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  • Why Emergency Food Storage?

    When winter hits, some animals have to scrounge and forage for food. Squirrels don’t. They store-up, so when food becomes scarce, they have an ample supply on hand. And they aren’t the only creatures that prepare for hard times. Wildcats, moles, and foxes (to name a few) are also ready for cold, cruel winter. It’s part of their nature. They know tough times are coming and they make sure to plan ahead.

    Be more squirrely. Get to work building your own emergency food supply.

    So why don’t we, as humans, stockpile food? I mean, most of us are a lot smarter than squirrels. Perhaps we just can’t believe that trying times are on their way? Maybe, since we might not live in Tornado Alley, or along the San Andreas Fault, or on the Southern Atlantic Coast, we can’t comprehend why we would ever be left without a way to get food. At the same time, common sense tells us hardships, set-backs, job losses, illnesses, accidents as well as natural disasters eventually strike us all – often with little or no warning.

    So, why don’t we prepare?

    I think it’s time we get squirrely (or foxy or moley…). I’m talking about food storage here. Like money in the bank, or a food insurance policy, building emergency food storage is a just plain smart...at least as smart as a squirrel.

    Now, I’m not talking about putting up the “I’m-only-eating-this-is-because-there’s-nothing-else-to-eat” kind of food. Oh no. More than just bulk wheat and oats, I’m talking about fun, fast, easy, and delicious long-term food storage that give you lots of choices when it comes to “what’s for dinner?” in an emergency.

    So what are your options? There are tons of choices when it comes to emergency food supplies and long-term storage. Let me show you what I mean.

     

    Meats, Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy, Grains & Legumes, Whole Meals, and Desserts

    This ain’t your grandma’s closet full of bulk food supplies. Today, there are all kinds of food options to choose from. All major food groups (and a few minor ones, like dessert) are packaged for decades of storage. Not only do they maintain their nutritional value, they will taste as great in 25 years as they would next week. Let’s talk for a moment about the benefits each food group offers, shall we?

    Meat: Meat is a great way to get your protein. Today’s freeze-dried meats will rehydrate to virtually the same freshly cooked state it was before it was canned. Eat it as a main course with a favorite sauce, or add it to your favorite salads, stir-fries, tacos, and casseroles. I’ve been known to pop chicken chunks or turkey sausage right into my mouth, right out of the can. It’s a kinda fun and funky sorta experience as that dried meat rehydrates in your mouth. It’s also way delicious. These meats are prepared and packaged to last up to 25 years (try keeping any other meat that long! Actually, on second thought, don’t try that. Just…don’t).

    Fruits: There’s not a fruit I know of that hasn’t made it’s way through a freeze-dryer and into a can, and each one as delicious as the next. Just as meat is a great source of protein, fruit is a fantastic way to get your vitamins. Freeze-dried and dehydrated fruits are also great in salads, desserts, or even (brace yourself) straight from the can! Let me tell you, pop some freeze-dried mandarin sections into your mouth and, well, it’s like candy! Really good candy that is 100% good for you. My friend’s mom likes to pop freeze-dried grapes into her mouth, then quickly follow them with a bite of a freeze-dried lime slice. “It’s a Lime Ricky party in your mouth,” she says. Seriously though, I have it on good authority that this stuff is all they eat in heaven. I’m sure of it. Every time I see a can of Freeze-dried fruit, I try to find a way to make it mine…or at least pilfer some of its contents.

    Vegetables: Low in fat and high in nutrients, easy to store and prepare, vegetables are a brilliant food to store. They’re also super quick to rehydrate, which makes them a great addition to your recipes, snacks, and sides. Like their fruity counterparts, freeze-dried vegetables have rich flavor, making them another great snack straight from the can.

    Dairy: Dairy includes all those products derived from milk, of course, though I also include eggs because when I was a kid the milkman also delivered eggs with the milk (although, I don’t include bacon or popsicles in dairy, which he also delivered. Oh well...where was I?) Dairy! In addition to powdered milk (in all its flavors), it’s easy to store cheese (which actually melts like fresh), sour cream, butter, and (you guessed it) eggs (whole and scrambled). Dairy products provide protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. Few foods are as versatile as dairy products—perfect for pouring over cereal, baking and cooking, or even just drinking by itself—or as an essential for keeping your body healthy and strong.

    Grains and Legumes: While grandma would store 500 pounds of wheat in the cellar and call it good, today’s common culinary tastes and skills could do no more with a cup of wheat as a sack of rocks. While in able hands, raw dried grains and legumes stored in bulk are a potent and useful source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and iron, these nutrients are now found in several other easy-to-store and quick-to-prepare varieties. Peanut butter powder, pasta, freeze-dried frijoles, and Emergency Essentials’ famous Mac & Cheese are a sampling of the dozens of prepared grains and legumes that make any meal complete.

    Full MealWhole Meals: Sometimes…you just don’t want to cook, and that’s OK. Especially now, since you can get pre-cooked, complete meals that are freeze-dried and last up to 25 years. Many of these types of meals are fully prepared before they are freeze-dried, so you’re getting an actual meal – with real texture – that tastes great. Just add boiling water, let sit for a bit, then eat. It’s a quick, easy, and delicious way to feed your entire family. Gone are the days of stocking up with only wheat, bottled sauces, and canned meat to make a meal. Now are the days of fantastic home-cooked meals that only take a few minutes! If you were ever hesitant about storing food before, this should allay all fear. Full freeze-dried meals really are as quick and delicious as I’m letting on.

    Desserts: Alright, let’s be honest. This is the one you really wanted to know about, am I right? These desserts are so easy to make. From cake and brownie mixes to puddings and ice cream (yes, ice cream!), these just-add-water desserts are absolutely delectable. Personally, I love dessert (chocolate cake….Mmmmm….), and so when I can’t run to the store to get the required ingredients, I’m definitely going to want a mix or two (or three) on hand for when the cravings hit. That is, if I am out of my all-time favorite…Freeze-dried Ice Cream Sandwiches. Seriously…if they sold these at 7-11 I would never get out of the parking lot.

    As you can see, there are a lot of different options regarding food. If you want something, chances are you’ll be able to find it. Having an emergency food storage doesn’t mean storing food you’ll never use. On the contrary, your emergency food storage will be something you’ll actually enjoy eating. There’s no use suffering when your life is already hard, but you still need to do your part and get the food before the dire need arises.

     


    Cans, Buckets, Pouches, Superpails

    Lastly, let’s discuss briefly the various ways in which you can store your food.

    StrawberriesCans: Cans are a great option for storing food. You can get basically anything in a can, from grains to legumes and from meats to fruits and vegetables. They come in large #10 cans, as well as smaller, two serving cans. They’re easy to store, especially if you don’t have a lot of room for large pails and buckets.

    Pouches: Pouches are packaged for individual meals. They can fit nicely into a bug-out bag or in the trunk with your car emergency kit. They are also very popular among outdoor enthusiasts. The two serving pouches will serve one hungry hiker with a hot, delicious home-style meals while hunting or camping. And don’t worry about leftovers… you’ll never have any with these.

    Buckets: Buckets are the home to lots of pouches. Inside each bucket are an assortment of different meal pouches, or a large quantity of your favorite ones. Buckets are easy to store, as they stack well on each other. This lets you maximize your floor space in your storage area.

    Superpails 02Superpails: Superpails are large, 6 gallon pails (not to be confused with buckets). Superpails come lined with metallized bags, which help block out the light, keeping the food fresh longer. Superpails hold about the equivalent of eight #10 cans, and are great for buying in bulk. Just like the buckets, the Superpails are built for stacking, leaving you with optimized storage space.

    So there you have it. Lots of different options for starting your food storage. So go ahead…start squirrelling away an emergency food supply. Take it slowly, month by month, or go all out and get a large load all at once. Either way, let’s get smart and follow the example of our bushy-tailed prepper friend, and be ready when tough times come.

    Squirrel Hoard

    What’s your preferred method of storing food? Do you prefer bulk grains and food, or individual or pouches? Let us know!

    Posted In: Emergency Cooking, Food Storage, Insight Tagged With: what to get, food storage

  • The Best Winter Ever!

    If you have friends in the Northeast, your Facebook and Instagram feeds have probably been saturated with images of snow piled disturbingly high on sidewalks and in yards, or buried cars and blocked doorways. And yet, somehow, these images are not complaints. This may be the one of the snowiest winters on record, but New Englanders are no strangers to harsh weather. And while some of us get twitchy just reading about school closures, our friends under several feet of snow seem to be having a pretty good time of it.

    If you’re one of those soft Westerners who cancels park days when it’s cloudy, take a page out of New England’s handbook, and consider the…

    Top 10 Reasons 2015 is the Best Winter Ever

    1. busesSnow days. You’re eleven years old, and you have a book report due tomorrow that you haven’t started. What could possibly give you more joy than to watch heavy, fluffy flakes falling outside your window? While the rest of the country suffers through math quizzes and cafeteria lunches, untethered children all over the Northeast are sledding through a winter wonderland. (Public service message: don’t forget the hand and foot warmers!)
    2. Snow angels are cute. Snowmen are fun. Snow forts are awesome. But full-scale snow castles are epic.
    3. Community spirit. Boston’s mayor Martin Walsh recently noted, “The residents of the city are very special. Just watching everyone help each other, that’s what I love seeing about the snow.” Mayor Walsh was referring Boston, but he could have been talking about any of the dozens of cities covered in snow right now—especially Crewe, Virginia, where Tommy Adam’s good deed got him noticed nationwide.
    4. Glen in Tennessee finally gets to use his generator. A post on Instapundit.com points out that “preparedness pays.” Two days after Valentine’s Day, Glen Reynolds reported that the “power’s out, but the generator kicked in and we have heat, lights, Internet and TV. Here’s to hoping that it comes back on soon, so that other folks aren’t stuck in the dark, but right now Helen, who was slightly dubious, is very pleased.” See, Helen? Haven’t we been saying this for years?
    5. shovelSnowExercise. I mean, real exercise. Like, three straight weeks of full-body cardio.
    6. Florida never looked better. In fact, the good sports over at the Ithaca, NY, tourism board agree. Rather than trying to entice people to head north with promises of igloo rentals and Yeti sightings (like some people in Boston are actually doing!), Ithaca’s tourism website officially—and hilariously—“invites you to visit the Florida keys this week. Please come back when things thaw out.”
    7. Food storage rotation. What better time to eat your way through all that 2014 canned food than several weeks without a clear route to the grocery store?
    8. Slow the pace. Isn’t it kind of nice sometimes to have a break in the routine? Or, at least, to have an excuse to slough off all the errands you keep meaning to do and just sit next to the heater vent and drink hot chocolate all afternoon? A friend of mine from Maine has finished approximately seven full-sized quilts since the snow began to fall. (She’s also predicting a New England baby boom round about September of this year.)fabricPatterns
    9. creaturesRare creatures are stirring. And no, I’m not talking about MIT students whose labs are closed. An anonymous Twitter user has adopted the moniker, “the Boston Yeti” and is posting mysterious photos of him-/her-/itself all over the region. (Another public service message: If you’re going to don a one-piece costume and traipse around town in a blizzard, I’m really serious about those hand and foot warmers!)
    10. And finally, pandas. No kidding, if you haven’t watched the National Zoo’s Bao Bao frolic in the flakes, you haven’t really experienced this winter.

    So, how’s your winter going? What are you loving about the weather in your area? It goes without saying (but I’ll say it again anyway…), if you’re sufficiently prepared, you can enjoy any kind of weather. So, what kinds of preparations are you making so that you can enjoy the extremes in your local weather including the odd whiteout?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Winter, food storage

  • 7 Reasons Why You Need Freeze-Dried Chicken

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    Want to spice up your daily meals, but don’t have the time to make anything “fancy?”

    Here are 7 reasons why freeze-dried chicken will not only make cooking easier, but will also add variety and freshness to your cooking repertoire. You’ll become a gourmet chef in no time using this versatile freeze-dried ingredient.

    7 Reasons Why you Need Freeze-Dried Chicken

    1. Already sliced, diced, and chopped. The best thing about using freeze-dried chicken is you don’t have to spend time slicing and cutting meat. It makes cooking much easier.

    2. Tastes Just like chicken. That’s because it is real chicken! Before freeze-drying, our chicken is cooked and seasoned using fresh ingredients. Once it’s reconstituted, it has the same flavor, texture, and taste as chicken cooked over the stovetop or baked in the oven at home.

    3. Don’t have a lot of time to cook dinner? For a quick meal, simply reconstitute chicken in water for 5 minutes, drain, and add to a salad, casserole, quesadilla, or pot pie to spice up your last-minute meals.

    4. If you hate touching raw meat, go freeze-dried. Using freeze-dried chicken eliminates the spread of bacteria from raw meat. Freeze-dried chicken is pre-cooked, so you can get your meal on the table with less mess and less hassle.

    5. Quicker clean-up. Whenever you  cook with raw chicken, you probably spend a lot of time using anti-bacterial sprays and cleaners to make sure any residue is gone. But when you use freeze-dried meat, the only thing you’ll have to clean up is the bowl you use to reconstitute the meat in and the pan you use to cook with.

    6. Have a home cooked meal anywhere. Having a supply of freeze-dried chicken on hand adds variety and a home-cooked taste to meals during an emergency or on a camping trip.

    7. Spice up your Daily Meals. If you’re tired of eating spaghetti (again),you can make a variety of dishes and new family favorites using freeze-dried chicken. I’ve been amazed at some of the gourmet creations we’ve made here in our test kitchen using freeze-dried chicken as one of the main ingredients.

    For instance, check out this pic of a gourmet chicken gnocchi soup we made—from scratch! It looks so good; you’d think it came from a restaurant. You can make delicious meals like this in your home any time, using freeze-dried chicken.

    7 Reasons Why you Need Freeze-Dried Chicken

     

    These are just 7 reasons why freeze-dried chicken is great to use for cooking. But don’t just take our word for it. Try out some of our Freeze-Dried Chicken Crumbles in one of the four amazing chicken dishes listed below, and tell us what you think.

     

    Want more recipes? Give these a try:

    linguini chicken with vegetables

    Linguini Chicken with Vegetables

    Oriental Chicken Salad

    Oriental Chicken Salad

     

    Food Storage Meal: Chicken A La King

    Chicken ALA King

    Cajun Creamy Chicken and Pasta

    Cajun Chicken and Pasta

     

    What’s your favorite way to use freeze-dried chicken or other freeze-dried meat?

    -Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: freeze-dried chicken, freeze dried food, food storage

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