May 3, 2010
We’ve taken some time to discuss wheat and beans, but we certainly couldn’t continue our preparedness journey without discussing some other great grains for our food storage pantry.
Did you know that cereal grains provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop? They can add texture and variety and in their whole form, they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Rice is often considered the most widely consumed grain on the planet. Did you know that two thirds of the world’s population eats rice as their staple food? It is also the third largest food crop! There are literally thousands of varieties of rice. The most common categories are long grain, medium grain, and short grain. Short grain sticks together when cooked, while long grain stays separate. Medium grain rice isn’t as common in the U.S and tends to have a stronger flavor similar to short grain with the texture of long grain. rice Most of the rice you find on the grocery store shelves is long grain. The less processed brown rice is more nutritious than white rice with a pleasant nutty flavor, but the higher fat content makes it harder to store long term. Rice is often used as a side dish but can also be used in casseroles, salads, as well as in soups and stews. Come to think of it, most recipes could benefit from a little rice on the side!
Corn or “maize” is the most widely cultivated crop in the U.S. Dried corn in food storage can be ground into a meal, which can be used in polenta or grits. If ground fine, it can be used to make corn bread or masa for tortillas and tamales. Popcorn can be popped for a snack, or ground into cornmeal.
Rolled oats are often called “old fashioned” oats and are familiar to most as the tried and true oatmeal breakfast cereal of our youth. (Pass the brown sugar please!) Quick oats have been rolled thinner so they will cook faster. You may also be familiar with the oatmeal packets that require just a little water and less than a minute in the microwave. Though they are not recommended for long term storage, they can be a smart addition to your 1-3 month food supply! Though oats are most commonly used as a porridge or cereal, don’t hesitate to add them to bread, cookies, and many of us use oats to extend our meat in meatloaf and meatballs.
Barley, or “pearled barley” in its most common form, is often used in soups and stews. It is nutty in flavor and can be used along with other grains for cereals and bread flours, though it isn’t often used alone as it’s low gluten content doesn’t create a good raised loaf. It can also be used in making a mild healthy drink.
Also don’t forget to add these grains into the food storage analyzer (foodstorageanalyzer.com) and watch the nutrient levels for carbohydrates, protein, Iron, fiber and calcium begin to soar!
As you stock your shelves for the future, don’t hesitate to purchase and experiment with some of these great grains. You may surprised by the variety, flavor, and texture they can add to your recipes!