Are you wondering how to cook with your food storage — you know, all those freeze-dried, dehydrated, bottled and canned foods you have?
Whether you're an advanced prepper or a beginner, this may be an unanswered question for you.
You may soon realize that "cooking from scratch" is required in order to use the beans, canned vegetables, pasta, rice, dried sauces, dehydrated or freeze dried butter, cheese, or eggs.
There are many reasons for cooking from scratch, not the least of which is the cost savings. It's much less expensive to whip up dinner from your freezer or pantry supplies than to purchase pre-packaged food such as Hamburger Helper.
Most casseroles and stews can easily be prepared from your own canned, frozen, or freeze dried foods.
Those that are a bit more difficult or time consuming are, for instance, sauces, breads, cookies, cakes, pies, homemade pastas or tortillas.
For Christmas last year, I used several freeze-dried products to make a casserole, hot chocolate mix, and spice combinations (pictured). I used canning bottles and sealed them with my FoodSaver bottle attachment (except for the spices). It was a great way to introduce the benefits of freeze dried food to my adult children and families.
You can substitute food storage ingredients in nearly any recipe you like. So let's talk about the typical food storage ingredients and how to use them.
I thought it would be more fun to share with you how I use my food storage items in some of my everyday recipes so you can see how easy it is to use your food storage.
Experiment with your own recipes, or purchase a good food storage book or two to give you more ideas.
Milk is a basic ingredient for so many recipes as well as a favorite beverage. But if you're not able to run to the store for a gallon, powdered milk is handy and easy to use. That's why it's so important to include it in your food storage plans.
Powdered eggs can be substituted in any recipe and can be purchased in #10 cans or pouches.
Freeze-dried cheese comes in Cheddar, Mozzarella, or a Cheese Sauce Blend.
One of my favorite ways to use freeze-dried cheese is in this broccoli-cheese soup recipe. This recipe has a variety of foods that you can use from your storage — and, it's so easy and quick to make.
Butter powder is a dehydrated butter that can be easily substituted for real butter in any of your favorite recipes. While it's difficult to use powdered butter for spreading, it's easy to use in any recipe that calls for butter. Don't even try to make it into a solid stick of butter — this butter will not set up, even if refrigerated, to behave like a cold stick of butter. So try it baking cookies or cake.
Usually when we think of using our wheat storage, we think of needing a wheat grinder and making bread — and that's a great way to plan on using the wheat you have tucked away. I love baking bread, but there are many other recipes containing flour where whole wheat flour can be substituted.
If your family is not thrilled with whole wheat bread, rolls, pancakes, etc., try making brownies, carrot cake, cookies, chocolate cake — anything that contains chocolate, fruit, molasses, or brown sugar to disguise the wheat taste. Doesn't everything taste better with chocolate on it? :^) (P.S. White whole wheat flour looks just like all purpose white flour and has all the nutritional value of regular whole wheat.)
*White Whole Wheat is available at Emergency Essentials.
Freeze Dried Meats, Fruits and Vegetables can be incorporated into any recipe. Or use entreés that are an entire meal when you are in a hurry, going camping, or save them for a rainy day. (Read my review of freeze-dried foods here.)
Using freeze dried foods in recipes is a huge time saver - saves time with the vegetables and meats that are already chopped and ready to toss into your favorite soup. Fruits can be made into pies, cobblers, or just eat them as snacks. Yes, they're that good right out of the can.
It just depends on your lifestyle whether you use your storage of freeze dried foods daily or save them for an occasional emergency or long term in a crisis.
But it's very difficult to use them in your daily menus if you don't have them. So check out the sales — there is ALWAYS something on sale . . . seriously!