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Monthly Archives: August 2010

  • Just Beat It

    By Angie Sullivan

    The fragile egg doesn’t need to be left off your preparedness list! If you choose to store dehydrated or freeze dried egg products, then you can still beat it!

    If you have never learned about dehydrated or freeze dried eggs, then you are in for a surprise. As far as ease and versatility, they can’t be “beat”! But, first of all, you must familiarize yourself with the different types of canned egg products:

    Whole Eggs are just that, 100% whole eggs solids. These are perfect for baking and can be used in any recipe requiring eggs. You can still whip up your famous pancake mix, cake mix, or cookie dough recipe using whole dehydrated eggs. It’s as simple as adding 2 tablespoons of dried eggs to equal one fresh egg. Then, when you add the wet ingredients, just add the equal amounts water to reconstitute. It’s just that easy!

    Scrambled Egg Mix is a combination of three dehydrated ingredients: eggs, non-fat milk, and vegetable oil. You simply add water and scramble. Imagine adding some freeze dried mushrooms, onions, and peppers to create a tasty and nutritious omelet. Bet you didn’t imagine eating that in an emergency!

    You can also purchase Dehydrated Egg Whites, which can be used just like regular egg whites once reconstituted. Yes, your favorite lemon meringue pie can be accomplished with dried egg products! I’ve got your wheels turning now-don’t I?

    Freeze-Dried Eggs have already been cooked, so they are simple as can be; you just add hot water and voila! Could it get any easier than that? Don’t hesitate to use these for family camping trips and maybe even those crazy hectic mornings!

    You can keep making all those wonderful recipes that call for fresh eggs by simply substituting dried eggs products. With the array of products available, you are sure to find just the right eggs for your family’s needs. So, consider opening up a can of freeze dried or dehydrated eggs, you’ll find they are easy, versatile, tasty, and just plain hard to” beat”! (Or should we say, easy to beat?!)

  • The Joy of Soy

    Beef Tacos

    Would you be interested in a meat substitute that not only was cost effective, but also healthy and tasted great? The answer is a product made from soybeans called Textured Vegetable Protein!

    Obviously, the long name may sound intimidating, but Textured Vegetable Protein is simply a meat substitute made from the soybean. Chances are you’ve already heard about this amazing bean and even recognize how many health foods are beginning to incorporate it into their products. But, you might not know that for many years this healthy bean has been used to make amazing meat substitutes. The soybean is first ground into flour which is then formed into any texture or size needed and flavored to make imitation bacon bits, ground beef, ham and even sausage and chicken!

    Sounds too good to be true? Well, chances are you have already tried Textured Vegetable Protein at one time or another. Most “bacon bits” used on salads and potatoes are made of this meat substitute and many convenience and fast foods use it as a meat extender. It is more economical than meat; in fact, even the cheapest cuts of meat may be more expensive than the average serving of Textured Vegetable Protein. It is significantly lower in fat than red meat and is a healthier fat as it is vegetable based. It is also lower in cholesterol, has fewer calories and provides your family with protein, fiber, vitamins and calcium!

    Now that you know a little more about this fascinating product it’s time to know why Textured Vegetable Protein is suited for food storage. First of all, Textured Vegetable Protein has a long shelf life. It is canned with an oxygen absorber and when properly stored can last over 5 years and after opening, if kept covered and cool, will remain on your shelf for up to 6 months. It only needs refrigeration after it is rehydrated, which makes it incredibly convenient for even everyday meals!

    Don’t want the mess and bother that comes with cooking real meat? Textured Vegetable Protein is easy to prepare. Simply simmer the dehydrated product in water for ten minutes and it is ready to go! There is no need to worry that your food storage budget will prevent you from making your family their favorite meat dishes. Not only can you use Textured Vegetable Protein as a meat substitute, it can also be used as a meat extender. Do you have only two pounds of ground beef and need three? Supplement with Textured Vegetable Protein! You don’t have to sacrifice taste for budget when you incorporate it into your food storage pantry. If you aren't exactly sure how you would use this meat substitute, consider these ideas. Sausage and Ham Textured Vegetable Protein is delicious in quiche and casseroles. Add it to gravy over biscuits or use it as a topping on pizza or in your scrambled eggs. Taco Textured Vegetable Protein can be used for all your Mexican meals like burritos, tacos, and Nachos. Lasagna, Chili, and Spaghetti will be simple to make with the Beef Textured Vegetable Protein. Use the Chicken Textured Vegetable Protein to make all your delicious casseroles, sandwiches and soups.

    Don’t waste another minute worrying about how to incorporate meat into your food storage menu. The answer is simple, Textured Vegetable Protein is economical, healthy and simple to prepare. It is a meat substitute that will help you see the joy of soy!

  • I Think I Can

    By Angie Sullivan

    Want to enjoy that summer bounty long after the season ends? You CAN!

    Last week we discussed using a food dehydrator to help you store some of the bounty of harvest time. This week, our preparedness journey will take us to the land of canning. I know, many of you are going to stop reading right here. Perhaps you believe that canning is only for your mother’s generation, or that it is way too hard to accomplish. Well, if you have the right tools, canning can be fun and provide you with some delicious food storage from your own kitchen!

    There are a few guidelines you need to know. There are different types of home canning. These include Hot Water Bath, Steam Canning, and Pressure Canning. Hot Water Bath and Steam Canning are wonderful methods for foods that are high in acid, mainly fruit. Both Hot Water Bath and Steam Canning are not recommended for vegetables or meat. Pressure Canning which is the safest method, is to be used for vegetables and meats, as they require a much higher temperature to be safely preserved.

    If you own your own trees, or if you have access to a source of low priced fruits, then home canning can be a cost effective form of preserving with a few hints and recommendations. The initial investment in cans and a canner may seem prohibitive, but you will be able to reuse the canner, cans, and rims for years to come if properly sanitized. The lids must be purchased new with each round of canning as the seal will be bad once the lid is opened.

    You have a few different choices when it comes to preparing your produce. You can slice, dice, or puree your fruit. If you’d like to puree your fruit, you might want to consider a food strainer or a food processor to help make your job a little easier. You can choose whether to seal the food in water or in sugar syrup. You can even choose whether to pack in light, medium, or heavy syrup. Each fruit requires different times. Your canner will come with a list of preparation instructions and boil times for the produce you are using. Be sure you follow the instructions included with your canner to insure you get the proper seal for your produce.

    With the right tools, a little time and effort, you can reap the huge benefits of canning and feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment as you gaze at a shelf full of produce you prepared. Not to mention that fact that you no longer will be saying “I think I CAN” for you can replace that with a new mantra: “I KNOW I CAN!”

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