Eating Out of Your Pantry

Sharon March 5th, 2008

What does a 3 Month Supply of Food Look Like?

4 people would use:

  • - 400 lbs of grains
  • - 100 lbs of beans and legumes
  • - 20 lbs of sweetener
  • - 40 cans of fish or meat or 10 lbs tvp
  • - 5 lbs peanut butter
  • - 30 lbs dry milk
  • - 40 cans of vegetables (Greens and Pumpkin/Squash if purchased, misc. home canned otherwise)
  • - 10 lbs dried fruit
  • - 5lbs sprouting seeds
  • - 2 gallons oil
  • - Treats (enough for at least 1x per week) and festival foods
  • - 400 multivitamins
  • - Salt, baking soda, powdered eggs, vinegar, baking powder, yeast, spices, seasonings, bullion, coffee, tea or other beverages

Multiply by 4 for a 1 year supply

Sounds like a lot, It really isn’t!  Remember, Economies of Scale – Buying in 50lb quantities is the cheapest of all!

ADD FRESH LOCAL VEGETABLES AND FRUIT – CAN, DRY or Root Cellar

Replace 1 lb grains with 1.5 lbs calorie dense root vegetables – sweet potatoes, potatoes, taro, cassava, beets, parsnips, etc…

WHAT KIND OF GRAINS AND BEANS?

  • - What do you eat? Bread? Rice? Tortillas? Oatmeal?  Store what you eat, eat what you store
  • - Think in terms of what can be produced easily in your climate and region – real local eating.
  • - Not All Wheat – Bodies Can’t Handle it
  • - Whole Grains Last Longer, store better, better for you!

HOW LONG WILL IT KEEP?

  • - Whole Wheat, Salt and Honey will last longer than we will if properly stored
  • New Research suggests that this is true of Dry Milk, Dried Beans, most whole grains (except brown rice), Sugar, baking soda, vinegar and white rice Will last 5 Years or more (beans will take longer to cook as they age.) 
  • - Most canned goods labeled with expiration date, but safe to eat for 1 year longer.
  • - Home canned 2 -3 years if kept in the dark
  • - Fats and Oils – 1 1/2 years, shortening indefinite, but you shouldn’t eat it ever ;-) .
  • - Dried Fruit, yeast and Sprouting Seeds Except Alfalfa 1 year
  • - Alfalfa seeds 5-10 years
  • - Vitamins 2-3 years
  • - Whole spices 2-3 years, ground spices 6 months to 1 year
  • - Infant formula 18 months in powder (Do not use after expiration date)
  • - Baking powder 3 years if kept sealed

NEVER EAT ANYTHING RANCID – CHEMICALLY BAD FOR YOU!!

HOW DO I EAT THIS?

  • - This is How we’re supposed to eat anyway! Very Healthy Diet
  • - Not at all bland or tasteless – delicious, nutritious food!
  • - Seasonings essential! Store your favorites
  • - Ease into it: make one meal a week from storage to start
  • - Rotate, rotate, rotate
  • - Eat what you store ,store what you eat

FOOD STORAGE MENUS:  Remember, these are only recipes that ONLY use the ingredients on the list – you can make thousands more recipes, including plenty of family favorites, using your storage and what you ordinarily keep at home!

Breakfasts

  • - Oatmeal with dried fruit, brown sugar and cinnamon
  • - Dried apricot muffins with streusel topping
  • - French toast with fruit sauce or syrup
  • - Rice pudding with blueberries
  • - Pumpkin pancakes with cranberry syrup
  • - Breakfast burritos
  • - Biscuits and cream gravy

 Lunches

  • - Peanut butter and homemade jam on fresh bread, carrot sticks
  • - Mexican black Bean Soup, Fresh Bread and fruit compote
  • - Homemade Baked Beans with Pork or Bacon TVP, Cornbread and Greens
  • - Asian style tuna wrap with fresh broccoli sprouts and sweet peanut sauce
  • - Creamy pumpkin soup with Whole Wheat Bread and Three Bean Salad
  • - Gumbo with greens over rice
  • - Herbed spinach-cheese squares, hummus and pita bread

Dinner

  • - Chicken, pork, tvp or fish fried rice, asian marinated sprout salad
  • - Peppered salmon cakes, mustard greens
  • - Creamy layered noodles with herbs, roasted root vegetables
  • - Jambalaya and Cinnamon baked squash
  • - Indian Style Dal (Curried Lentils) with golden rice and Saag Paneer (Seasoned spinach and cheese)
  • - Cold Salmon Salad in Vinagrette with garlic toasts
  • - Squash or herbed yogurt cheese pierogi with dipping sauce, salad of sprouts and dried fruit in a honey-herb dressing
  • - Fresh noodles in broth, vegetable fritters, salad

Treats and Desserts

  • - Chocolate almond bread pudding
  • - Chocolate chip cookies (even better with dried cranberries)
  • - Pumpkin pie
  • - Jam filled cookies
  • - Dried fruit compote
  • - Vanilla-Apricot cake
  • - Granola-fruit bars

RECIPES:

Rice Pudding With Dried Blueberries

(This Makes a Great Dessert, and an equally good breakfast!)

1 cup of white or brown rice

2 cups milk

½ cup of sugar or honey

¼ tsp salt

½ cup dried blueberries

1 tbsp almond extract

Cinnamon

Cook rice in water until barely tender. Place in baking dish.  Stir sweetener, salt and almond extract into Milk.  Pour mixture over rice, add blueberries and stir, cook on low heat 275ish for 1 hour.

Salmon Cakes

(Everyone In Our House LOVES this Meal, and I’ve never had a guest not love it either)

1 can of salmon

2 medium potatoes

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

Fresh herbs to taste

2 eggs or equivalent

Bread crumbs (make your own – you do anyway ;-) )

Oil

Steam or boil potatoes until soft.  Mix salmon with potatoes and seasonings.  Add powdered eggs, regular eggs, stir to mix, and dip lightly in breadcrumbs (you can skip this step, but it does make a nice crispy crust).  Fry in Oil (best tasting, bad for you) or bake (very good too, much better for you) until brown and crisp on each side.  They are good plain, even better dipped in homemade garlic mayo.

Oliver Twist Crackers
( I found this in a recipe called “Gruel Crackers” And thought it needed a much more appetizing name.  But it is a great use of leftover grains and beans, and really delicious, so we changed the name.)

Take 2 cups of leftover grains or beans. (They should be at the borderline soup/stew stage – if they aren’t add some water and thin them out. Works with anything!).
Add 1/4 cup of oil
1 tbsp salt or soy sauce
whatever seasonings you want on your crackers (we like garlic, or chilies, but I bet cheese or sage would be really good – experiment)
2-3 cups of flour (2 cups of this really should be whole wheat flour, but the other cup can be anything, and should be – cornmeal, or rye, or millet or whatever suits you).

Oil a baking sheet, roll or press flat, cut or dot so you can break them, and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.  Cool, break, eat.

Homemade Granola Bars
3 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or instant)
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sesame seeds (or just add more wheat or nuts if you have them)
1/2 cup wheat germ or bulghur
4 tablespoons butter or oil
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup honey or molasses
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit (chopped to raisin size if bigger)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

toast the oats, sesame seeds, wheat germ/bulghur and nuts if any on a 9-by-12-inch baking sheet for 20 minutes, starting as you preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Watch to make sure they don’t burn!  When cool, add dry fruit
Heat the butter, brown sugar, nut butter, vanilla and cinnamon and honey in a small saucepan, simmeringwhile the dried ingredients are baking. (I leave the sugar out if the peanut butter is already sweetened – if you are using the natural stuff, you might want it.) Heat until everything is smoothly combined.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, mix in the vanilla extract and pour the liquid mix over the oat mixture, stirring until all the dried mixture is coated.


Press the granola firmly into the bottom of a greased 8-by-8-inch pan and place the pan in the still-warm oven to bake (at 300 degrees) for 20 minutes. You can cut the batch into bars after the granola has cooled slightly, but wait to take the bars out of the pan until they’re completely cool.

Ok, next – Staple Foods and Learning to Love Your Local Staples!!

 Sharon

50 Responses to “Eating Out of Your Pantry”

  1. Ailsa Ek says:

    Here’s a question for you – how many pounds of soybeans equal 30 lbs. of dried milk?

  2. Rosa says:

    Ha! This list puts things into perspective for me. I have purchased 20# of TVP at one time, and it is LARGE.

    Also: we make those salmon patties all the time. They are a good way to use up random leftover vegetables, too. And they make me nostalgic for my childhood, they were my mom’s standard “3 days to payday and only saltines & canned salmon in the cupboard” meal (the next two days, pancakes, then beans & cornbread).

  3. susan says:

    er….could someone please tell me what “tvp” is? thanks in advance!

  4. susan says:

    never mind…I googled it! (guess I’m not a vegetarian!)

  5. Leila says:

    So I buy this great, fresh ground, unadulterated peanut butter at my local natural foods/bulk foods store, and I bring my own jars to get a discount. We eat the stuff pretty fast around here and I buy it every three or four weeks it seems.

    How long can fresh PB with no stabilizers or preservatives stick around in the pantry? I usually keep it in the fridge but I begrudge the space for 5#. I have an old-fashioned regular sized fridge, not one of those monsters most women I know have in their kitchens.

  6. AlaBill says:

    Great series Sharon.

    This really brings it into focus for me and if you store for a whole year, adding quantities for older kids who are not preparing, then the amounts get really large.

    The question for me then becomes, where and how to store all this food? In the South garages get really hot in the summer. Any suggestions?

  7. Rebecca says:

    My question is, where do you get 50# of something? If you order it you have to pay shipping, which raises the cost significantly, and if you join one of those warehouse clubs you have to pay the membership fee, which also raises the costs.

    Oh, and I thought you’d like to know that farmers around here are experiencing seed shortages this year -particularly of soybeans, but other things as well. And costs of fertilizer and seeds have literally doubled in the past few monhts.

  8. Amy says:

    I’m wondering where to buy corn. I just got a grain mill and it can grind corn (not popcorn though). I want whole corn, not meal.

  9. Sharon says:

    Susan, sorry for not specifying about tvp.

    Ailsa, 1 lb of soybeans makes 6 quarts of soymilk. 30 lbs of dry milk makes about 140 quarts of liquid milk. So, rounding up, you’d need 24 lbs of soybeans, plus precipitate (if you are trying to substitute for milk’s calcium you’d want a high calcium one), and soymilk maker.

    Leila – I don’t think fresh peanut butter lasts terribly long – I can detect rancid tastes after about 3 months in mid-range weather, less in hot, more in cold. I admit, we store best of the shelf-stable organic supermarket kinds – we don’t eat a lot of it, but we keep it around in storage for the long term and to use between coop trips if we run out. My plan is to get a grinder and store whole peanuts, but I haven’t done it yet.

    Rebecca – I’m not surprised about the sortages and price rises – I’m wondering if they are going to keep pace with food prices. I get some 50lb quantities by ordering them through a friend of mine who does bulk ordering – really anyone can order wholesale quantities, if they can get enough people together to order enough to share out. I get some through my coop (which has a 1 time$100 membership fee, which we’ve recouped many times over), and I get some by buying direct from farmers locally. All of these work, and the costs at least near me are minimal. If there’s no coop near you, maybe think about starting one? You can also do it as a for profit exercise, the way my friend Joy does – she buys in bulk with others, and then repackages and sells in smaller quantities. But really, most trucks will deliver to you, as long as you get people together for a bulk order.

    Amy, if anyone grows flour or dent corn near you, you might buy direct. Otherwise, I’ll talk about online sources this coming week.

    AlaBill – Do you have a basement? Crawl space? A closet you could empty out – too much heat dramatically reduces the lifespan of your food, so you definitely want to find a place that’s as cool and stable in temperature as possible.

    Sharon

  10. Emily says:

    What size cans do you mean for the meat and vegetables?

  11. Anonymous says:

    What type of grinder would one need to grind nuts?

  12. Ailsa Ek says:

    The Family Grain Mill (http://www.internet-grocer.net/family.htm) has an attachment that will grind peanuts for peanut butter. I believe you can also just process them in your food processor, but I haven’t tried it myself yet.

  13. anna banana says:

    hi sharon,

    i’m wondering how one goes about rotating the food stores as one’s using them. how low do you let your pantry stores get before replenishing them? is it a matter of “one bucket of beans eaten; time to buy another bucket’s worth of beans”? how do i continue to buy in bulk and maintain stores while i’m not necessarily EATING in bulk? my head hasn’t found a way to wrap around this.

    thanks!

    anna in nyc

  14. Lisa Z says:

    Good questions, everyone! My head hasn’t yet fully grasped the concept of how to eat what you store, store what you eat yet either. When do you replenish? Halfway through? When it’s almost gone?

    Also, will there be an ethics discussion here? As in, how do I eat my stored food when others around me are starving? Of course, I’ll share with my neighbors. (Short of talking them into long-term food storage too, which I don’t see myself doing anytime soon…) So then my food is depleted faster. Has anyone thought of this dilemma?

  15. Other Leila says:

    My question is how can I keep apples without them shriveling up? I think my basement is too dry. My inlaws keep apples/potatos in their root cellar for 6mos+. Alas, I don’t have that luxury. I heard you can keep beets in a bucket covered in wet sand. Would that work for apples? I’m guessing not.

    And I would really like to learn how to ferment pickles when you get to canning/preserving. I usually do refrigerator pickles using the Mrs. Wages mix, but 1 year of pickles takes up a lot of fridge space.

    And I’ve learned it is important to periodically go through the supply and move the older stuff to the forefront. Especially when it comes to chest freezers. And label with contents and dates. A jar of mystery canned gook usually doesn’t get eaten. Neither does mystery frozen meat (courtesy of DH’s hunting).

  16. Ailsa Ek says:

    What do you all think – is it a good idea to buy food for stocking up with credit cards, or not? Bob’s Red Mill has the best prices I’ve found so far for soybeans and various grains, but even if they’re the best prices, they still aren’t cheap.

  17. craig morris says:

    We have been storing extra food for years. When we go to the grocery store if something that we usually eat is on sale we by alot of it (2 or more cases). We also store bulk items but only the ones we are used to using, e.g. wheat because we grind it for bread. By mostly storing food we already eat we avoid the problem of having a bunch of food we don’t like and having it go bad. Our food storage consists of cereal (like shredded wheat), pasta, pasta sauce, tuna, peanut butter, canned vegetables, olive oil, canned beans, ketchup, mustard, mayonaise, canned and bottled peaches, salad dressing (we grow our own lettuce all summer), dried milk, cake mixes, chicken feed (for our egg laying hens), and wheat, rice and sugar in large containers (plus other stuff I don,t remember at the moment). Our motto store what you use, use what you store. Besides being a preparation thing it also is cheaper (since we by most of it on sale) and very convenient (e.g. we never run out of mayonaise). It does take a dedicated storage space in our basement but we planned for it. One last tip: when we buy grains and pasta we put them in the freezer for two days. This kills any pests or pest eggs but doesn hurt the food value.

  18. Lisa Z says:

    Thanks for your tips, Craig M. I was thinking as I read the comments that maybe we who are commenting should help each other out. Since most of us didn’t pay for Sharon’s class, we probably can’t expect her to answer our individual questions, right? :)

    I’m learning so much and really like this topic! Thanks Sharon and commenters for all of it!

    Lisa

  19. Deb G says:

    I ground hazelnuts into nut butter with my mini-food processor. Tasted great, stayed fresh for about 2 weeks. Haven’t tried peanuts yet.

  20. NYC Bryan says:

    I have a few thoughts and experiences people might find helpful. We keep about a 4 months supply of storage food (In our Manhattan Apt.) which gets completely used up and replaced in 8-12 months under regular conditions.

    First, even though it looks like a “HUGE” amount the 3 month food supply for 4 people will easily fit into 4 36″x30″x24″ kitchen cabinets (These are the standard 2 door lower level cabinets in most american kitchens).

    Second, if anyone out there is starting from zero, work on getting a “complete” two weeks supply first! Then build it up to a 3 or 6 month supply from there. In a food emergency having a varied workable 2 weeks supply is going to be more of an asset than a 3 months supply in a single area. Also starting with the two week goal will give you a chance to get a better idea of what you will actually eat.

    For instance, inspite of it’s preeminent storability we don’t store whole wheatberries, for the simple reason that we don’t eat them. Our grain storage is primarily dry pasta and white rice, with smaller amounts of oatmeal, grits, flour, and popcorn.

  21. Kasa says:

    Quick question on rice – definitely my preferred grain, and one I will eat the most, so ostensibly I should buy some… White rice isn’t whole grain, so not very healthy, but brown rice doesn’t store very well. Anybody know how well red, black and wild rices store?

  22. feonixrift says:

    I’ve heard bunches of times that brown rice doesn’t store well, yet I’ve never had it go bad… While I see the reasoning for why it wouldn’t store well, I guess I’m just not seeing the practical side. What is it like when it goes bad, are there other whole grain rices that store well, and how in the world do people tolerate eating white rice?

  23. Sharon says:

    Feonixrift, Brown rice *definitely* does go bad – the oils go rancid. Some people are very sensitive to rancid tastes, some people are not at all. Rancid oils are really bad for you, and if you don’t taste them easily, I’d be especially careful about them.

    Just for general discussion, brown rice is not a whole grain. Rice has hulls on it, and when you take the hull off, the germ begins to spoil very rapidly. Whole rice would store nearly forever – and there is a plan on the web (I’ll post it next week) for using a corona mill to make a rice huller. But as far as I can find, no rice grower sells whole (paddy) rice. I’ve looked. Wild rices store just fine for several years (but are expensive if sustainably harvested) black and red rices are like all other rices -either polished and thus not terribly nutritious or hull removed and nutritious but spoil easily.

    In the meantime, unless you have room in the freezer, don’t keep brown rice for more than six months to a year – it just isn’t worth it. You don’t have to store white rice – you can, but you don’t have to. Try whole (hulless) barley instead.

    LisaZ – I don’t mind answering questions, if you’ll forgive me for getting at them when I can. As for ethics – well, we’re already eating our storage when other people are starving, and I’m not sure in more acute situation I can judge, since I don’t know what I’ll do in those terms. But for now, before we’re there, it is very much important to me that food storage enables generosity – saving money and having food to give away are very important to me. I’ll think more about the ethics of sharing and hoarding later, but I guess I think the real situation, if we get there, is going to be complicated, and that we might be hurt more than helped by thinking too far into the future and making decisions ahead of time that ought to be made when the crisis is there. Let me think on it and I’ll write more later on.

    Anna, I’m going to talk a lot more about management and organization of stores as we go along – I’m still working on the basics and I have three more weeks of posting to do ;-) . But yes, it is a fairly big project, although there are a lot of things you can do it make it easier. I’m still thinking that the best possible solution is to integrate the stores into your diet if you can – that way, there’s less management to do.

    Emily, I’m thinking of 12 oz cans, which are fairly standard in the US.

    Other Leila, I think some degree of moisture would be necessary, but I’ve never had a really dry root cellar, so I don’t know. It may also be the varieties you are keeping – some definitely keep better than others. Winesaps, lady apples, winter keeper, Northern spies, etc… keep forever. Some varieties – macs and a lot of early apples don’t keep at all. I’ll publish a list next week of good storage varieties of common root cellar vegetables – and if I don’t, remind me ;-) !

    More answers (at least the ones I’ve got) coming soon!

    Sharon

  24. Sarah says:

    I think the first step for me is going to be keeping better track of how much stuff we go through on a regular basis. I could have sworn that we don’t use anywhere near 200 pounds of grain in three months, but maybe we do? Except for the local grains in 20 pound bags, we tend to go through smaller quantities at once, even when we buy from bulk bins, and we use so many different grains, so I never see that three month supply all at once.

    Is the dry milk mostly for calcium? We don’t really cook with milk most of the time. (though our “treats” would definitely include a few cans of coconut milk!)

  25. I had to be at the local supermarket yesterday and picked up canned foods, sale priced sugar and white flour, and a five pound bag of white rice. We now have enough grains, tinned meat, dried fruit, powdered milk and dry beans.

    OK I filled out my “healthy” grain supply with unhealthy white stuff but in an emergency I know we would eat bread, pizza and white rice.

    And I have located plenty of storage in my pantry/laundry room – just have to cull the junk that accumulates in cupboards.

    Now for the 85 gallons of water. I think I’m just going to invest in a 50 gallon water storage container. Or maybe two.

  26. PS I am shooting for two week supply (basically have it now) and will add in increments to reach two months, my next goal.

  27. Sharon says:

    Sarah, the milk is for calcium, for protein and for custom – most non-vegans won’t be used to baking without it. You obviously can do without milk or meat, and simply up the legumes – it is just that many people reading this will find food storing a huge change in their habits already, and totally altering their diet is another step down the road.

    Sharon

  28. nicole says:

    Hi Sharon -

    Thanks so much for this series. I’ve been lurking here and at your other sites for a few years now and the info you have provided has been invaluable.

    Got a quick request for you – or anyone else who might know – can you recommend a powdered egg brand (or are all powdered eggs interchangeable?). My supermarket on has whites and some sort of omlette mix (whites and yolks + seasoning – no thanks, I’ll season my own) so I guess I’ll have to order online. Also, if I order powedered eggs from a place like Nitro-Pak (via LATOC), will the eggs stay fresh once the tin is open or will I have to consume 3 pounds of powdered eggs in 3 months time?

    And thanks for the recipes, we’ll be trying out your salmon cake recipe next week (first time I’d been down the canned meat aisle in a long time!).

    nicole

  29. I don’t get the math on the 3 nonth supply versus the two week supply list in the post earlier.

    Grains for two weeks: 25 lbs.
    Grains for three months: 400 lbs.

    But there are twelve weeks or so in three months (I’ve read a formula of 4.2 weeks per month, so let’s say 12.6 weeks). Multiply 25 lbs. by 6.3 (half of 12.6) and you get 157.5 lbs of grains.

    Even if you round up by 20% you wouldn’t get 400 lbs. of grains. Your difference is more than 150%.

    Legumes for two weeks: 10 lbs.
    Legumes for three months: 100 lbs.

    By the 6.3 formula, you’d get 63 pounds. Your legume estimate is over by better than 50%. ???

    Is the two week figure for a basic, starvation diet plan, and your three month supply includes, I don’t know, feeding the neighbors?

    Sorry to quibble, I’m just puzzled. 500 lbs. of food in storage seems way too daunting, but I could find room for 220 lbs. of grains and beans – in the garage for sure.

  30. Delpasored says:

    Wow! Great subject, great post, great questions and insight from other readers. I can’t wait for the next post. Thank you so much Sharon.

  31. feonixrift says:

    *sighs* I can’t try barley, I’m allergic.

  32. Lisa Z says:

    Sharon, thanks so much for answering our questions. I guess as far as the ethics questions, it just always comes up right away in my mind, “well, if we have all this food but next door or down the road lots of people are starving (and I mean people I know and it’s obvious, an acute situation as you say), then I won’t be able to just happily eat my food while others go hungry”…and so on.

    However, I can certainly see that if I have no food and they have no food, we’d just ALL be starving. So, we’ll be working on our long term food supply! And hoping that even in desperate times we’d be able to be generous and share…:-)

  33. Sharon says:

    Leila – Hi Leila – the difference is that one is based on the assumption that you already had food in your house. That is, if you have to live for 2 weeks on something, you’ve got some stuff lying around. It also isn’t as integral that you have perfect nutrition for 2 weeks. You’ll also note that canned goods are not proportionally upped – so you are compensating for that. There are more canned goods in the first section because a. cooking energy may be a problem (it might be in the long term, but I’m assuming you’ll have to deal with it) and b. so might water, and the liquid in canned goods can add to your water ration.

    They are roughly based on the LDS food calcuations that I linked to in the first post in this series. Remember, though, this is for four people – if there are fewer in your household, you’d need less.

    Sharon

  34. Thank you, Sharon, for the clarification on quantities…

  35. bryant says:

    Hi Sharon,

    I am curious at the dried fruit storing for only a year. I dry a lot of fruit and I have not observed any degradation in quality over several years. Prunes especially seem to keep very well. Granted, I dry most fruit below the 17-18% moisture range. Please let me know what the basis of this “one year” storage of dried fruit.

    Thanks.

  36. “Our motto store what you use, use what you store. Besides being a preparation thing it also is cheaper ”

    Exactly. We’ve been able to about halve our family food budget over the past few months by following this plan. (Good thing, too, with all the price increases!) Yes, it’s a bit more work, but we’re eating better food and saving a bunch of money every month and not suffering for it. We try to include a lot of ethnic ingredients, like spices and pickles, dried oriental noodles and other adjuncts in our food storage plan, too. We have a hard time getting that sort of thing here, so we’ve always bought these items in bulk when visiting “the big city.” Chicken and beef bullion (or veggie bullion, if you’re vegan) whole spices, and favorite spice mixes are good to include once you have the basics, and really extend the range of dishes you can cook. We also store a variety of teas, herbal and otherwise.

    It’s also a good idea to start learning to cook with what you’re storing, now. (I think Sharon already mentioned that.) Try fixing a couple or three storage meals a week at first. Figure out how to make bread and such with grain you’ve ground yourself. Starting now rather than later helps you to get used to whole food preparation, and if you have kids it helps them to begin to wean a bit off the stuff that may be harder to come by in the future. You’ll also begin to save some money on your food budget that can be used to expand your food storage or pay off bills or purchase useful things like garden tools or extra blankets. Just don’t store all this stuff with the goal of forgetting about it unless you “have to” use it. Use it now.

  37. [...] salt, 2 x 125g packets dry yeast. I’m working off roughly half of Sharon’s estimates here for what I would like to have stored [...]

  38. valereee says:

    How long will oat groats last? I bought some recently and had to buy a 25# bag, and I thought maybe instead of finding folks to buy it I’d just store it. But I don’t want to store it if it’s going to go bad in a few months.

    Thanks!

    Val

  39. Ann says:

    Three months of cooking whole grains is going to take a lot of fuel. If the electricity/gas supplies are disrupted, I’ll want a full tank of propane in my bbq, and some quick cooking pasta and rice.

  40. Allie says:

    Ann,

    If you have a pressure cooker, the grains cook so much more quickly – you can cook a pot of beans that’d normally take 90 minutes or more in about 15 minutes. This is a huge help.

    Sharon,

    In my food storage, I also include things like dried tomatoes (not in oil), other dried vegetables (potato flakes, dried rutabaga, leeks, garlic, onion, shallot slices, etc) and home-made things like preserved lemons. And loads of dried mushrooms, and things like that. They add a lot of diversity, are shelf stable (including the preserved lemons) and take up very little space. Another nice thing about them is that people can get them in small quantities for times when they’re worried about the space they have available and diversifying their food stores.

  41. Brent says:

    Food storing for one year in pantry might be economic,but it’s not advisable.Why ? Do you think that these would loss some nutrients & vitamins during this long time.It’s a different issue that it should be done for emergency.Storing whole grain for long time & grinding it to flour when required is a good step.Thanks for many information those are valuable for me.

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