Today we’re talking about using your Food Storage in your every day cooking and recipes. This is important so you know how to use them, and it’s actually surprising how convenient some food storage items can be in everyday cooking. Do you have a favorite food blog you love to go to and drool over all their recipes? Lately we’ve been trying tons of recipes from the blog Our Best Bites. Have you been there? You’re MISSING OUT if you haven’t. Anyways, since we’ve found ourselves cooking a lot of their recipes, and since we tend to rely heavily on our food storage, it’s been very natural for us to substitute typical food storage items all over the place in their recipes.
We thought it would be fun to share with you how we’ve used typical food storage items in some “Our Best Bite” recipes so you can see how easy it is to use your food storage. We encourage you to do this with your own recipes, and recipes from your favorite recipe blog. We recommend only substituting one ingredient at a time, so you can isolate variables, in case something doesn’t turn out right the first time.
DISCLAIMER: We take pictures with our iphones AND we haven’t mastered the art of making food look so darn cute. Don’t let our amateur photos trick you into thinking the food isn’t yummy! Also, READ until the end for a chance to win your very own “Our Best Bites” cookbook.
Item Substituted: Whole Wheat
If a recipe calls for white flour, you can usually substitute it for whole wheat flour. If you’re nervous about the recipe turning out tasting too “wheaty” than you can use half white flour, half whole wheat flour. Also – did you know that hard white wheat tastes more like white flour, than hard red wheat. Learn more about wheat here. It’s best to use wheat flour when you can disguise it in recipes using brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, or recipes that use fruit or vegetables, such as bananas, applesauce, carrots, or zucchini in breads, cakes and cookies. Julie’s sister is actually the one who did the recipe substitution in this recipe. Our Best Bites had used some pre-made white flour tortillas, but since she had some left-over whole wheat tortillas she had made from wheat she ground in her Wondermill she thought- hey why not try it? When something is covered in chocolate, strawberries, and whip cream, you can definitely get away with using whole wheat flour. Jodi also made the infamous nachos using her Sun Oven. Check out her video here.
Item Substituted: Powdered Milk
Powdered milk is one of those ingredients that people shy away from. We recommend you start using it in cooking. Julie’s family doesn’t drink milk, so it can be annoying when she wants to make a recipe that calls for milk and she doesn’t have it. You can use powdered milk in smoothies, baking, dressings, puddings, and anything else that calls for milk. The BEST part of using powdered milk in baking is that you can use it to make buttermilk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk – those very things you never REALLY have on hand. For more about powdered milk, see our post here. Julie used Our Best Bite’s Buttermilk Ranch dressing recipe when one day she had a brilliant idea of making a pizza she THOUGHT used alfredo sauce as the sauce. When she opened the recipe, she was surprised it used ranch. She had no ranch – or buttermilk. Well powdered milk came to her rescue and the pizza was delicious!
Item Substituted: Powdered Butter
It’s no secret around here that Jodi and Julie LOVE Cadbury Mini Eggs…like REALLY love them. When we saw this recipe on Our Best Bites we knew we had to try it. Jodi thought since she had tried powdered butter in cookies before, why not try again. Don’t worry, she wouldn’t have ruined a cookie with a Cadbury mini-egg on a first try attempt. While it’s hard to get the consistency of powdered butter just like real butter for spreading purposes, it actually works great in a lot of baking and cooking, just make sure to follow the directions for your brand of butter..
Item Substituted: Freeze Dried Chicken
So Julie had been wanting to try some freeze dried meat for a long time, but every time she went to try it, her husband caught her and said “Don’t ruin the recipe with that!” Well last week she was browsing Our Best Bites site and saw this Asian BBQ Chicken Pizza. It inspired her to try the freeze dried chicken, on a chicken garlic pizza she had been wanting to make. While she got the sauce and other toppings on the pizza, she reconstituted the chicken in water then threw it on the pizza fast and baked it. VICTORY! Her husband loved the pizza and didn’t even know- well at least until she said “I TOLD YOU SO” he didn’t know. When it comes to everyday cooking, freeze dried or canned chicken can be a great substitute for when you need meat in a hurry.. Since it can be more expensive to buy, or time consuming to make (see how Jodi cans her chicken here), we don’t use it all the time, however it is good to test some of these things out so you know how they work in recipes if the time comes that you may need to use them.
Item Substituted: Powdered Eggs
Before you get all grossed out, we’re not trying to convince you to make an omelet out of powdered eggs. We love to use powdered eggs in baking. When you use any powdered items like eggs, milk, sour cream, etc. in baking, you add the liquid needed to the liquid in the recipe, and the powder to the dry ingredients. Jodi has used powdered eggs in her baking and multiple pancake recipes including Our Best Bite’s Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes. (She also used whole wheat in these and they were totally delicious still!) To learn more about using powdered eggs see our here. While powdered eggs work great, she’s still pretty excited that her chickens are now laying eggs so she can use THEM as part of her “food storage”
Item Substituted: Freeze-Dried/Dehydrated Vegetables
One of the biggest perks of using freeze-dried or dehydrated vegetables in cooking is the time it saves you from chopping. Our favorite freeze-dried vegetables to use from our food storage are carrots, celery, and onions. These are found in tons of soup recipes, and it’s so nice to just throw them in there. No more chopping, or having your veggies go bad if you don’t get to them fast enough. Jodi recently made Our Best Bites stew and threw in some carrots, onions, and celery plus some red potatoes she JUST picked from her garden. Easy and delicious. She usually adds a little bit more water to her soup/stew recipes when substituting a lot of dehydrated or freeze-dried foods.
Item Substituted: Freeze-Dried Fruits
Substituting freeze dried fruits in recipes is another one of those things you can do when you are out of something. Freeze-Dried fruits act just like regular fruits in all sorts of foods after you have reconstituted them. We put freeze dried fruits in smoothies, muffins, dressings, oatmeal, pancakes and so much moer. In fact, our kids LOVE eating freeze dried fruits straight out of the can, and they are a great replacement for fruit snacks that are full of sugar. This recipe from Our Best Bites calls for strawberries, and since you may not always have fresh strawberries on hand, you can use freeze dried. Don’t forget to account for the moisture lost in freeze drying when adding fruit to recipes. Either reconstitute them first, or add water to the recipe. The first time Julie made this recipe she forgot to account for the liquid she needed to reconstitute the strawberries. The dressing was too thick and she couldn’t figure out why. The next day, she said do herself … “WELL DUH”. The next time she made it, it turned out perfect.
Item Substituted: Sour Cream Powder
Has this ever happened to you? You think to yourself, “Oh that recipe calls for sour cream – I’m pretty sure I have some in the fridge….” You then proceed to get half way through the recipe, open up the sour cream, and discover it’s way sour- like expired sour? Powdered sour cream is another food storage item that is great for everyday cooking. Julie got a HUGE zucchini from her garden and what better way to use up zucchini than zucchini bread. Our Best Bites has a CHOCOLATE zucchini bread recipe that calls for sour cream. Not only did Julie use powdered sour cream instead, she also did whole wheat flour she ground in her WonderMill.
Item Substituted: Dry Beans
So often it’s easy to grab a can of beans and throw them in recipes. If you can master the art of cooking dry beans though, you can use them in so many recipes and they are cheaper and contain no additives or preservatives. You can also freeze cooked dry beans, and then still feel like you have the convenience of opening up a can. Just cook a big batch and put them in individual ziploc bags. Cooking dry beans with an electric pressure cooker makes cooking dry beans so FAST and EASY! (see how Julie does her beans here.) Our Best Bites has a white chicken chili recipe. Julie had been wanting to try it forever, and after getting around to getting some coriander, she tried it using dry beans she pressure cooked. She also snuck some freeze dried chicken in it too!