out-of-shape body. A healthy mind supports good mental health and a positive outlook that also can aid in fighting off illnesses and diseases.
What foods would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
I live in a hurricane zone. While we don’t get a lot of hurricanes that actually hit us, we do get a lot of threats from them.
So, I’ve seen how people react to them, time and time again. The funny thing is, the same people go to the store and buy the same things each time one is heading for us. They never seem to prepare or even improve upon their last-minute preparations.
Setting aside the lack of wisdom that goes with their decisions, there’s a huge problem with how they are approaching disaster preparedness. That is, they aren’t thinking ahead.
Their lack of planning explains, at least a little, the poor decisions that they make. When you’re in a hurry to make a decision, the natural tendency is to fall back on the things you know the best. That can be rather problematic, especially when you consider that the things which we would normally use when everything is going fine are not likely to be all that useful when the power is out. As we all know, whenever there is a disaster, especially a natural disaster, one of the things you can count on is for the lights to go out.
Knowing how people react, the local stores have made their own provisions. When a hurricane warning comes, you can see the local Walmart stores rolling out pallets of flashlights and batteries. Extra shipments of some food items come in, and emergency items are “stocked to the roof” in anticipation of extra sales. Even so, they still sell out of the same things every time.
Of course, the biggest thing that people are stocking up on is food. But, since they haven’t planned it out, they usually buy the wrong things. I’ve seen it over and over.
Here are the first 10 foods that tend to sell out in the stores when a disaster is imminent:
- Beer & alcohol
- Canned fruits & vegetables
- Canned soups
- Peanut butter
- Frozen prepared foods
If you look at that list, you can spot a number of very important errors. First of all, the meat and frozen prepared foods require refrigeration. Likewise, bread won’t usually keep more than a few days without going bad. Yet, the one thing we can always count on is the power going out. So, what they are doing in buying those foods is either preparing for a feast or preparing to throw the food away.
On the other end of the scale, there are some things on that list that really make sense. Water is going to be the number one “food” need for most people, so stocking up on it is always a good idea. Unfortunately, the stores never have enough water and sell out of it quickly. Only the first 100 or so people to get there manage to buy water.
Soup, peanut butter and other canned goods are always good survival food — the types of things that most preppers stock up on. However, most last-minute shoppers don’t buy enough of them, so it won’t be long before they’re scrounging for food.
Finally, we find beer and alcohol rather high up on that list. Contrary to Maslow’s Hierarchy, most people put their vices before the basic needs for survival. This is especially true in times of crisis. Many people drink to forget their problems, and a disaster definitely qualifies as a problem. So, they’ll stock up on beer (and cigarettes too, but we’re talking about food here) to make sure that they have enough to keep themselves distracted from the destruction all around them.
Do you agree with our list of 10 foods that disappear from shelves first? Share your observations in the section below:
It’s hard to quantify, but the modern prepping movement has at least, in part, been caused by the government. I am not referencing fear in the government doing something stupid that would force us into survival mode (although that is possible), but instead in promoting the idea of disaster preparedness.
FEMA’s Ready.gov website contains a host of information on how to prepare for a pending disaster, and radio commercials promote the idea, too. While not the best information in the world, it’s a good starting point for the novice prepper.
Of course, many if not most preppers don’t pay much attention to the FEMA website. Part of that could be because few of us trust the government all that much. But a much bigger part is that the government’s idea of prepping really doesn’t go far enough.
Let’s take a look at the list of Suggested Emergency Food Supplies that FEMA has on their website:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
That’s it — a dozen things. While all of those are good choices, there’s no way that I would consider them enough. But then, I take a much different view of survival than what FEMA is promoting.
FEMA takes the stance that you only need to be ready to take care of yourself for three days. That’s their target reaction time. At the end of the three days, FEMA supposedly will have assistance in place. There’s only one thing … FEMA has a very poor track record of meeting that goal.
So when FEMA talks about stockpiling food, they only talk about stockpiling three days of it. That’s probably where the idea of a bug-out bag only having three days of food originates. Personally, I don’t feel that three days is anywhere near enough, especially since I have no intention of ending up in a FEMA camp, waiting for the government to decide to let me go.
There were people digging in dumpsters, looking for food, six weeks after both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy (which occurred in Republican and Democratic administrations). That doesn’t give me a whole lot of faith in FEMA’s abilities. But I’m also concerned that whatever FEMA gives out, comes with a price. The price of government meddling in our lives. That’s a much higher price than paying for my own food, to build a descent stockpile.
Let’s go back to that list for a minute. While the foods contained in it are all good choices for a survival situation, there really isn’t enough there to create actual meals, unless you stockpile canned goods that can be put together to make a meal. While that is possible, it’s not anyone’s first choice. Canned foods do provide nutrition, but they are severely lacking in flavor.
If all you’re talking about is surviving three days, that’s not really an issue. You can live on peanut butter crackers and dried fruit for three days. For that matter, you can live without it for three days, just about as well. But you can’t simply buy more of the foods mentioned on this list and expect to have a three- or six-month stockpile. You’ll have to add other foods to it. I’m not going to talk about what other foods you should stockpile, as I’ve written other articles about it. Try this article or this one for more information.
Another problem with the list is that not all of these foods will store for a prolonged period of time, without rotating your stock. While some, like canned goods will last a long time, there are other things, like breakfast cereal and crackers, which will quickly become stale and unpalatable.
FEMA also suggests that you “choose foods your family will eat.” While that may seem to make sense, most of our families aren’t going to go for a healthy diet of survival food; they’re going to want something tasty. In other words, they’re going to want the same sorts of junk food that they’re used to eating. That doesn’t work, and it’s actually totally contradictory to the list of foods they’ve put together.
I prefer to say, “Figure out how to make the foods you are going to have to stockpile for survival palatable for your family.” This requires figuring out how to take the foods that you stockpile and adapting their flavor to meet your family’s tastes. While not easy, this is actually possible. All you need is a stock of the right spices, plenty of salt and maybe a few sauces, like spaghetti sauce.
You’ll have to do some experimenting to find ways of preparing the survival foods you’re going to stockpile in ways that will be palatable to your family. Take the time to make up some recipes, and make a small batch and test it on your family. If it doesn’t work, try modifying. That usually means adding more spices to give it more flavor.
I stockpile plenty of spaghetti sauce and cream of mushroom soup, as well as the spices used in making my own spaghetti sauce, so that I can restock from tomatoes I grow in my garden.
So, yes, the FEMA list contains a few items that should be in any stockpile. Just don’t stop there.
What do you think of FEMA’s tips and list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
In the not-so-distant past, antibiotics and antibacterial wipes, lotions and hand sanitizers had not been invented, so one had to rely on your immune system and foods to fight off any type of virus or bacterial infection.
Too many of us take these important medicines for granted. My maternal grandfather nearly died from a simple cut on his hand. It became infected and soon involved his entire arm. The doctor tried his best, but was unable to stop the infection. The doctor finally asked my grandmother if she was willing to try an “experimental” — yes, he really called it that — drug called penicillin. Thankfully, my grandfather wasn’t allergic, and he was up and around in a few days.
What would we do, though, if we suddenly went back in time 100 years and were unable to find antibiotics, anti-virals, or other types of germ-fighting medicine? You got it! We would be back to relying on our immune system.
Let’s take a look at six of the top immune-building foods and herbs.
Top 3 Food Sources
We want to provide the immune system with all of the vitamins, minerals and essentials that it needs to do its job properly.
1. Foods rich in iron
Too little iron can weaken the immune system. So eat foods that are rich in iron, such as meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, fish and dried fruits.
2. Foods rich in Vitamin C
Especially when combined with iron-rich foods which help the body absorb iron, vitamin C is a well-known immune system supporter! Think beyond the typical oranges and grapefruits; bell peppers have more vitamin C than an orange! You also can consume dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries, snap peas, and papaya alongside that morning glass of juice.
While you won’t win the most kissable prize, garlic has been used for centuries to fight off upper respiratory infections. Garlic improves the body’s immune system by allowing it to fight off those annoying viruses. Fresh garlic works better than supplements, so add garlic to everything and feel the burn!
Top 3 Herbs
By now almost everyone has heard of Echinacea and goldenrod, but what if you needed other choices? Check out these three little-known herbs that have been used for centuries to help support the immune system function.
Try growing and storing ginger at home so that you always have access to this super anti-nausea and immune-supporting root. Ginger can help the body defend itself against opportunistic infection. Ginger is also super anti-inflammatory, which means faster healing when you do get sick.
2. Cat’s claw
This is the herb with the funny name, but there is no denying that cat’s claw has huge effects on the immune system. The root and bark are the parts most often used in tea form. They contain compounds that trigger the immune system and help to improve the ability of white blood cells to fight off pathogens. This herb is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, similar to ginger.
This herb has been used in Chinese medicine for untold centuries. Astragalus helps the immune system by increasing the immune cells in the bone marrow and lymph tissues. The root of Astragalus is commonly cooked in soups or stews to help soften it. You also can take this as a capsule.
What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Did you know that there are some foods that are popular in other countries that are banned in the United States? In an effort to keep citizens safe from harm, the government has banned the following food items. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? You decide.
1. Kinder Surprise Chocolate Eggs. Popular in Europe, these eggs contain a non-edible toy hidden inside a plastic capsule.
Since a 1938 federal law prohibits non-edible objects within food products, Kinder Eggs are banned in this country. Each year, U.S. customs officials seize thousands of Kinder Eggs at the border, as travelers attempt to bring these potential choking hazards home.
2. Fugu. If it is not prepared properly, this Japanese puffer fish can kill you. Fugu contains potentially deadly amounts of tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis or asphyxiation.
In the U.S. it is illegal to catch, to harvest, to serve or to eat fugu.
3. Casu Marzu. It may look like a creamy cheese, but Casu Marzu, a delicacy in Sardinia, Italy, is made by placing fly larvae into Pecorino cheese. When the larvae hatch, they speed up the fermentation process and help give the cheese its creamy texture.
That unusual – and unhealthy — means of production has caused it to be banned in the U.S.
4. Haggis. Haggis, a food produced in Scotland, contains sheep lung.
The USDA has prohibited foods containing lungs since 1971, and haggis is no exception.
5. Ackee. In Jamaica, this fruit is often boiled and cooked with salted cod. However, when it has not ripened properly, ackee can contain dangerously high levels of hypoglycin A and B, which can lead to coma or death upon consumption.
6. Shark fin. Long a delicacy in China, shark fin has been banned in eight states, largely to support conservation efforts of certain shark species.
Shark finning, which has affected global shark populations, includes finning the shark and then throwing it back into the ocean.
7. Horsemeat. Although there is no official ban of horsemeat, federal law prohibits tax dollars being spent on the inspection of horsemeat and of horse slaughterhouses. Since USDA inspections are required for food that is sold here, this law effectively prevents horsemeat from being sold in U.S. restaurants or supermarkets.
8. Beluga caviar. The U.S. government has banned the importing of beluga caviar as a protective measure against overfishing of beluga sturgeon, primarily in the Caspian Sea.
9. Pig’s blood cake. A popular dish in Taiwan, pig’s blood cake includes pork blood and sticky rice. The USDA has banned it here due to sanitary concerns.
10. Sassafras oil. Sassafras has been banned because it has been linked with certain cancers and with liver and kidney damage. Artificial sassafras flavoring is used for making root beer in the U.S.
11. Queen conch. With overfishing threatening its population, the queen conch has been protected since 2003 by a U.S. law making importation of the large sea snail illegal.
Now that you know some of the foods our government banned, it is interesting to note another piece of food banning information. Since 2011, the French government has banned tomato ketchup in its elementary schools. Apparently, the government was concerned that the condiment, which is so omnipresent in the U.S., would overshadow the taste of French food.
Do you think some foods should be banned in the U.S.? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Harvest Time the right time to Preserve! Bob Hawkins “The APN Report” Listen in player below! Now that we’ve reached the Fall season, we’ve reached the time to harvest & preserve foods for the coming winter… or at least that’s what people have done from the dawn of time. Today, normal folk now count on … Continue reading Harvest Time the right time to Preserve!
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You have probably read quite a few lists of what you should be adding to your stockpile of emergency supplies and food for an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it situation.
There are literally hundreds of items you could be putting on your shelves, but there are some things you shouldn’t bother stockpiling, too. These are things that either will spoil beyond edibility or will lose potency. Spending a lot of money on things you can’t use five or 10 years down the road is wasteful. Instead, save your money and put it toward things that will provide for you for the long haul.
Here are five things that are not worth stockpiling:
1. Crackers may seem like a good idea at the time, but open up a box of crackers after it has been on the shelf for six months and you will see why you shouldn’t bother. It doesn’t even matter if you seal them up nice and tight in bags; they will go stale. There are special crackers that are meant for long-term storage, but your standard Saltine and Ritz crackers are not going to measure up.
2. Vegetable oil will go rancid within a year or less of sitting on the shelf. You would be better off storing something like coconut oil or olive oil that will last much longer.
You need some kind of cooking oil, but vegetable oil isn’t the answer. On a side note, if you already stored vegetable oil, then save it and use it to make candles in an emergency.
3. Breakfast cereals may seem like a good, cheap idea today, but they are right up there with crackers. In fact, the shelf life is going to be much shorter than the crackers. Much of the cereal out there isn’t exactly nutritional, either. Go with something like oatmeal that will store for 20 to 30 years without any issues — and is much healthier for you. Oatmeal is also very versatile and can be used in a whole host of recipes. It is also far less expensive than those sugary cereals.
4. Household bleach is a great idea in theory, but it isn’t going to last long. You have about six months at the most before it starts to lose potency. If you buy 10 gallons of bleach one week, then you will need to use it all within six months — or you just wasted your money. A gallon or two on the shelf that is regularly rotated is a good plan.
5. Brown rice is trendy and healthy and is better for you than white rice, but it isn’t going to sit on the shelf as long as the bleached variety. White rice isn’t terrible for you and in a survival situation, it will be perfect for filling your belly and giving you a nice burst of energy via burning carbs. Brown rice isn’t processed as much as white rice, which is good for healthy eating but bad for long-term storage due to the oils in the rice that will go rancid.
Check your existing stockpile and think about investing in items that will last you far longer than the immediate future.
What would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:
It doesn’t take much to get a rumor started. Rumors can twist and turn and evolve into myths that are passed along between friends, family and even complete strangers. The rumor gains fuel and before you know it, it is taken as gospel.
In the homesteading and survivalist world, this happens often. Some of the myths have scared newbies away from stockpiling – and some of the myths are even held by experts.
We are here to debunk some of the most common myths surrounding stockpiling. Here are eight myths that simply are not true:
1. It costs a lot of money to stockpile. It does cost some money, but you can spend $10 to $20 a week and build up a pretty nice stockpile. It is all about shopping smart. Take advantage of sale prices and don’t be afraid to buy generic. You don’t have to only use commercially prepared food. You can save a ton of money by growing a garden and preserving what you have grown. If you are a hunter, then you have another option in finding meat.
2. Buying in bulk is best. Absolutely one of the worst myths out there. Who can use a five-gallon can of ketchup or sit down and eat a five-gallon can of chili in a single sitting? If you are stockpiling food for just you and your small family, you need to think in those terms. You are not feeding an army. During a crisis, you may not have a working refrigerator to store the unused portions. When you open that can of whatever, it needs to be eaten within a few hours to ensure it is safe and isn’t going to make anyone ill. Buying in bulk is OK if it includes individual servings, but don’t waste your money on bulk cans of foods that will require refrigeration after opening.
3. You need a lot of space to stockpile. This isn’t entirely true. People who live in small apartments or tiny homes can still build up a stockpile. It will just take a little creativity and ingenuity. It is all about maximizing the spaces we all have. You can stockpile food in the back of the closet, under the bed, in the voids in your furniture and in the space between your ceiling and roof. Adding shelves around the top one foot or so of your bedroom will also give you plenty of room to store supplies.
4. You will end up wasting a lot of food. Stockpiling means you will be constantly rotating your stock. When you go grocery shopping, pull out the food that has been on the shelf for a while in your stockpile, eat it and add the fresh food to the back of the pile. Constantly freshening your supply means you will never waste anything.
5. It takes a lot of time and energy to stockpile food. It takes about as much time and energy as it does to put away the groceries after grocery shopping. You will want to check on your stock occasionally and maybe do a little organizing, but it doesn’t take hours every week. If you have a system built in that allows you to add fresh supplies without moving everything around, that time will be cut in half.
6. Freeze-dried foods are the only option. Absolutely untrue. Freeze-dried foods certainly offer some benefits, but few people can afford only to stockpile freeze-dried foods. Other foods, like dried grains and beans, can last just as long as freeze-dried foods when stored right. They are about a fraction of the cost and provide more flexibility. There are certainly some perks to the huge buckets of freeze-dried meals, but you can use dried foods and still achieve the same variety. Ideally, you will want to aim for a nice combination of freeze-dried, canned and dried foods. This way you will always have an option for dinner that offers a little variety from the night before.
7. Your stockpile means you never have to worry about food again. Your stockpile of food is only going to last so long. If you are dealing with an event that completely upsets the world, it could take weeks or months (or longer) before commerce is built up again. You need to learn hunting and gardening skills. The longer you can stretch that stockpile of food, the better off you will be. Being able to add fresh fruits, veggies and meat to your diet is also going to be healthier for you and you will appreciate the flavors of the fresh food.
What advice would you add? Share it in the section now:
The Frying Pan! James Walton “I Am Liberty” After all of the horror this week I need a break. I want to head back into the world of cooking methods. We have had some fun in the past with our cooking method shows. There are still many more methods to talk about. I feel like … Continue reading The Frying Pan!
19 Foods To Naturally Detox Radiation Do you think it’s time to start growing some of these 19 foods to naturally detox radiation? I think I will be! There is a lot of turmoil in the world right now and god knows how much radiation floating about because of man. With radioactive isotopes detected in rainwater in …
Knowledge on canning non-acidic foods is invaluable to the modern homesteader. Knowing that these canned items will rest safely on the shelves of your storage room or pantry – and be edible when you need them – can give you peace of mind.
What Is Non-Acidic Food?
Non-acid foods do not contain acids like tomatoes do, and they are not canned with vinegar. As stated by the Ball website, non-acidic foods need to process at a temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that no fungus grows within the jars.
Non-acidic foods also need to be pressure canned. Unlike non-acidic foods, acidic foods only need to be put into boiling water for a set amount of time. Examples of non-acidic foods include meats, soups and vegetables such as carrots, peas or asparagus.
Materials Needed to Can Non-Acidic Foods
Pressure canning non-acidic foods requires you to have a few items:
- Pressure canner.
- (Make sure there aren’t any indents, scratches, rust, etc., on the bands.)
- (Make sure that there aren’t any scratches or tears on the seals.)
- Clean glass jars.
- Jar lifter (optional).
- Head space measurer (optional).
- Long thin spoon.
- Recipe from a safe canning book such as a Ball book.
How to Pressure Can Non-Acidic Foods
1. The first step to pressure canning is ensuring that the glass jars, bands and lids are cleaned with hot soapy water. Also, make sure that they don’t have any nicks or cracks.
2. Put the jars in hot water until needed. This ensures that when you put the food into the jars and put the jars into the water, they don’t crack.
3. Get the pressure canner and add two to three inches of water into it. Bring and keep the water at a simmer until the cans are ready to be put in.
4. Prep the food that you are putting into the jars. This depends on what your recipe says.
5. Remove the jars from the hot water, and add the food. Make sure the correct headspace is achieved as in the recipe you are using. Take out air bubbles with the spoon or headspace tool.
6. Clean the rims of the jars with a clean moist rag to wipe off all of the junk that could prevent a proper seal.
7. Add the seals and then the bands. Tighten until fingertip tight.
8. Put jars in the pressure canner.
9. Lock the pressure canner and open the vent pipe. Leave the heat on medium to high heat and let it blow steam for 10 minutes to ensure that there isn’t any air in the pressure canner.
10. Close the vent pipe by whatever means is appropriate for your own canner. Allow the pressure to build up to where you need it and then keep it at whatever your recipe calls for by adjusting the heat.
11. When it has finished after the amount of time needed for your recipe, take the jars out of the canner using the jar lifter, if you have one.
12. Put them on a towel or on the stove.
13. Leave them alone for a day to ensure proper sealing.
14. Lastly, check the seals to ensure that they have been properly sealed. You should be able to press on the top and it should not move up and down. Also, try to pry off the seal, gently. If you cannot pull it off and it does not move up or down, then you have a perfect seal. If there is a jar that did not seal, then put it in your fridge and eat it soon. As for the sealed jars, put them in a cool and dark place, label them, and leave them there for as long as they stay good (check the jars every year to ensure they are still sealed and suitable for consumption).
Why You Need to Be Careful
It is critical to ensure that the cans of food are properly pressure canned during the processing. Without proper sealing, mold can grow in it, and one could be Clostridium botulinum. This is a very dangerous mold that can paralyze and kill you. Following these directions will ensure that you have a safe and fruitful canning experience each time!
What advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Stockpiling foods is a way of life for homesteaders and survivalists, and choosing long-lasting foods is essential.
But there are quite a few commonly stockpiled foods that have a short shelf life – and instead of lasting a few years may last only weeks or months.
Let’s take a look at seven:
1. Brown rice.
Brown rice finds its way into many foods stocks, but it actually does not last very long. Due to the fact that brown rice has a high amount of oil, it lasts for only three to six months at room temperature. On the other hand, white rice lasts far longer because it does not have a similar oil content.
2. Dried fruit.
Dried fruit is very beneficial to have in a survival situation. It gives us nutrients such as vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and iron. Unfortunately, dried fruit is something that needs to be rotated regularly if put into a stockpile.
Rotation needs to be done anywhere from three to 12 months. Figs, on the shorter side, last only three months and on the longer side, raisins can last for 12 months.
3. Peanut butter.
Peanut butter is a food loved by many people, and it also is commonly added to stockpiles. Peanut butter gives us potassium and protein, which is a great substitute to proteins in meat. The longevity of peanut butter varies: All-natural peanut butter only lasts about two months, while regular peanut butter lasts for about one year.
4. Whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat flour contains the endosperm, germ and bran. On the plus side, it includes lots of dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron and copper. Unfortunately, whole wheat is not something that will last very long in the stockpile: The life span is only around 4-6 months. This is due to the fact that when the whole grain is used, the essential oils in it degrade and go rancid.
Nuts are big in protein, fast to grab, and easy to store, but the longevity of nuts is not very long. On the shorter end, pistachios only last for about three months and on the longer end almonds can last up to 12 months. Nuts are something that a homesteader or survivalist needs to rotate every half a year to a year.
Having cornmeal in the pantry is a great idea; for the gluten-intolerant person, this is a great source of starch. Its other benefits include zinc, which enables the body to heal from an injury, and iron, which improves the immune system and keeps the red blood cells healthy. Cornmeal, though, is not a long-lasting food. Its shelf life is only about nine to 12 months.
Yeast can be used for fermenting beer and making bread, but the shelf life of yeast is only about two to four months. This means that it will need to be used within a fairly quick amount of time or rotated every few months.
Choosing the longest-lasting foods for the stockpile is not easy, but when done right can produce a stockpile that can last years.
What would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:
Sugar, foods, and health in prepping! James Walton “I Am Liberty” I was sitting in the sauna today after a grueling workout it came to me. I was dripping sweat and staring the scorching ground of the sauna thinking about how hard it had been to avoid sugar for the 3 weeks I have been … Continue reading Sugar, foods, and health in prepping!
If you ever find yourself in a wilderness survival situation, then you’ll have two initial goals. One, you’ll need to find or build a suitable shelter. And two, you’ll need food.
Most experienced wilderness survivalists carry simple fishing gear (some line and hooks) as well as the materials to build snares, deadfalls and traps to capture birds and fish. However, the truth is that hunting and fishing with primitive methods requires considerable skill.
Fortunately, nature often provides the observant individual with another bountiful source of calories in the form of wild fruits, nuts, tubers and greens. Although they are seasonal, they are both surprisingly tasty and highly nutritious. Here’s four of the best foods to forage:
1. Wild lettuce
The human body requires certain vitamins and minerals which are most easily obtained from eating green, leafy vegetables such as wild lettuce. This plant contains the vitamins A, E, C, K, and the minerals iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium, folic acid, carotenoids and Omega 3 fatty acids. It is high in fiber, which helps to keep your digestive system working properly, and it contains antioxidants to help prevent cell damage and cell mutations. Located throughout North America in wooded regions where the soil has been disturbed, wild lettuce is commonly found in forested river bottoms, adjacent to roads and trails, along the edges of woods, and in shaded, fallow, fields. Appearing as a biennial plant that grows to a height of approximately three feet, it produces a rosette of large, long, slim, lance-shaped, green leaves up to 10 inches in length.
The leaves have distinctly lobed edges and the plant produces a dandelion-like head from which the flowers bloom. In addition, all parts of the plant turn light orange-brown upon exposure to the air. It should be noted that there are several different species of wild lettuce throughout North America and that the leaves of this plant appear very similar to the dandelion plant (which is edible as well).
2. Jerusalem artichoke
The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is one of the best known wild tubers in North America and it appears as a green, leafy, flowering weed. Its tubers are high in starch and sugars, which the human body converts to carbohydrates. It also contains thiamin, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Widespread in North America east of the Mississippi River, the Jerusalem artichoke can be found from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Great Plains to the East Coast. It prefers to grow in sandy river bottoms, floodplains, lake edges, creek sides and wet areas where there is plenty of sunlight and where the soil is sand, loamy sand or sandy loam. A member of the sunflower family, this plant is tall, green and leafy with a single, straight, round, unbranched (except occasionally near the top) stalk, usually measuring 1/2 inches to 3/4 inches in diameter. The stalk is covered with short, stiff, raspy hairs which remain after the plant dies in the fall. Jerusalem artichokes produce large flower heads that usually measure two to three inches in diameter and look like miniature sunflowers, except that the discs in the center are yellow instead of black and much smaller. The edible part of this plant is the tubers it produces below ground, which can be dug at any time of the year but are not fully ripe until late fall, winter or early spring. Also, because of their flatulent properties, they should be cooked by either steaming, boiling or baking for one to six hours (depending on the time of year they are harvested) to convert any inulin they contain to simple sugars and reduce the chance of stomach upset. If cooked properly, they have a highly palatable, almost buttery flavor.
Thousands of foragers each year hunt for morel mushrooms simply for their superior taste. This distinctive fungi has a honeycomb-like appearance and the ascocarps are highly prized by gourmet cooks (especially for French cuisine). Morel mushrooms can be found throughout most of the lower 48 states and require moist soil, deep shade, and warm weather to propagate. As a result, they are most often available in the spring. Yellow morels (Morchella esulenta) and black morels (Morchella elata) are commonly found beneath deciduous trees such as oak, ash, elm, sycamore and tulip poplars, as well as fruit-bearing trees such as apple. In addition, morels are seldom found in close proximity to most of the common poisonous mushrooms but they do grow adjacent to false morels (Gryomitra sp.) and elfin saddles (Verpa sp.).
False morels (which are poisonous) can be differentiated from true morels by careful study of the cap, which is often wrinkled rather than honeycomb or net-like. The easiest way to tell a false morel from a true morel is that false morels contain a cotton ball-like substance inside their stem while true morels have a hollow stem. Also, the caps of the false morel can be easily twisted in comparison to that of the true morel. Lastly, false morels often display a reddish-brown color. Morel mushrooms should be cooked prior to consumption because they occasionally contain insect larvae.
While neither as palatable nor as glamorous as the other foods mentioned here, the fact is that acorns are one of the most widespread, readily available forage foods in the U.S. In fact, oak trees are so common in the eastern U.S. that most people consider their acorns to be a nuisance. Various species of oak trees exist all across the U.S. except in desert regions, and they all produce acorns. Once you have gathered a store of these nuts, you will need to examine each one carefully and discard any with worm holes or deformed and soft hulls. To crack the shell, you will need to use a baton or a hammer stone, combined with an anvil. Once you remove the nut portion, you must soak it to remove the tannic acid, which has a bitter taste. You will need to repeatedly soak the pieces for a couple of hours (changing the water after each soaking) in order to leech the tannic acid from the nuts. Once they are fully leeched, you can either boil them or crush the pieces and mix them with water to form a paste, which can then be baked like bread.
Although there is actually a very wide variety of edible plants available to a forager in a wilderness survival situation, the five plants listed above are all widespread, commonly available foods that will provide your body with the necessary vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates it needs. They also provide nutrients that you simply cannot obtain from consuming protein alone. If you know where to look and what to look for, there is a veritable banquet of foods to forage throughout the year that can easily keep you alive in a crisis situation.
What wilderness foods would you add to the list? Share your tips in the section below:
The Best Survival Foods: Non-Perishables That Can Outlive You Sick of stockpiling food that expires on you? Wish there were foods that could last a decade or two, or even go so far as to outlive you? Well I’m happy to say, these kinds of foods do exist. While they’re few in number, foods that …
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Stockpiling food can be expensive. But there is some good news for those of us on a tight budget – you don’t have to spend a fortune to be prepared.
You may not have all the food you want, but you’ll have food to keep your family alive. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?
The most expensive part of any food stockpile is meat. While I’m a carnivore, I do recognize that I can survive without it. I also recognize that of all the types of food in our diet, meat might be the easiest to come up with in the wake of a disaster. You can hunt for meat, but last I checked, you can’t hunt for a loaf of bread.
With that in mind, here are my top foods for stockpiling, based on the nutritional bang you get for your buck:
1. Dry beans
On a worldwide basis, beans are one of the most common sources of protein. If you spend any time in Mexico, you’ll find that you get beans with pretty much every meal. That’s because beans pack a lot of nutrition into a small space, and there are a lot of different types of beans. They also store very well, if you can keep moisture and bugs away.
Maybe beans aren’t your family favorite; that’s OK. A lot can be done to doctor up the flavor of them, especially by using spices. Chili con carne and soup are both excellent places to hide your beans and actually get your family to eat them.
Rice is also a staple in many parts of the world. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Colombia, and rice is also typically served with every meal. Beans and rice are a common dish in many countries and territories, such as Puerto Rico.
As with any food, the more processed rice is, the more nutrition is lost. Brown rice can be mixed with just about anything and fried, making your own version of fried rice. But many survivalists prefer white rice because it stores longer.
3. Whole grains
We normally think of wheat when we think of grains, mostly because that’s what we usually use to make bread here in the U.S. But just about any type of grain can be used. When you buy some specialty breads, such as rye bread, you’re buying a bread that is made of a mixture of rye flour and wheat flour. When you buy “seven-grain bread,” it’s literally a mixture of seven different types of grains.
Having a stock of grains, especially a mixed stock, will allow you to experiment and break up the monotony of your diet. You’ll also have more nutritious bread, as wheat flour isn’t the most nutritious grain you can use.
You’re better off buying whole grain, rather than flour, as it will keep longer. Keep in mind, however, that if you buy whole grain you will need a mill to prepare it.
4. Cooking oil
In order to use those grains, you’re going to need to have cooking oil. Fortunately, it’s inexpensive unless you buy pure olive oil or something similar. Oil keeps well for prolonged periods of time as long as it is sealed. There is little risk of insects or bacterial forming in it.
5. Peanut butter
As an inexpensive source of protein, it’s hard to beat peanut butter. Besides, what American child hasn’t grown up eating peanut butter sandwiches? That makes it a good comfort food as well. Peanut butter keeps well, is inexpensive and provides a lot of nutrition – so stock up.
Pasta, like rice, is a good source of carbohydrates. The nice thing about it is that there are so many different things you can do with it. Besides throwing some sauce on it and having spaghetti, pasta forms a good base ingredient for many types of soups and casseroles. You can mix pretty much anything with it and turn it into a tasty dish.
Bouillon is your basic dehydrated or freeze-dried soup stock. If you buy it in the grocery store, it’s rather expensive. But if you buy it packaged for use in restaurants, it’s very cheap. With bouillon and pasta to start, you can turn most any food into a flavorful pot of soup.
Salt is necessary for your health. While doctors talk about not eating too much salt (to avoid high blood pressure and other health issues), a lack of salt prevents your body from retaining enough water.
More than that, salt is the main preservative used for meat. If you happen to kill a deer or even a cow, you’re going to need to preserve a lot of the meat. Whether you decide to smoke it or dehydrate it, you’re going to need salt … and lots of it.
Don’t buy your salt in the one-pound containers you see in the grocery store. Instead, buy it in 25-pound bags. You’ll get it for about one-eighth the cost per pound. Considering that you want to have a couple of hundred pounds of it on hand, that’s a nice savings.
Sugar is more than a sweet treat. For example, it works as a preservative for fruits and helps bread dough rise so you can bake a nice, fluffy loaf.
Like salt, sugar will keep forever. The only problem is keeping moisture and ants out of it. Store it in a five-gallon, food-grade bucket and you should be able to keep it without any problem.
10. Powdered milk
Milk is one of nature’s most complete foods. It’s also needed for most baking. Unfortunately, in liquid form it doesn’t keep well and that’s why stockpiling powdered milk is wise. While powdered milk might not taste as good as regular milk, you’ll get used it and be glad to have it. Plus, powdered milk is very inexpensive.
Admittedly, seeds really aren’t food. But they grow into food, and that makes them the best single food item you can stockpile. Eventually – no matter how many bags of beans, rice and other foods you stockpile – you are going to run out and will need to grow your own food. Stocking up on seeds is a great way to ensure your long-term survival.
What low-cost foods would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:
My wife says that if there are any modern gadgets that will make wilderness living more comfortable or survival more likely, then she would like to have them. My problem with most modern gadgets is that they don’t in my opinion add to ones comfort, & they are not sustainable for the most part. Two types of people disagree with my way of thinking; those that have already invested in a multitude of modern gadgets & are not about to do it any other way, & those that are really not interested in long term wilderness survival, they are more into camping & pretending they are surviving.
I will agree that some modern gadgets could be useful in a “lost” situation, but long term, no, I don’t think so. Fuel stoves for instance, even home made so called “hobo stoves” that burn wood. How much do these weigh? How much room to they take up in your pack? Do you seriously think that these are a priority? Is there nothing else that you would rather be carrying in there place?
If they are only carrying modern firearms, how long do you think the ammunition will last if it is used for defence & hunting? How much ammo can they carry to make it worthwhile? What if the firearm malfunctions? How many spare parts are they going to carry for their compound bows? What if they drop & break their ferocerium rods? By using & carrying all these gadgets, what primitive skills have they learnt ready for the time when this modern gear starts to break down?
Battery powered torches for letting raiders know where you are! Solar panels for recharging heavy batteries, radios, hiking boots, compound bows. I wish I could remember now all the gadgets that have been recommended on various forums, but I dare say you can think of more yourself.
So when they get to where you are going in the wilderness with these various gadgets, what do you think they will be doing? What daily chores will they have? Water collection, collecting firewood, checking the trap line, hunting, ranging for security, on watch duty for security, cooking meals, boiling water for purification, dehairing animal hides, brain tanning animal skins, making clothing, making moccasins, fishing, foraging for food & tinder plants, smoking animal skins, digging toilet holes, preparing & tending gardens, perhaps constructing shelters or defenses, collecting Goonagurra for making matting & arrow shafts, making reed mats, bow making, arrow making, attending militia drill, can you think of more?
So tell me, where do these gadgets come into helping with these chores? How do they make life more comfortable? How do they help you survive? And whilst we are at it, are they sustainable? How long will they last?
Anyway, just something for people to think about.
It can be tough to stay healthy during the cold months of winter – especially if you’re doing everything wrong.
For starters, avoid certain foods when you are stick with the cold or influenza. Milk, ice cream and puddings are mucus-forming foods. If you have a child or elderly person who needs nutrition and really likes dairy, use small amounts of fat-free milk or cultured dairy products only if absolutely necessary.
Soups should have a clear broth base, as cream soups create mucus, too. Limit your intake of heavy, greasy or very sweet foods while you are ill. Consume extra fluids and fresh, light foods.
Diluted juices, broth-filled soups and warm herbal teas are best for the sick. Avoid iced beverages and foods. The only exception to this practice is the use of ice pops for sore throats or when necessary if a person can’t keep other liquids down because of vomiting.
Some people like blander foods – such as chicken noodle soup – when they are ill, but spicy soups can be a good idea, as well. They help to rid the body of mucus and are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin C, which is needed for healing. Spicy foods such as peppers, garlic, onions and pungent spices are packed with antibacterial compounds.
But there are other things you shouldn’t do when you have a cold. Here are five:
1. Don’t keep your house closed up too tightly.
Don’t hibernate this winter. When the weather outside is frightful, you may be tempted to just stay inside by a cozy fire. While that is one of the joys of winter, too much of a good think may actually make you sicker. Many of us strive to make our homes airtight for the sake of comfort and energy. Unfortunately, airtight homes and offices don’t allow for much airflow when sealed up. Toxins, germs and particles from cooking, among other airborne pollutants, all accumulate. In work, school and home settings, germs just keep on circulating. So when you get a warm spell this winter, open up your doors and windows to let some fresh air in.
2. Don’t stay indoors all of the time.
It is vital that you get outdoors during the winter. Outdoor air is invigorating. Exposure to sunlight will help keep you well. If you engage in sledding, ice fishing, skiing or other vigorous outdoor activities, you will keep your entire body functioning better. Your immune, circulatory and respiratory systems will especially benefit. Fresh air and sunshine are great for your mental health, too. It has been proven that depression and anxiety impair immune system function. The combination of light and enjoyable outdoor exercise can help you avoid the winter blues. Getting exercise also will help you to maintain a healthy weight.
3. Stop relying on hand sanitizer to keep you well.
While frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing does reduce the number of bacteria on your hands, don’t assume that keeping your hands clean is all that you need to do to stay healthy this winter. You still need to use other hygienic practices. The number of adults who don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom is astounding. Don’t be one of those folks.
When you wash your hands, do it correctly. Wash vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Make sure that you scrub between each of your fingers. Rinse and dry well afterwards.
And remember, there are a lot of people out there who have lousy hygienic practices. So protect yourself and your family. Don’t assume that others are being as considerate and respectful to others as you are.
4. Don’t go to work when you are sick.
Regardless of how indispensable your employer says that you are, stay home from work when you are ill. It is particularly important when you are first coming down with a cold or flu, because this is when the germs are the most contagious. Don’t go and finish out the week or wait to see how you feel once you are there. If you think that you are getting sick, stay home. Also, keep your children home from school when they are ill.
You need rest when you are ill. All the cold and flu products in the world will not compensate for this. Your symptoms may be suppressed, but you may actually be ill longer if you don’t take timeout to let your body heal.
5. Don’t bury yourself in blankets.
If you have a fever, don’t pile on the blankets. In fact, remove the covers and heavy sleepwear. Just drape a sheet lightly over the ill person. This can help to reduce a fever. If you feel cold or have chills and don’t have a fever, feel free to pile the blankets on. Just be aware that chills are often the first sign of a fever. Fevers are most likely to rise in the late afternoon and evening.
Keep you and your family healthy this winter by eating well, staying active and using common sense. Consult with your health care provider for individualized advice, particularly if you have an underlying health concern, are elderly or have young children.
What advice would you add? How do you stay healthy? Share your tips in the section below:
I’ve instructed a number of field classes on foraging for wild foods and have written about it quite a bit, too. The classes always took place in the spring, summer or fall and the articles focused on plants, berries and other wild edibles that were easy to find on a sunny, summer day. But what about winter? Well, I’ve done that, too — and it’s tough.
For the record, we’re talking about serious winter. Not a cold night in the desert or a brisk wind in the southeast. This is below-zero stuff.
It is possible to find food in the winter, but let’s first look at four factors that will complicate your winter foraging:
1. It’s cold. This not only affects what you’re trying to find and gather, but it’ll eventually affect you. Cold also can freeze the ground, which will limit your access to some roots and tubers.
2. There’s snow. Snow covers and obscures many of the things you’ll be looking for. You need to look for clues above the snow. An oak tree is a good indication that acorns may be on the ground under the snow. Some oak trees hold their leaves on their branches over the winter. That helps. We’ll cover some other clues for those snowy days.
3. It’s wet. A lot of us like to harvest cattails in the winter. But sloshing through a foot or two of water and reaching deep into water and mud is going to take its toll on you quickly, if you’re not prepared.
4. Less than 10 percent is still available. If you’re in a winter climate, most stuff is dead or not growing. Your options are limited for any harvest at around 10 percent, depending on where you live.
In winter, we lose some of the indicators that help us find food — especially the prolific appearance of leaves. However, some indicators are still out there.
I found a grove of wild plums two days ago in late January. I recognized the shape and concentration of the trees, but the real giveaway was the frozen little plums still on their branches. They made a great jelly. Fruits visible on a tree or plant also could include rose-hips, cranberries and crabapples.
Take note of the shape and appearance of bark on trees, especially nut-bearing trees like oak, horse chestnut and black walnut. Take the time to learn and recognize the bark and the physical characteristics of nut-bearing trees. One clue is a squirrel’s nest in a tree — although the squirrel may have gotten too many of the acorns before you arrive.
Some plants continue to photosynthesize under the snow. Scraping the snow might reveal some of this winter treasure, including dandelion, wild onion and chickweed.
Go in the water, but carefully. Water sources have an abundance of food in the winter. If you live by the ocean, tide-pools at low-tide can provide shellfish and plants like kelp or seaweed. Freshwater springs, creeks and ponds often will have stands of cattails, fresh water mussels under the mud and muck, and the occasional crayfish. But you have to be dressed for any water foraging, so let’s get into how to dress and equip for winter foraging.
Here’s what you should look for:
1. Cattails. The roots, when washed and peeled, are an excellent starch source with a potato-like flavor and can be prepared like potatoes. They also can be dried and made into a flour.
2. Acorns, black walnuts and horse chestnuts. These are found on the ground under nut-bearing trees. You should soak them for three days with three changes of water to remove tannins and then either roast them, or boil and dry and grind into flour.
3. Rose hips. Usually bright red and about one-quarter-inch to a half-inch in diameter. Make into a jelly or infuse in a tea. One of the highest sources of vitamin C in the wild.
4. Fresh water mussels. I often encounter these while foraging for cattail roots. They usually grow in beds. Where you find one, you’ll find others. Scrape them up from the mud with your small, hand rake. Wash and scrub carefully and boil until shells open and then boil some more. If they are from a suspected polluted water source, then don’t eat them. In fact, don’t eat anything from a water source that is suspect.
5. Mushrooms. Curiously resilient even in winter and will sometimes appear after a brief thaw. Look for them on rotting deadfalls. Check out some pictures so you know what you’re eating. Even in winter, some mushrooms are toxic.
6. Wild greens. Dandelion roots and crowns, wild onions, chickweed, wild garlic. They’ll betray themselves with a showing of green under the snow or poking through the leaf litter. Rinse and boil with salt and eat like greens.
7. Watercress. Evident as a large bloom of green flowing in springs and creeks. Easy to harvest in bulk and can be eaten raw as a salad.
8. Wild fruits like plums and crabapples. Usually apparent still hanging from their trees. Mash into a jelly or strain as a juice blended with water, sugar and boiled.
It goes without saying that you should dress warmly and dress in layers when foraging. There are going to be varying degrees of exertion and rest, and you want to be able to manage your perspiration.
Here are a few more tips that have benefited me when winter foraging:
If I’m going to harvest cattails, that’s usually all I’ll do. I’ll wear water-proof boots and have even donned insulated hip-waders. I also wear heavy-duty rubber gloves that go up to my bicep with a layer of insulated gloves underneath. Rooting around in the mud with your bare hands is going to be a short-term effort in the winter. You also need to harvest a good amount of things like cattails if you’re seriously thinking about making a meal.
The same equipment and preparation applies for looking for mussels, although I’ll bring along my little three-pronged hand rake like I do for wild nuts. I’ll also bring along a five-gallon plastic bucket if I’m foraging in water. It does a better job of containing the residual water, mud and muck.
If I’m going to pursue wild nuts like acorns or black walnuts, I’ll leave the rubber boots and rubber gloves at home, but I’ll make sure I have the small, three-pronged hand rake. Scratching your gloved hand through the snow and leaf-litter will get your gloves wet and not be as efficient as scraping the surface with a small rake and picking out the nuts.
If my goal is to find frozen fruits or berries like rose-hips, wild plums, crab-apples or other frozen fruits, I’ll make sure I have a supply of plastic bags in one-gallon, one-quart and sandwich sizes to contain the fruits. It’ll be a lot easier when you get home to sort and wash the berries or fruits rather than tossing all of them in a side-pack or sack.
If I’m looking for wild, winter-greens, I’ll have some kitchen shears and my little hand rake. I’ll also have plenty of one-gallon plastic bags. The rake helps to separate the matted greens from the leaf litter and some of the stems can be tough, so the kitchen shears help.
Collecting your foraged foods requires the ability to potentially carry a few pounds or more in a way that keeps them separate and any water or snow contained. I usually have two, canvas side-satchels or even a small backpack. Sometimes I’ll insert a plastic, kitchen-sized garbage bag into the satchels or the backpack, or use the smaller plastic bags to keep things organized and dry. Sometimes, the five-gallon plastic bucket comes along for the hike.
Don’t forget to bring along a bottle of water or two and if you’re going far afield and a small, waterproof survival kit. If you trip and fall into water when it’s 10 below and you’re four miles from anywhere, you’ll need to be able to build a fire fast.
Winter foraging is slim-pickings. I’ve seen too many articles that seem to make this all so easy. It’s tough, it’s cold, and it’s hard work, especially if you’re trying to find any wild plants in winter. But if you know what you’re doing, you can find food … and survive.
Have you foraged during winter? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
The Made From Scratch Life
Josh “The 7P’s of Survival”
Tired of all the processed unhealthy ingredients filling our food, our homes, and even our minds. We seem to be constantly running from one thing to the next, trying to get everything done and in. The world tells us to hurry up, do more, keep up, strive harder, all the while shoving more at us. Return to simple. With life changing stories, step by step tutorials, how-to’s, real life examples and recipes, The Made-From-Scratch Life, will inspire and teach you how to get back to the basics, not just in a from scratch kitchen and home, but in your mind and soul. It looks at the things that shape us and how you can apply old-fashioned traditions to your modern life and savor what really matters.
Here’s a sneak peek at just a few of the topics covered:
Create your own custom heirloom garden with planting and harvesting charts. Trouble shoot common gardening problems with natural solutions. Discover the many benefits of growing your own food, with solutions if you don’t have a large yard or any growing space.
Eliminate the processed unhealthy foods in your kitchen with easy but delicious from scratch recipes. Learn what ingredients to watch out for and how to save money by making them yourself. Time saving tips so you can spend time on the things that matter and still have nourishing home cooked meals.
Save money and increase your self-sufficiency by learning how to preserve food at home. Step by step instructions and tips so you can safely preserve your own homemade jams and jellies without store bought pectin and line your shelves with home canned goodies. Create your own food storage and fill your pantry with real food.
Visit 7P’s Survival Blog HERE!
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16 Foods You Can Regrow From Scraps Become self sufficient and save a lot of cash by regrowing food from your scraps today! I do this all year round. I have literally saved thousands over the 3 years I have been doing this! I have tried this with garlic and have enjoyed free garlic now …
Recently I wrote a post on my belief that most preppers would end up having to bug in. Now even though I believe that, I still have a bug out bag and a get home bag in my car. Always have as many options as possible. A question that always seems to come up on bags that are kept in the car is what type of food will withstand the changes in temperature.
Over the years, I have seen all types of suggestions, from just a plain sack of whole-wheat berries to freeze dried meals. Now where I live foods in the trunk of my vehicle will be exposed to 100 degree F plus temperatures in the summer to below freezing in the winter. This is very hard on your food. Now there are several ways to handle this problem, you can carry the bag with you when you leave your vehicle. Personally, this does not work for me. A second choice is to rotate the food on a regular basis. How often depends on the type of food you carry. I have tried that and I guess I am not quite that well organized. My choices run towards foods that will last for a reasonably long length of time.
Here are some possible foods for you to consider.
Lifeboat rations – they are designed to withstand extreme temperature changes and still be good for years from the date of manufacture. They are Coast Guard approved for a five year shelf life. They come in packages of 1200, 2400 or 3600 calories and are designed to provide you with three meals of 400 calories each a day. Personally, I am not a fan of their taste, but they will keep you alive. Because they are inexpensive, you can afford to carry a couple of rations a day for extra calories.
Millennium Bars – I have had some of these in my bag for several years and they seem to be holding up well. They cost about a dollar each and come in several flavors. They are Coast Guard approved for a five year shelf life. Each bar has 400 calories and they taste better than the lifeboat rations.
Freeze Dried food – I have eaten Mountain House foods that have withstood the temperature variations for over 5 years and were still fine. Mountain House is one of the very few companies that I would trust to consume after this type of extreme abuse. Unfortunately, it is the most expensive of the three choices that I recommend. But it probably provides the best nutrition, depending on the meals you choose to carry.
Here are some foods I would not use.
MRE’s – They do not withstand heat well and unless you are prepared to rotate them at least every year I would not use them.
Trail mix, nuts, and other foods commonly used for hiking – Most of these contain nuts, oils or chocolate. The oils in these foods will go rancid in the heat. You will not like the taste of rancid foods and it is carcinogenic.
Canned foods of any type – They are subject to damage from both freezing and heat. They need to be rotated on a regular schedule and if there is any damage or bulging from the cans, they should be thrown away and not consumed.
Whatever choice you make be sure and make sure your food is in good shape and not spoiled. The last thing you need in an emergency is food that is not edible or can make you sick.
When it comes to long-lasting survival foods for emergency situations, most pantries are filled with dried or canned foods and emergency meal kits. These foods tend to last for a few years with proper storage, which is impressive. But did you know there are other foods that can last for even longer — even past your lifetime?
In fact, there are a few stories of certain foods remaining safely edible for upwards of 100 years. While the majority of these claims have been merely anecdotal, there is no doubt that some foods can easily last decades or more under the right conditions.
Here are 3 foods that are easy to make or gather that will easily outlast typical canned or dried survival foods.
Pemmican has a long history as a food that seems to never go bad. This food is a mixture of fat and protein made into a paste and then dried. Think of super tough, calorie-packed fruit leather.
This peculiar jerky-like food was developed by North American Native Americans as a high-energy meal that could be taken on long journeys without spoiling. The idea was passed on to Europeans, who found it invaluable as a protein source by explorers and trappers.
Pemmican isn’t difficult to make and there really is no exact recipe, since traditionally the protein and fat sources that were used depended on whatever the people had. Therefore, modern pemmican’s protein component could be anything from store-bought beef to wild game like deer or moose. There are cases of Natives adding fruits for taste and increased nutritious — although this fancier Pemmican was often used in ceremonies and other significant events.
You click this hyperlink to go to a modern-day take on a Pemmican recipe. In short, this food is made by crushing previously dried meat (jerky) and mixing it with crushed dried berries and an equal amount of melted fat. Pemmican can be eaten as-is, added to stews or fried up in a pan with vegetables or other foods you may have on hand.
Another food with an interesting history is hardtack (or, hard tack). This cracker-like bread or biscuit was made popular by sailors and soldiers. The idea of baking a hardened bread or biscuit to take on long voyages or treks originated all the way back in ancient Egypt and Rome. In wasn’t until 1667 that hardtack became part of a standard diet for the Royal Navy.
It wasn’t until 1801 when a baker began producing hard tack (called water crackers) in America. These water crackers became a mainstay and also were eaten by troops. There are even hardtack biscuits in Civil War museums today.
Hardtack isn’t a tasty food since it’s just a mix of flour and water, but it did do a good job of keeping soldiers in condition. There are still some companies in the US that make hardtack for Civil War reenactments, and these biscuits can still be found in supermarkets throughout the world.
There isn’t really an expiration date on hardtack but it’s generally believed that if kept in dry, insect-proof containers out of sunlight these crackers can easily last 50-100 years.
Watch the video below to learn how to make it:
If you want a different recipe, then use this one from Parks Canada, which was used by surveyor Major AB Rogers:
- 4 cups flour, preferably whole wheat
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups water, approximately
- “Preheat the oven to 375°F | 190°C.
- “Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add enough water − possibly less than two cups − to ensure that the dough sticks together without sticking to your hands, the rolling pin or the pan. Mix the dough by hand.
- “Roll the dough out, shaping it roughly into a rectangle. Cut into the dough into 12 squares about 3 x 3 inches and ½-inch thick. After cutting the squares, press a pattern of four rows of four holes into each square, using a nail or other such object. Do not punch through the dough. The appearance you want is similar to that of a modern saltine cracker. Turn each square over and do the same thing to the other side.
- “Place the squares on an ungreased cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece over and bake for another 30 minutes. The crackers should be slightly brown on both sides.”
And finally …
While not a meal by itself, honey is a great addition to a survival diet for a number of reasons. Not only is raw honey great for the body internally (and the taste buds!) but it also performs double-duty as a natural healing salve. Unfiltered raw honey in its most natural state boosts the immune system, provides antibacterial and antifungal protection, and is loaded with various minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
It cannot be stressed enough that these numerous benefits and longevity apply to only raw honey. Honey that has had additives added or has been heated to a high temperature doesn’t offer the same benefits. Some supermarkets or health stores will sell unprocessed, raw honey, but you can always find an apiary where you can buy your honey straight from the source.
For best results, honey should be stored in a cool, dry place in mason jars with secure lids. Ideally, the honey should be kept at room temperature but this only helps prevent crystallization. Raw honey is one of the only foods, if not the only one, that has no expiration date. A jar of honey was unearthed that was more than 5,000 years old and still deemed fit for human consumption!
Other foods with tremendously long expiration dates include sugar, raw maple syrup, white rice, beans, ghee and bouillon cubes. Even if you have a garden and livestock in the event of an emergency, stocking up on true survival foods will ensure you get plenty of variety during hard times.
What foods or advice would you add to the list? Share it in the section below:
Any thoughts about stockpiling foods in the event of a catastrophic emergency are dominated by two simple words: Shelf life. Some foods lose their nutritional value over time; others can become rancid or even dangerous if microbial or fungal growth invades the food. Curiously, there also are foods that have a shelf life measured in decades, if not centuries
We’re going to explore three general categories of foods that can be stored for various periods of time:
- Foods with an extremely long shelf life, even up to centuries.
- Foods with a very long shelf life (decades) due to their processing and packaging.
- Grocery store foods with a fairly long shelf life, six months to a year, or longer.
Foods With an Extremely Long Shelf Life
Some foods by their nature have surprisingly long shelf life if packaged and stored properly. Many are available at your local grocery store for a relatively low cost but you may want to consider repackaging or further sealing them if you plan to store them for any significant length of time. Here’s the top 10 long-term food storage champs:
A story about honey that’s often touted was the discovery by archaeologists of honey jars in an ancient Egyptian tomb. The honey was carbon dated as 3,000 years old and was still food-safe and tasted just like honey.
If you can keep the moisture out of stored salt it will last indefinitely. Salt is a standard staple in any long-term food storage plan and is used in food preservation methods such as curing and pickling.
Sugar possesses many of the characteristics of salt but here again, moisture is the enemy. If you can keep it hermetically sealed and perhaps add a moisture absorber, sugar also can keep indefinitely.
4. White rice
White rice can last up to 20 years if properly stored. As a staple of most diets around the world, it’s a must in any long-term storage plan. Just don’t assume you can buy a large bag at the grocery store keep it in the pantry. It needs to be carefully sealed and stored.
5. Whole wheat grains
Whole wheat grains are usually purchased through a supplier that specializes in long-term food storage. They are often sealed in large, foil packages and sometimes repackaged inside large plastic buckets.
The foil package is hermetically sealed to remove oxygen and prevent the permeation of moisture. If processed, packaged and stored properly it can last for decades. Remember that you’ll need a flour mill to further process any stored whole wheat grains.
6. Dried corn
Corn when properly dried and protected from moisture will last for decades. It’s another staple that provides significant nutritional value.
7. Baking soda
While it’s not a food source, its uses from baking to cleaning are many and varied. If kept dry it also will last indefinitely.
8. Instant coffee, cocoa powders and tea
If you succeed in keeping these ingredients dry they will survive for decades without losing potency or flavor.
9. Powdered milk
This staple will survive for up to 20 years. Moisture absorber packets are highly recommended when storing powdered milk for the long-term although some packaging solutions – such as in #10 cans – might not require them.
10. Bouillon products
This may seem a bit redundant with salt, but bouillon products have the added value of flavor. Most are chicken or beef flavored and the granular type tends to store better that bouillon cubes in the long run. With proper processing, packaging and storage they can last for decades as well.
Foods With a Very Long Shelf Life
Some companies today are in the business of specifically selecting, processing and packaging foods that will typically have a stable shelf life of 20 to 30 years if stored properly.
These are the some of the common foods packaged to have a very long shelf life:
- Dried beans, 30 years
- Rolled oats, 30 years
- Pasta products, 30 years
- Potato flakes, 30 years
- Dehydrated fruit slices, 30 years
- Dehydrated carrots, 20 years
These are great items to stockpile because you can be reasonably assured they will retain their integrity and nutritional value for years to come.
Foods With a Fairly Long Shelf Life
Some foods can last a relatively long time but it’s measured in months or a couple of years as opposed to decades. As a general rule, you should pay attention to the expiration dates on bottles, cans and boxes purchased at a grocery store. You can still eat the food after the expiration date, but there may be a loss of nutritional value. Also packages – such as boxes or bags – are more likely to allow compromise due to moisture or rodent invasion.
If you are thinking about storing any oils for the long-term, regular olive oil is a hero with a shelf life of two years. Canned goods range from one to two years, and for some foods like tomatoes that are highly acidic, glass jars are the ideal package given the tendency of acidic tomatoes to compromise both metal and plastic packaging over a period of time.
If you want to adapt grocery store foods for long-term food storage you should seriously consider some packaging solutions that can allow you to protect and preserve these items. This includes using sealed cans, and both oxygen and moisture absorbers. Keep in mind you also can order from a reliable purveyor of long-term foods and buy in bulk.
An important consideration for the shelf life of any food is how it is processed, packaged, stored and rotated.
The way that any food is processed has a lot to do with shelf life. Typical processing approaches include dehydrating, freeze-drying, pasteurization, heat processing, curing and pickling. While all of these processes extend the shelf life of many foods, the nature of the food itself determines how long it will remain edible.
The integrity of packaging is as important as the processing. Typical long-term food storage strategies involve packaging dried or dehydrated foods in metal, #10 cans that are hermetically sealed and often have oxygen and moisture absorbers enclosed.
Another long-term packaging solution involves the use of large, 5-gallon plastic buckets. This is usually used for bulk items such as white rice, flour, sugar, salt and other staples that someone wants to store in a large quantity. Make sure you inquire about the integrity of the seal on the lid. I had five gallons of sugar in storage for five years and when I open the lid, mildew had permeated the bucket. Not a single teaspoon was edible.
Storage has a direct effect on the duration of shelf life. The cooler the temperatures the longer the shelf life, but be careful to avoid freezing temperatures.
A dry environment is also important. Mildew can permeate the seal on some food containers, moisture can cause oxidation of metallic cans, and certain foods like grains can actually sprout if exposed to moisture over a period of time.
Darkness is important for any foods stored in glass jars, and in general advised because direct sunlight will raise temperatures.
As I’ve noted, some foods have a shelf life measured in months. That really doesn’t qualify as long-term in the classical sense so you should practice “Eat what you store, store what you eat.” This means you should eat from your food stash and keep it organized so that you are always using the food that has been in storage the longest, first.
The Bottom Line
Do your homework. Long-term food storage requires a plan that not only assesses the foods you should store, but the number of people you plan to feed and for how long. It’s the duration that makes shelf life such a critical consideration. As much as possible, rotate your stock of foods by eating what you store. If you simply want to store food and forget about it unless it’s needed in an emergency, make sure it’s packaged and stored properly and that you know its expiration date.
From your experience, which foods last the longest? Share your tips in the section below:
Eating For Health – Super Salads, Forbidden Rice, and Homemade Broth”
Karen Lynn “Lil’ Suburban Homestead”
On this episode we are having a discussion that is near and dear to our hearts – eating for health and some of the new best practices we are incorporating. For those of you that do not know us we’ve been on a journey with our health for years.
Eating for health means making some newer and healthier foods be staples in your diet and it does not always mean eating local but that will get discussed more in the show too. Three of our favorite foods we eat now are, Super Salads, Forbidden Rice, and Homemade Broth.
If you are wanting to make some changes to or improve your health this will be a great show to help you become inspired as the path to eating for health is not easy. If you are feeling like you are stuck in a Dead food diet we will share how we are adding spice to our meal planning literally. No we are not nutritionists we are just sharing what is working for us and how we are both feeling better as a result of some of these changes.
Food is the universal language we all understand and let’s face it we all have to eat but why not eat proactively for your health and eat healthy vibrant foods. The Viking and myself will both weigh in on why we are personally making even more additional changes than we already had been doing. I will be sharing some of our health goals for 2016 as well…this will be sure to be a show that will resonate with everyone.
Visit Lil’ Suburban Homestead HERE!
Join us for Lil’ Suburban Homestead “LIVE SHOW” every Thursday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “Eating For Health!” in player below!
Nobody wants to go through a hard time eating just beans and rice. I’ve heard frequently that “if you’re hungry enough, you’ll eat anything.” But why should you need to when you can have foods you love in your food storage? Comfort foods are familiar. They taste good and provide an emotional boost. And who doesn’t want to be happy eating their food storage? If you’re using it because you need it, you’re probably already stressed enough! Bring on the comfort foods! Here are twelve favorite comfort foods you want in your food storage, plus the best ways to store each one to keep them tasty and ready to eat when you want them!
Not too many meals go by here without someone eating bread with it! Toast, sandwiches, rolls, breadsticks, pizza crust, scones (the western kind). It’s all bread.
How to store it:
- Baked bread can be stored in the freezer for about 4 weeks. Not too long, but not bad if you catch bread on sale or want to bake six loaves at a time and freeze some for later.
- Purchase bread dough mixes. Honeyville makes a really tasty scone (fry bread) mix, and Thrive Life has an amazing white or wheat dough mix. Shelf life on these is about 3 years unopened. For any of these mixes, you’ll need to store yeast as well. Store yeast purchased at the grocery store in the freezer to prolong shelf life.
- Learn to make bread from scratch and store the ingredients to make it. Wheat, yeast, oil, and water will make the most basic bread. Add salt, powdered milk, sugar, and dough conditioners like gluten flour to fancy it up a bit. Store the ingredients in airtight, rodent proof containers like #10 cans, buckets, or Mylar bags in a bucket or barrel. For shelf life of individual ingredients, see this Food Storage Shelf Life Chart. Want a great bread recipe? We love this one: 6 Grain Bread
2. Mashed potatoes and gravy
I know this is really two ingredients, but they surely go together well! Not much better than a big pile of mashed potatoes with gravy spilling over them to warm the soul.
How to store it:
- Potatoes from the store or garden can be stored in a cool, slightly moist environment for 3-6 months.
- Potato flakes. Already canned, like the mashed potatoes from Thrive Life, potato flakes store easily on the shelf for up to 25 years. If you purchase boxed potato flakes at the store, you’ll want to repackage them in a Mylar bag or bucket to keep them fresh.
- Gravy can be made from the drippings of meat or using broth made with bouillon. You’ll want a thickener like corn starch or white flour to thicken it up.
- Gravy mixes are also available. Bechamel (white sauce), Veloute (chicken gravy), and Espagnole (beef gravy) are packaged to store for 10 years on the shelf. Gravy packets can also be purchased at your local grocery store and stored by sealing in mason jars or in Mylar bags.
Warm cookies from the oven! Yum. Chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar cookies. What’s your favorite?
How to store them:
- Store bought cookies (off the shelf, not from the bakery) can be stored for up to 1 year by vacuum sealing them in mason jars.
- Purchase cookie mixes. Mixes from Thrive Life are packaged to have a shelf life of 3 years and include Classic Cookie Mix (for chocolate chip type cookies), Sugar Cookie Mix, and Coconut Macaroons. To make boxed mixes last longer than their printed expiration date, repackage them in buckets or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. MAKE SURE you read the directions for making the cookies from the mix so you have the necessary ingredients in your storage! Some call for butter, some for eggs (you can substitute powdered eggs), some for oil, and some for just water.
- Store the ingredients to make cookies. Look for recipes that use oil or shortening rather than butter for longer storage life. Store ingredients in air tight, pest proof packaging like #10 cans or food grade buckets. For shelf life of ingredients see this Food Storage Shelf Life Chart.
Cake in your food storage can help with celebrating special occasions like birthdays during hard times as well as make a quick treat for a potluck or school party!
How to store it:
- Purchase cake mixes from the store. To increase shelf life past the printed expiration date, repackage them into buckets or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Be sure you have the additional ingredients in your storage as well, usually oil, eggs (can use powdered eggs), and water.
- Learn to make a cake from scratch and store the ingredients for cake. This is a little more time consuming, but storing ingredients gives you a lot of flexibility in what you choose to make with them. For shelf life of ingredients, see this Food Storage Shelf Life Chart.
5. Hard candies
Sugar is a quick pick me up, and one easy way to get snackable sugar in your storage is with hard candies.
How to store it:
- Purchase hard candies, preferably individually wrapped, and store on the shelf. For longer shelf life, vacuum seal them in mason jars using a FoodSaver type vacuum sealer and this jar sealer attachment.
- Learn to make hard candy! You’ll just need to store sugar or honey and have a way to heat it and a candy thermometer.
Could the world exist without chocolate? Available in a variety of forms, chocolate is one of my weaknesses! You know I have some in my food storage.
How to store it:
- Chocolate candy can be purchased (post-holiday sales are great for this!) and stored in the freezer or vacuum sealed in a mason jar using a vacuum sealer and jar sealer attachment. This includes chocolate chips.
- Hot cocoa. Drinkable chocolate that’s also warm for those winter months or camping trips. Stores very well on the shelf.
- Brownie mix. As with the cookie mixes, make sure you know what other ingredients you’ll need to store. Thrive Life’s brownie mix has a three year shelf life and only requires adding water. Boxed mixes from the store may need oil and/or eggs added (again, you can use powdered eggs). Repackage boxed mixes in buckets or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers to extend shelf life past the printed date.
- Baking cocoa (this brand is my favorite!) adds the ability to make chocolate goodies like cake, brownies, breads, and cookies from your stored ingredients.
7. Ice cream
This is from my kids’ list, and actually one of the trickier food storage foods to store. Tricky, but not impossible!
How to store it:
- Store the ingredients for ice cream. Get your shelf stable cream with this heavy cream powder. You’ll also need sugar, flavoring (added freeze dried fruits are awesome!), and ice and rock salt. Make it in an ice cream mixer (hand crank for the powerless times) or using the shake method with baggies or cans.
- Store freeze dried ice cream. It tastes like ice cream, it just isn’t cold. Available in a variety of flavors and even ice cream sandwiches!
Cheese is a staple in most of our meals around here. Macaroni and cheese, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, casseroles, burritos, and I’m sure that’s not all. Cheese is right up there with chocolate in my opinion!
How to store it:
- Waxed cheese is shelf stable and does not need refrigeration. It gets super sharp quickly, so I’d recommend starting with mild cheese and eating it within 3 months.
- Store block cheese in the freezer. The texture sometimes gets a bit crumbly after defrosting, but if you’re using it shredded, it’s not too big a deal.
- Buy freeze dried cheese. Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Colby, Mozzarella, and even Parmesan. After reconstituting, these cheeses melt just like their fresh counterparts. 20 year shelf life in the can.
- Buy cheese powder. If you’re a lover of macaroni and cheese or want cheese flavor in a casserole dish, cheese powder is one way to get it. 15 year shelf life in the can.
- Learn to make your own cheese. A learning curve here, but if you have access to the milk to make it, pick up a cheese making kit and give it a try!
For spreading on bread or making cookies, real butter just can’t be beat.
How to store it:
- Butter stores fantastic in the freezer for 6+ months. I keep an ever rotating stash there and have never had a problem. Just put the box in the freezer and swap it to the refrigerator when you’re ready to start using it.
- Butter powder makes a nice spread, but doesn’t work in baking like fresh butter. It can be used to add butter flavor to your cooking though! 5 year shelf life in the can.
- Canned butter. Real butter, but shelf stable. Do not, however, can your own butter. Not safe.
- Use the heavy cream powder to make butter in a churn or by shaking vigorously in a jar. This is also a great option if you have access to fresh cream by owning a cow or living near a dairy.
Almost every meal tastes better with some kind of condiment. Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salad dressing, steak sauce. You probably have a favorite.
How to store it:
- Purchase condiments and store on the shelf. Almost all are shelf stable until they are opened. Pay attention to expiration dates and rotate them into your regular eating.
- Learn to make your own condiments and store or grow the ingredients. Herbs, tomatoes, oil, sugar, and spices can make a variety of sauces. Find a recipe for the condiment you love and start experimenting with making your own.
Pizza! What kid wouldn’t love to have pizza in an emergency? Pizza is just four basic parts put together: bread, sauce, cheese, and optional toppings.
How to store it:
- Bread. See #1 above.
- Sauce. Store bottled pizza sauce. Or the ingredients to make your own sauce (tomato sauce and spices). Or this tomato sauce is really good and quick to mix up.
- Cheese. See #8 above.
- Optional toppings. Freeze dried vegetables and meats like sausage work great for topping pizzas, now and in a disaster. Pizza meats like pepperoni and Canadian bacon purchased at the grocery store can also be stored in the freezer.
12. Peanut Butter
Filling, nutritious, and great on sandwiches or in cookies, peanut butter is a food storage staple.
How to store it:
- Peanut butter stores on the shelf for up to 3 years. Check expiration dates when you’re buying and purchase the jars with the furthest out expiration dates. Rotate into your regular eating to keep your storage fresh.
- Peanut butter powder also has a shelf life of 3 years.
- Peanut flour can be mixed into peanut butter by adding sugar, salt, and oil. Shelf life of 5 years and contains only the ingredients you put into it.
What comfort foods are you storing? Let me know in the comments!
For more nuts and bolts information like this on storing and using food storage, check out my book, Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival!
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