Tag Archives: baby steps

  • Make sure to take your important information along if you evacuate

    Imagine this: A chemical spill and potential fire forces a sudden evacuation order in your area. You have ten minutes max to grab your kids, pets, keys, wallet, and emergency supplies and be on your way. What’s likely to get left behind?

    One item often forgotten in the rush of any crisis is information. You may need such info as immunization records (Bill cut his foot: when was his last tetanus shot?), homeowners’ insurance policy and contact numbers, or health insurance cards.

    Keeping copies of important documents and info in a form that’s handy to grab along with your emergency kit is a smart step in your preparation efforts. During any emergency, you won’t have the time or presence of mind to rush around gathering up birth certificates, documents, and important phone numbers. Why not prepare copies ahead of time and tuck them into a pocket of your kit?

    Follow these simple steps to add to your peace of mind and readiness:

    1. Make a list of documents, certificates, and papers you wouldn’t want to lose in any emergency situation. Consider the following:
      • Birth certificates
      • Marriage certificate
      • Social Security cards
      • Driver licenses
      • Life insurance policy numbers and phone information
      • Homeowners insurance policy numbers and contact information
      • Health insurance cards
      • Auto insurance cards
      • Passports
      • Up-to-date immunization records
      • Account information for all your credit cards and bills
      • Copies of prescriptions
      • Pet documentation (license and medical records)
      • Precious photographs, including a recent one of your whole family for ID purposes. Perhaps a picture with your pet(s) as well, for ID and proof of ownership.
      • Flash drives containing any computerized material you want to save—family history, creative works, correspondence, financial records, work files, etc.

       

    2. Make a list of phone numbers and email addresses you’d want to have with you. Don’t depend upon numbers that are programmed into your cell phone, as phones can be lost or destroyed. Don’t forget to include employers, employees, relatives, close friends, out-of-state contacts, doctors, poison control center, clergymen, and business contacts.
    3.  

    4.  Make a list of all your accounts, with numbers and phone information.
    5.  

    6. Gather up those documents from step 1 and make copies of them. Except for your driver license, put the originals in a safe, lockbox, or safety-deposit box at your bank. Consider making two or three copies instead of just one. You might want to leave one packet of copies with a trusted relative to keep for you. Think how grateful you’d be if (perish the thought!) your home had burned to have Grandma hand you a packet of all your most important documents and photos!  Some people also tuck a packet into their car emergency kit or somewhere else in the car in case it’s needed when they don’t have their emergency kit on hand.



      Seal your packet in a plastic bag to protect it from moisture and soil, and have only blank paper showing through the plastic to avoid advertising contents to would-be ID thieves. If you’re concerned about wrinkling or tearing, enclose a piece of stiff cardboard. Some people prefer to enclose each document in a plastic sheet protector and put them all into a binder, but while this would be perfect to hand to Grandma for safekeeping, it makes a more cumbersome package to tuck into your supplies. Your choice!
    7.  

    8. Put your packets together and place them where they need to be. Take a deep breath and put your feet up. You’ve done well!

    For additional information, check out the “Emergency Financial First Aid Kit

    What other documents do you think are important to include in your information packet?

    Sources:

    www.ready.gov

    www.readynation.com

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: baby steps, Emergency plan, evacuation plan, emergency preparedness, emergency binder

  • Looking for a unique DIY present? Why not give the gift of soft, sweet-smelling laundry all year long . . . (and no, we unfortunately don’t sell a laundry-scented 100-hour candle . . .)

    Last summer, we wrote a post about how to make DIY Laundry Detergent, so we decided that we needed to make something for your dryer, too. DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls are a great present to give to your family, friends, and neighbors. I think they’re meaningful gifts and something that is useful to everyone.

    DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls

    The benefits of DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls

    • They reduce your drying time
    • They are free of chemicals often found in store bought dryer sheets
    • They reduce allergic reactions because they don’t include fragrances or chemicals
    • They fluff your laundry and reduce static cling
    • They are inexpensive to make (It only cost me $5.49 for the yarn. I already had the other supplies around my house)

    What You’ll Need

    • 100% Wool Yarn (not labeled ‘superwash’ or ‘machine washable’)—I found my wool yarn at Hobby Lobby. The brand was called “I Love this Wool.” Check your local craft store’s website for 100% wool yarn before making a trip there.
    • Scissors
    • A pair of old pantyhose
    • A blunt-tipped needle or crochet hook (a pen cap or tooth pick would work as well)
    • A little string or acrylic yarn (optional)
    • Essential Oil (optional)

    How You Make it

    1. Wrap a strand of wool yarn around the index and middle fingers of your non-dominant hand about 20 times. Pinch the wrapped yarn in the middle and pull it off your fingers. Wrap 4 or 5 loops of yarn around the center of this bundle to hold it securely. Using the bundle as the center of your ball, continue wrapping yarn around it in different directions, turning to achieve a fairly-tight ball shape. Continue until the ball is at least the size of a tennis ball.
    2. Use a blunt-tipped needle or crochet hook to tuck the end of your yarn under several layers of wrapped yarn until you can no longer see the end. Repeat the process described in steps 1 and 2 until you have 5 or 6 balls.
    3. Cut one leg off of an old pair of pantyhose (or use a knee -high stocking). Put one ball into the toe of the stocking, followed by the other dryer balls. Use the little string or acrylic yarn to section off each ball from one another (or just put one ball in the stocking at a time and tied a knot between them with the pantyhose). Tie off the open end of the stocking so that you have a “yarn-ball caterpillar.” Make sure you tie them tight! You don’t want them coming out in the washing machine.
    4. Throw the “yarn-ball caterpillar” into the washing machine with a load of whites or towels in hot water to begin the felting process. Then throw the caterpillar into the dryer.  You will want to wash and dry the caterpillar at least 2-4 times so that the yarn will felt and won’t come apart.
    5. Remove the dryer balls from the stocking. Then toss the balls into your dryer with a load of wet laundry. If you’d like, you can add 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil to the balls to scent your laundry as they work.

    How do they work?

    For each load of laundry, the dryer balls will bounce around in the machine, separating your clothes, and allowing more hot air to circulate through the clothes. This excess air will allow your clothes to dry faster and the tumbling dryer balls will help to make the laundry soft and decrease wrinkles as they hit the clothes.

    How long will they last?

    This is the biggest question I had while making my own dryer balls: How long will they last? I scoured the internet for an answer to this question. The common consensus seemed to be 5 to 8+ years—they’ll last you for quite some time. However, if you use Essential oils, you’ll need to re-apply them regularly to the dryer balls to infuse that scent into your laundry.

    Wrap Em’ Up!

    These DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls would be an excellent present because they are the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year (and beyond!)

    Place your wool Balls into a small wrapped basket or box and include a batch of our Emergency Essentials DIY Laundry Detergent to make a complete present. You can even leave a little note explaining how to use the dryer balls and what their purpose and benefits are.

    -Angela

    P.S. Speaking of laundry . . . top off your present with a Mobile Washer (hand operated washing machine). The Mobile Washer is perfect for washing clothes during a power outage or on a camping trip. All you need is a bucket, a little bit of your DIY Laundry Detergent, and a little bit of muscle to get your clothes clean. Check out how the Mobile Washer works in the video below.

     

    Sources:

    http://erinslittlesecrets.blogspot.com/2012/05/homestead-challenge-3-making-felted.html

    http://bodyunburdened.com/diy-wool-dryer-balls-natural-fabric-softener/

    http://www.diynatural.com/how-to-make-wool-dryer-balls/

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, gifts, baby steps, DIY

  • With Halloween over and Thanksgiving soon to arrive, before we know it Christmas will be here and those who start prepping for it now will have an easier, less stressful holiday season.

    The Christmas season is a time of parties, a stream of festivities, a never-ending row of colorful lights, and a lot of fun.  Start preparing now so that you can enjoy the winter wonderland that surrounds Christmastime without being overloaded and overstressed. One huge stressor during the holidays is trying to get gifts at the last minute—this is never a fun way to spend the few weeks before Christmas. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out what gift you’re giving all of your friends, neighbors, and family members this year.

    Usually for Christmas we all seem to get the cookie platters, baked goods, or holiday decorations. Although these standard go-to gifts are fun (and for some of us, allow us to indulge in our weakness of candy!), why not step away from the crowd and give an inexpensive, unique gift to those you love most?

    My sister actually gave me a fantastic, delicious recipe that will both sweeten and spice up your friends’ holiday—Pepper Jelly.

    Small colorful sweet peppers isolated on white background

    Mmmm! Pepper jelly matches sweet with spicy in a delicious blend of flavors using bell peppers, jalapenos, and a few other ingredients. This recipe is easy to make in large batches, and only uses a few ingredients per batch, making it perfect for a holiday gift.

    Pepper Jelly

    Yield: 8 ½-pint jars

    *You could even do both colors (in separate jars) to create a Christmas season feel

    1. Combine peppers, vinegar, sugar, and cayenne in a large pot
    2. Cook on medium until it boils
    3. Add the Certo, boil 5 minutes (let it boil for the full 5 minutes, or it won’t set.)
    4. Remove from heat
    5. Add food color
    6. Pour into jars

    Pepper jelly is a unique recipe that a lot of people haven’t tasted before, but is savory nonetheless. If sweet and spicy aren’t quite your taste, other traditional jams and jellies make great holiday gifts as well. For a variety of delicious recipes see our Jams and Jellies that please post.

     

    Storing your Jam/Jelly

    Short-term storage is a great way to seal your jelly, protecting it from bacteria until you are ready to dive into it. There are three ways to package your jelly for short-term storage: Traditional Canning, Freezing, and Storing to eat.

    Traditional Canning

    Traditional canning involves cooking your ingredients before sealing them in their individual jars by processing your batch in a boiling water bath. This process takes longer to do because of the cooking time, but ensures that all of your ingredients are clean and ready to eat.  As soon as the jelly is poured into their individual jars, cap them and place in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.  Remove jars and set aside to cool. Soon after removing from the boiling water, you should hear a ‘pop!’ indicating that the jar has sealed itself. If you are unsure as to whether or not it sealed, just poke the lid. If it concaves and then bounces back at your touch, then it did not seal properly. In that case, store it in your fridge and eat within the next few weeks.  You can store traditionally canned jelly for up to a year.

    Freezing

    Freezing is another way to package your jelly for storage. This process takes much less time than the traditional canning method.  After the jelly has been poured into its individual freezer-safe containers, let it cool before capping it, and then place it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. Freezer jams can last up to a year in the freezer or a few weeks in the fridge.

    Store to Eat

    The last way to store your jelly is to store it to eat. Once you have poured the jelly into its individual jar and have let it cool, cap it and place it in the fridge. The recommended storage life is about a month, but I have had my Pepper Jelly in the fridge for two and it still tastes delicious. This type of storage is perfect if you plan to eat your scrumptious jelly right up.

     ***

    Jams and jellies are fantastic gifts to give anytime of the year because they’ll last. When you give jam as a gift, your friends can either break into the bottle immediately or save it for a time when their own sugary supply of holiday goodies gets low.  Jams and jellies are able to store for up to a year depending on how you seal it.

    Jams and jellies give you an inexpensive option when you want a unique, desirable gift for your loved ones. Freeze dried and dehydrated fruits and vegetables are perfect for adding into your jams/jellies without having to break your bank, just use a little here and a little there and still have plenty for later.

    -Kim

    Sources:

    http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/storing_jams.html

    http://www.betterrecipes.com/blogs/daily-dish/2011/07/27/how-to-make-homemade-jelly/

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, recipes, skills, baby steps, preparedness, Budget, freeze dried food, holiday

  • Gathering fire making supplies

    We’ve been talking a lot about fire lately—how to Build a Fire without Matches, how to Prevent Kitchen Fires, etc. Most of us have matches and maybe a lighter on our list of emergency supplies, but how many of us would have to scramble for everything else (you know, wood?) if we needed to get a fire going?  Here are some things you may not have on that list to help you gather fire making supplies.

    Tinder –Lots of different things can be used for tinder, and some are easier (and cleaner) to store than others. My personal favorite is dryer lint—I keep a jar in my laundry room and fill it regularly, then transfer it to a plastic ziplock for emergency packs. Discounting what you could find in the wild, here are some other easy tinder materials you could collect and store for your fire making supplies: wood shavings or sawdust, cotton fabric or cotton balls, frayed natural (jute) twine, char cloth, paper (Kleenex, toilet paper, newspaper, paper towel), or steel wool.

    Fire starters – You can’t go wrong with a supply of waterproof matches, like UCO Stormproof. Watch the video below to see UCO Stormproof matches in action.

     

    Some survivalists recommend keeping matches in a few different places (emergency pack, car, coat pocket), just in case. A less disposable idea might be getting a more durable fire starter and storing it with your fire making supplies. They won’t last indefinitely, but they’re good for anywhere from a hundred to a couple thousand sparks, depending on the material, and they store a little more conveniently than matches.

    Another way to get your fire started is using a gel fuel like Utility Flame. Simply squeeze the gel onto your tinder then light using a match or lighter. The gel will heat up and begin to burn your tinder, starting your flame. The gel burns for fifteen minutes, giving you enough time to collect kindling and fuel to keep the fire going. Utility Flame comes in handy little packets that are perfect for backpacks and emergency kits. 

    Fuel – For those of us who grew up without gas fireplaces (what do you mean, ‘switch it on’?), woodpiles were a part of life. They’re a rarer feature these days, but could be a lifesaver in an emergency. Whether you buy it by the cord or cut down your own tree branches and logs, there are important considerations regarding storage. Primarily, you want to keep firewood covered, but not enclosed; good ventilation is key to “seasoning,” or properly drying the wood.

    Alternatively, if you need to get and keep a fire burning somewhere away from your immaculately stacked woodpile, a firestarter like Fired Up! can save time and space. For fuel in bulk, Fired Up! comes in 12 oz. cans , 2.5 lb. cans, or 13 lb. buckets, and can store for 30+ years.

    First aid – So, maybe you got that fire burning just a little too hot. Don’t forget burn treatment along with all your other fire making supplies. BurnFree’s comprehensive line of burn treatment products includes everything from a fire blanket to treat full-body burns, to single dose packets of pain relief gel. Burnfree is specifically developed for first aid use on burns and scalds. By storing Burnfree in your camping or emergency supplies, you can begin to care for burns properly before it creates any devastating effects to your body. Burnfree allows you to treat burns in a variety of situations and of various degrees.

    Any other fire-related storage must-haves? What’s in your supply?

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, baby steps, Survival, Fire Safety, Fire Preparedness

  • With the change of seasons, it’s time to update your Grab & Go Bag—or 72-hour Kit, Bug-out Bag, Emergency Kit, Evac Kit, or whatever you prefer to call it! Update both your personal kit and one for your car.

    BABY STEP 1:  Update Your Personal Grab and Go Bag

    Items for a Winter Grab and go bag

    Think about what items you’d be glad to have if you had to leave your home in the spur of the moment with chilly weather waiting to greet you outside. You’ll definitely want things to help you stay warm and dry, right? Depending on your climate, consider adding a few items to each person’s grab and go bag.

     Reminder: have your kids grown enough to need larger disposable diapers or pull-ups? If so, you’ll want to remember those and store them in your grab and go bag.

     

    BABY STEP 2:  Update Your Emergency Car Kit

    Winter Car Emergency Kit

    Reminder: are your tires and windshield wipers in good condition? If not, consider getting them changed out before winter weather hits.

    Like it or not, Old Man Winter is on his way, and knowing that your grab and go bags are ready to go and you’re as prepared as possible will help you sleep when the wind blows—or when the snow falls.

     

    Sources:

    www.beprepared.com

    www.ready.gov/winter-weather

    www.quakekare.com/emergency-preparedness/winterstorm-preparedness.html

    weather.about.com/od/winterweather/ht/autosafetykits.htm

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Car Kit, baby steps, emergency kit

  •  DIY Mummy Costume could be made using emergency supplies like First Aid gauze

    Since Halloween is coming up, we wanted to give you some helpful tips, tricks, and costume ideas that use emergency supplies to prepare you for All Hallows’ Eve!

    Baby Step One: Use Emergency Supplies for Safety, decoration, and warmth

     

    Emergency Supplies for Safety

    Lightsticks- This 12 hour light-source will light the way as you walk the streets this Halloween. Also, imagine the fun you could have with these on the dance floor at a Halloween party . . .

    LED Glow flashlight-Doubles as a traditional flashlight and glowstick. The flashlight’s handle glows and blinks red light (with the option to turn it off, of course).  A fun way to get into the holiday spirit and to see into dark passages for ghosts . . . or unfriendly people lurking about.

    LED Glowstick-a festive addition to any Halloween costume and perfect for locating your kids in a sea of Spiderman, pirate, or princess costumes. Create a necklace of glow sticks to hang around your child’s neck, arms, or wrists, or to pin to their costumes.

    Goal Zero Life-a-Light LED Lanterns guide trick-or-treaters or party guests to your home safely. Hang these solar powered lanterns across your front porch, balcony, windows, or doorways.

     emergency supplies like this flashlight can help keep you safe on Halloween

    Emergency Supplies as Decorations

    100 hour Candles create a perfect melancholy glow or mood lighting for a creepy Halloween party or scary movie marathon. Just pop the Red Globe Attachment onto your candles and instantly create a red spotlight. Then dress up like a vampire. Your party guests will be horrified when they see the red candles glowing . . . (I’d die on the spot if that ever happened to me . . .)

    Carve a scary pumpkin, and drop a green, red or blue glowstick inside to create a creepy glow from inside…

    Make a creepy Jack-O-Lantern with the most basic of emergency supplies: the humble glow stick

    Emergency Supplies for Warmth

    Hot hands or Hot Spot hand warmers- Keep yourself or your kids warm this Halloween. Stick these hand warmers in your pockets so they don’t get in the way of the festivities. The Hot Spot will keep you warm for up to 2 hours!

    Baby Step Two: Use Emergency Supplies for Halloween Costumes

    With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can make a pretty cool Halloween costume out of your emergency supplies. The best part is that you can still use your supplies again later. Store them in your emergency kit or with your emergency supplies when you’re done.  Here is a list of emergency supplies that could make whole outfits or accessories for your costume. Click on Orange costume names to see how to create the costume.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: safety, baby steps, DIY

  • Baby Step 1: Plan a Food Storage Menu

    Not sure what foods to buy and store for your food storage supply? Here’s a helpful hint: if you don’t know what to store, try making a weekly or monthly food storage menu that includes your favorite family meals.

    According to Leslie Probert, author of Food Storage in a Nutshell, if you plan a month’s worth of meals and then multiply it by 12, you’ll know exactly what you’ll need to buy to sustain your family for a year on food storage. So here are 4 baby steps on how to get started on your food storage menu.

    Make a list of your favorite meals: Look at the recipes and ingredients for each of these meals and pull out your Emergency Essentials catalog or go online to beprepared.com. Search for the ingredients to make each of these meals out of our large selection of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. Write these meals down on a calendar to keep track of them. You can use our Food Storage Menu Planner to keep track of your shopping list, monthly meal calendars, and food storage inventory. Just click on the picture below and start planning!

     Food Storage Menu Planner

     

     

    Create a short-term storage supply: Since not all food items can be preserved long-term, you may have to think about ways to change the recipes so that you can use food storage products. You may also want to think about creating a [short-term food storage] supply that includes items like vegetable oil, brown rice, and peanut butter. You can rotate these items regularly so that you can have them on hand if you’re in an emergency situation.

    Purchase your supplies:  You can gradually add supplies to your food storage, or you can get it all at once (year supply combos work well for this option). It’s up to you—do what works best for your situation. But keep in mind that it’s recommended to start with the basics—grains, legumes, dry milk, sugar, salt, oil, and garden seeds so that you can have the basic supplies to make a number of meals.

    Start Cooking:  Once you’ve purchased your supplies, start cooking with them to test out meals. This will not only show you what needs to be adjusted to make the recipes work, but it will also help your family to become familiar with eating freeze-dried and dehydrated foods before an emergency hits.

     

     

    Baby Step 2: Try a New Food Storage Recipe or Technique

    To go along with our food storage theme, consider learning how to cook with a food storage item that you are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable cooking. One item that may seem difficult to cook is wheat. Here are some resources to get you started if you want to learn how to cook with wheat:

    Wheat Cookin’ Made Easy (DVD)

    The Amazing Wheat Book

    The Working with Wheat Combo

    The Easiest Way to Use Wheat

    Also, Food Storage in a Nutshell provides a very good list of the best ways to cook with freeze-dried and dehydrated foods so that you can preserve the nutrients in your food storage meals.

    Stay tuned for our Baby Steps: Halloween Safety and DIY Costumes coming up later this week!

    -Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, baby steps, menu

  • Casual Group of People in a Row - Isolated

    Okay, ready to have your mind blown? Today’s post is a baby-steps-within-baby-steps post. Since we've been talking about CERT today, we thought it would be useful to brush up on the basics by revisiting a previous ‘baby steps’ series on the topic of preparedness networks. The articles and resources linked here are a great place to get started as you think about neighborhood networks and emergency plans.

    Step 1: Mix ‘n mingle

    The very first, most basic, and most crucial step to building a useful neighborhood network is to get to know your neighbors. Build trust, look for common interests, let them know you’re willing to help. Ultimately, you’re looking for complementary skills and resources, but none of that matters if you never speak with them.

     

    Step 2: Get to work

    Once you’ve built a social network, you’ll have likely identified those who would be open to participating in an emergency response network. The next step is to get it all down on paper: names and contact info; skills and equipment; lines of communication. Information overload? Organize it all in this ultra-handy neighborhood emergency plan packet. You can also take advantage of tools like Facebook groups to communicate both before and after a disaster.

     

    Step 3: Build your team

    With a basic plan in place, you can kick it up a notch and focus on bolstering specific elements of your neighborhood network. The ‘baby steps’ post here links to an article by a former Navy SEAL about elements of survival you may not have considered (fitness, finances, and the psychology of endurance, for example) and the importance of a strong team.

    Your own personal preparedness is vital, but enlisting the help of a supportive group of neighbors can create a pool of physical and emotional resources that might spell the difference between just surviving and thriving.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, baby steps, Neighborhood Emergency Plan, CERT

  • iStock_000016393748XSmall_family camping

    When you think of your prepping supplies, what are the most important items for your survival? To me, food, water, and a fully stocked emergency kit are pretty high up on the list. However, a printed map displaying alternate routes to avoid traffic and congested areas could be equally important to your survival as a #10 can of food!

    This week we came across a great article from Commonsense Homesteading that gives advice on how you can use a map in your prepping gear to keep you out of harm’s way during an emergency. This article gives tips for how to use your map effectively if you live in the country, city, or the suburbs.

    Here are some helpful tips for using a map in an emergency:

    #1. Print out a map of your area, laminate it, and put it with your prepping supplies (you might not be able to rely on Google Earth, Mapquest, and GPS on your phone or in your car during an emergency).

    #2. “Know your exit routes, map them.  Have multiple exit routes, don’t plan on just one.” Depending on the emergency, some common routes may be unusable or totally congested. You’ll want to know what your alternatives are.

    #3. Get to know your neighbors. If you live in the country, map out where their homes are within a five mile radius on your map, how long it will take you to get there, and what resources you could potentially share, trade, or sell to them in the event of an emergency. If you live in the city, get to know your closest neighbors and get their contact info. Have the contact info for local authorities.

    *As our recent "Hurricane Sandy: Neighbors to the Rescue" post suggests, those who get to know their neighbors and work together with their communities are more likely to get through an emergency situation than those who do not.

    #4. Know the Terrain and high-risk areas including rivers and other waterways or flood zones, bridges (which could be vulnerable to collapse), or highways prone to fog or ice.

    #5. Map out routes to your family or friends for shelter. Also map routes to storage units or other places you might have supplies waiting.

     

    For more information, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of printed maps during an emergency, check out the article at commonsensehome.com 

    For more information on evacuating during an emergency, learn how to build a car emergency kit and practice your family evacuation plan

    --Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: baby steps, emergency kit, Emergency plan, Survival, emergency binder

  • Sprouts are one of the most nutritious foods out there. When you sprout at home, they can also be some of the cleanest food produced. You can usually guarantee the quality of what you create because you oversee every step of the sprouting process. However, it’s still important to know that improper sprouting can lead to the growth of bacteria like e. coli.

    FG-S151-Bean-Sprouter-Blend

    The three basics you’ll need for healthy sprouting are clean seeds, clean water, and a clean sprouting dish. If you’re purchasing your sprouting seeds from a commercial supplier, those seeds have already been cleaned.

    You probably won’t ever need to know how to clean the seeds, but since knowledge is power, we’re passing on this information from our supplier.

    It's seems obvious but we'll say it anway; you need to start with clean supplies:

    Water – it is absolutely necessary to ensure you have a clean water supply; if you're not sure that your tap water is clean use a filter or bottled water.

    Sprouting vessel – whether using a jar, sprout tray, or hemp bag ensure that you have either sterilized, or at least sanitized, all items that will come into contact with your seeds and sprouts.

    Sterilizing – this is the safest option, just boil items for 10 minutes.

    Sanitizing – there are a number of good options for sanitizing:

    • Bleach – follow the directions on the container, usually 3/4 cup of unscented bleach per gallon of water.  Soak for at least 5 minutes and then rinse with clean water (see above).
    • Star San – available at most brewing stores.  Our supplier likes this sanitizer because it does not leave an “off flavor”.  Follow directions on package.

    Seeds – though generally not dangerous, seeds can actually be the start to bacteria especially when not cleaned.  Commercial sprout houses typically use a 2% hypochlorite solution for 10 minutes to treat their seeds, but at these levels this procedure is not recommended for the average home user.  Our supplier uses the procedure recommended by UC Davis in publication 8151.

    1. Heat 3% hydrogen peroxide (what you will typically find at the store) to 140°F (60°C).  You really need to take your time here [and be accurate], the temperature range is key to maximizing your ability to kill bacteria, but you also want to be careful to not get the solution too hot or you will kill the seed (i.e. lower the germination).
    2. Put seeds in a small mesh strainer and lower them completely into the solution for 5 minutes, swirling every minute or so to ensure all seeds make contact with the peroxide.
    3. Rinse seeds for a minute under room temperature water and discard peroxide solution.

    As mentioned earlier, if you’re getting your sprouting seeds from Emergency Essentials, you’ll never need to sanitize them. Still, it’s interesting to know what process our supplier uses and of course it’s wonderful to know that your sprouts are clean.

    Go sprout!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, baby steps, Sprouts

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