Basic supplies are the foundation to build upon with any part of your emergency preparedness. This is especially true with your food preparedness.
As recommended above, you should start your food storage program with the basics or ‘staples’. Grains, legumes, dehydrated milk, sugar, salt, oil, and garden seeds have all come to be known as the basics. Interestingly enough, having all of these ingredients in supply can help sustain your life. You must, however, know how to use the basics or your family will not enjoy them at all. If you familiarize yourself with the food you have stored, you will have no problems using it during an emergency.
You will learn a lot about your food storage after just the first week. You will learn how easy it is to use your wheat and legumes. You will discover what you need to add to your supplies to make your food storage easier to use. You might find that you need to have more milk, dehydrated eggs, yeast or baking soda stored. You may also find that you need more variety in your supplies and want to add more freeze dried vegetables, fruits, and meats.
Also, you will figure out which recipes you like the best, which foods you enjoy the most and which ways of cooking work the best. And you will also find out which food items your family likes and doesn’t like. The most important tool (besides the will to survive) to have in an emergency is practiced knowledge.
Don’t forget the importance of variety in your food storage plan. We recommend storing a little food from all food groups. You will also want to make sure that you have desserts, snacks, and other “comfort foods" because they can bring a sense of comfort and even normalcy during an emergency. Make sure family members who have special dietary needs or allergy restrictions are included in your plans as well.
In order to make any emergency situation easier for you and your family, you should store some “comfort foods.” Our emotions affect our bodies. Foods high in sugar or food associated with happy memories will cause the release of certain chemicals within our bodies that affect how we feel. Normalcy should be a priority in preparing our families for an emergency.
In America today, our culture is inundated with sweets and desserts that are associated with good times and celebrations. Desserts can naturally act as mood enhancers. During the hard times that life sometimes throws at us, like unemployment or food shortages, or during the aftermath of any disaster, sweets remind us of better times and give us a sense of normalcy and comfort. If your family enjoys desserts, you will want to have some sweet food to eat after your emergency meal to help comfort them. It can be a reminder, especially to children, that things are all right and good times are ahead.
Many common just-add-water mixes are now available for long term food storage. Some of the good ones out there are:
· Instant pudding mixes (chocolate, vanilla, and a myriad of other flavors)
· Fudge brownie mix
· Hot chocolate drink mix
· Fruit drink mixes
· Muffin mixes
· Cookie mixes
· Cake mixes
· Freeze-dried ice cream
· Freeze-dried cheesecake
· Banana Chips
· Hard candy can also be stored in a low-moisture container in a cool, dry place for a long time.
If you normally bake your desserts from scratch, make sure your food storage has the basic ingredients for making pies, cakes and cookies. Just about everything you need for basic baking is available as a long term supply or even in bulk and is made to adjust easily to any recipe. Some of those basic baking ingredients you’ll want to have are:
· Butter or margarine powder
· Dehydrated egg and egg whites
· Instant dry milk
· Baking soda
· Baking powder
· Sugar or honey
· Wheat and white flour
Other Baking Essentials
There are other baking items that you should have in your food storage that do not normally come packed in a #10 can. Some of these foods can be packed in airtight containers to maintain a reasonable shelf life. Your food storage can be boosted by spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; extracts like maple, lemon, or orange; as well as syrups, cocoa, and vanilla. Again, your dessert food storage should reflect your family’s likes and dislikes.
Last but not least, if space or money issues limit your comfort food storage, try storing things that perform double duty. Like dried fruits, which should be stored as part of a balanced diet but are also sweet and can be used to make cobblers and pies. Peanut butter powder can be used in cookies and cakes. If you have a few simple recipes and a touch of creativity, the basics (flour, sugar, oil and milk) can be used to make all sorts of things. Having these desserts in your food storage program will do two things for you; they will give variety and they will make your food storage more like your family’s regular diet.
Copyright ©2010 Noel Napolitan
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