Things You are Not Storing But Should Be

After living off food storage, I created a list of things that I would not want to be without in my food storage:

  • White Beans -
White beans have multiple uses. First off, of course, they can just be cooked and eaten. Secondly, they can be cooked, mashed, and added to recipes in place of oil. Just take cooked beans (reserve the cooking water) and blend in your blender with enough water to create a thick paste. (Basically enough water to make all the beans turn into a puree.)

For canned beans: Dump entire contents of can (beans and water) into a blender and blend until it is a thick paste. Substitute for oil in your baking recipe. Think how much healthier that is too!

Finally, and most importantly, white beans make the world's BEST thickening agent!  It's MUCH better than corn starch or flour.  I Just put the dry beans in my wheat grinder and grind into a fine powder that I keep in the freezer for when I need it.  Added to chicken drippings it makes the best gravy you'll ever taste.  Just add the powdered beans and cook at least 3 minutes to allow time for thickening.  So yummy AND healthy!
  • Applesauce -
Great for a quick side dish when generally nothing about eating off food storage is quick. Good source for vitamin C when you might not otherwise have access to fruits and veggies. Can also be used as an oil (and sometimes egg) substitute.

  • Spices -
Eating food storage can become monotonous. Often the only thing to give it variety is the spices. The difficulty comes in storing them since spices have a very short shelf life of about 1 year. To get around this, I have started using my favorite spices in bulk. That way I am using them and should an emergency arise, I should have plenty on hand.

You can see in the picture how I have them organized. Here is a list of spices I found I needed the most while living off food storage. Your own family's taste may vary.
  1. Salt and Pepper
  2. Basil
  3. Bay Leaves
  4. Beef Bouillon
  5. Garlic Salt
  6. Cayenne Pepper
  7. Chicken Bouillon
  8. Chili Powder
  9. Cinnamon
  10. Cumin
  11. Dried Onion
  12. Garlic Powder
  13. Italian Seasoning
  14. Lemon Pepper
  15. Onion Powder
  16. Oregano
  17. Parsley
  18. Seasoning Salt
  19. Thyme
  20. Vanilla

  • Brown Sugar -
You can also make brown sugar by mixing white sugar with molasses but it's more convenient to store it.  You can purchase it from a food storage website in #10 cans, or you can store it yourself by packing it in mylar bags and sealing them.  I have used brown sugar stored more than 5 years in mylar bags and it was as soft and delicious as the day I packed it.
  • Stewed Tomatoes -
Give variety to your meals and they are quick and easy to use.  I store them in a variety of flavors.
  • Hand Meat Grinder -
This is not essential unless you want to make wheat meat, then it is a must to get the texture right. You can read more about wheat meat on my blog. I have the recipe I used posted for you as well. Because of how the posts are published you have to start at the bottom of the wheat meat recipe page and then work your way back to the top post.
  • Cheese Making Tools -
Even though you technically need cream to make good cheese (I tried it with powdered milk - YUCK!) I'm still storing rennet and cheese wax on the off chance there is milk available.  Again, not essential to survive but sure would be nice.
  • Spreadable butter -
This is what I missed the absolute most while living off food storage.  I eat SO much toast and it's just not the same without butter.  There aren't a whole lot of options here.  Currently I have my freezer stocked with cubes of butter which is one option.  Some people "can" butter and swear by it, but others say that is very unsafe due to the botulism risk.  I did finally come cross one brand of powdered butter that was edible enough to reconstitute and put on toast, however, I used oil rather than just water to reconstitute with the following recipe:
1 TBLS butter powder
1 scant tsp water
1 scant tsp veggie oil
pinch of salt or sugar (depending on which you prefer - I preferred the sugar)
  • Lemon Juice -
Good for flavoring and it can be added to reconstituted powdered milk to create buttermilk.  Plus, you can use it for water bath canning tomato sauces which must have bottled lemon juice added.
  • Sprouts and Gardening Seeds -
When living off food storage adequate vitamin and mineral consumption can be a problem.  Fresh sprouts pack an enormous punch relative to their size.  In a long term emergency situation, they may be the only fresh food you can get your hands on.  You don't need a fancy sprouter, a simple canning jar with nylons, or cheesecloth in place of the lid will work beautifully.  One thing to remember, if you stored your wheat using dry ice, or if it has been subjected to high temperatures, it will not sprout for you.  I keep a couple of #10 cans of wheat in the house so that I know I have sproutable wheat available.

Garden seeds are also invaluable. They would allow you to supplement your canned goods with fresh produce. You can purchase seeds many places online but local seeds are best since they are climatized for your particular locale. You can buy them vacuum packed and store them in the freezer and they will last many years. If you are feeling very adventurous, you can let your garden go to seed at the end of each season and save your own seeds. Just remember that in either case you MUST purchase non-hybrid seeds. Otherwise your plants will not produce seeds of their own and you can not perpetuate your garden beyond one year.
  • Vitamins -
Eating off food storage can leave our diets lacking in vitamins and other nutrients.  Vitamins can help keeps us healthy.  Vitamins also do not have a very long shelf life so I buy in bulk and use them now so that we always have a fresh bottle.