Category: Food Storage
StillTasty.com is a great resource for getting average shelf life times for virtually any food item you can imagine. A search allows you to iron down the details to get more specific based on what the items are stored in, and with. Every result has tips regarding storage temperatures, and things to look for that may alert you to be concerned about the item in question.
Growing and drying your own herbs is very rewarding, and will save you money considering many store bought herbs can be pretty expensive.
When drying your herbs start with fresh cuttings, and always remember to wash them off well before starting the drying process of your choice! You never know what kind of little “presents” birds or other little critters decided to leave! For some reason, I occasionally forget to do this, and it can be quite frustrating to realize this after the fact!
Herbs are considered dried completely once leaves crumble easily and the stems should crack in half when bent.
Once your herbs are dry, store them in airtight containers that are labeled and dated, as they are best used within a year. Place them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
Hanging Herbs – Air Drying
Hanging herbs is my preferred method simply because it is the easiest, and doesn’t require the use of electricity, or any special contraptions. Simply bundle and tie the stalks together and hang them in a well ventilated, warm, dark area. Some people prefer to stick them in paper bags with the stalks poking out, but I find that sometimes they don’t dry as fast.
It is important to know that some of the thicker, higher moisture content herbs such as various mints, tarragon, basil, lemon balm, bay leaf, and oregano will mold if they are not dried quickly. With those especially, I suggest the air drying (without the paper bag) approach. It will also help to have them in smaller bundles so airflow and drying can occur quickely.
Drying Herbs with a Dehydrator
Drying herbs in a dehydrator is a pretty quick process taking anywhere from 2 -4 hours, mostly depending on what type of herbs you are drying. Sometimes I do resort to this method if I have a lot of high moisture content herbs to dry to avoid any potential mold issues.
Drying Herbs in an Oven
To dry herbs in an oven, place your herbs flat on a cookie sheet or aluminum foil and heat them for 2 – 4 hours with the oven on Bake at 180 °F. Be sure to leave the oven door cracked open to allow some airflow. Check often and consider flipping them over on occasion.
Drying Herbs in a Microwave Oven
While microwaving is the quickest option, I absolutely do NOT recommend this method. Microwaving herbs kills the nutrient and mineral content, dulling the flavor, and eliminating the oils. Therefore eliminating the great nutrient and medicinal qualities they have to offer.
Here is a great article by LearnToPrepare.com detailing various Types and Sources of Food for Disaster and Emergency Preparedness. Hopefully this helps you to assess a wider ideology at acquiring food before or during times of need.
Provided by “Water Storage Rack” the design and plans for this amazing food storage shelf are free to download. This shelf system is capable of holding water barrels and canned food for long term storage. This is actually a modular system, and the photo includes 4 of them put together.
Shelves are at an angle to allow the cans to roll to the front, and as much water as possible to be accessible from the barrels without the need for removing them from the shelves.
If anything, this will give you some great ideas in the event you decide to make your own food storage shelves.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints offers an incredible preparation resource/manual that should be in every prepper’s reference library. While the manual of course has a heavy religious message, the preparation and food storage information is incredibly valuable.
It is a free download, but an email address is required to download the latest version.
This manual has been prepared for, and is intended to be read primarily by, the active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The contents of this booklet are intended to assist individuals and families in coping with emergency preparations. However, final decisions on preparation for actions taken during an emergency are the sole responsibility of individuals. No one knows your needs or can take care of you better than you can-nor does anyone else have that responsibility. Information and examples contained within this booklet are provided for illustration and advice only. Therefore, no liability is assumed by the Editor or any of the Authors for the use or misuse of any information or products contained in this publication.
This publication has not been endorsed or produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and its contents and the opinions it expresses are those of the Editor and the separate authors. While it should not be construed as an official church publication, effort has been made to ensure that all materials are in accordance with general church guidelines on food storage and family preparedness.
Consider PB2 as an alternative to regular peanut butter! The reasons are plentiful!
PB2 is a product made by Bell Plantation. They do not use GMO peanuts for their powder, it is available in 6.5 ounce jars or 1 pound bags for approximately $6 and $14 respectively. PB2 Peanut powder is created by roasting the peanuts then squeezing most of the oil out. The result is a dry version of the delicious creamy peanut butter we all love. It is a gluten free, kosher product available in plain or chocolate.* I found it in a diabetic specialty store. Keep in mind that in Canada, we seem to have a limited availability of certain products, finding this was a pleasant surprise because I can pick it up without having to pay any shipping charges.
One of my main reasons for purchasing peanut powder was to use in smoothies, I was enticed by the fact that the powder is 85% fat free, so the calorie count per tablespoon is very low. What I had not realized was that it has good long term storage potential, in the peanut it is the oil that generally goes rancid over time. Removing the oil lengthens the shelf life of the peanuts. I now purchase the 1lb bag of regular PB2, since I use it almost every day. I do not buy the chocolate because I keep cocoa powder and if I want chocolate, I just mix that in (think low fat Nutella!) and stir it all until smooth. It is packed with flavour and blends in smoothly.
To prepare the peanut butter, you mix the desired amount of powder with a little water, you mix only what you need to use, or a serving at a time. You can add it in powder form to smoothies, milkshakes, yogurt, and sauces.
Reasons for switching:
- Lower Calorie Count
- No GMO
- Long Term Storage
- Gluten Free
- Easier to work with than conventional Peanut Butter
Nutritional Information – PB2: Powdered Peanut Butter
Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, sugar and salt.
Serving size: 2 Tablespoons (12 grams)
Servings per container: 15
Calories from fat: 13
Value and % Daily Value*
Total fat 1.5 g 3%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Trans fat < 0.01 g
Cholesterol < 0.01 mg 0%
Sodium 94 mg 4%
Total carbohydrate 5 g 2%
Dietary fiber 2 g 8%
Sugars 1 g
Protein 5 g
Vitamin A < 1%
Vitamin C 0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
PB2 is the first peanut powder I have tried so I will have to get a hold of others to compare. Please leave me a comment if you know of other brands, ones you like better, price comparisons etc. Thank you for your input!
Start finding jars now, so that come canning season, you are not paying premium prices for your canning supplies. Garage sales, thrift stores, neighbours getting rid of stuff….all are great for finding your collection. They don’t have to match or be the same type (I have many mason, ball and other no-name ones), and people generally keep the rings with the jars, so you will only need to purchase new lids. When you start, you will have a nice collection to choose from and you will have various sizes to work with.
My name is Viviana, spending life on the thrift, and learning along the way, that is how I do things. Second hand, back alley finds, thrift stores and garage sales, that's where I find the best treasures for everyday life. Re-using, re-purposing, expanding ideas, finding healthy alternatives, and creative living are among the things I hope to share. Hopefully, with a little wisdom and a lot of humour, I will do just that!
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