Monthly Archives: May 2013

  • 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.


    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

  • Last chance words written on lined paper with a pen on it

    So you’ve finally gotten a chance to sit down with this month’s Emergency Essentials® catalog to peruse the sale items. As usual there are so many deals to choose from that you might not know where to start.

    Let the Preparedness Pantry blog help! Here are our suggestions for this month’s best grabs.

    • Slumberjack Trail Tent 2: Sleeps three and keeps you dry with waterproofed, fully-taped seams and a full-coverage rain fly. On sale for $79.99.
    • MRE One Month Food Supply: Provides one person with three meals a day for one month. MREs are great for camping trips as well as emergency meals. Lots of different entrees (90 in total!), drinks, and sides. On sale for $339.99
    • Provident Pantry Hash Browns: Mmmm! Mmmm!! Nothing says comfort like a plate of hot hash browns. This’ll keep your troopers going during any situation. On sale for $8.49.
    • Provident Pantry SuperPail Lentils: Stock up your pantry and your food storage at the same time! Lentils are an excellent source of fiber and protein, and are the perfect addition to main dishes, soups, salads, or dips. This price is better than what you’ll find at the grocery store. On sale for $62.99
    • Mountain Oven Flameless Heating Kit: Don’t have fuel to boil water? No problem! Get yourself some of these Mountain Ovens and create heat on the fly. Check out our customers’ reviews highlighting their experiences with this product. On sale for $10.99.
    • Nuclear War Survival Skills: The handiest book we hope you’ll never need. You’ll not only learn how to survive nuclear fallout, but you’ll also pick up tips on homesteading, first aid, and other survival skills. On sale for $9.99.
    • Emergency Essentials Whistle: No emergency kit is complete without a whistle. This is such a great sale (almost half-off!) that you’ll probably want to stock up on a bunch for your family and friends. On sale for $.49. Yep, 49 cents!  

    Click here to see images of the food storage and survival gear on sale this month. And while you’re at it, learn more about our great products from people who have used them! Check out what our customers have to say about these sale items in the customer review section of each product.

    Happy stocking!



    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage

  • The last thing you wanted to read about this week was another e. coli outbreak. Luckily, this one happened two summers ago (2011), but we’re writing about it now because e. coli outbreaks are a real danger. In the 2011 German outbreak, definitively linked to unclean sprouts, 3,000 people got sick (some of them got sick enough to be put in quarantine) and 29 died.

    Bean Sprouts

    The likelihood of e. coli coming from your homegrown sprouts is fairly low. If you are diligent at thoroughly washing the sprouting dish after each use, and washing your hands each time you handle the sprouts, you are well ahead of the game. But, because sprouts are a fresh, raw product, you should know that infection is possible, even if it is unlikely.

    The first, and probably best, tip is this: if your sprouts look slimy, or smell weird – don’t eat them! (That means you, Dad. No rinsing it off and pretending it’s ok.) There is one exception; broccoli sprouts produce sulfaraphane which is thought to have anti-cancer properties. Sulfaraphane smells like—you guessed it—sulfur and that’s normal for broccoli sprouts.


     Follow these seven easy steps and get delicious, fresh, clean sprouts – every time!

    1. Wash your hands every time you handle the seeds or sprouts – do it right, don’t give it the quick rinse.  A bit of hand sanitizer after a good wash is not a bad idea either.
    2. After soaking your seeds, skim off anything floating on the surface.  Research has shown that these “floaters” may be more likely to grow bacteria.
    3. Rinse your seeds/sprouts. No matter what sprouting method you use, rinse your seeds/sprouts frequently with clean water. At least twice a day is recommend, 3 to 4 times a day is better. Keeping the seeds/sprouts moist allows them to germinate, and rinsing them frequently helps keep bacteria from growing.
    4. Completely drain your seeds/sprouts after each rinse.  Rinsing is key to safety. Standing water can lead to mold and bacteria so get rid of the excess.
    5. As sprouts develop use a clean fork to break up the sprouts before rinsing, as you rinse allow any seed hulls or other “floaters” to rinse out.
    6. After your sprouts have fully developed do a final rinse in a clean bowl. Use a clean fork, or your clean hands, to remove any final floaters or other non-sprout material.
    7. Remove excess water. Dry sprouts with a clean paper towel or use a fine mesh salad spinner.
    8. Wash your sprouting dish after each use and before you start sprouting.

    You can store sprouts in a clean bag or other sealed container in the refrigerator, but… sprouts are more delicious and nutritious when they’re fresh. Don’t wait for more than a couple of days to enjoy the fruits of your sprouting labor!

    Here’s something you probably didn’t know. Sometimes you may need to clean the seeds themselves. If you’re purchasing commercial sprouting seeds, and most of us are, those seeds have already been cleaned. Here are instructions on how to clean sprout seeds, in case you’re interested.

    For more information about sprouting, and tasty recipes, get a copy of The Sprouting Book. It’s an easy, informative read on how to grow and use sprouts. The book also discusses many of the health benefits from incorporating sprouts into your diet. Sprouts be a nutrition-packed boost to your daily diet and sprouting seeds are an invaluable addition to your food storage.

    If you’re ready to start sprouting, Emergency Essentials offers several varieties of sprouting seeds and sprouting dishes. These seeds are clean and packaged for long-term storage. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times, and we mean it. You can enjoy sprouts now or in years to come!

    Sprout on, my friends. Sprout on. 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, Sprouts

  • DIY Tent Lamp

    |4 COMMENT(S)


    I love ingenuity – how cool is this improvised tent lamp? Really cool, right? It reminded me of this video, Plastic Bottles Light Up Homes in Manilla Slums, which really moved me. I love invention. It’s so great when someone comes up with a money and resource-saving device.

    I tried it myself, with variations:

    • 16 oz plastic water bottle. I took the label off. It’s pretty directional and not much better than the headlamp on its own. Apart from the pretty effect of dappled light on the wall.
    • 12 oz glass water bottle. Even more directional than the 16 oz plastic bottle.
    • 2 liter plastic soda bottle (label off). Better than the 16 oz, but the spread of light was not as amazing as expected.


    • Emergency Essentials Mixer Pitcher. (See picture below.) I think this was my fave. The opaque container diffuses the light nicely and leaves enough light for a decent reach.

    If you don’t want to DIY, check out our emergency lighting options. (Our 100 Hour Candles are especially awesome.) But if you do want to build one on your own, all you need is a headlamp (or other light like a flashlight or glowstick) and a plastic water bottle or jug.

    Step One: Fill a plastic bottle or jug with water.

    Step Two: Pour in bleach (optional).

    Step Three: Adjust headlamp to fit securely around container. Or if you’re using a flashlight, place it on the ground next to the container. I aimed the headlamp up, rather than down, because I figured I didn’t need light on the ground.

    Step Four: Bring people over to admire your creation!


    From what I can figure out, the water diffracts and diffuses the light (or spreads out the beam). These guys agree with me. I read that it works better if you add bleach (but I also read that the bleach is just there to kill bacteria).

    My conclusion is, the more you can diffuse the light, the more of a “lamp” effect you get. A plastic milk jug works really well because it’s large, stable, and portable. Think of all the possible variations…

    Ooh! A five-gallon water storage jug would be awesome!!! You could put one of these big flashlights next to it.

    Quick, somebody try putting a flashlight in a SuperPail (without water) and see if that works. Is it too opaque?

    Here’s to unique, innovative lighting solutions! You never know what you’ll be able to invent in a pinch. Go preppers!

    ~ Steph

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: essential gear, DIY, Lighting, Headlamps

  • Pennies Banner

    Hi, friends!

    Is it Spring where you live yet? Or are you getting Summer weather already? Mother Nature hasn't quite decided what she’s up to here in Utah—we had record-breaking heat for several days, then an almost-constant drizzle with overcast skies. Now it's high 70's, low 80's for the next little while. So we’re teetering between Spring and Summer-like weather around here.

    Have you been saving your spare change this month? I’ve added $36.00 to my Prep Jar so far this month, so in addition to the $2.65 I had leftover last month that means I’ve got $38.65 to work with. Here’s what I’m going to buy:

    Freeze-dried mini meatballs (cooked)

    One can of Freeze Dried Miniature Meatballs. I’m really looking forward to experimenting with these—I think they could be great in sandwiches, pasta dishes, casseroles, and on pizza. We’ll be testing them in the Emergency Essentials Test Kitchen pretty soon, but I’m staking my claim on a can now, since they’re a limited-time item—once they sell out, they’re gone without a guarantee of coming back. They’re on Group Special this month for $23 per can if you (or you + any number of other people together) buy 6 cans. And don't forget that you get free shipping when you meet the minimum on even a single group sale item. If you aren't part of a group, find one in your area or start your own! You don't even have to technically be a "group" as long as you meet that minimum purchase amount in a single order. Click here for info about the Group Program.

    MF-B515 BurnFree 4 oz. Gel

    You’ve probably caught on that I’m a big fan of BurnFree® Pain Relieving Gel. It’s also on Group Special this month—for $3! Total steal. I’m going to try not to hoard all of it—I want to leave some for the rest of you, after all— so I’m sticking to 2 bottles.

    MyChoice can of Instant Vanilla Pudding

    The last thing I’m going to grab this month is a MyChoice™ can of Vanilla Instant Pudding. Because it’s good. And easy to make. And did I mention good? Mmmmm… (It may not even make it into my long-term storage, if I’m going to be honest with you. I’m a total sucker for pudding. So easy. So tasty.)


    If I had some extra money this month, here are a few additional things I would snag:

    MyChoice can (#2.5 can) Fortified Peach Drink Mix

    Peach Fortified Drink Mix. Because sometimes plain water is just boring, so this would add a little boost of flavor and nutrients I could use in an emergency.

    A can (or, if I had even more extra money this month, a SuperPail) of lentils. I think lentils are delicious, and they can be used in so many ways (I love making quinoa and lentil "burgers", making curried lentils over rice, or adding them to soups).

    Mountain House Pouches to fill every nook and cranny of my storage area.

    What about you? How much did you save this month? What are you planning or saving up to buy next?


    Happy prepping (and have a great weekend)!

    Urban Girl

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, Urban Girl, Prepping on a Budget, Pennies for Prepping

  • Hurricane Season 2013

    Today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center stated that “there is a 70 percent likelihood” that there will be three to six major hurricanes this year with winds above 111 mph. Forecasters suggest that “A year after Superstorm Sandy, residents along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts should prepare for ‘an extremely active’" 2013 hurricane season.

    With this forecast in mind, Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA acting administrator, stated Thursday, "Take time to refresh your hurricane preparedness plan . . . bottom line is become weather-ready now—that means starting today."

    Since 2013’s Hurricane season begins on June 1st, now is the time to prepare for a Hurricane. Here are some basic items that you should consider collecting to prepare you for the upcoming storm season:

    Hurricane Kit Supplies:

    Emergency Kit

    First Aid Kit

    Food Storage (have enough for several weeks)

    Water Storage Supply

    Radio (include extra batteries)


    Rain Ponchos

    Sanitation Supplies


    For a more comprehensive list of items to include in your Hurricane Kit, take a look at our Hurricane Checklists for before, during, and after the storm.

    Our 5-part mini-series on Hurricane preparedness also provides additional information on things to consider while preparing for a hurricane.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: hurricanes, hurricane preparedness

  • This giveaway has closed and we've contacted the winner. Hopefully it's you!


    Thanks everyone for participating. Check back because you never know when another giveaway might come along...


    It’s time for a giveaway here on the Preparedness Pantry Blog, don’tcha think?

    The giveaway prize is two cans of Provident Pantry™ Whole Egg Powder—a #10 can and a MyChoice™ can. So, if you win you’ll have a smaller can to experiment with now, plus a large can to keep in your long-term food storage for the future!

    Egg and bacon frittata

    Whole Egg Powder is a versatile product—you can use it to make scrambled eggs, frittata, or quiche (we suggest adding powdered milk for better results when you’re using the Whole Egg Powder instead of Scrambled Egg Mix), plus you can add it to baked goods in place of fresh eggs. Anywhere you would use fresh whole eggs, these make a great substitute—and they’re stable on the shelf much longer than fresh eggs, too!

    To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling us what recipe(s) you’d like to try if you win. If you came to this post from Facebook, be sure to comment here on the blog, not just on FB.

    That’s it, folks! Good luck.


    P.S. We'll pick a winner next Tuesday, so you've got the long weekend to think about what you want to make and spread the word about the giveaway.


    The winner will be contacted via email. If you are the winner and do not respond to our email within 3 business days, you will forfeit your right to the prize and another winner will be chosen.

    All entries will be verified. Contest is open to all customers with a US shipping address; however, free shipping of the Weekly Wednesday Giveaway is included for the winner to the 48 contiguous United States only. For any locations outside this area, the winner is responsible for arranging and paying their own shipping costs. If you purchase a Weekly Wednesday Giveaway item during the giveaway and win, we will send you an additional item or issue you a refund for the product you purchased—whichever you prefer.

    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress or Pinterest. Your entries are going to Emergency Essentials and not to Facebook, Twitter, blogger or Pinterest. Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, or Pinterest is in no way responsible for any part of this giveaway.

    Employees of Emergency Essentials, Inc. and their immediate family members are not eligible for the giveaway.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, giveaway, Provident Pantry

  • Following the Twister

    Our hearts go out to all of the people affected by the recent tornado devastation in Oklahoma  and Texas. We share your grief.


    Here are a few sites that provide meaningful information on the aftermath of the tornado in Oklahoma.

    To help survivors, follow the instructions on these sites:

    However you choose to help, don’t forget to verify that the organization you are donating to is legitimate. It is reprehensible that anyone would take advantage of the suffering of others, but it does happens. Click on the link to read suggestions for safe giving as well as links to websites that will run a check on organizations.

    Click on the following links to see how tornadoes are created,  and to read what you can do to prepare, or what to do during a tornado.




    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Tornado, Disaster Recovery, Oklahoma

  • large tornado over the road (3D rendring)

    What to Do During a Tornado

    If at home:

    • If you have a tornado safe room or engineered shelter, go there immediately.
    • Go at once to a windowless, interior room; storm cellar; basement; or lowest level of the building.
    • If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway or a smaller inner room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.
    • Get away from the windows.
    • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
    • Use arms to protect head and neck.
    • If in a mobile home, get out and find shelter elsewhere.

    If at work or school:

    • Go to the area designated in your tornado plan.
    • Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways, or shopping malls.
    • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
    • Use arms to protect head and neck.

    If outdoors:

    • If possible, get inside a building.
    • If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
    • Use arms to protect head and neck.

    If in a car:

    • Never try to out-drive a tornado in a car or truck.
    • Get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building.
    • If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle. Be aware of the potential for flooding.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Tornado

  • Using Whole Egg Powder

    This week’s feature product is the Provident Pantry®Whole Egg Powder. Ideal for baking and cooking, and including in dry ingredient mixes, our Whole Egg Powder is a wonderful addition to your food storage. This product is easy to rotate and can be used in your favorite family recipes. It is packaged and preserved for long-term storage so that you can use it now or years from now.


    We’re not the only ones who think it’s great. One of our customers left this product review of the Provident Pantry™ Whole Egg Powder on our website:

    I have used this product in baking and have made egg drop soup without any family members commenting about "something being different". In the long run, it seems to cost less and it is certainly more convenient than having to run to the store for a carton of eggs before I can make a cake or a batch of cookies. ~ Granny

    Like Granny says, cooking with whole egg powder won’t have your family commenting on “something being different” or refusing to eat! Here are a couple of recipes from the book Cookin’ with Dried Eggs, that you can make using Provident Pantry®Whole Egg Powder.

    The book includes an excellent chart on how to convert recipes that use fresh eggs into the equivalent measurements for Whole Egg Powder, so you can still cook your favorite recipes. Pick up your copy today and start cookin’!

    Hootenanny Pancakes (German Pancake)

    1 C. dried whole eggs 3 C. warm water
    3 T. dried milk                                   1 C. flour
    ½ t. salt    ½ C. margarine

    Mix water, dried eggs, dried milk, and salt in a blender until fluffy. Tap in the flour a little at a time, beat until well blended. Melt margarine in 9x13 pan at 425°F. When butter is bubbly, pour in batter and return to oven immediately. Bake 25 minutes. Serve with jam, syrup, or powdered sugar.


    Macaroni and Cheese Casserole                                                 

    2/3 C. macaroni 1 T. dried green pepper
    2 C. boiling water ¼ C. dried cheese
    ½ t. salt 1/3 C. dry whole egg
    2 T. dried parsley 3 T. dried milk            
    1 t. dried onion 1 C. warm water

    Cook the macaroni in the boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and combine the macaroni, green pepper, parsley, and onion. Mix together cheese, egg, milk, and warm water; blend well. Pour over the macaroni mixture. Place in a greased pan, bake at 350°F. for 50 minutes. This recipe makes 2 servings.

    If you are interested in finding more ways to cook with the Provident Pantry® Whole Egg Powder, check out our recipe for Scrambled Egg and Veggie Wraps. You can purchase a copy of Cookin’ with Dried Eggs from our website or in our stores.

    Pick up a can of our Whole Egg Powder and try out a couple of recipes. They’ll taste just the same as using eggs fresh from the carton!




    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, recipes, family, Emergency Essentials

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