Rotating and Using Your Long-Term Food Storage

by Donna White

Sister Julie Beck, the General Relief Society President, asked several bishops what skills the sisters in their wards needed most to be self-reliant.  Their answer:  living within a budget and cooking. Rotating and using your long-term food storage can help you to be more self-reliant.

Why is it important to rotate your food storage?

1.  Prevents throwing away unused, expired food, which saves you money.

2.  Allows you and your family to get accustomed to eating stored food, essential in effectively dealing with emergency situation.

3.  Eating your long-term storage is healthy.  Most food storage items are lower in fat and higher in nutrients than most convenience foods. 4.  Because these high-fiber food will be upsetting to the digestive system if you suddenly begin to eat them, it is important to start incorporating them into your diet now.

5.   By already knowing how to use your food storage, it will help to relieve a lot of stress in times of emergency.

6.  If you will eat food storage meals two days out of the week you can have a whole year’s supply rotated in just three and a half years.

How can you remember to use your food storage?

1.  Keep a permanent marker in the same place where you store your food and then every time you bring home a new package or can of food, just date it.  If the item has an expiration date already on it, you might want to circle it.  I have also written the date on the item at the time of purchase.

2.  Keep small amounts of your food storage in the kitchen.  The more you see these items the more often you will use them.

3.  Find recipes that sound interesting using food storage items.  The Internet is a great resource.  Many of the cooking websites allow you to enter either the recipe you are looking for and/or the ingredient(s) you have on hand. I like the websites where users rate the recipe and give comments.  My favorite site is allrecipes.com.  Also, BYU TV and byubroadcasting.org have a wonderful program called Living Essentials that has many segments on preparedness.  Three of them are on rotating and using your long-term storage.  You can also print the transcripts.

4.  Incorporate food storage items into your favorite recipes. Out of desperation years ago, when all of our children were living at home, and before the popularity of freezer meals, I did something that saved lots of time, money, frustration, and cleanup. With money tight, very few prepared food were purchased. In my planning notebook I made a list of 15 food items to have on hand, all cooked up, refrigerated or frozen, ready to go.  Almost all used items from our long-term storage.  They are:

  • Boston brown bread
  • Quick bread
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Potatoes – brown and sweet
  • Granola
  • Rice
  • Vanilla pudding
  • Soup
  • Yogurt
  • Sprouts
  • Dry beans, soaked and cooked
  • Salad dressing
  • Powdered milk – chilled
  • Pancake and waffle mix
  • Ground meat gravel (mixed with TVP)

As you set up a rotation system, storing and using your food will become second nature to you.  You can save money on the things that you purchase because you purchase them on sale.  You will also have peace of mind because you will know that you have the supplies that your family needs.  And . . . you know how to use them and are using them on a daily basis.

Here are two of my favorite recipes using food storage items.

8 Minute Lentil Oat Waffles  

2 ¼  cups water 1 cup soaked lentils (can use any legume)

1 ½  cups rolled oats (equals ½ cup quick oats)

1 Tbsp. oil ½  tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. honey

Soak beans as directed, drain, and combine all ingredients in blender.  Blend one minute or until light and foamy.  Let stand while waffle iron heats up.  Batter will thicken slightly.  Blend briefly again and bake for 8 minutes.  DO NOT OPEN BEFORE TIME IS UP. One 9” serving contains comparable high protein and amino acids  as a 3 oz steak.

911 Emergency Dinner   –  very easy and fast to put together

2 ¼ cups rice 15 oz can of black beans, drained (or equivalent of cooked dry beans)

¼ cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese Salsa

Low fat sour cream

Cook rice according to directions. On each plate layer rice, black beans, salsa, sour cream and cheese.  Microwave.

Note:  This is especially quick if the beans are precooked and frozen in 1 cup packages, ready for use.

Photo by LDS Intelligent Living

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