Tell me if this has ever happened to you:
You’re cooking for company on Christmas Day and you go to the cupboard for some VITAL ingredient only to discover (surprise, surprise) you’re out.
Before you go begging your neighbors for a cup of milk or a bar of butter on Christmas—or worse, running to the grocery store in the middle of all this COVID craziness—take our advice and check your food storage first.After all, this may not be the apocalypse you’re dealing with, but it’s definitely an emergency!
Here’s our definitive list of the top emergency foods you need to have on-hand for the holidays, along with recipes for using them.
Milk & Butter
We’ve got milk and butter at the top of the list because, as any home baker knows, they’re in just about everything you put in the oven. Having a supply in your emergency storage PLUS extra for everyday duty is good policy. The chocolate recipe below is just one of countless examples of how this can pay off on Christmas day (or any day).
- 1/2 Cup reconstituted Emergency Essentials Butter Powder (instructions below)
- 3/4 to 1 Cup baking cocoa
- 3/4 Cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 Cup Emergency Essentials Fortified Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
In a medium-sized bowl, gradually mix the cocoa powder into the reconstituted butter. Stir until blended and mix until it becomes a paste. Microwave paste in 10 second intervals, stirring each time, until it’s smooth and creamy (be careful not to burn it).
Gradually blend in milk and sugar. Mix well until the paste is smooth and creamy. Taste, and adjust with more sugar if necessary.
Pour into a small shallow container or candy molds and chill until hard. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.
Who doesn’t love a good green bean casserole on Christmas? But have you ever tried switching out the canned green beans you usually use with the freeze-dried variety, like the ones in your food supply?
We highly recommend it! Because of the freeze-drying process, the green beans in your emergency supply taste fresh compared to canned. Plus, they keep more of their nutrients.
Here’s one of our favorite classic holiday recipes using Emergency Essentials delicious freeze-dried green beans.
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
YIELD: 6 servings
- 3 Cups Emergency Essentials Freeze Dried Green Beans, reconstituted (instructions below)
- 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 3/4 Cup milk
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/3 Cups crispy fried onions, divided
Reconstitute broccoli in boiling water for about 1 ½ minutes. Reconstitute green beans in boiling water for about 2 minutes (we want them to stay a bit firm).
Meanwhile, get a large bowl of ice water ready. Once vegetables are reconstituted, pour green beans into a strainer and sit it in the ice water. When completely cool, allow the colander to drain.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix cream of mushroom soup, milk, and pepper in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Stir in green beans and 2/3 cup crispy fried onions.
Bake 30 minutes or until hot. Stir.
Top with remaining 2/3 cup onions. Bake 5 minutes until onions are golden brown.
Adapted from the French’s® Green Bean Casserole
These little guys might just be our favorites. Customers report carrying honey crystal-filled Ziplock bags for pouring into oatmeal, herbal teas, and more.
Emergency honey crystals are also great with baking mixes and butters. The butter recipe below comes highly recommended. Spread it over biscuits Christmas morning or use it on holiday homemade breads.
HONEY CINNAMON BUTTER
Yields: Roughly 1 1/2 Cups
- 1 Cup butter (the softer the better)
- 1/2 Cup Emergency Essentials Honey Crystals
- 1 tsp Emergency Essentials Cinnamon
Beat butter in a medium-sized bowl until soft. Add honey and cinnamon; beat until smooth.
Hash browns are one of those home-run foods you can eat for any meal. It’s why they’re the centerpiece of a thousand different recipes.
Here in the Intermountain West (where BePrepared.com is headquartered) hash browns are most lovingly used in a regional dish we call “Funeral Potatoes.”
The recipe below is essentially a vegetarian take on that old classic and uses our amazing dehydrated hash browns that last up to 25 years! We call them “Sour Cream Party Potatoes.”
SOUR CREAM PARTY POTATOES
Yields: 4 Servings
- 4 Cups reconstituted Emergency Essentials Hash Browns, drained (instructions below)
- 1 Tbsp diced green onions
- 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup
- 2 Cups sour cream
- Dash of salt
- Crushed potato chips or corn flakes
To reconstitute Hash Browns: Place Hash Browns in pot and cover with water, add a dash or two of salt. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Whisk chicken soup and sour cream together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Fold drained potatoes into sauce. Add onions and cheese and stir well. Pour into a casserole dish greased with butter and top with crushed potato chips or crushed corn flakes. Dot with butter. Bake at 350° F for 1/2 hour or until bubbly.
Oats are another food that can used countless ways, and when you’ve got a supply that lasts for decades, they can be a super reliable backup for you.
Here’s a wonderful breakfast treat you can make using oats from your food supply. Serve it on Christmas morning alongside some hot chocolate or eggnog. Your family will thank you.
BANANA OAT CRUMB CAKE
- 1/3 Cup butter, softened
- 2/3 Cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Cup bananas, mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
- 3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 Cup Emergency Essentials Quick Oats
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 Cup Emergency Essentials Quick Oats
- 1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter or clarified butter
- 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Whisk together flour, 1 1/3 cups oats, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl, cream ½ cup butter with brown sugar. Beat in eggs, then mashed bananas and vanilla. Add the flour and oats mixture from the banana mixture in the large bowl. Mix well. Turn batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan.
For the topping, mix together the oats, brown sugar, butter, walnuts, and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the batter.
Bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Peanut butter is wonderful, but do you know what’s even better? Our Ready Hour Peanut Butter Powder. It tastes just like the most delectable grocery store peanut butter but lasts five to ten times longer. And it is so convenient.
Just see what it does for this peanut butter blossom recipe—the perfect dessert for Christmas Eve or Christmas day.
PEANUT BUTTER BLOSSOMS
Yield: Approximately 48 cookies
- 3/4 Cups white sugar (plus extra for rolling dough in)
- 1 Cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 Cup Ready Hour Peanut Butter Powder
- 1/4 Cup Emergency Essentials Whole Egg Powder
- 3 - 3 1/2 Cup white flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp oil (vegetable), optional
- 1 Cup boiling water
- 1 bag Hershey’s Kisses
Preheat oven to 375° F.
In a large bowl combine sugars, butter, egg, and peanut butter powder. Mix.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Add boiling water and oil to sugar mixture. Stir well until smooth
Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Mix until well combined (will form a dough)
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place each ball 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately press a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each cookie. Remove cookies from baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.
Refried Beans and Cheese
You might be surprised to discover how delicious freeze-dried refried beans are — ours are 5-star reviewed. Customers say they’re much better than canned beans, and we tend to agree.
This 7-Layer Dip is a perfect way to try them out (along with some freeze-dried cheese). Set out a bowl on Christmas Eve next to some chips and just see how long they last!
7 LAYER DIP
Yield: 6 to 9 Cups
- Water (for reconstitution)
- 2 Cups Emergency Essentials Refried Beans, reconstituted (instructions below)
- 4 Tbs + 2 tsp sour cream
- 1/4 Cup diced green onion
- 3/4 Cup freeze dried shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Cup chopped or diced tomatoes, reconstituted
- 1 1/2 Cups red salsa
- 3/4 - 1 Cup mashed avocado
- 1 (3.5 oz) can of olives
Reconstitute refried beans: Bring 1 ½ Cups water to boil. Add 1 Cup dried bean flakes. Stir. Cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Stir again before placing in dip.
Reconstitute cheddar cheese: Soak freeze-dried cheese in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain excess water.
Layer your dip in the following order, from bottom to top: Refried Beans, avocado, sour cream, red salsa, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, green onions, olives.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Keep the List Going
And that’s just a few of the many amazing mix-ins from your emergency storage that can be life savers around the holidays.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in comments below.