Book Review: Emergency Food in a Nutshell

Please note: This is part of a series of reviews we are doing on food storage, emergency prep, and self-reliance type books. For more reviews click here.


 
 
Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell

Simply Planned and Simply Delicious
by Leslie D. Probert and Lisa L. Harkness

Background: A few months ago we presented at a food storage fair and had the chance to meet tons of great people in the food storage industry. We happened upon Leslie Probert and she told us that she thought what we were doing with helping people get their food storage was great. This was a huge compliment coming from Leslie as she as a long-term food storage expert who teaches at BYU Education Week, has a regular column in the MormonTimes and is the author of a fantastic food storage book. I have to admit I was a little “starstruck” speaking with her but she was so sweet. She gave us a copy of her book and I’m so excited to share my thoughts about it with you.

NEW 3RD EDITION NOW AVAILABLE: Since we did this review, Leslie and Lisa have done a major revision on the book. I have made modifications in the sections below to highlight some of the changes. The major highlights in the latest edition are: DOUBLE the amount of recipes, new and easier-to-use planning charts, and updated information on shelf life, food storage buying tips, water storage, and fuel information.

What I Liked: There is so much that I liked about this book I could fill up pages about it! But here are a few of my favorite things:

  • Very thorough and yet basic information about the long term food storage foods
  • Everything is very well researched and well sourced so I feel like I am getting accurate and safe information
  • Great charts on which months are best to purchase which items, shelf life of foods, lots of planning guides, etc.
  • 200 recipes made ONLY with food storage foods! (New edition contains OVER 400 RECIPES!)
  • Tips on “expanded food storage” to increase the variety in your meals (New edition helps you choose expanded items based on your meal plan for your food storage with easier to use charts)
  • Appendices full of more advanced information

Favorite Tip: When I first read through the book I somehow missed the fact that there were 7 appendices in the back. I got to the section with recipes and figured that was the end. As I was flipping through it again for this review, I noticed them and I was just thrilled. They include everything from gardening/sprouting tips, conversion charts, and rotation ideas to my very favorite thing … alternative cooking methods! This is an area that feels so overwhelming to me and I have been too intimidated to really delve into it thoroughly. This appendix includes many different options of fuel for cooking and discusses safety precautions, proper storage, shelf life, and cooking devices for each one. Seriously, it is 15 pages jam-packed full of great info (27 pages in the new edition).

Feedback: A lot of the bread-type recipes in this book call for “mixes” as one of the ingredients. There are a few basic mixes you can make and store to be used in multiple recipes later. While I am definitely a fan of keeping some some mixes on hand for “emergency” meals, I would also like to try the recipes without using a mix so that I could use fresh ground flour. There is no conversion or easy way to calculate how much of each ingredient to use for a single recipe. (This has been fixed in the new edition, yay! Every recipe that contains a mix has a simple conversion at the end of the recipe for making it without doing the whole mix. This is awesome for if you want to just try it without doing the entire mix batch!)

Summary: For someone who is fairly new to food storage, this book is extremely thorough but is still “user-friendly” for a beginner. For those with some basic knowledge already, the recipes and additional tips and information are invaluable. We found the book available at Amazon.com from time to time, but you can also buy it from Emergency Essentials. I highly recommend it!