Whole Grain Banana Muffins

So I got an email from my good friend the other night with a recipe for a muffin recipe she had made that day. She’s a friend who I like to discuss food and food storage with often, so I trust her on food stuff. I had 2 bananas that were on their way to “I WONT EAT THAT, THOSE ARE YUCKY” status so I decided I would make these. I WAS THRILLED with the results. These yummy things don’t have any oil, or white sugar, or white flour in them. She said she got the recipe from Whole Food Mommies. I’m gonna have to dive into that site a little more.

The recipe called for brown rice flour, but I decided to try the Wonder Flour Jodi used in her cookie recipe here.

We found out about wonder flour from Chef Brad. He is the king of grains. Anytime we have a question about grains we check out his site.

How to Make Chef Brad’s “WonderFlour”

1. Measure out 2 cups each of brown rice, pearled barley, and spelt.
2. Pour grains into your favorite wheat grinder (we LOVE our WonderMills!)
3. Use in place of white flour in any recipe, adding about 1/2 cup extra flour per 3 cups of flour called for in the recipe.
4. Enjoy the added fiber and nutrition you are feeding your family, even in delicious treats

Easy Banana Muffins

From Whole Food Mommies

WET INGREDIENTS
1 ½ Ripe Bananas (can use frozen- just allow time to thaw)
½ cup Honey
¾ cup applesauce
1 egg

DRY INGREDIENTS
2 cups brown rice flour (I used Wonderflour combined with some whole wheat flour and I threw some oat groats into my Wondermill just for kicks)
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Optional: Nuts, raisins, dates or dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
Mash the bananas in a bowl and add the remaining wet ingredients until smooth.
Mix the dry ingredients together and fold them into the wet ingredients. Should be light and airy.

Scoop into 12 greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Cream Cheese and Jam Cookies made with HEALTHY White Flour

Over the last few years we have become very comfortable using our food storage wheat. In fact we “rotate” through it in our everyday cooking so much that we are constantly having to replenish our storage to keep our “year supply” full. The only problem we’ve had is that wheat flour is just not that awesome in certain treats. It’s easy to substitute it for all-purpose flour in breads, pancakes, pizza dough, etc., or even in cookies and cakes that have strong flavors like chocolate or pumpkin in them … But make a sugar cookie with wheat flour and you might just cry a little. Even all the butter and sugar can’t “save” it ;) Well we recently stumbled across a recipe for a HEALTHY “white flour substitute” developed by Chef Brad that can be used in ANY recipe calling for white flour with fantastic results (although he says he still uses wheat flour for any yeast bread recipes). He calls it WonderFlour and it really is wonderful.

How to Make Chef Brad’s “WonderFlour”

1. Measure out 2 cups each of brown rice, pearled barley, and spelt.
2. Pour grains into your favorite wheat grinder (we LOVE our WonderMills!)
3. Use in place of white flour in any recipe, adding about 1/2 cup extra flour per 3 cups of flour called for in the recipe.
4. Enjoy the added fiber and nutrition you are feeding your family, even in delicious treats ;)

Sugar Cookies Made With WonderFlour

So for Valentine’s Day my husband got me the Our Best Bites cookbook that I have been wanting for-EVER. Tonight we wanted to make a little Sunday night treat so I told my son he could pick any treat recipe in the book and I’d make it. He chose these Cream Cheese and Jam Cookies which I of course didn’t object to. I followed their sugar cookie recipe exactly except substituted the WonderFlour mixture for the 3 cups of flour. They were DELICIOUS and worked just great! My picture isn’t as cute as theirs, but I bet my cookies were just as yummy :)

The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 2 (WEDNESDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency, or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, or spending any money for the entire 7 days! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

You just discovered that you have some kind of allergy to an unknown preservative. Since you aren’t able to isolate what it is exactly, you now need to avoid ALL preservatives and start cooking all of your food from scratch. This includes making a loaf of bread. Remember, no going to the store. **A little rule of thumb: you have to know where the ingredient comes from, and be able to pronounce the ingredients on any canned item you use (meaning a can of tomatoes is ok, but not a can of spaghetti sauce)**


Today’s Tasks:

  • Cook breakfast from scratch
  • Cook lunch from scratch
  • Cook dinner from scratch
  • Bake a loaf of homemade bread
  • Print out some of your favorite recipes to use in case the internet is down during an emergency

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Do not use ANY pre-packaged or convenience-type foods. No mixes, boxed cereals, canned soups or sauces etc. If you can’t pronounce all the ingredients and say where it came from, it’s probalby a NO go.
  • Do not buy or borrow ingredients. Use only what you have stored.

Advanced Tasks:

  • Make a delicious dessert from scratch.
  • Plan an entire week worth of meals you could make out of your current food supplies.
  • Do some research on the health benefits of eating less preservatives.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT.
How long would you have lasted under these conditions?

 


Make sure your fill out today’s Report Card to see how well you did, to keep track of areas you can improve, to remember things you need to do, and things you need to buy. Use the data to make a game plan to take you to the next level of preparedness, whatever that may be.

The "Food Storage" Diet

My baby will be 7 weeks old tomorrow. Wow does time fly. As any mom knows, losing the baby weight can be quite a torturous process. I knew I didn’t want to go on some sort of crazy fad diet to lose the weight, so I decided to go with just eating healthy and exercising. That means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat (i.e. chicken). Basically no processed foods, very little fat, and no refined sugar … if you know my love of treats this basically equals NO FUN! ;) But he was worth it! And the best part is I am using TONS of food storage while I’m at it.

While this “diet” is very healthy, it can also be a bit of a pain to prepare the foods. But I’m going to show you a few tricks I’ve learned to make it easier to follow, and super easy to stick with even on busy days when you aren’t at home to cook the food. And the bonus part is, it uses lots of food storage, yay!

Whole Grains

I have started keeping a bucket of wheat, rice, and oatmeal upstairs because I’m going through them so quickly. I make two loaves of whole wheat bread (click here for my favorite recipe) every few days and my family has started snarfing it up. I should be grateful that they love the healthy food but then I have to keep making it more often. At least it’s really cheap since I grind my own wheat! I’ve also started cooking up big batches of brown rice in my pressure cooker and storing it in 1 cup baggies in the fridge. This has been an awesome way to always have a healthy side dish on hand.

Fruits and Veggies

I have been using my favorite service Deals to Meals to find the best deals on produce and stock up. If the foods look like they may go bad soon I just stick them in the freezer. Usually I can make the freezer foods last until stuff goes on sale again. Sweet! (To see how easy it is to use deals to meals for product, check out this post)

Chicken

I am choosing to avoid red meat and cheesy/pasta dishes for now, but I still make some of our normal family favorites for dinner. So I have started cooking up large batches of chicken in the pressure cooker and keeping it in 4 ounce baggies in the fridge. It’s so easy for me to pull out a baggie and stick it on a salad for a healthy dinner, while my family can still enjoy a good spaghetti dinner. I like to consider frozen meat as part of my three month supply so preparing this in bulk is great for that.

Pressure Cooking

Here is my confession, until a few weeks ago I was AFRAID to use my pressure cooker. Seriously! But I could never make my brown rice turn out very yummy so I decided to give it a whirl. Well I am officially in love. The rice turns out perfect and chewy and delicious every time. And the chicken … oh the chicken. Tender, moist, and cooks in such a short time. After eating plain chicken on a george foreman for a few weeks the pressure cooker chicken in marinades are divine.

How to Use a Pressure Cooker for Rice and Chicken

The Finished Product

I accidentally had to eat some of the chicken after working so hard to prepare it all :)

Garlic Lemon Chicken Recipe

2 lbs thawed chicken
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup lemon juice
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp. thyme

Mix all the marinade ingredients up and pour in a gallon ziplock bag along with the chicken. Marinate for 15-20 minutes and then cook in the pressure cooker according to your cooker’s directions.

Our Favorite Pressure Cooker

Cuisinart CPC-600 1000-Watt 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker, Brushed Stainless and Matte Black
Reduce time spent in the kitchen preparing meals with the help of this 6-quart electric pressure cooker–it cuts cooking times up to 70-percent when compared to traditional stovetop cooking methods. The unit traps steam inside, which builds up pressure to create hotter temperatures, and its tight seal locks in heat, moisture, and flavor, as well as vitamins and minerals for exceptionally healthy, great-tasting meals like soup, chili, and other one-dish entrees. For safety, the cooker must be fully locked for pressure to build, and it will remain locked until the pressure inside drops to zero. It is so easy to use and we LOVE it!


Waffles, Wondermills, Webs

This week, we’re extending the Extreme Food Storage Makeover to Grandma Lori’s daughter Jasmine! She is Jodi’s little sister, and Julie’s sister-in-law. Jasmine has always been into cooking. She has made her own little recipe book and everything. When she kept hearing her big sisters talk about how whole grains are healthier, she wanted to learn about it… Since the Wondermills are on sale for the summer, Grandma Lori took advantage and bought one so now we get to share some fun recipes with the family.

If you’re new to this project, visit our Grandma Lori Makeover Page for the full scoop, and see the journey as it has progressed so far.

Watch the video as Julie shows Jasmine how to grind wheat, and other grains to make Jasmines regular waffle recipe, a delicious multi-grain version. Jasmine might even have a future on the Food Network – who knows? Oh and please excuse the guest appearance from SPIDERMAN himself. Yes it’s last years Halloween outfit he has worn daily since -luckily he didn’t shoot webs into our food.

Here is the Recipe Jasmine used. The ingredients in the brackets are halved, so she can make small batches for herself and her friends.

Waffles
1 ¾ c. flour (1/2 cup + 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp.)
1 tbsp. baking powder (1/2 tbsp.)
½ tsp. salt (1/4 tsp.)
2 c. milk (1 cup)
1/3 c. oil (2 ½ tbsp.) -replace with unsweetened applesauce for low-fat option
2 eggs ( 1 egg)
Mix all ingredients with electric mixer. Pour batter into waffle maker and cook until done.

Stay tuned as we keep showing our family some fun recipes using their food storage!


Grains, Facebook, and a Guessing GAME!

As I’ve been learning more about healthy food storage I’ve ventured into learning more about different types of grains. I can’t help but laugh at myself sometimes because only 2 years ago I didn’t even know what wheat looked like.

A few weeks ago, I tried Quinoa for the first time, it’s a grain that is high in protein and super yummy! I ate it plain and decided to ask on our Facebook page, how you guys, our readers ate it. The response was awesome… We got 29 responses with ideas, links to recipes, tips on places to buy it cheaper and more. Here is just a little screen shot of some of the responses:

Seriously – if you’re not on our facebook page you should be. We have great discussions, get questions answered, and do facebook only giveaways (merely because it’s SO easy to do there, and all you have to do to enter is hit a “like” button).


Anyways, back to grains. I’m sure I don’t have to mention eating WHOLE grains is so GOOD for you! Check out this little display we bring to classes we teach. We got it from Pleasant Hill Grain. It shows how many of the GOOD parts of wheat are EXTRACTED when turning whole wheat flour to white flour. The process essentially removes all that is good…. sob.


So on my journey to learn about more grains this summer (more then just wheat, rice and oats), I decided to invite you along and make a fun little game of it. I have purchased a bunch of grains already that I have been grinding in my WonderMill (Click here to buy – They are on sale for the summer!). I have used all types of grains, barley, millet, sweet brown rice in pancakes, breads and pizza dough. It’s been really fun.


So here’s the game. Here are 10 pictures of different grains. Just for kicks – if you want, send us an email, leave a comment, or even jot down on a piece of paper your guesses as to WHAT each one of them are. I’ll post the answers in a couple weeks after you have had a chance to guess. After that… Ready, Set, Go – I’ll be telling you how I’m “throwing” them into my recipes :)

ANSWERS

1 – barley
2 – popcorn
3 – rye
4 – brown rice
5 – hard white wheat
6 – oatmeal
7 – quinoa
8 – millet
9 – sweet brown rice
10 – spelt

Healthy Food Storage Workshop

So here’s the report of the Healthy Food Storage Class I went to that I told you about a couple weeks ago in this post.

I learned so much! It brought back memories of when I first started food storage. I was a little overwhelmed, but this time I know through BabySteps I can slowly implement the things that I choose. So here’s a little disclaimer, this is not necessarily for everyone right now! I’m on a personal journey of trying to change some of the foods I eat. By doing this- I have to think about food storage a little differently. Since some of you asked to hear about what I learned I’m sharing this…

The speaker was Yvonne Salcido, who was from the School of Natural Healing. When she started speaking I felt excited as she seemed vibrant, and looked healthy. She started by giving some of her basic guidelines for eating. It’s amazing the more you learn about nutrition, the more some of this stuff keeps repeating itself. Anyways, here they were:

-Eat Foods in Wholesome State
-Study Nutrition and Herbs
-Avoid toxic habit forming habits
-Fresh is Best
-Staff of Life (wheat, soaked and sprouted)
-Eat in the Season thereof

After she talked about that, she gave us a little TREASURE! This is something I’ve been searching for and developing in my mind lately. When this slide came up, I did a little shout for joy! THE WORK HAS BEEN DONE. She gave a little calculator of what to store for “optimally healthy” food storage. I asked her if I could share it, and she said yes, so here it is….

300 lbs Organic Wheat
155 lbs Other Grains
50 lbs Nuts
50 lbs Seeds
75 lbs Organic Beans
60 lbs Raw Honey
20 lbs Oil (coconut oil, olive oil, wheat germ oil)
10 lbs Salt (real salt)
60 lbs Sprout Mix
5 lbs Seed Sprout mix
Garden Seeds (non hybrid)
Spices

Then she talked more about sprouts. The University of Utah did a study to find out the highest vitamin per storage space kinds of food you can store. The answer was…. SPROUTS. They came up with a mixture (that I couldn’t write down fast enough) but I’ll do a little digging and try to find it. I have a mix called Pro-Vita mix I got at a store called Kitchen Kneads, and I think it might be the same thing.

Next up was a topic we have never covered and I think we need to talk a little bit more about. Yvonne suggested we store herbs for medicinal purposes and then went through a bunch of different kinds of herbs you can store that help with different ailments etc. The first one she talked about was cayenne, which is good for circulation, and can stop bleeding etc. She then talked about a lot more that I wrote down, and couldn’t take notes fast enough on. I was really interested, but must admit I felt like I could have used about 10 hours of info on that stuff instead of 20 mins. I’m going to learn more about it, but in the mean time, know that its out there and start learning about it, if you feel ready and think its a good fit (Like I mentioned before these are just my notes- I don’t know much about this yet, you need to do your due diligence, research, and speak with your doctors about medications, and potential interactions with herbs).

So anyways, those are the notes I took. I know some of you readers were there because I recognized some of you from facebook :). If I missed anything feel free to comment or shoot us an email. We’re all in this together!


Blasts from the Past: The Healthy Food Storage Discovery

As we have been discussing some of the things Jodi and I have learned over the last 2 years of blogging about food storage, my favorite thing has been somewhat of an unexpected thing. I know I’ve been harping on this a lot lately, but it really excites me that food storage can be healthy. I really had no idea how many hidden treasures of knowledge I would gain on this journey.

When we first started, I told Jodi there was no way I would even store beans because they were to hard to soak, cook, and use. I said I would stick to tuna for protein and call it good. Who knew I would be the biggest fan of all things beans just 2 years later. I love using them to make a way healthy cream of chicken soup, to put in all sorts of recipes, and to eat as a healthy side.


Another really great benefit to having, and USING food storage is the ability to control quantities of salts and sugar or honey in homemade foods. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a sucker for a good chocolate covered, chocolate donut on Saturday nights – but being able to stay away from preservatives, additives, and excessive amounts of sugar in homemade cooking has been a great side effect.


Lately I’ve been on a little bit of a grain kick too! Did you know that SOOOOO many products out there these days that claim to be “Whole Grain” really aren’t, or are merely sprinkled with a little bit of whole grain. It’s kind of unfortunate that these things are so misrepresented, but that’s a whole other blog post… What is exciting is trying out new grains. I have gotten to a point where I feel like I have wheat, brown rice, and oats fairly under control. Now I’m learning about and using millet, barley, quinoa and a few other grains I had never heard of. Its really fun and exciting and it’s really expanding my repertoire. I can’t wait to share more of what I learn. In fact just the other day, I asked people how they used quinoa on our facebook fan page, and got almost 30 comments with ideas, suggestions and even recipes. I LOVE YOU GUYS!



Healthy Food Storage, Book Review, Conference Discount

Julie doesn’t normally ramble… but when “Healthy Food Storage” is the topic- she does. Keep reading, the end is the best!

Remember our “Why Food Storage?” series we did awhile back. Lately I have been learning a LOT about two of the reasons for Food Storage that would surprise you. It’s not the natural disasters, economic, or even every day reasons. What I’m learning about more lately is the health benefits and religious reasons but it’s shocking to me how intertwined they actually are!

In our series we mentioned that the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints counsels it’s members to build a food storage. On our facebook discussion page, we were thrilled to hear from readers who are not members of the LDS church who likewise have been encouraged by their faith to be more prepared.

For those unfamiliar with the LDS faith the church also counsels it’s members to live by a “Word of Wisdom”. A lot of people know the Word of Wisdom to be abstaining from alcohol, cigarettes and other harmful substances. What a lot of people don’t know however is it also has nutrition guidelines. The doctrine states to eat fruits in their season, eat meat sparingly, and that grain is the staff of life. Whether members or not, these are some great guidelines.

In an attempt to eat more aligned with these guidelines I have been learning so much about healthy eating and I’m so excited to share them with you – but one thing at a time – first up is this cookbook.

“A World Of Wisdom” by Amy Cox Jones is a cookbook full of recipes organized seasonally! She goes through each season, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring (and has a year round section) and gives you recipes for meals that use foods that are in season. Not only is this cost effective, but it also is good for you – did you know that a lot of foods provide you with certain nutrients that are needed for that time of year. She also gives you tips on how to start eating healthier.

What I liked most about this cook book is that I actually know what the ingredients are! Often times healthy cookbooks have all these ingredients that intimidate me. She also uses wheat berries in some of the recipes – which is great for people without grinders. Oh and there is a section on basics with milks, sauces, and dressings that are healthy and easy to make! Here is a recipe Amy told me was one of her family favorites (it’s “healthy” for a dessert at least):

1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of almond butter
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips
3 1/2 cup whole grain cereal (like crispy brown rice, puffed wheat etc)

Combine honey and nut butters in a large pan and heat on low until melted. Add vanilla. Separately combine cereal and chocolate chips. Pour cereal mixture into honey mixture and stir well to coat. Pack tightly into a 7 x 11 pan, cool and cut into squares. You may have to adjust cereal measurement to get the bar consistency just right.

To learn more about the book and to order, go to the website or order directly from Amazon.com.

While I have loved going through Amy’s book, and her site… I am even more excited about an LDS Holistic Living conference she is organizing. I mentioned on our Facebook how excited I was about this conference because one of the classes is a HEALTHY FOOD STORAGE CLASS! Let’s be honest, I know how to make tons of cakes, and cookies with my storage, but there is still a lot to learn about some of the healthier sides of food storage. Other classes include: homeopathic 72 hour kit, the hows and whys of backyard egg production, essential oils, vaccination, understanding herbal meds, cold is the cure, pain relief w/out meds.

I will be there and think you should be too! The website for the conference is here. The early bird registration expired yesterday, but she’s going to let OUR READERS still in for the early bird price (which is $47 instead of $60). To get this price, after you click submit on the registration page – there is a link that says “click here if you have a coupon” – It will ask for a password. The password is: nogreenjellohere (no spaces). Once you’ve put the password in, you’ll get to the payment page.

*Please Note: We are not affiliated with the conference – or the cookbook – I just am that excited about all the new stuff I’m learning! (We do make a tiny commission if you purchase the book through our Amazon link though)


Introducing Food Storage Into Your Diet

One of the main reasons we kept procrastinating on starting our food storage was because we had no idea how we would actually use it once we had it. Both of us had watched several family members build large collections of food that were never touched. Some people think that it is ok to just learn some recipes to make with your food storage so you can cook in a crisis, but we have been learning some interesting facts about how that is not a great approach.

If you are not used to eating “survival foods”, they can be a real shock to your system if you rapidly switch to a diet that consists of only food storage items. Times of emergency are challenging enough, it’s not good to add the additional stress of a complete diet change into the mix. This is especially important for small children who won’t necessarily understand what’s going on. So hopefully your food storage doesn’t look like this – unopened, stashed in the basement, hiding from your kitchen.

stas

Once you decide to start incorporating food storage into your everyday cooking, you should do so gradually or your family may get sick. Wheat and beans are high in fiber and if introduced too quickly can give your body a fiber overload and cause you to not feel so well when you eat those foods. Here are some ways you can add these foods to your diet slowly so your family has time to get used to them.

slow

1. Start cooking from scratch and add little bits at a time and gradually increase it. This can work well for making bread. Start with only 1/4 of the flour being whole wheat flour. Work your way up to 100% whole wheat over the course of a few months.

2. Use food storage foods 1-2 times per week. Gradually increase this number over a few months. This works well for foods like beans. You can use dried beans in a few meals a week without your family getting tired of them or having adverse reactions.

3. Try your food storage items in desserts. This is a tip from Crystal over at Everyday Food Storage. By introducing them in desserts you can build up your family’s tolerance for new foods.

alt

If you have a wheat allergy, please make sure to review our post about Alternatives to Wheat for Food Storage, and if you don’t have a wheat grinder, view our post called 7 Ways to Use Wheat Without a Grinder. Between those two posts there should be some tricks for everyone to be able to start incorporating their wheat and other foods into their diet on a regular basis.