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Peas and Carrots!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Once a month, from Friday supper through Monday breakfast I practice cooking and existing on preps. alone. The basic premise is that the refrigerator and freezer do not exist (except for ice for drinks.) I make a point to not cook just from canned foods but to work a variety of my stored foods and types of foods into the weekend. My reasoning is that I already know how to open a can of spaghettios, what I need to explore is how to make the dry goods - grains, beans, freeze-dried, and dehydrated foods the most useful and the least likely to make my family pretend they didn't hear me call them to the table. :)

I love to cook, have a pretty good variety of stored foods, and am a born "fiddler." I love to work with things and see how I can best utilize them.

The reason for this post? I thought I'd try to document the use of some of the stored foods that people might not be used to preparing so we can increase our abilities (nothing helps learning quite like having to admit to someone else what you are doing. :)) I also will, over time, be using different cooking methods so we can explore some of those ideas. For people who might be less adventurous it might be an opportunity to work through some questions you have.

I realize that many of you have been doing this sort of thing since right before dirt was born, but there are many more who are new and just learning or maybe just not thwarted mad scientists. :)

My BIG question:
Are there any particular foods, food types, cooking methods that any of you are interested in exploring together? I'm game for most anything (excluding insects) and if I dont' happen to have the particular type of stored food you are interested in, I can get it for the next month's experiment.

Any ideas? What do you have stored that you aren't sure you can make good use of? I can't guarantee I'll be really good at it, but I can guarantee I'll give it a whirl and we'll see what we can learn.

Mel
 

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This should be a great thread!

At least once a week we make a large SHTF meal in one of our dutch ovens. (typically the #12). I am always encouraged what we can do with the rice/beans/pasta/lentils and the spices.

The only rules are we have to get the water from the creek or rain barrel and run it through the berkey and cook it in the fire ring using firewood or on the indoor wood stove.
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is going to be a great thread. I can't wait to see what you do with all of the various foods.

I'll start with a suggestion for tomato powder. I have some stored but haven't used it yet.

One kind of cooking I'm interested in is using a 'hay box'. Do you use anything similar to that?
I am a tomato-holic so tomato powder is on for this month. :D:

Confession: I have never cooked using a hay box, but I should, I really should. It won't be this month but I'll try for December or January's round and in the meantime, work on upping my understanding of hay box cooking. :)

Thanks for responding. I'm looking forward to this.
Mel
 

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Premium Member
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This is going to be a great thread. I can't wait to see what you do with all of the various foods.

I'll start with a suggestion for tomato powder. I have some stored but haven't used it yet.

One kind of cooking I'm interested in is using a 'hay box'. Do you use anything similar to that?
I'm a tomato powder junkie. I would use it even if I wasn't into preparedness. It tastes SO much better than any of the canned stuff, is versatile in that you can make juice, sauce and even paste out of it, and works out cheaper than canned if you look around for the best price.

I've dabbled with thermal retention cooking on and off over the years. It works great for long simmering foods. But for beans and such, requires pretty efficient insulation, as they tend to need higher temperatures longer. At least the larger ones like pintos do. You can also cook in high quality small mouth thermoses. I use Stanley Aladdins. The wide mouths lose heat too quick for some foods.
 

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I'm a tomato powder junkie. I would use it even if I wasn't into preparedness. It tastes SO much better than any of the canned stuff, is versatile in that you can make juice, sauce and even paste out of it, and works out cheaper than canned if you look around for the best price.
I agree 100%. We no longer buy paste, puree, sauce or ketchup. Tomato powder is so much better. :thumb:

Question Mel,
Do you want input regarding things some of us have done (With complete instructions) Or just suggestions, so you can mold how this thread moves forward? :)
 

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My BIG question:
Are there any particular foods, food types, cooking methods that any of you are interested in exploring together? I'm game for most anything (excluding insects) and if I dont' happen to have the particular type of stored food you are interested in, I can get it for the next month's experiment.

Any ideas? What do you have stored that you aren't sure you can make good use of? I can't guarantee I'll be really good at it, but I can guarantee I'll give it a whirl and we'll see what we can learn.

Mel
Mel, have you done much dabbling with alternative uses for things like beans and grains? I mean like baking with bean flour, or making stuff with rice flour.

I think a lot of us get caught up in thinking "grind wheat into flour and make bread" or "bean soup" and tend to look past the huge number of other possible ways to use our various staple foods.

I've seen a few good recipes here, but not much actual discussion.
 

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It seems like everyone practices what they eat, when my home town West Liberty, KY got destroyed by a tornado last year as I was down in the basement with the roof removed the last thing I was thinking of was the canned food next to me and actually the following days I didn't eat without the thought of food while now a days seems like I'm starving before lunch on a daily basis.

Point of my terrible write up is that plan for things other than just what to eat. They'll be a lot of other problems to handle while eating comes pretty natural.
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree 100%. We no longer buy paste, puree, sauce or ketchup. Tomato powder is so much better. :thumb:

Question Mel,
Do you want input regarding things some of us have done (With complete instructions) Or just suggestions, so you can mold how this thread moves forward? :)
I have no vanity or ownership of this thread. :) My only request is if people post what they have done, they do include instructions and not mind if people have questions. :D: If you have something to contribute, please, please do so. :)

My goal is for anyone who looks at it to possibly be able to pick up something they can use, leave the rest and maybe some of us will be more comfortable with ways we can use our preps.
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mel, have you done much dabbling with alternative uses for things like beans and grains? I mean like baking with bean flour, or making stuff with rice flour.

I think a lot of us get caught up in thinking "grind wheat into flour and make bread" or "bean soup" and tend to look past the huge number of other possible ways to use our various staple foods.

I've seen a few good recipes here, but not much actual discussion.
I have done a little with bean flour, but need to expand more in that area. I use a lot of corn meal, corn flour, and also use oat flour, tapioca flour, rice flour, amaranth flour, and potato flour pretty regularly.

I think we are limiting ourselves with our grains, seeds, and beans just because it is easy to stick with the familiar.

This is definitely an area to explore. I grew up with beans being "a pot of beans" possibly with a couple of pieces of bacon chopped up in it. I have, to this day, never served "a pot of beans" to my family. There are so many other ways to use them, add other ingredients and make them delicious.

There are even desserts. My favorite brownie recipe is made with black beans instead of flour. :)
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It seems like everyone practices what they eat, when my home town West Liberty, KY got destroyed by a tornado last year as I was down in the basement with the roof removed the last thing I was thinking of was the canned food next to me and actually the following days I didn't eat without the thought of food while now a days seems like I'm starving before lunch on a daily basis.

Point of my terrible write up is that plan for things other than just what to eat. They'll be a lot of other problems to handle while eating comes pretty natural.
You are right. In the midst of a crisis, the last thing you need to be having to do is haul out the grain grinder and start making food from scratch. That is the time to have plenty of prepared foods on hand. Whether it is purchased or home canned foods, dehydrated foods that can be quickly prepared, there are many options for the during crisis meals when your focus is usually on securing your home, your family and your safety.

This focus is more on cooking beyond those first crisis days or if the problem is not disaster-related but perhaps another kind of personal disaster - financial, job loss, etc. When the stored foods we have, whether home grown or commercially purchased, come into play some of them require different cooking methods. Some of our cooking methods themselves will be different.
 

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It seems like everyone practices what they eat, when my home town West Liberty, KY got destroyed by a tornado last year as I was down in the basement with the roof removed the last thing I was thinking of was the canned food next to me and actually the following days I didn't eat without the thought of food while now a days seems like I'm starving before lunch on a daily basis.

Point of my terrible write up is that plan for things other than just what to eat. They'll be a lot of other problems to handle while eating comes pretty natural.
Thats why prepping in layers is handy. MREs and freeze dried foods are simple ways to fill the stomach without much work, when you're busy working on other priorities. Then comes canned goods that can be made into more variety with a little work. At the other end of the spectrum are the long term foods and basic ingredients. They give you a lot of versatility, but require more effort to use.
 

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I have 100 pints of pinto beans I canned last year because they seemed to be getting bitter. I've eaten quite a lot of them but I'm kinda burned out on em. I need to dress them up with something.

Also have perhaps 70 quarts of canned kale I processed season befor last. I can't bring myself to eat that anymore ether.

Also what is the best method for using dehydrated mixed veggies? I've dehydrated over 100 pounds of them when I catch them on sale. Generally best use I've found has been in stew.

Next year I plan on canning whole bluegill (minus heads, scales, and innards)
 

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Gypsy in the Midwest
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Mel, have you done much dabbling with alternative uses for things like beans and grains? I mean like baking with bean flour, or making stuff with rice flour.

I think a lot of us get caught up in thinking "grind wheat into flour and make bread" or "bean soup" and tend to look past the huge number of other possible ways to use our various staple foods.

I've seen a few good recipes here, but not much actual discussion.
I'm gluten-free. Thus rice flour, oat flour, tapioca flour, garbanzo bean flour, cornstarch and potato flakes (used as potato flour) are things I cook with normally.
I'd love to see more alternative uses also.

(For the tomato powder dish... consider a gluten-free gnocchi. Easy to make with dehydrated eggs, rice flour, cornstarch, & potato flakes. :thumb: )
 

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I'm gluten-free. Thus rice flour, oat flour, tapioca flour, garbanzo bean flour, cornstarch and potato flakes (used as potato flour) are things I cook with normally.
I'd love to see more alternative uses also.

(For the tomato powder dish... consider a gluten-free gnocchi. Easy to make with dehydrated eggs, rice flour, cornstarch, & potato flakes. :thumb: )
I'm not gluten free. But one thing I have noticed is the creativity in gluten free recipes. Things I hadn't even considered. This is going to be a new area of research for me, as it allows for more versatility to the other staples I have stored.
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Tomato Powder Reconstitution

Some of the things mentioned in the thread so far are things we can address now. There are lots of ways to use tomato powder in cooking and we'll look at some of those, but to start off, here are some easy ways to turn tomato powder into a form we are used to seeing, tomato paste, tomato sauce, tomato juice and ketchup. Most of these recipes came from MTEdith, a member who's recipes I have enjoyed very much. I recap them here.

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Tomato Powder


The secret to reconstitute tomato powder: pinch of salt, ¼ teaspoon citric acid per 2 cups of warm water.

Paste: yield 2 1/4 cups
Combine 3/4 cup tomato powder
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp citric acid

Sauce: yield 2 1/8 cups
Combine 1/2 cup tomato powder
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp citric acid

Juice: tiny bit over 2 cups
Combine 1/8 cup tomato powder
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp citric acid

Tomato Ketchup
If you use Tomato powder, start making the paste (ratio 2 parts water/1 part powder)

Ingredients for the Ketchup (makes about 1 1/2 cups)

6 ounce tomato paste
1/2 cup light syrup or honey
1/2 cup white Vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Give all ingredients in a pot, mix well and simmer for about 20 minutes, stir frequently. Let cool, fill it in an empty ketchup bottle or other container and keep it in the refrigerator when not in use.



Note: tomato powder measures to 3 cups per pound.
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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36,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
==================================================================

This is a working list of subjects suggested so far, so none are forgotten. I'll update the list as people think of other prep. cooking we want to explore.

COOKING METHODS:
Haybox cooking
Dutch ovens
Alternative ways to cook bread
Non-electric cooking

FOODS:
Tomato Powder
Expanded recipes for beans
Alternative uses for beans
Alternative uses for grains
Seeds and flours from seeds - amaranth, quinoa, millet, flax, chia
Dehydrated mixed vegetables
Canned pinto beans
Canned kale
Gluten free prepping and recipes
Whatever Mel ends up cooking on her weekends :)
Peanut butter powder
Native American Recipes
Corn
Acorns
Pumpkins
Sunflowers - oil
quinoa
lentils
flat breads
bread cooking
making cheese
fermentation
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Question... Since most people that don't home can don't have citric acid, could a person use a vitamin C ?
The most common source of our vitamin C is citrus fruits. With the profit line in mind, manufacturers split it in processing into Ascorbic Acid (the vitamin C component) and Citric Acid. The citric acid doesn't have the vitamin C component but does add the tang and it is also a natural preservative. Citric acid is also considerably cheaper and sometimes works better in canning because it doesn't cloud up and doesn't have sulfates like bottled lemon juice does.

If you have Vitamin C powder that doesn't have added flavors it will work fine in these recipes. If you are going to crush up Vitamin C supplement tablets, those have additional ingredients that could affect flavor and is also the most expensive source of Vitamin C available.

I buy citric acid in bulk as I can store it. I use it in my breads and many recipes in addition to canning. :)
 
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