"I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. Begin in a small way…gradually build toward a reasonable objective.” -President Gordon B. Hinckley,

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Food Storage Tips

This list is a general overview of things you may find helpful in storing, using, and acquiring your food storage.


Baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cocoa: These are some of the items you don’t need to can or vacuum seal. Keep them in their original containers or you can place them in buckets with lids. Baking powder test: 1 tsp in 1/3 c hot water = water fizzes.

Brown sugar: 2 Tb Molasses, 1 cup white sugar. Mix with pastry blender until blended. You can also vacuum seal brown sugar in mason jars to keep it fresh for years. Or store unopened in original bag for 2-3 years.

Butter (almost) 1 pound shortening (butter flavored works) ½ tsp salt, 1 2/3 c condensed milk
Whip the shortening and the salt until light. Add the condensed milk a little at a time and blend.

Butter canned: Check the internet for best prices. 12 oz can, 24 Tb or 3 sticks of butter. Home canned works too.

Cheese canned: Check the internet for best prices. A Velveeta tasting hard cheese that can be shredded or sliced, comes in an 8 oz can. Minimum 5 year shelf life. Freeze dried cheese is great too.

Corn syrup: 1 c sugar + 2 c water. Cook in canning jar in solar oven about an hour or until thick.

“Eggs” from unflavored gelatin (Knox): Buy in bulk at bulkfoods.com. In all the recipes in this book I have substituted unflavored gelatin for the eggs. The gelatin is less expensive than powdered eggs (as little as 3 cents per tsp) and has an indefinite shelf life.
1tsp gelatin =1 egg, 1 oz gelatin = 12 tsp, 1 pound gelatin = 192 eggs.
Making one egg: Combine 1 tsp of unflavored gelatin with 3 Tb of cold water and stir until dissolved. Then add 2 Tb of hot water and stir. When using your own recipes, decrease the liquid called for in your recipe by about ¼ cup to compensate for the added water from the “egg”. I have already done this for the recipes in this book.

Eggs: 1 T dry egg powder + 2 T water= 1 medium egg. Add powder to dry ingredients and water to wet ingredients

Eggs: Storing fresh eggs for up to 1 year. Rub warmed mineral oil on your hands and coat the entire surface of the fresh egg with the oil. Replace egg in carton with the point down. In cold climates they can be stored in a cool, dark place. In warmer climates, place in the refrigerator. Rotate once a year.

Milk: Powdered milk: If you have electricity, powdered milk is best if you use warm water, mix with a blender and chill overnight.

Buttermilk: 1 c water, 1/3 c dry milk, 1 Tb vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit 5 min.

Condensed milk: ½ c hot water, 1 c sugar, ¼ c dry milk, 1 c water. Place in canning jar with lid and shake until thoroughly blended.

Eagle Brand: 1 c hot water, 1/3 c corn syrup,1 2/3 c sugar, ¼ tsp vanilla, pinch of salt, ½ c butter, 2 c dry milk. Place all ingredients except butter in canning jar with lid and shake until well blended. Gradually add the butter and shake each time until well blended.

Evaporated: 1 c water, 2/3 c dry milk. Whole 1 c water + 1/3 c dry. Skim: 1c water + ¼ c dry milk.

Milk on the shelf: Technology has given us real milk that sits on the shelf and has at least a 1 year shelf life. It comes in quart containers, available in whole, 2%, vanilla soy, almond and rice milk.

Peanut butter: 2 c peanuts and 4 Tb honey OR 2 ½ c peanuts and 2 Tb butter - salt to taste. Blend until smooth. This really needs an electric blender but it can still be done without one.

Rice: If your rice goes rancid, set it out for 2 or 3 days and rinse with water.

Shortening: I have substituted shortening for the oil in all my recipes because of the longer shelf life. Oil has about a 2 year shelf life, unopened shortening has 10+ years. If you can still find the hard lid shortening (not foil lids) they have an indefinite shelf life. Store shortening in a cool, dark place. Opened shortening has a less than one year shelf life. After opening shortening, melt it in the microwave or solar oven, pour it into mason jars and vacuum seal it for a longer shelf life.

Tomato powder: ½ cup powder mixed with 1 cup water =1 c tomato sauce. Less water makes tomato paste and more water makes tomato juice. Shelf life is 10+ years.

Vacuum sealing foods: Many foods with high oil or high sugar contents cannot be stored in #10 cans because of the interaction with the metal (Chocolate chips, nuts and raisins for example). You can significantly increase the shelf life of your foods by placing them in mason jars and using a Food Saver and a Jar Sealer attachment to vacuum the air out of the jars. Put your ingredients in a mason jar, put a lid on the jar, place the jar sealer attachment over the lid and start the machine. If a jar won’t seal, try placing one lid down and one facing up or heating the lid in boiling water. The jar can be opened and resealed over and over. If you take the lids off carefully, they can be reused indefinitely. You can seal nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, brown rice, cornmeal, candy bars, egg noodles, poppy seeds, dried apricots, malt-o-meal, cookies, granola bars...just about anything in the pantry. Shelf life should be 3 years or more if you keep the foods cool. Remember, the warmer the temperature, the shorter the shelf life.
You cannot vacuum seal foods that need refrigeration…only foods that sit on your pantry shelves.
Don’t vacuum fine powders….they gum up the works of your machine. If you want to seal powders, put a plastic or zip lock bag in your jar, fill the bag, express the air, zip lock it then vacuum seal.
A new Food Saver can be expensive. Used ones are easy to find online and are very inexpensive. Just be sure it has the port hole on top of the machine where the jar sealer attaches. Jar Sealer attachments come in regular and wide mouth.

Water: I store water in the 55 gallon plastic barrels. You can add 1 tsp of household bleach for every 5 gallons of water, but most city water supplies already add sufficient chlorine. 2 - 3 of these barrels per person will fill most water needs for cooking. Store in the garage or on the north side of the house. Do not place directly on concrete.

Yeast: Yeast has an indefinite shelf life in your freezer or one year on the shelf. ALWAYS test your yeast before adding it to your dry ingredients. Add the yeast to warm (not hot) water and wait a few minutes. The mixture will start to bubble and smell good. Add this to your dry ingredients.

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