Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables

March is Frozen Food Month and frozen vegetables will be on sale at stock up prices.  Now is the time to learn how easy dehydrating frozen vegetables is!

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Why You Should Be Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables

    • Unless you have a really big garden, dehydrating frozen vegetables is much cheaper than buying fresh, and you can dehydrate frozen vegetables year round.
    • Dehydrating frozen vegetables requires no washing, peeling, slicing, chopping, or blanching,  saving you a lot of time.
    • Needs less room (much less!) for storage!Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Dehydrators

I use an Excalibur Dehydrator, and love it.  I also own a Nesco dehydrator, which is much cheaper and works really well for dehydrating frozen vegetables.   You can quickly and easily recoup  the cost of both of these dehydrators in just a few months of dehydrating your own fruits and veggies.

Dehydrators can often be found at yard sales, but so far the ones I have come across are usually missing most of the trays, or the trays and sometimes the motors are so covered in hardened gunk, that I pass them up.  But keep your eyes open for dehydrators at yard sales and thrift shops, as your luck may be better than mine!

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

How To Dehydrate Frozen Vegetables

Simply spread out the mixed veggies on the dehydrator trays. I didn’t worry that the pieces were touching, I knew they would shrink as they dried and it wouldn’t be an issue. As a matter of fact, my one POUND bag of veggies shrunk down to 3/4 of a cup!

I dehydrated these @125 degrees and they took about 10 hours. Please look at your dehydrator model to see what temperature is correct for your machine. The time to dehydrate will always depend on the humidity in the room where you are dehydrating.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

Storing Dehydrated Frozen Vegetables

Now that you have a batch of inexpensive dehydrated frozen vegetables, you’ll need to store them properly. Here’s where a Food Saver comes in so handy!

My favorite way to store my dehydrated vegetables is to pour them into a wide mouth canning jar, and using the mason jar sealer accessory, vacuum seal the jar. You won’t need a ring for this, the vacuum sealing will securely keep the lid on.

Vacuum Sealing Mason Jars

The wide mouth vacuum accessory from Food Saver makes it so easy to vaccum seal items in wide mouth mason jars!

This method will keep your dehydrated goodness fresh for at least a year. It’s always a good idea to check your lid seals every six months or so, to make sure it’s still up to snuff. Simply press on the middle of the lid, if the lid gives and makes a popping sound, you seal is no longer good.

If you would like to add a little more ‘insurance’ this storage method, you can add an oxygen absorber to your jar before you vacuum seal it. I do this quite often.

Tip:  If you would like a bit more in depth description of how to use a Food Saver to vacuum seal canning jars, take a look at this video.

Dehydrating frozen vegetables is the perfect project for the beginning simple prepper. Save Time. Save Money. Save Space as you build your food storage. Your dehydrator is about to become your best friend as you work to stockpile vegetables for your pantry.

What To Do With Dehydrated Frozen Vegetables

  • Add a handful or two to soups or stews. Perfect for crockpot cooks!
  • Add some to a blender and turn them into a veggie powder. This powder can then be added to all sorts of things you’d like to up the nutritional value of.
  • Smoothies!
  • Use for camping and hiking trips.

LOVE the idea of having veggies and fruits in your long term food storage as a hedge against inflation and emergencies? We’ve got you covered! Thrive carries a wide variety of freeze dried foods for this very reason!

So, which frozen vegetable will you be dehydrating first?

Politics and Prepping: The Rising Cost of Produce

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy is an important Prepper skill to develop.  It allows you to prepare in advance for the rising cost of produce items we rely on daily.

Paying For A Wall Between The U.S. and Mexico

Let’s take President Trump’s proposed wall between the U.S. and Mexico. You know, the one Mexico is supposedly paying for? The one that for all intents and purposes might really  be paid for by a 20% tax on what American’s import from Mexico?

Now whether you are in favor of a wall or hate the idea, isn’t the issue.

The issue is a potential 20% increase of everything you purchase that crosses that boarder.

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

What Does The U.S. Import From Mexico?

In 2015 alone, the U.S. imported over $295 BILLION dollars worth of products from Mexico, according to government trade data. From cars to car parts, to electrical machinery and oil.  $2.4 billion worth of apparel.  $1.9 Billion in beer and tequila.

What really has my attention is the amount of of vegetables, fruit and nuts we import from Mexico.  $5.5 billion of vegetables and $3.9 billion of fruit and nuts.  All to potentially be subjected to a %20 price increase.

Bananas and Mangoes

Consider the products we simply can’t grow here such as bananas and mangoes. And then consider what other countries might do to block U.S. exports in retaliation.

And what about the fresh fruits and vegetables we depend on during the winter months? Where do we get a great deal of those? Yup. Mexico.

Can Your Grocery Budget Handle The Increase?

Did I mention the amount of tomatoes and avocados we import from Mexico? 78% of our avocados and 71% of our tomatoes according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  And it not just avocados and tomatoes either.   Herbs, spinach and lettuce make their way across the border to our tables every day.

Finally, according to Forbes, the restaurant industry is already seeing their stocks fall on the fears of increased food costs.

 

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables. How To Prepare For The Rising Cost Of Produce

Learn to grow your own.  Now is the perfect time to learn what grows in your area and how to start your own seeds indoors.   Growing your own food helps to tremendously off set the rising cost of produce.

As the season progresses we at Simply Preparing will help walk you through the basics of getting your first garden up and growing!

Learn how to preserve your own food.   It’s easier than you think.  I promise.

Dehydrating.  With just a few simple pieces of equipment you can dehydrate and store fruit and vegetables long term.  One of my favorite resources for dehydrating is the book, Dehydrate2Store by Tammy Gangloff.

Another excellent storage option is to freeze your bounty.   Did you know you can freeze avocados?  Yup! I have a freezer full of frozen avocados for my son’s blenderized diet and my guacamole addiction!

Carolyn Humphries book, How To Freeze Fresh Food At Home is a great book for beginners wanting to learn how to freeze foods.

Prepping With Freeze Dried Food.

Let’s face it.  With or without a wall between us and Mexico, food prices are only going higher and higher.  This is where the real value of freeze dried foods come in.  With up to a 25 year shelf life.  Non-GMO offerings.  Locally sourced whenever possible.

Each can of freeze dried food I purchase today has it’s price frozen as well.  Up to 25 years from now I can open a can of food that I paid 2017 prices for, and allows me to combat the rising cost of produce.  It’s like having money in the bank, but with a much higher interest rate.

It’s also pretty amazing how versatile freeze dried food is.  Take a look at all the produce used in one of my favorite soup recipes, Sausage Potato Soup!  Yum!

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Not sure how to use freeze dried foods?  No problem!  You can take a look at the recipes found on my Thrive Website to get some great ideas.

Taking the time to understand what is happening within the White House will insure that your house is prepared to better weather the growing world wide unrest, the consequences of repealing the Dodd-Frank Act and the returning concerns with China’s economy.

Make Perfect Stove Popped Popcorn

We are big stove popped popcorn eaters around here.  I pretty much pop a pan a day.  My kids grew up on it.  Cheap and whole grain healthy, with a long term storage life and the added bonus of being quick and easy to make, popcorn is a food storage mainstay.

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

Ingredients for Stove Popped Pop Corn

You’ll need a heavy bottomed 6 quart stock pot with a lid.  This is important.  You don’t want your popcorn to burn.   I find these sorts of pots at thrift stores and yard sales all the time.  They are so versatile.  I have several.

My family prefers a light olive oil.  Or if I’m feeling rich, I use macadamia nut oil.  Grape seed oil works well.  I’ve also used avocado oil and love it.  But since I always have olive oil on hand, it’s usually what gets used.  Some people like to use coconut oil for their stove popped popcorn, but the taste wasn’t a hit at our house.

4 Tablespoons of oil.
1 Cup Popcorn
Sea Salt

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

How To Make Stove Popped Popcorn

Pour 4 Tablespoons of oil into a cold pan.
Next pour in 1 cup of popcorn.
Make sure each kernel is covered in oil. Shake the pan a bit to get so the corn and oil is evenly distributed over the bottom of your pan. Remember, you don’t want your popcorn to be drowning in oil. The oil line shouldn’t be above your popcorn.

I then put the top on my pan, turn up the heat to about a 7, or medium high, and let ‘er rip!

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

To Shake or Not to Shake (The pan that is……)

I use to shake my pan back and forth. But if your heat is high enough and your oil is hot enough all those little pieces of popcorn will pop up without any extra help.

However, if shaking helps you from burning your popcorn, by all means SHAKE! Just keep sliding the pot back and forth over the heat until all of those kernels have turned themselves inside out!

When the popping slows down to just a few pops at a time, it’s done!  Remove it from the burner.

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

 

Salt

I like to add my salt while my popcorn is still very warm. I think it sticks to the popcorn much better. I use sea salt. Unless I’m out. Then I’m stuck with table salt. That always make me a little bit sad.

Here’s the secret to adding salt to your popcorn. STIR/TOSS IT UP. More stirring/tossing than salt. Add a few shakes, stir the bejeebers out of it, taste it to see if you need more salt and repeat IF necessary. There is nothing worse than too much salt on the top of the popcorn and not enough on the bottom.

Viola. That’s it! That’s right, I don’t even add butter. Seriously. It’s divine just the way it is. Food of the gods. I always have people tell me how good it is.  As a matter of fact, people often leave my home with a big plastic cup of the stuff to take on the road with them.

It’s really that good.

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

Toppings for Stove Popped Popcorn

Every Sunday night is popcorn night at our house. It’s been a tradition since my kids were little. As a matter of fact, my married kids keep the tradition alive in their own homes now.

Over the years, we’ve come up with a few ideas to make our humble pots of stove popped popcorn a little more festive. Heck, we’ve been known to jazz up a pot of corn, serve it with a side of carrot sticks and fruit and call it dinner. (ahem)

Here are some of our favorites:

Lightly buttered with freshly grated Asiago cheese.

Lightly drizzled with white truffle oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tossed with salt and dry Ranch seasoning.

Lightly buttered with both sea salt and black pepper.

Sprinkled with Thrive’s Dry Cheese Blend.  (Item #22445)

What is your favorite popcorn topping?

I’m secretly hoping that once you’ve tried making your own stove popped popcorn,  you’ll never go back to the microwaved stuff again.  Try it out for yourself, then come back and tell me what you think!

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Thrive Monthly Q Program for Preppers!

Thrive Monthly Q Program reflects the understanding that often people hesitate in getting their food storage because they simply don’t know where to start, how to use it, and how to budget for it.  To remedy this, Thrive Life has created the Monthly Q Program which offers a variety of ways to incorporate their products into your food storage AND you every day cooking, as well as a way to get the lowest prices at the same time.

 

WHAT IS THE THRIVE LIFE MONTHLY Q PROGRAM?

You decide the budget. You choose what you want delivered. It’s that easy.
With the Q, the groceries come to you each month! Trade in those last-minute grocery store trips and spendy fast food runs for the unbeatable convenience of THRIVE foods. Discover a better way to shop with the Q.

Build Your Food Storage Easily, Effectively and Inexpensively with The Monthly Q From Thrive

HOW DOES THE Q WORK?

1. Select the foods you like by adding your favorite Thrive foods to your Q (what I do) OR by selecting the recipes you use the most.  The Q will organize your foods into customizable monthly shipments.

2. Set a monthly budget.  Choose the amount you want to spend each month to build your Home Store.    No need to spend more money: simply reallocate part of your monthly food budget to your Q.

3.  Get monthly shipments at low prices.  THRIVE foods are shipped to your doorstep on the date you choose.  Save time and money by avoiding unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  Because I’m local, I just pick my orders up myself, saving me the shipping.  If you are local, you can to do the same!  While you’re there be sure to try out a few of their products from their sample bar.  Yum!

 

 

 

 

How To Have The Thrive Monthly Q Delivered To Your Door

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE Q CLUB TO RECEIVE EVEN MORE GREAT DEALS!

By starting your Q shipments with an order of $100.00 or more in product OR signing up as a consultant—you will get a FREE membership in the the Q Club.

How to join the Thrive Life Q Club For FREE

The Thrive Monthly Q Club

WAIT!  THERE‘S MORE…….LOTS MORE!

Why You Should Sign Up For Thrive Life's Q Club

I AM BUILDING MY FOOD STORAGE PANTRY USING THE  THRIVE MONTHLY Q-PONS, SPECIALS AND Q CLUB REWARD POINTS TOWARD FREE PRODUCT

Q-pons and the Thrive Monthly Q Program

As a Q Club member, each month you will have access to Thrive’s Q-pon of the month.  This Q-pon will reflect a SIGNIFICANT savings on that month’s product.  You can bet that my Q takes advantage of each monthly Q-pon…..I really stock up!

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THRIVE LIFE MONTHLY Q PROGRAM

Buy Thrive Freeze Dried Foods NOW!

Click the image above to be taken directly to the page where you can sign up for the Thrive Monthly Q Program

How To Sign Up For The Monthly Thrive Life Q

 

Look for the My Q  link.  Click on it.  You will taken to a page that looks like this:|

How to sign up for Thrive Life Monthly Q Club

Click on the red box with the words ‘Get Started’

This will lead you to a page with a header like the one below.  It will walk you through, step by step, how to set up your first Q.  Remember that if you want a FREE MEMBERSHIP into the Q Club, your first shipment will need to be $100.00 or more!  OR you can sign up to be a consultant and earn free product!  The choice is yours!

Thrive Life Q

You will also have the opportunity to choose your own items to add to your Q, or allow Thrive to add a well rounded mix to your Q that also stays within your budget.

Add Items to Your Thrive Monthly Q Program

There will be the option  choose The Smart Start for your first 3 months on The Thrive Monthly Q Program.   In a QUICK  THREE MONTHS you’ll have your home store up and running with everything from food to recipes!

The Chef’s Selections 200

Quickly Build Your Home Store With The Smart Start 200 and the Thrive Montly Q Program

The Smart Start: Chef’s Selections 200 is packed with high quality THRIVE products like meats, THRIVE Express, and Sauces and Seasonings, and you’ll get an even better price on the included THRIVE foods than you would buying them separately! Includes 65 THRIVE products, a booklet of 38 recipes, and meal planners and shopping lists for easy meal prep.

Month 1 includes 18 Pantry Cans, 4 Spice Cans, and 2 Express Pouches

Month 2 includes 18 pantry cans and 4 Express Pouches

Month 3 includes 18 pantry cans and 1 Express Pouch

 

Activate Your Q

Your very last step is to click on that ACTIVATE Q button.  Or else you’ll be waiting for that first shipment of your Thrive Monthly Q Program to arrive and wondering why it hasn’t yet.  Ask me how I know.  (ahem)

 

 

 

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Make Your Own Brown Sugar: 15 Minute Prepper

Yes!  You can make brown sugar.  When I show you how easy it is to make your own brown sugar, you are going to wonder why nobody told you this sooner.

How to make brown sugar for baking, desserts and sweets.  A DIY recipe that can be used in your homemade and nautral products like body scrubs.  A frugal tip that will save your money too!

Why Make Your Own Brown Sugar?

Making your own brown sugar can be much less expensive than purchasing brown sugar.   November is when the big baking supply sales begin.  Last year I was able to score sugar at .12 a pound by combining sales and coupons.   Molasses  goes on sale this time of year too.   Purchase it in bulk, add one tablespoon to one cup of sugar, and you’ve got brown sugar for about .30 cents a POUND.    That beats even the very best sale price for brown sugar in my area.

That’s not all, folks.  No Siree!

When making your own brown sugar you can control how dark and flavorful the end result will be.  No more worrying about having to buy both dark and light brown sugar.  Oh, the ease and simplicity!

And seriously, who doesn’t love one less trip to the grocery store?

Make Your Own Brown Sugar and Save Time And Money

A Recipe To Make Your Own Brown Sugar

This will be the shortest, sweetest (get it….sweetest……brown sugar……heh) recipe you’ll ever take down.

1 cup granulated cane sugar

1 Tablespoon unsulphured molasses   (Have you seen these measuring spoons?  They are the cutest EVER.)

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar and molasses.

Work it until the molasses is  completely incorporated into the sugar.   You’ll need to keep stirring using a small whisk or fork for a couple of minutes, but it will all come together.

For dark brown sugar, add another tablespoon of molasses.

How to make your own brown sugar!

Use as you would in your favorite cake and cookie recipes.  Store in an airtight container.   I LOVE these to store my brown sugar in.

What things have you bought in the past, but now make your own versions of?    How have these DIY versions saved you money and time?

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How to preserve blackberries

I love to preserve blackberries.   It’s so easy to insure the great taste of summer in your food preps with just a small amount of work.  Rich in bioflavonoids, vitamin C and antioxidants, blackberries are nutritional power houses perfect for long term food storage pantries.   Here are my favorite ways to preserve blackberries.

There are more was to preserve blackberries than just making jam and fruit roll ups. Learn how to preserve blackberries to use in smoothies, oatmeal, muffins and more. Learn how to make seedless blackberry powder to stir into yogurt and use in baking. Preserve the fresh taste of summer all year long!

How To Freeze Blackberries

One way to preserve blackberries is to simply wash them using a 4:1 solution of water to vinegar, allowing them to air dry and then ‘flash freezing’ them.

To flash freeze,  simply lay out the now dry berries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pop the tray into the freezer until the berries are frozen, then  package them in a  freezer safe container.

By ‘flash freezing’ the berries first, you’ll be able to simply pour out the amount of frozen berries you need.

simple-ways-to-preserve-blackberries

Preserve blackberries without the seeds.

I prefer my blackberries in a seedless form, especially in smoothies, or my son’s blenderized diet.  First,  rinse the blackberries with the 4:1  water to vinegar solution and puree them in a blender.   With the back of a spoon, push the blackberry puree through a sieve into a clean container. Easy!

how to deseed blackberries

Fill ice cube trays  or the trays used to freeze baby food with the blackberry puree, and freeze. Frozen blackberry ice cubes are a fun way to preserve blackberries.    The result is a whole bunch of frozen blackberry puree ice cubes that  can be added to smoothies,  thawed to flavor yogurt,  or as  base for popsicles and more!

How to use blackberry 'ice cubes'.

How To Dehydrate Blackberries

Dehydrated blackberries last for years when stored properly.  Rinse berries in a 4:1 solution of vinegar water  and  allow to air dry in a dehydrator set to Cool.  Dehydrating wet blackberries makes them flatten out.

Once the blackberries are dry,  set the temperature of the dehydrator to 125F and allow them to dehydrate for 18-20 hours.  Blackberries are done when you can easily crush a berry into powder with just your  fingers.

How to dehydrate blackberries

Make Blackberry Powder

Fill a sieve with dehydrated blackberries and crush them with the back of a spoon, catching the powder in a bowl.  You’ll be left with just dehydrated blackberry seeds in the sieve which you can throw in your compost pile.

Sprinkle blackberry powder in  teas and juices, or  into  your daily water intake.  Spoon blackberry powder over your morning oatmeal or yogurt and into your smoothie for a ‘grit-less’ drink.

Rehydrate your blackberry powder and use it in your favorite blackberry jam recipe.  Bonus!  No seeds!

Use dehydrated blackberries in place of fresh blackberries to make a blackberry flavored simple syrup to use to flavor cocktails and sodas.

Too busy to preserve blackberries yourself?

I  store cans of freeze dried blackberries in my long term food storage.   A quick trip to  Thrive Life  and you could do the same!

Need more information on how to dehydrate foods?  I recommend Dehydrate2Store.

What foods are you preserving this harvest season?

5-Gallon Food Grade Buckets

I received a bit of a jolt when entering a local food storage store in search of 5-gallon food grade buckets for several bags of rice and beans I recently purchased for emergency prepardedness.   Over SEVEN dollars for a bucket and lid.  And we aren’t talking gamma lids, here.  Nope.  We are talking just the plain old hammer it down with a rubber mallet type of lid.

As I stood there doing the math for the 10 buckets, mylar bags and oxygen absorbers I would need for the long term storage of my vittles, I also thought of how many more bags of beans and rice I could purchase for that $70.00 I would paying for buckets.

Where To Find CHEAP 5-Gallon Food Grade Buckets For Long Term Food Storage

You can’t eat the buckets, boys and girls.  And then, as if to add insult to injury, I turned the buckets around only to find the store’s logo covering the bucket from top to bottom.  It has always been a pet peeve of mine to have to pay for stuff that serves as advertising for a company.  Think about it.  If I’m going to be advertising for them, shouldn’t they be paying me?

But I digress.

I’ll admit.  I did purchase 4 of the overpriced, logo blasted, desperately needed buckets.  With my medically fragile son, I’m not able to get out as often, and I really needed those buckets.  I justified my purchase by telling myself I only purchased four instead of the ten I truly needed.

And, as I walked out of that store, I proclaimed to all who could hear, that I would never, ever pay through the nose for a plastic bucket again.  While I consider myself pretty lucky that my Mom was the only person close enough to hear my proclamation, once uttered, it still needed to be fulfilled.

My 5 Gallon Bucket Research


Bakeries will usually give out empty frosting buckets.  Yay! for free buckets, but yikes! for cleaning out the greasy frosting residue.  I’ve found that by making a solution of Dawn dish soap and vinegar then spraying it inside the bucket helps clean the frosting out.

Fast Food Joints will often give out empty pickle buckets.  However, the smell of pickles will pretty much forever be in these buckets.  A friend even power washed his buckets out to no avail.  If you are using mylar liners in your buckets though, the smell of pickle shouldn’t be an issue.

Lowe’s carries 5-Gallon Commercial food grade buckets for $4.50 each.

Use food grade 5 gallon buckets to store bulk foods.

My local Walmart carries food grade buckets and lids for $2.97 and lids for under $2.00.  I found them in the paint section, but I looked and they had food grade written right on them.

Look on your Local Classified Ads.  Often people sell 5-gallon food grade buckets and lids they are no longer using.

5 Gallon Buckets Too Much Work?

What?  You don’t want to wash out your own buckets, and the smell of pickles makes you shudder?  Nearest WalMart too far away?  Amazon will deliver your 5-Gallon Food Grade Storage Buckets right to your door step!

Thrive Life: The BEST Freeze Dried Foods

Some of you may not need to store food in the type of bulk that would require purchasing  5-Gallon Food Grade  Buckets.   I get that.   For you  prepackaged freeze dried food would be the perfect option.   Light weight and good for up to 25 years, Thrive Life offers the best quality in Freeze Dried foods that I’ve found.  Through Thrive Life you can create your own food storage pantry, saving both time AND money.

How do you store your  long term emergency food?

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How To Make The Most Of Survival Seeds

“I bought these survival seeds so that I can grow all my own food when the SHTF”.

I hear this a lot.   Often from people who have never planted  a seed in their entire lives.   Experienced gardeners must be doing a terrific job of making their work look super easy for so many people to figure that if the world were to explode, they could just till up a little bit of dirt, throw out their package of  survival seeds, and viola!, dinner is served.

There’s a whole lot of people in denial out there folks.  A whole lot.

Many of these people couldn’t even tell you what type of seeds are in that survival  seed kit, or if their family even likes those vegetables.

How To Make The Most Of Survival Seeds

 

How to make the most of survival seeds.

1.  Do your researchHow much land you have will determine the type of garden you’ll create.

Suburban homesteader?   Check out All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew,  Mini Farming:    Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham, and The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan.

Urban homesteader?   Grow what you need in pots!  The years my family spent living in a major city in Turkey we grew in pots on our balcony.  The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible will get you started.

Another strategy would be to sprout your seeds for fresh eating.  Ann Wigmore leads the way in teaching about sprouts and their health benefits in The Sprouting Book.

Ready for the Big Leagues?   You’ve got your land, paid your dues and ready to go off grid?  Here’s a few resources to take a look at:  The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery, John Seymour’s The Self-Sufficient Life, and Abigail R. Gehring’s classic, Back to Basics would be good places to start.

how-to-make-the-most-of-your-survival-seeds

2.  Gain some real life, hands on gardening experience……..NOW.

Gardening has always been a part of my life and my husband grew up tending his grandparents  acres and acres of garden. That’s a lot of gardening hours and we still have years that where certain things are total flops.  Let’s face it, you learn from your mistakes.  Take that time to make those mistakes now, rather than in an emergency situation.

3.  Make friends with other gardeners.

Pick their brains for gardening information specific to your location.   Trust me, gardeners love a willing audience.

what-to-know-before-you-buy-survival-seeds

 

Save your own survival seeds!

Every gardener should learn how to save seeds.

The day might come when ordering your seeds on the internet is no longer a possibility.   Suzanne Ashworth and David Cavagnaro’s Seed to Seed:  Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardens., is a must have for any gardener.

 

Want to know my very best advice in regards to creating a plan for using your survival seeds?

HAVE AT LEAST SIX  MONTHS OF FOOD STORAGE ON HAND.
If your personal emergency comes about in the dead of winter, what will you eat?  What will you eat while your garden is making it’s way to harvest?

Food security can’t be found  in a box of survival seeds.   Experienced gardeners would find it challenging to grow everything  to keep body and soul together for a year.   Factor in the amount of physical work growing all your food would require and, well, you get the idea.

Survival Seeds can be an excellent ‘Plan B’

Keep growing those gardens! Plant those fruit trees and berry bushes!   Gardens are a major  component of your food storage plan.   A wonderful, healthy, financial friendly, much needed component, that helps free up much needed cash  you can use to buy your three months supply of what your family normally eats, and then a year’s worth of longer term food storage.

‘Cause thinking when the SHTF you’ll  rip up your lawn and grow everything you need with that box of survival seeds, simply ain’t  going to keep your family fed.

How do you plan to feed your family in case of an emergency?

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How to tell if your baking powder is still fresh.

You are right in the middle of creating a culinary master piece.  Your mouth is watering as you reach for the last ingredient your recipe requires.  In your hand is a container of baking powder, recovered from way in the back of your cupboard.

You find yourself  wondering when you used this stuff last.  Heck, you wonder when you bought it.  How long does baking powder last, anyway?  All you need is to put dead baking powder in what you are making and have the entire thing flop.   You sniff it.  But what is baking powder supposed to smell like, anyway?   You taste a bit.  That’s didn’t help, either.

Test to see if your baking powder is still fresh. If not, use this recipe to whip up a new batch!

How do you know if your baking powder is still good?

 

To find out if your baking powder is still good, simply drop a teaspoon of the stuff into a cup of hot water.  If it bubbles heavily, you are good to go!  If not, it’s time to get a new can of this wonderous stuff that make your baked goods rise.

But, you’re in your favorite holey jammie pants and that messy bun of yours is hiding more than just a bad hair day?

We’ve got ya covered.  Here’s a simple replacement recipe.

How To Make Your Own Baking Powder

baking-powder-recipe

Grab your favorite measuring spoons.  These are mine.  Are they not adorable?  Don’t tell anyone, but my Mom and all of my married girls are getting these for Christmas.

Next, get out these common baking ingredients found in most any pantry, especially ones created with prepping in mind.    One is a leavener, the other is an acid that will activate the baking soda to get your baked goods to rise.

Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons cream of tarter.  Ta-da!  Problem solved!

Want to make a big batch and store it?  Just stick to the ratio of 1 part baking soda to 2 parts cream of tarter.

But now you’ll want to add one part corn starch or arrow root powder too.  This addition to your  recipe  will absorb any moisture and keep your newly created baking powder from clumping.

Plus, there will be NO aluminum to worry about!

How to tell if your baking powder is still fresh, AND a recipe to make your own!

 

 

  When was the last time you checked to see if baking powder was still good?

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Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar: Sausage Potato Soup

Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar provide nutrition, convenience, and long term storage ability to your food storage plan.   Boil a pot of water, dump in the ingredients, and viola!, dinner is served in record time.  Even if that dinner is made for a year later!

How to make Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar

What makes Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar so fantastic?  Imagine coming home too tired to cook, and the family wanting to eat…..NOW.  You boil water.  Dump in the contents of the jar.  Stir.  Viola.  It’s dinner baby.  It’s way healthier than fast food, AND at about $10.00 a jar for a family of 4, CHEAPER too.

You are learning to use your food storage, saving money, creating shelf stable, long lasting meals for your storage, and making your life easier.   We aim to please, here at Simply Preparing.

Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar Recipe using Thrive Life Foods

Sausage Potato Soup


Thrive Freeze Dried Ingredients:

1 C. Freeze Dried Sausage
1 C. Dehydrated Potato Chunks
1/3 C. Freeze Dried Sweet Corn
1/4 C. Freeze Dried Onions
1/3 C. Dehydrated Carrot Dices
1/3 C. Freeze Dried Peas
6 TBSP Chicken Bullion

Ready to try Thrive? I would love it if you bought using my link so I can grow my food storage as well.

Buy Thrive Freeze Dried Foods

Ingredients Needed From Your Pantry

1 TBSP Parsley
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
4 TBLS Butter

Bring three quarts of water to a boil.  Add in the freeze dried ingredients along with the garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper.  While these ingredients simmer, make your thickening sauce.

 

How To Make A Thickening Sauce (Roux)

(Important Note:  The ingredients for the thickening sauce/roux will NOT be part of what you actually put into your jars.  These are items you’ll need to have on hand in your fridge/pantry to complete this meal.)

1/4 Cup flour

1 C reconstituted Powdered Milk

2TSPB Butter

 

Melt butter in a small pan over a low temperature.  Whisk 1/4  C. flour and allow to cook for a minute, whisking constantly.   Pour in 1 C. (reconstituted) Powdered Milk.  Stir until thick and bubbly.

Add a bit of your soup liquid to your thickening sauce to thin it out some.  Then add everything back into your soup and stir.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes before serving with a garnish of  Freeze Dried Parmesan Cheese.

When putting together the ingredients for your Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar, you also need to add an oxygen absorber to each jar or vacuum seal each jar.  Personally, I do both.  This will give you at least a year’s storage for this recipe.

Why You Should Have Freeze Dried Meals In A Jar In Your Food Storage Stash

Beans and rice might keep a body and soul together, but they are not going to be able to do much when food fatigue sets in.  Food fatigue is the idea that food is food and when you have nothing else you will eat it, whether you like it or not.

While this may be true to some extent, it is important to stock a variety of foods, as well as some meals that are tried and true family favorites.  That’s where Freeze Dried Meals in a jar come into play.   Having to eat beans every day for a month straight might just be what brings you down not only physically, but psychologically as well.

DIY Freeze Dried MREs for But Out Bags

Shelf stable meals such as Freeze Dried Meals in a jar offer variety and simplicity.  You can add fruits and veggies to your family’s diet even during an emergency.  You can even skip the jar and packaged these meals in mylar bags with an oxygen pack to store in your bug out bags.  Think homemade MREs.

How to cook your DIY Freeze Dried MREs

Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar can also easily be cooked over simple bug out stoves using items found in typical 72 hour kits.  Just make sure you’ve got your water stored too!

How are you preparing to feed your family in case of emergency?   Do you have Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar in your preps?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Original Recipe by Amber Spackman   Modifications by me.
**Photo Credit:  Ladyheart

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