Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This week for your car kits, add a blanket or some towels (no need to buy something new- just find an extra in your home!). These can come in handy for a number of things - cleaning up messes, spontaneous picnics, etc. I have 2 old towels in my kit, and I'm always using them to wipe off slides and swings at the park. Also for your car kits, add a change of clothes. Since the summer months are coming (and my children are growing!), I definitely need to switch out the current clothes I have in there. I don't keep a full change of clothes for myself but I usually do keep a t-shirt and some socks.
How is your three-month supply coming along? I have a confession... mine is dwindling - rapidly!! More on that later this week... :) Hopefully that's not the case for most of you, however.
March is winding down, so we're almost done gathering "other" items for the longer-term storage. Next month we'll be moving on to something new.
This weekend is General Conference in the LDS Church (this happens twice a year). That means it's time to check your 72-hour kits and your car kits and make sure everything is up-to-date (you should do this twice a year too, so we've coincided it with Conference). Check your food, batteries, medicines, etc. and make sure that everything is working and nothing is expired. If you have food that will be expiring before October 2010, replace it and use it up. If it is good past October 2010, there is no pressure to switch it out yet since we'll be checking our kits again then. You can if you want to, though!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
I've been on the lookout for a new granola bar for some time now. I'm looking for a recipe without corn syrup or sugar. When I found this one from FANNEtastic Foods via Inner Workings, I was thrilled. It had everything I was looking for in a granola bar. However, it had an ingredient that I didn't have: "brown rice syrup." I'm always hesitant to buy ingredients for a certain recipe when I'm not sure if I'll use that ingredient for anything other than that recipe. Does that make sense? So I googled "substitutes for brown rice syrup" and came up with maple syrup. I actually had the real deal maple syrup so I thought I'd give it a try. As you can see from the picture, sometimes substitutions don't work. I definitely did not end up with granola bars, but on the flipside, I made some delicious granola and it was SO fast!
Ingredients: rice cereal, oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, ground flax seed, maple syrup, nut butter and vanilla.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. You could use any combination of nuts that you wanted, and I'm guessing that any cereal would work too.
Mix it well.
A little while ago a reader wrote in asking if we knew of any recipes for granola bars without peanut butter because there was an allergy in their family. I have not been able to find a peanut butter exempt granola bar recipe. I think the peanut butter is a binder for granola bars. In any case, I do think that you can substitute a different nut butter for peanut butter. There are all sorts of "nut butters" available these days. This one is sunflower butter but I've tried almond butter too and it's delicious. That being said, I don't know anything about nut allergies, whether if you are allergic to one nut, you're automatically allergic to all of them. So this could be a moot point.
Anyways, you'll notice that this company is clear to state that although they process peanuts in the same place (warehouse? manufacturing center?) they don't use the same equipment so there shouldn't be any peanut traces in the sunflower butter.
Moving on, put the sunflower butter, vanilla and maple syrup in a microwave safe bowl and stir it around.
Pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray so the bars won't stick.
I ended up microwaving for 20 second, stir, another 20 seconds, stir and another 10 seconds and stir before I gave up on it being completely smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir away.
Push the granola "bars" into the pan and flatten them out.
Pop in the fridge to harden.
After a couple of hours I pulled the bars out and tried to cut them.
It was a crumbly, albeit delicious mess.
So I covered them with plastic wrap and stored them in the fridge overnight. This morning they were still crumbly. I'm guessing the brown rice syrup is more sticky than maple syrup is, which is why they didn't congeal.
I think I'll eat it as cereal or as a topping for yogurt. It's still very good, but just not a granola bar. Obviously. I'm storing the granola in the fridge because I didn't bake it.
I'm tempted to go out and get some brown rice syrup and see if it works, because truly these had the best favor.
What do you think? Do you have a great healthy granola bar recipe?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
This week for your car kits, add a basic first aid kit. You can find them anywhere - Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Amazon.com also has them here for under $15 - this one is also small and light - perfect for a small space like your car kit box.
How is your three-month supply coming along? It's easy to get overwhelmed! Trust me - I go through phases where I am totally excited about food storage and I do a great job. Then I'll have a month or two where I get in a rut and I just don't feel like dealing with it! That's ok - I just make sure I continue to buy a few things every time I go to the grocery store, and keep up with my inventory. Don't forget to make a plan! Don't have time to sit down and plan out 30 months of meals and a shopping list? Check out our food storage e-book.
This month for our longer-term storage, we are gathering "other" items. If you really did have to live off your food storage, and your three-month supply ran out, you would probably (hopefully!) be left with lots of beans, rice, oats, and wheat. What would you need/want to supplement it? Chicken/beef bouillon cubes give rice great flavor; honey or brown sugar would really amp up your oats or wheat berries; some salt and pepper or some ham flavoring would make for some yummy beans. Think about some basic recipes using your longer-term storage and stock up on those "extras" that would help your longer-term storage become more edible. (other suggestions for longer-term storage: powdered milk, cocoa powder, yeast, potato pearls, white flour, white sugar, pasta).
Monday, March 22, 2010
“Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being. Regarding this principle, President Marion G. Romney [1897–1988] has said: ‘Let us work for what we need. Let us be self-reliant and independent. Salvation can be obtained on no other principle. Salvation is an individual matter, and we must work out our own salvation in temporal as well as in spiritual things.’ …
“President Spencer W. Kimball [1895–1985] further taught concerning self-reliance: ‘The responsibility for each person’s social, emotional, spiritual, physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church if he is a faithful member thereof.’”
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
We used random.org to find a winner... and we got #71, Lyndee, who said,
"This might sound dumb but I would love to go somewhere that my new hubby and I can just disappear for a few days on a white sandy beach somewhere and not worry about phones or the time or anything and just have fun TOGETHER :)"
Lyndee, that doesn't sound dumb at all - it sounds wonderful!
Thanks again to everyone for participating. I really wish we could give dehydrators to you all. Thanks for reading our blog!!
photo by li-penny
“As we live providently and increase our gifts and talents, we become more self-reliant. Self-reliance is taking responsibility for our own spiritual and temporal welfare and for those whom Heavenly Father has entrusted to our care. Only when we are self-reliant can we truly emulate the Savior in serving and blessing others.
“It is important to understand that self-reliance is a means to an end. Our ultimate goal is to become like the Savior, and that goal is enhanced by our unselfish service to others. Our ability to serve is increased or diminished by the level of our self-reliance.”
Friday, March 12, 2010
Black Bean Soup
1 can black beans (15 oz)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Blend black beans, chicken broth, and salsa together until smooth. Move to sauce pan and add spices. Bring to a boil. Serve and eat!
While I am rotating this dish I like to add 2 oz of velvetta cheese to the soup when it is boiling just because it is yummy.. I also like to top with sour cream when rotating! Enjoy!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Abbie and Hannah graciously let me test-drive this NESCO dehydrator.
I confess I was a wee bit nervous. But I shouldn't have been because it was easy-peasy!
The dehydrator comes with four trays, a fruit roll sheet (see above), directions, and even spices for jerky.
I decided to make apples and bananas because that's what was cheapest and what I felt I could dehydrate in good conscience (i.e. I didn't want to dehydrate something that I'd rather eat fresh). I used the "extra value price" bananas that were cheaper and more ripe--they turned out very well since they're sweeter.
For the bananas and apples, I peeled and then sliced them as uniformly as possible. It's important to have equal thicknesses so that they'll dry evenly. The apples don't have to be peeled, but according to the directions, the peels tend to make the apples take longer to dry and are also very brittle. So I went peel-free and didn't feel too guilty about leaving out the extra fiber.
After I peeled them, I put the slices into a lemon juice bath. My computer is on the fritz right now and I wasn't able to look up a good ratio of lemon juice to water, so I just put in a few tablespoons of lemon juice and added enough water to let most of the slices be submerged. Leave the fruit in for five minutes.
Very scientific, I know. You don't have to use the ascorbic acid solution, but it helps with the flavor and appearance of the finished product. (So the book says.)
Ditto with the apple slices. I didn't use mine because I was too lazy to get it out, but an apple slicer would be awesome for this step.
Arrange slices on the trays without overlapping. You have to put all the trays into the dehydrator, even if they're empty. This was two apples and three (I think) bananas.
The instruction manual tells you the temperature to set for different types of food--for these fruits, it was 135 degrees Fahrenheit. I just set it, plugged it in, and left it alone.
That's my kind of food preservation.
The apples were done after about 4 hours. They were crisp but had a bit of softness in the thicker parts--maybe I could have left them in longer, but you don't want to leave them in too long or valuable vitamins will be diminished. I'm sure it will be an experimentation process.
The bananas take a little longer--I left them in for another hour and a half, I believe. They were browner--perhaps more lemon juice next time? The bananas didn't turn out like the banana chips you see in the produce section, but these were much healthier and still delicious. They had a chewier texture than the apples.
The directions recommend one of those handy home vacuum-sealers, but as I didn't have one, I just sucked the air out of these bags and sealed them.
I store them in my freezer.
That is, I store what's left of them in my freezer.
Another awesome aspect of this dehydrator is that you can dry herbs and flowers, too! I just bought dried oregano and basil, which makes me very annoyed since I had these in my garden last summer but failed to dry any. Live and learn.
The final verdict: I found the process easy and understandable. This NESCO dehydrator is very user-friendly and I am thrilled with the fruit roll sheet (another post coming on that one). My husband isn't a hunter, but if we get our hands on some cheap good meat, I'll have to try out the jerky for sure. Anyway, dehydrating is a good method for storing extra produce that you can buy on the cheap, and this dehydrator is a great way to go.
Thanks again to CSN stores for sending us this dehydrator to try out! CSN Stores sells all kinds of great items, including cookware, barstools, and neat modern furniture. Be sure to check them out, and come back tomorrow for the giveaway!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
This week for your car kits, add some wet wipes and a roll of toilet paper. I use wet wipes for everything, it seems. And a roll of toilet paper in the car can be used for a number of things as well... besides the obvious! Last time we gathered toilet paper for emergency preparedness, someone commented that it would be a good idea to take the cardboard out of the middle. That way you can flatten the roll and put it in a plastic baggy. Great idea!
How is your three month supply coming along? Don't forget water storage!
We are gathering "other" items this month for the longer-term supply. I'm focusing on pasta and white flour. What are you gathering?
Monday, March 8, 2010
photo by zhangmirror
“‘Self-reliance means using all of our blessings from Heavenly Father to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions for our own problems.’ Each of us has a responsibility to try to avoid problems before they happen and to learn to overcome challenges when they occur. …
“How do we become self-reliant? We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being.”
Saturday, March 6, 2010
We found our winners using Random.org, and they are:
Us, The Gilsons who said, "Utah"
debsdialogues, who said, "Florida, just a stone's throw from Kennedy Space Center."
morgan, who said, "Northern Arizona"
Congrats! Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com with your mailing address, and we'll get those flashlights to you!
Thanks again to Emergency Essentials for this great giveaway! And don't forget about their special shipping codes:
SGATHERN (for shipping outside of Utah)SGATHERU (for shipping to Utah)
Friday, March 5, 2010
I'm banking on Mountain Man not reading this post. Because I'm about to introduce you to a 2008 Christmas present that was not very well received.
Hint to all the men out there: Girls like getting "pretty things." Not beef jerky makers.
Thanks to the plethora of healthy food blogs I frequent, I've found other uses for for my "beef jerky maker."
Not that there's anything wrong with beef jerky. It's just not my favorite. Coconut macaroons? Definitely in the top ten.
Ingredients: almonds, coconut, maple syrup (real would be best, but I use this recipe), honey, dates, and almond extract.
Pop the almonds into the food processor
and grind it up
Then add the coconut and puree away.
Grind up the dates. The recipe calls for medjool dates, but I just used whatever dates I picked up at Sams. Does anyone know what the difference is?
With everything in the food processor so far: ground almonds, coconut, dates, add the syrup
and the almond extract.
Now listen carefully. The first time I made this recipe I made a grave error. I followed the recipe exactly and put 1.5 tablespoons of almond extract in. I had to throw all the cookies away. It was like eating pure almond alcohol. This time I put barely a smidgen into the cap.
As you process, the dough becomes sticky and wet.
When it's all combined, it's time to go in the dehydrator.
Drop by spoonfuls onto the racks of the dehydrator. Stack up your dehydrator and turn it on. If your dehydrator has a temperature control, turn it to 105 degrees F. If your dehydrator is like mine and all it has is an on/off switch, just turn it on. Let it sit on your counter for 6-8 hours. The nice thing about dehydrators is that they don't emit heat, so having it run all day won't heat up your house. Also, it doesn't get hot to the touch, so if your kids touch it, they won't get burned.
After 6 or 7 hours, pop the top off and check the cookies. If they are firm and set, they are done!
Alright Mountain Man, you're forgiven. It's more than just a beef jerky maker.
Almond Coconut Macaroons
adapted from joggerslife's recipe
2 cups almonds, ground
2 cups coconut, ground
2 dates, processed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1/4-1/3 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional, or chocolate macaroons)
Grind up almonds, coconut, and dates in the food processor. Add maple syrup, honey and extract. Add cocoa if desired. Drop by spoonfuls on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 105 degrees F (or whatever your setting is) for 6-8 hours. Freeze extras. Enjoy!
Check back next week for some more dehydrator action thanks to CSN stores!