Food Storage Do-Over Week 15: Powerless Cooking

We are excited to be starting week 15 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! We are getting close to the end of this adventure. If you didn’t catch last week’s post which talked about Sanitation and First Aid you can see it here.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!

WEEK15FACE

Emergency preparedness is a very broad topic. This week we are going to be working on a plan for powerless cooking. We always recommend starting with inexpensive or do-it-yourself cooking tools so you at least have SOMETHING to use in an emergency. Then as you practice and learn what your family uses the most, you can start to invest in higher quality tools over time.

Fuels

In order to cook without power, you must have some sort of fuel. We love to use the sun as our main fuel source as much as possible, but if you don’t have a way to cook using solar power yet, here are some other fuel options for you.

For a printable overview of the common fuels click here.
For a video overview see below:


 

Do-It Yourself Stoves/Ovens

If you have empty #10 cans hanging around the house you can make a simple #10 Can Stove to use for boiling water or heating up just add water meals.

For a printable tutorial click here.
For a video overview see below:


 

If you’d like the option to cook baked items like casseroles, cakes, and bread you will need to make an oven. You can make an easy-to-use cardboard box oven that cooks using charcoal.

For a printable tutorial click here.
For a video overview see below:


 

Inexpensive Stoves

Any number of inexpensive camping stoves can be purchased at camping stores or from Amazon.com. Take a look at what fuels they use as that can impact your decision a lot.

Butane Stoves – We love these because you can cook INDOORS and store the fuel indoors. You can get about 4-5 cook hours out of one butane canister.

Cube Stove – This is an inexpensive little stove that burns fuel pellets. Lightweight and great to throw into 72 hour kits

Firebox – Similar to a cube stove but higher quality and folds flat. The design helps manage airflow so it is very efficient at conserving fuel. Lots of different fuels can be used in it.

TASKS FOR THIS WEEK

  • Research these fuels and inexpensive stoves
  • Purchase or make at least one stove you can use
  • Accumulate a 30 day supply of fuel to cook on whichever stove you buy/make

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

If you are an emergency preparedness veteran you may have already looked into some of the larger, longer-term stoves and ovens. Here is a summary of the ones that we have and use ourselves. There are others out there but these are the ones we have the most experience with. Do your own research and find what will meet YOUR family’s needs.

All-American Sun Oven

If you can cook with the sun, it is going to be best bet for conserving your fuel. Solar power is renewable and unlimited, as long as it’s a sunny day! We use Sun Ovens as our primary cooking device and keep other tools as back-up for cloudy days.

View our webinar (and special offer) on the All-American Sun Oven by clicking here.
View an older video featuring the Global Sun Oven below:


 

Helius Rocket Stove

This is a heavy duty outdoor stove that can be used as an open fire or to cook with pots on top. It can withstand the weight of a full pressure cooker, and can keep temperatures constant enough for pressure cooking. Designed for fuel efficiency and to reduce smoke, this is a great little stove.

View our post introducing this stove by clicking here.
View a video introduction below:


 

Volcano Collapsible Grill

The Volcano Grill is a more portable stove and is very versatile in that it can use a wide variety of fuels for cooking. It can be used as an open fire pit, as a grill, for dutch oven cooking, boiling water, or even for baking if you have the “tent lid”. Great to throw in the car for a quick evacuation or camping trip.

View more details about the Volcano Grill by clicking here.
View a video introduction below:


 

HERC Tea Light Ovens

The HERC Tea Light Ovens solve the dilemma of how to BAKE indoors when the power is out. It’s not always feasible or recommended to be outside in an emergency situation. You can bake in these ovens using just a few tea light candles. The smaller “eco” oven works like a crock pot and uses ten tea lights. The larger “XXL” oven uses twenty tea lights and cooks like a 350 degree oven. Fuel cost is about $0.40 per hour and you can get 4 hours of solid cook time out of each batch of candles.

View post introducing these ovens by clicking here.
View a video introduction below:


 

Tasks for this week

  • Inventory your powerless cooking tools and fuel
  • Determine how long you could cook using the fuel you have on hand
  • Research some of the longer term stoves/ovens shown above
  • Purchase or make a plan to save up for any appliances you’ve been wanting
  • Organize your storage area so that your tools are easy to access
  • Make a goal to practice cooking without electricity at least one time per week this summer

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

ReadyFuel: This is a new product from Lindon Farms. It is a gel that can be used indoors or outdoors, and won’t freeze, evaporate, or melt. It’s very light and each packet contains a little metal sheet that can be turned into a holder for your pot. It’s a great little fuel for camping or small cooking needs like boiling water.
InstaFire: If you’ve followed our blog for a while you will know that we think InstaFire is a great product. It can be stored inside in convenient buckets, it burns in any kind of weather, and will even burn wet wood. It is handy to use in any kind of portable stove or even just on the ground. It’s definitely a nice supplement to go along with your other fuels.
Fuel Disks: There are a few companies putting out fuel pellets or pucks that can be used in stoves such as the Firebox, or Cube Stove. The disks can be re-used if you don’t use the whole thing. They are easy to burn but must be used outside. They store easily and conveniently indoors or out. They are a very efficient fuel with one pellet lasting for one hour of cooking.

helpful
Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

PINTEREST BOARD ON POWERLESS COOKING
Types Of Fuel
Cooking Stoves
Global Sun Oven
All American Sun Oven
Fuel Disks
InstaFire
ReadyFuel
Butane Stoves
Wonder Box Oven
Dutch Oven Cooking Overview
Video: Powerless Cooking Event
Handout: Powerless Cooking Fuels Handout
Handout: Tutorial On How To Make A #10 Can Stove
Handout: Tutorial On How To Make A Cardboard Box Oven
Handout: Tutorial On How To Make A Wonderbox Oven
10 Ways To Practice Powerless Cooking This Summer

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WEEK15PIN

Food Storage Do-Over Week 14: Sanitation/First Aid

We are excited to be starting week 14 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! If you didn’t catch last week’s post which talked about non-food items you can see it here.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!

WEEK14FACE

Emergency preparedness is a very broad topic. This week we are going to be working on evaluating our sanitation and first aid plans. There are a lot of ways to cover these areas so we will try to point you in the right direction to do your own research and come up with what works best for you and your family.

First Aid

If you are fairly new to the preparedness world you may not have a lot of first aid supplies stocked up yet. It never hurts to just purchase a basic first aid kit to at least get started. We saw this awesome more advanced list posted by Nancy over at the Preparedness 101 facebook group this week and wanted to share it here.

1) Sanitary pads for dressings
2) Roller gauze for bandages
3) Bedpan
4) Gloves (very sturdy for re-cleaning/sterilizing)
5) Urinal
6) Benadryl (allergic reaction)
7) Clove oil (tooth pain)
8) Superglue for lacerations
9) Washcloths
10) Oral analgesic for numbing
11) Ibuprofen for pain and fever
12) Nausea medicine
13) Pantyhose for bandaging any part of the human anatomy without tape
14) Plastic backed washable pads for bedridden patients/kids (can use alternatives)
15) Emergency dental kit
16) Anti-diarrhea medicine
17) No-more-tears shampoo for wound cleansing and general washing
18) Sheets for dressings, packing and slings

Notable things I left out:
- Bandaids (only for short term wound cover, your body will make you a scab)
- Tape (sticks to skin/ hurts to remove, gets old)
- Expensive drugs
- Peroxide, alcohol and Betadine -these wound cleansers are not needed and actually toxic to healing skin.

If you are interested in more natural styles of medicine you can look for ideas on our “Your Natural Medicine Cabinet” post. If you are looking for a more in depth list from a medical professional we recommend this “Nurse’s Fully-Stocked Medical Kit” post.

Sanitation

Having proper hygiene can make a huge difference to your health in an emergency situation. You need to have a plan for how to dispose of waste properly. You can buy a simple sanitation kit, or put your own together that includes these items:

• Two 5 or 6 gallon plastic buckets with tight fitting lids
• Two toilet seats that attach to the buckets
• Toilet paper
• Pre-washed and dried flannel, cut into squares, to use if toilet paper is not available—wash in hot water and bleach and re-use
• Paper towels
• Hand wipes, hand sanitizer and hand soap
• 13-gallon trash bags (to line toilets)
• 33- gallon trash bags (to dispose of smaller, used bags and other trash)
• Two (or three) spray bottles (for hydrogen peroxide & white vinegar, with the third for bleach)
• Hydrogen peroxide
• White vinegar (in a plastic bottle, if possible, to avoid broken glass)
• Borax and/or Bleach
• Essential oils and/or sprays for odor control
• Small funnel to fill spray bottles
SuperSorb
• Shovel
• Heavy gloves (for digging)
• Disposable gloves (for cleaning)
• Face masks
• Copy of this sheet of instructions, stored in a plastic sheet protector
• Empty plastic jug (the kind you keep in the fridge) to hold water for hand washing

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

If you are an emergency preparedness veteran you probably have a lot of first aid and sanitation supplies on hand already. Let’s take some time this week to inventory, re-evaluate, re-purchase, and add to our supplies! Here are some action steps for you this week:

  • Make a master list of all the supplies you would like to store. Use our basic lists above or check out some of the helpful resources listed below for ideas.
  • Go through your supplies and inventory exactly what you already have on hand.
  • Make a shopping list of the items you need to buy more of. You can get some things for really cheap at the dollar store or big box stores. For more specialty items we like to shop at Emergency Essentials or Amazon.
  • Consider larger medical emergencies that may occur in a long term emergency situation. Buy extra supplies and learn how to deal with those (i.e. childbirth, how to do stitches, setting bones, etc.)
  • Sign up for a CERT class or attend some other first aid training in your area. If you can’t find a class you can check out the notes from a local class we took at our church on CPR and basic first aid.
  • Buy some books or print out instructions for basic medical care and store them with your supplies.

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

dtmlady Family Sanitation Kit:
This kit is designed to fill basic bathing, dental, and toilet hygiene needs. Specially made for a family of four, the Family Sanitation Kit meets the basic hygiene needs you would have in an emergency or on a short camping trip. – See more at: http://beprepared.com/family-sanitation-kit.html#sthash.gdqMjpbV.dpuf
dtmlady The Complete First Aid Kit
The Complete First Aid Kit is a comprehensive kit containing everything you need to keep your home or office prepared for an emergency including many innovative products like Save-A-Tooth. The products inside are stored in unitized boxes to cut down on mess, and the box has a waterproof seal to prevent humidity or moisture damage.

helpful
Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

PINTEREST BOARD FOR FIRST AID
Basic CPR and First Aid Tips – from Food Storage Made Easy
A Nurse’s Fully-Stocked Medical Kit – from The Busy B Homemaker
Your Natural Medicine Cabinet – from Food Storage Made Easy
Printable First Aid Guide – from Your Own Home Store

PINTEREST BOARD FOR SANITATION
Emergency Sanitation Kits Handout – from Food Storage Made Easy

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WEEK14PIN

3 Upcoming Educational Webinars

We are so excited to announce that we have arranged three webinars this month, just for our Food Storage Made Easy readers. We are going to be exploring advanced topics and inviting experts on to share their knowledge with us and all of our readers. Here is the line-up and the sign-up links for each webinar. Hope to “see” you there!

Essentials of Cooking With the Sun
Please click here to sign up for reminders and/or to be sent a replay link after the event

Date/Time:WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 at 6:00 pm Mountain Time
Host: Paul Munsen of Sun Ovens International
Who Should Participate: Anyone who wants to learn more about how to harness the power of the sun to cook, dehydrate, purify water and be better prepared for emergencies. Whether you already own a Sun Oven or plan to get one in the future, this will be very educational for you.
What You Will Learn:

  • Learn how to never have to worry about burning dinner again.
  • Discover how to use a SUN OVEN to naturally dehydrate fruits and vegetables.
  • Find out how to reduce your utility bills while helping families in developing countries around the world.

This webinar will cover everything you need to know about using a SUN OVEN. We will show how practical and easy it is to cook in a SUN OVEN and discuss the many economic, health and environmental benefits of cooking with the sun. All webinar participants will be eligible for special Sun Oven pricing just for attending!

Learn About the NEW Lion Energy Solar Generators
Please click here to sign up for reminders and/or to be sent a replay link after the event

Date/Time: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29 at 6:00 pm Mountain Time
Host: St. John of Lion Energy
More Details Coming Soon – Watch your email

Understanding Red Cross Recommendations for Treating Water in an Emergency
Please click here to reserve your spot and get an email reminder

Date/Time: ALREADY HELD – SORRY!
Host: Glenn Meder of Survival Still
Who Should Participate: Anyone who wants to learn more about having safe water in an emergency
What You Will Learn:

  • How your water can become dangerously contaminated in an emergency.
  • How to protect your family…while their world seems to be collapsing around them.
  • Red Cross recommendations for treating water during an emergency.
  • What to do and what NOT to do.

This will be a FREE one-hour, online class on how to properly purify water during an emergency situation. Even if we’ve heard about drinking water safety before, we can all take the time to review this basic information so we will know exactly what to do and how to make wise decisions when needed.

Please click here to reserve your spot and get an email reminder

Food Storage Do-Over Week 13: Non-Food Items

We are excited to be starting week 13 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! If you didn’t catch last week’s post which talked about comfort foods you can see it here.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!

week13face

In BabyStep 10: Non-Foods Items we discuss supplementing your food items with things that are necessary for cooking, eating, and cleaning.

If you are brand new to food storage, you may not have thought about the logistics of actually having to LIVE off of your storage. You will need dishes to cook and eat with, but might have limited water to clean up with. Paper and plastic products can really help minimize your water needs, even if they aren’t something you use on a regular basis. You’ll also need to store enough toilet paper, toiletries, and cleaning supplies to get you through an emergency. (We will be covering cooking tools, first aid, and sanitation in future weeks so don’t worry about those this week)

Ideas of What to Store

Personal Hygiene

  • Toothpaste/Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Facewash/Bodywash/Soap
  • Shaving/Aftershave

Paper Products

  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Feminine Products
  • Diapers/Wet Wipes
  • Kleenex
  • Paper Plates/Plastic Utensils/Napkins

Cleaning Products

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dishwasher Detergent
  • Bleach
  • All-Purpose Cleaner

Pet Care Products

  • Dog/Cat Food
  • Extra Water for Pets
  • Kitty Litter

Helpful Ideas to Save Space

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

If you are a food storage veteran you probably have a lot of random non-food supplies in your storage. Let’s take some time this week to inventory, re-evaluate, re-purchase, and add to our supplies! Here are some action steps for you this week:

  • Open up your three month supply worksheet and look at the bonus non-foods inventory page.
  • Fill out your inventory sheet with how much of each item you’d like to store and what amounts you already have
  • Make a shopping list of the items you need to buy more of (we use Deals to Meals to help us find the best prices on these, combine with coupons for even more savings!)
  • Experiment with making some of your own homemade cleaners to save money and storage space (see links under helpful resources below for ideas)

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

dtmlady Deals To Meals:
A wonderful service to help you find the cheapest prices on all your toiletries and paper goods. At just $5 a month you break even with ONE shopping trip. Learn more and sign up for a free two week trial to test it out yourself!
dtmlady Homemade Cleaners: Quick-and-Easy, Toxin-Free Recipes:
Book available in kindle or regular book format. Includes replacements for Kitchen Cleaner, Bathroom Disinfectant, Laundry Detergent, Bleach, Bug Killer, Air Freshener, and more.

helpful
Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

PINTEREST BOARD FOR NON-FOOD ITEMS
Cleaning Supplies Using Food Storage Items – from Food Storage Made Easy
Homemade Laundry Detergent – from Wellness Mama
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent – from Happy Money Saver
51 Homemade Cleaners – from Self Reliant School
Homemade Household Cleaning Supplies (laminate floor cleaner) – from Food Storage Made Easy
100+ Non-Food Items to Store – from Food Storage and Survival

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WEEK13

Food Storage Do-Over Week 12: Comfort Foods

We are excited to be starting week 12 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! If you didn’t catch last week’s post which talked about fruits and vegetables you can see it here.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!
week12face

In BabyStep 9: Comfort Foods we discuss supplementing your core long term food storage items any comfort foods that would be pleasant to have should you be forced to live off your food storage for a long time (chocolate, pickles, spices, condiments, etc).

If you are brand new to food storage, you may not have thought about the logistics of actually having to LIVE off of your storage. If you have no spices to flavor your soups, they won’t be very enjoyable. If you add a few treats or desserts your kids may have a much easier time adjusting. Here are some tasks to help you get started on your comfort foods:

To Do This Week

  1. Pick a few favorite desserts and purchase the ingredients you would need to make them
  2. Make a list of snacks and treats that your family likes. Stock up on them!
  3. Make a plan for spices. Start with having at least one spare of each spice in your pantry. You can buy these over time as spices can be expensive.
  4. Make a plan for condiments. Start with having at least two spares of everything you use (mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, etc.) For things you go through quickly, maybe store a few extras.
  5. Consider buying a Foodsaver to help repackage chocolates, crackers, etc. You can really extend the shelf life if you seal them in bags or in canning jars.

Comfort Food Ideas

  • Home-made popcorn in a pot
  • Mashed potatoes with instant potatoes and GRAVY
  • Hard Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Pudding (made using dry milk)
  • Granola bars
  • Fruit snacks for children
  • Chicken noodle soup in a can (for if you get sick)
  • Kool-aid
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, salsa, pickles)
  • Spices (inventory what spices you use and store an extra one or two of each)
  • No-bake cookies or “bites” (view recipe)
  • Rice Krispie Treats
  • Chocolate and butterscotch baking chips for homemade cookies or snacking
  • Peppermint tea bags
  • Ovaltine
  • Danish dessert (w/frozen raspberries)
  • Homemade peach pie
  • Homemade cinnamon rolls

These are all just ideas. Obviously they aren’t all that healthy, necessary to sustain life, or totally “food storage” types of foods – but hey, everyone needs a little comfort food sometimes! Adjust to meet your own families needs and preferences.

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

If you already have a lot of food storage, you may have many comforts already on hand. Let’s take some time this week to inventory, re-evaluate, re-purchase, and add to our supplies! Here are some tips to help you think of ways you can do that:

Spices:

  • Take an inventory of your spices, make sure you have at least one spare of each spice
  • Consider printing out a list of ways to make your own spice mixes to save on the number of things you need to store (store extras of the core ingredients)
  • Take some time and organize your spice cabinet, maybe consider getting a new spice rack to help make things easier to find

Condiments:

  • Take an inventory of your condiments, make sure you have at least two spares of each one
  • Look into ways to make your own condiments using basic storage ingredients (this ebook may help)
  • Make sure to have an inventory tracking plan in place so you can replenish when you open one up to start using it

Desserts/Snacks:

  • Take an inventory of your desserts and snacks, add any items you may be running low on (cake mixes, brownies, etc.)
  • Look at the shelf life of your snack items. Do you need to consider repackaging for longer term storage? (Foodsaver vacuum sealers can help with that)
  • Make a list of shelf stable family favorite desserts and store ALL of the ingredients you need for them

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

SPICY SHELF:  This spice rack and organizer will make your spice storage space in your pantry much more organized.
FOODSAVER VACUUM SEALERS:  These are great units for repackaging crackers and cookies in bags, or vacuum sealing chocolates, nuts, and other candies in canning jars.

helpful
Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

PINTEREST BOARD FOR COMFORT FOODS
Spice Up Your Comfort Foods – from Food Storage Made Easy
25 Ways to Organize Spices – from Craftionary.net
Storing Herbs and Spices for Long Term Storage – from Are We Crazy or What
Homemade Spices Mixes – from Rainy Day Food Storage
How to Dry Herbs – from Happy Money Saver
Condiment List – from Food Storage Made Easy
Never Buy Condiments Again (eBook)
Food Storage Recipe Ideas (scroll down for desserts/snacks) – from Food Storage Made Easy

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WEEK12PIN

Helius Rocket Stove

titan-title
We recently had the opportunity to meet with Kris from Titan Ready USA and he showed us some of his products that we are excited to share with you. These products are simple but efficient solutions to some preparedness dilemmas we know we have faced and you may have as well. This post covers the Helius Rocket Stove, but be sure to check out the HERC tea light ovens as well.

Scroll to the to bottom of the post to see a GREAT introductory deal offered only to our Food Storage Made Easy readers.

helius

We’ve seen a lot of rocket stoves around but this is the first one we have seen that we’ve been really excited to use. This one sits high off the ground and has a great solid base you can cook on without bending over or needing a steady, safe surface to place the stove on. We love that you can use this stove to pressure can, camp, or in an emergency situation. Also this stove can use such a variety of fuels!

Here is a video of us being introduced to the Helius Rocket Stove with Kris:

Helius Rocket Stove

Cook complete meals using nothing but wood scraps and yard debris with the Helius Rocket Stove. The Helius Rocket Stove is a durable, clean alternative to outdoor cooking, using readily available scraps as fuel instead of more costly alternatives like propane or briquettes. The design of the rocket stove heats to cooking temperatures in only a few minutes with only as much fuel as fits in the fuel magazine.

  • Above ground, no crouching to cook
  • Can you it to pressure can your meats if power goes out and your freezer is compromised
  • Large enough to do things with larger pots
  • Very stable and heavy duty
  • Legs are workable to allow for level cooking surface
  • Flammable biomass – burn anything from wood scraps to dry, yard debris
  • Can vary temperatures with amount of wood
  • Quick-release ash drop means you can keep cooking while clearing the chimney of accumulated ash
  • Produces a clean burn – little or no smoke
  • Made by Americans for Americans​

SPECIAL INTRO PRICING FOR OUR READERS


For a limited time (until April 15) receive HUGE discounts on the Helius. Use COUPON CODE: foodstorage to save $67 off a Helius!

HELIUSCOUPON

HERC Tea Light Candle Ovens

titan-title
We recently had the opportunity to meet with Kris from Titan Ready USA and he showed us some of his products that we are excited to share with you. These products are simple but efficient solutions to some preparedness dilemmas we know we have faced and you may have as well. This post covers the HERC tea light ovens, but be sure to check out the Helius Rocket Stove as well.

Make sure to scroll to the to bottom of the post to see a GREAT introductory deal offered only to our Food Storage Made Easy readers.

herc

While butane stoves are great for stove-top cooking indoors, we have yet to find a good solution for oven cooking indoors. Having a diversified preparedness plan is great to cover yourself in different scenarios. For example, a Sun Oven is great if you don’t have any fuel, but not so great if it’s rainy or you’re trying to be discreet in a crisis. That’s why we recommend having different options. All have their pro’s and con’s.

Here is a video of us being introduced to the HERC XXL with Kris:

The HERC tea light ovens are great for many reasons:

  • Can be used indoors
  • The XXL acts as an oven
  • The Eco acts as a crock pot or dehydrator
  • Can be used discreetly
  • You can fit a standard 9 by 13 pan in the larger one (this is huge)
  • Can get 4 hours of cook time out of 20 tealights in the XXL
  • The fuel is fairly inexpensive, about 40 cents per cooking hour
  • You can store tealights inside safely, indefinitely, and legally
  • The thermal energy cooks the food evenly
  • The stove folds down for easy storage
  • Made by Americans for Americans​

HERC XXL Oven

The HERC XXL Oven is the larger oven. Inside cooking dimensions: 18 inch x 11.75 inch x 7.25 inch. Cook anything, anytime, anywhere, regardless of the situation. Bake, cook and dehydrate without the use of electricity or gas, indoors or out. The HERC is extremely portable, durable and economical. The HERCules (Home Emergency Radiant Cooking)™ XXL Oven harnesses the thermal energy from tea light candles, storing it in quarry stones and releasing radiant energy back into your food.
HERCMORE

Eco HERC Oven

The Eco HERC oven is the smaller oven. Inside cooking dimensions: 11.75 inch x 11.75 inch x 6 inch Cook anything, anytime, anywhere, regardless of the situation. Bake, cook and dehydrate without the use of electricity or gas, indoors or out. The Eco HERC is extremely portable, durable and economical. The Eco HERC harnesses the thermal energy from tea light candles by releasing radiant energy back into your food.
ECOHER

SPECIAL INTRO PRICING FOR OUR READERS


For a limited time (until April 15) receive HUGE discounts on the Herc Tea Light Ovens. Use COUPON CODE: foodstorage to save $90 off the XXL Herc Oven or $42 off the ECO Herc Oven.

HERCCOUPON

Food Storage Do-Over Week 11: Fruits and Vegetables

We are excited to be starting week 11 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! If you didn’t catch last week’s post which talked about baking ingredients you can see it here.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!

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In BabyStep 8: Fruits and Vegetables we discuss supplementing your core long term food storage items with some produce. There are many different ways of storing fruits and vegetables to increase their shelf life which we will be going over this week.

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If you are brand new to food storage, you may have noticed that when looking at food storage calculators, fruits and vegetables are often left off. This is because you can sustain life with the ingredients on those calculators (you can sprout a number of those ingredients to get fresh vegetable sources). HOWEVER, we HIGHLY recommend storing fruits and vegetables for the health benefits, variety, and to help you save money on your day to day grocery shopping.

Determine How Much to Store

  • Look at your family’s typical produce usage to get an idea for how much to store
  • Plan for vegetables you would use in meals
  • Plan for fruits you would use in meals and desserts
  • Decide how many servings of fruits and vegetables you would like for side dishes each day and multiply it by however many month’s supply you are storing for

Determine Which Preservation Technique to Use

  • Freezing: Requires storage space in a spare freezer, very little preparation involved, not great in case of a powerless emergency.
  • Canning: Fairly simple process, requires a little bit of equipment plus the cost of jars and lids, shelf-life 1-2 years, control of preservatives added, store carefully in case of earthquakes.
  • Dehydrating: Initial investment is relatively expensive, fairly simple process, shelf life is quite long especially if items are vacuum-sealed, easy to store in small spaces.
  • Freeze-Drying: Very large upfront cost, best method for longest shelf life of preserved foods, newer technology so not a lot of tutorials about it yet.

Purchase Necessary Items

  • Gardening and growing your own fruits and vegetables can be a great way to acquire them at a lower cost. Initial costs of starting a garden are low. You can also purchase fruits and vegetables in bulk when things are on sale. (use Deals to Meals to find the best prices in your area)
  • Invest in some canning or dehydrating equipment, you can view some of our favorite brands in the products section below.
  • If you are not interested in preserving your own foods we recommend purchasing high quality freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. You’ll want brands that taste good and have a long shelf life. We love the unadvertised fruit and veggie packages from Thrive Life that you can only buy at our special consultant link.

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

If you already have some fruits and vegetables in your food storage and feel somewhat comfortable with them, step outside your comfort zone and try something new:

  • Gardening: If you haven’t already tried growing a garden, make it a goal to start some plants this week. You don’t need a fancy garden area to do this. You can even do it in pots on your porch!
  • Canning: If you’ve never canned before, try canning something basic like strawberry jam. If you are a pro-canner we encourage you to pick something NEW and try canning it this season. You can view some of our canning tutorials at this link.
  • Dehydrating: If you’ve never dehydrated before, give it a try, you can even dehydrate in your oven at a low temperature if you just want to get a feel for it. If you are a dehydrating pro, pick something new to try dehydrating this week.
  • Using your foods: A lot of times we buy or preserve food and don’t get around to using it before it goes bad. Make an effort this week to practice using your foods in your every day recipes and snacks. You will find what you like and don’t like, and make sure you are rotating properly.

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

THRIVE LIFE SPECIAL PACKAGES: Fruit and Vegetable Combo Packs available only through Thrive Life consultants, may be ordered exclusively using our special online link.
TATTLER CANNING LIDS: The tattler lids are reusable canning lids that include a plastic lid and a rubber gasket that provides a similar seal to traditional canning lids. It’s nice to not have to throw away the disposable ones after each use.
PRESTO PRESSURE CANNER:  The Presto 16-quart pressure canner is more than adequate for any home canning needs. It’s a professional-quality tool, made of heavy-duty aluminum, with stay-cool handles and a strong-lock steel lid. Safe for canning on glass-top stoves.
EXCALIBUR FOOD DEHYDRATOR:  The Excalibur is the finest dehydrator made. It is the ONLY machine with the unique Parallexx™ Horizontal Airflow Drying System. With sizes to fit any family’s needs, you can find the perfect, high-quality dehydrator for you.
FOODSAVER VACUUM SEALERS:  If you are dehydrating your own foods, a vacuum sealer can help to extend the shelf life on them. You can also get a jar attachment and seal items in mason jars.

helpful
Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

GARDENING PINTEREST BOARD
Gardening Posts from Food Storage Made Easy

CANNING PINTEREST BOARD
Canning Posts from Food Storage Made Easy

DEHYDRATING PINTEREST BOARD
Dehydrating Posts from Food Storage Made Easy

Please pin and get your friends joining in too!

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Food Storage Do-Over Week 10: Baking Ingredients

We are excited to be starting week 10 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! If you didn’t catch last week’s post which talked about legumes and meats you can see it here.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!

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In BabyStep 7: Baking Ingredients we discuss storing baking ingredients. These are the ingredients that will allow you to make complete recipes using the grains and legumes you have been accumulating.

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If you are brand new to food storage, take a look at our article “What Can You Do With YOUR Food Storage” to see what additional items you can make by adding specific baking ingredients to your storage.

This week your assignment is to purchase foods from the last four basic food groups and learn more about how to use them.

Fats and Oils

  • Your main source of fat will be oils. Store the oil that your family uses as rotation will be important. If you can’t rotate through fast enough you may need to throw some away and replenish when it expires
  • Other sources of fats can come from things like peanut butter, mayonnaise, and salad dressings. Think about your meal plans from your three month supply, you may already have some of these in your storage.

Sugars

  • The bulk of recommended sugar storage is in white sugar. If you don’t normally eat white sugar in your diet you can substitute with other sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave, etc.
  • Other sugars you can store are brown sugar, powdered sugar, drink mixes, syrup, honey, corn syrup, molasses, etc. Again, what you choose to store will depend on what your family will be able to use and rotate based on your own recipes.

Powdered Milk/Other Dairy

  • Powdered milk is critical to food storage as it can be life-sustaining if that is ALL you have to eat. It is especially important if you have babies or young children.
  • Other powders can be helpful to bring variety to your meals such as powdered eggs, sour cream, peanut butter, cream cheese, butter, etc. Buy a few of these in small amounts and see if they work in your recipes and then store accordingly.

Miscellaneous Baking Items

  • The regular baking items shouldn’t be forgotten. Store plenty of yeast, salt, baking powder, baking soda, etc. Consider that when you are living off of your food storage you will be baking a lot of foods from scratch, so you will need more of these on hand than you would normally have.
  • We recommend storing in multiple smaller containers so that when you open them to rotate you don’t have them lose their effectiveness if you don’t get through them fast enough.

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

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If you already have some of these baking ingredients stored and feel somewhat comfortable with them step outside your comfort zone and try something new:

  • Review your inventory list from week 7 and replenish any items from the fats, milk, sugars, and miscellaneous sections that you don’t have your full supply of.
  • Try using some of your powder substitutes that you may not have experimented with already.
  • Print recipes you use often if you only have them on the computer.
  • Try using powdered milk to make either buttermilk, evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk. Here are some tips for making those substitutions:

    Buttermilk: Mix up one cup of powdered milk. Add 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar to the milk. Stir it in and wait for 5 minutes. Use in any recipe that calls for buttermilk!

    Sweetened Condensed Milk: Add the following ingredients to your blender. 1/2 cup of hot water, 1 c. of powdered milk powder, 1 c. of sugar, 1 T. of butter. Blend very well.

    Evaporated Milk: Mix 1 1/2 c. water with 1/2 c. + 1 T. powdered milk powder. Whisk together thoroughly. Add to any recipe calling for evaporated milk!

    Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

  • products

    Powdered Substitutions

    We recommend at least buying a small can of each of the “powders” and experiment with them in your regular recipes. Stock up on the ones that you like and find alternative recipes if you don’t care for them (i.e. sour cream powder may not suit you so you’ll need recipes that don’t use sour cream). Here are some powders you may want to consider buying:

    Where to Buy Baking Ingredients

    helpful
    Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

    All About Honey – from Food Storage Made Easy
    Honey: How to Use this Wonderous Natural Substance – from Are We Crazy or What
    All About Powdered Milk – from Food Storage Made Easy
    Making Evaporated and Sweetened Condensed Milk from Powdered Milk – from Food Storage and Survival
    Powdered Milk Mysteries Revealed – from Your Thrive Life
    Powdered Milk Conversion Chart – Pin from Preparedness Mama
    All About Powdered Eggs – from Food Storage Made Easy
    How to Make Powdered Eggs – from Tactical Intelligence
    All About Powdered Sour Cream – from Food Storage Made Easy
    All About Powdered Butter – from Food Storage Made Easy
    All About Yeast and Vital Wheat Gluten – from Food Storage Made Easy
    Baking with Yeast – from Roxana’s Home Baking
    How to Make Natural Yeast from Scratch – from The Bread Geek

    Please pin and get your friends joining in too!

    WEEK10PIN

    5 Reasons Beans Should be Part of Your Food Storage

    Dried beans can be an intimidating food storage item for many people. In our experience people typically either do not like them, do not know how to cook them properly, or do not know what types of foods to make using them. We want to share with you FIVE reasons why beans should be a staple in YOUR food storage (if they aren’t already) and hopefully give you some tips along the way that will help you overcome some of those common challenges.


    beans-in-food-storage

    photo credit cookbookman

    1. BEANS ARE HEALTHY

    Beans, peas, and lentils are the richest source of vegetable protein and are a good source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. If you don’t have any stored meats or nuts you will definitely need to include beans in your food storage. Here are just a few reasons why beans are so healthy. You can learn more about the health benefits by reading the book Country Beans by Rita Bingham. We highly recommend it if you are storing beans at all.

    • Low Calorie Food: The amount of nutrition you get for the amount of calories is quite significant. When used as a thickener for soups or a substitution for meat beans can be very beneficial
    • Great Protein: Beans are an excellent source of protein, forming a complete protein when combined with rice, corn, and many other foods. Getting protein this way can help you avoid some of the fatty meat proteins.
    • High in Fiber: One cup of beans provide the same amount of fiber as 3 standard doses of Metamucil.
    • Low in Fat: Nearly all beans contain only 2-3% fat! You can used mashed beans as a replacement for butter or oil in many baked goods to reduce the fat content.
    • Lower Cholesterol: Not only do beans contain NO cholesterol, “they actually help the body get rid of what is considered bad cholesterol.

    2. BEANS CAN BE STORED VIRTUALLY INDEFINITELY

    When stored in a cool, dry place, beans will basically stay good forever. If you have an older supply of beans they may require more time to soak and more time to cook. We have found that using an electric pressure cooker will help your beans to turn out great every time, regardless of their age.

    Ideal conditions for long term food storage are to store your legumes sealed in mylar pouches inside of 5 gallon buckets. Using oxygen absorbers can also help maintain the freshness of the items. We also recommend keeping smaller containers in your kitchen or pantry so that you can use them in your daily cooking to practice and rotate.

    3. BEANS ARE VERSATILE

    Beans are not only good for eating as part of a Mexican dish or in soups and chilis. There are many other ways beans can be used that you may not have thought of.

    • Mash up cooked beans to replace butter/oil in recipes. Cook up dry beans and then add a little of the water used for cooking and puree them in a blender or food processor. Use cup for cup to replace the oil or butter in a recipe. Start with only replacing half the fat and gradually move up to the entire amount.
    • Grow into sprouts for a fresh “vegetable”. Legumes are a great item to sprout and can then be eaten fresh, thrown into soups, added to sandwiches, or pureed and snuck into many different foods. Older beans may have a more difficult time to sprout. Click here for a post we shared about sprouting lentils.
    • Grind white beans into bean flour  to make white sauces, homemade cream of chicken soup, or to use as a thickener for soups and stews.

    4. BEANS ARE CHEAP

    There are many varieties of beans or legumes that you can buy. You will find different uses for different types so it never hurts to just buy whatever ones are on sale. You may find dried beans in small 1 lb bags at the grocery store for $1. Pick up a bag or two every time you go to the store and you will quickly have a large supply. You can also buy them from many long term food storage companies already packed in 5 gallon buckets and ready for your storage. Some of the varieties of beans and legumes you may see are as follows:

    • Split Peas
    • Lentils
    • Lima Beans
    • Dry Soy Beans
    • Chick Peas
    • Regular Dry Beans (black, pinto, navy, red, white, etc.)

    5. BEANS ARE DELICIOUS

    One of our favorite recipes that uses beans in two different forms is a delicious Enchilada Pie. You use dried beans and also make homemade cream of chicken soup out of bean flour. Give it a try and you just might fall in love with your food storage beans!