Sunday, February 7, 2010

Make Any Recipe a Food Storage Recipe

Using food storage on a daily basis is simple, convenient, and economical. (And, every meal doesn’t have to include wheat or beans!) Here are some easy ways to incorporate food storage into your family’s diet and convert any recipe to a food storage recipe.

1. Use whole grains. Use wheat flour, oats, or other grains in your cooking. They add much more flavor and nutrition to your recipes. If this is new for your family, start slow. Begin by swapping out part of the white flour in recipes for whole wheat flour and work up to using more. Flour made from hard white wheat works great this way and the change is rarely noticed. Oats add nutrition and work just as well as bread crumbs in meatloaf. Cooked wheat can be added to ground beef to stretch a recipe for tacos. The wheat takes on the taco flavoring, and generally goes without detection, while making the meal healthier.

2. Use powdered milk. The pricey smoothie shops do it all the time! Powdered milk has fewer calories and less cholesterol than whole milk products and adds protein. Try it in soups, casseroles, bread recipes…and smoothies. I also love to have powdered buttermilk on hand.

3. Convert eggs. I love having powdered eggs on hand. They are convenient and easy to use. They are even great for camping…no more cracked eggs in the cooler. Just add the egg powder with your dry ingredients and the required water with your liquid ingredients. Click here for my post on using powdered eggs. It includes a handy conversion chart.

4. Use dry beans instead of canned. The savings is significant. To make them more convenient to use in your cooking, soak and cook a big batch of beans and freeze them in can-size portions. Place 1 2/3 cup portions of cooked beans in zippered sandwich bags and freeze. Then when your recipe calls for a 15.5 oz. can of beans, you just have to pull a bag from the freezer.

5. Throw in dehydrated vegetables or fruits. Dehydrated or freeze-dried fruits and vegetables retain much more nutrients than do canned vegetables. Once you start using them, the convenience will win you over. No washing, peeling, or chopping. Dehydrated potatoes, onions, carrots, corn, bell peppers and celery are ready to go in soups and casseroles. Dehydrated apples are fantastic in oatmeal, or reconstituted and chopped for baked goods. They’re also wonderful straight from the can as a snack.

There are several benefits from incorporating your long-term food storage ingredients into your everyday cooking.

•You’ll rotate your products and retain freshness.

•No waste. With dehydrated foods, you just reconstitiute what you need.

•You learn how to use these food staples in a way that your family will enjoy them before there is a crisis.

•You have a healthier family. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables make for satisfying meals that boost nutrition.

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