Category: Survival Food Storage

Eating in Winter – Growing Our Food And Seasonal Eating From The Root Cellar

Storing food in the root cellar may sound old fashioned in an age where modern supermarkets and refrigeration make food readily available, but it has its fair share of perqs. A root cellar is basically an underground structure or any sheltered location in your property that stays above freezing through winter.

Root cellars are characterized by steady humidity and temperature to keep storage crops in great condition long after harvesting. They provide food security to feed the family with farm-fresh food, they use significantly less energy (electricity, transportation, preservation etc.), reduce food wastage, and helps cut down on costs. Seasonal eating from the root cellar during winter months is great for several reasons.

• It creates a reliable food source when harsh winter months render the land unusable for cultivation.

• It’s a lot more affordable to eat foods that are locally abundant rather than paying a premium on transportation costs.

• It supports the local farming community.

• You’re assured that the food is free of preservative or other nasty additives.

• It’s more nutritious and infinitely tastier.

Interested in eating more seasonally next winter from the root cellar? The Elliott Homestead on YouTube gives us a sneak peek into their root cellar for inspiration. Some of the produce stored for winter eating include garlic/onions, potatoes, pumpkins, root crops (carrots, beets, radish, turnips etc.), pome fruits, cabbages, and citrus fruits, to name a few.

NB: Storing food for winter is a methodical process. You need to understand how to store different foods, how to sort for quality, and the best storage containers. Some vegetables also don’t make good neighbors in storage – e.g., onions and potatoes.

Eating In Winter  Growing Our Food  Seasonal Eating From The Root Cellar
Eating in Winter – Growing Our Food and Seasonal Eating from the Root Cellar – Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AB9MNmDrJc

Long-Lasting Breads You Can Stockpile For YEARS And YEARS

Long-Lasting Breads You Can Stockpile For YEARS And YEARS
image © Claude TRUONG-NGOC – Wikipedia – lic. under CC BY-SA 3.0

Bread has been a classic sustenance for survival in many cultures since ancient times. The Bible has many references to the bread – which according to the Book of Ezekiel was made in those times from wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and fitches. This classic and common food is often overlooked by preppers and off-grid enthusiasts due to its short shelf life. However, there are bread recipes that will make survival more bearable. Before we discuss them, let’s take a look at the factors that influence the shelf life of bread as well as ways for extending the shelf life of the baked item without the use of preservatives.

The #1 factor that makes bread go bad is mold. Organic bread is more prone to spoilage due to lack of preservatives. Here are the factors that expose your bread to the development of certain fungi or molds which can be dangerous to eat.

• Temperature

Most molds grow faster at warmer temperatures, so bread will only last a few days unless frozen.

• Exposure To Mold

Mold spores in the air or on people’s hands could cause the development of mold. To delay mold growth, keep the bread in an airtight container and wash hands before handling.

• Moisture

Mold thrives in a moist environment, so bread could grow mold sooner if it is exposed to high moisture content. To deal with moisture, bread should be cooled and dried out at room temperature before being placed in a container.

• Ingredients

The growth of mold is supported by ingredients such as eggs, milk and sugar, which create a welcoming environment for fungus. And bread that was made using these ingredients is not a long-term storage item. It should be eaten within a few days or frozen until needed (even so, bread has only up to around 3 months shelf life in the freezer, depending on the type of bread).

• Preparation Style

Over-mixing or kneading exposes the bread to more oxygen, and plentiful oxygen encourages mold growth. For survival breads, mixing and kneading should only be done as far as necessary. If you want bread recipes that last up to 2.5 years and beyond, matzo bread and hardtack are the clear winners. These types of bread can fulfill bread’s basic function as a survival food. Here’s how they are made:

Basic Hardtack Bread

Ingredients

• 5 cups of flour
• 2 cups of water
• 3 teaspoons of salt

Procedure:

First mix flour and salt in a bowl. Then add water gradually, just enough that the mixture will bind together. Mix by hand. The dough should be sufficiently dry that it does not stick to hands, rolling pin or pan. Then, roll the dough to about half-inch thickness and cut the dough into 3-by-3 inch squares.

Create a pattern of four rows of four holes into the squares with a sharp object. These should just be indentations – don’t punch right through to the other side. Turn the dough over and repeat this, making indentations in the other side.

Bake the dough on an ungreased cookie sheet or baking sheet for thirty minutes for the one side. Turn the dough pieces and bake for another 30 minutes. Wait until the sides are slightly brown.

When done, let the hardtack dry for a few days in a warm, dry open space. An airing cupboard might be ideal. The bread will harden considerably as it dries, reaching consistency that seems more like brick than a bread or biscuit. 🙂 Store the fully-dried hardtack in an airtight container.

Damp is the enemy of long term storage of hard tack. The more dry the hard tack, the longer its shelf life. In the old days it was kiln dried for hours and was even known to last up to 50 years!

You can fry the bread in a buttered skillet after soaking it in milk or water. This bread, used as a staple in ancient times on long sea voyages, is perfect when eaten with cheese, soup, or even just plain salt.

Basic Matzo Bread Recipe

This unleavened bread is a kosher food for Passover. You can enjoy this crisp, flatbread in just under thirty minutes. This savory snack sustained the Israelites across their travels and wanderings during Biblical times. It has a shelf life of 2.5 years when stored in a dry place.

Ingredients

• 1 cup flour
• 3 cups of water
• ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Procedures

Mix all ingredients and knead the mixture until firm dough forms. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Then, roll each ball into a thick disk. Pierce each disk with a fork on each side to prevent the dough from rising. Repeat the previous procedures with the rest of the dough. Place the pieces of bread onto the baking sheet. It’s okay if the bread overlaps on the pan. Bake for two minutes and carefully flip over the bread, and bake for an additional 2 minutes until the matzos are lightly browned and crisp.

For kosher matzos, wafers should be finished within 18 minutes of adding water to the flour.

Image For Pinterest:

How To Make Long-Lasting Breads You Can Stockpile For YEARS
Graphic – off-grid.info. Images – Wikipedia – 1 2 – lic. under CC 3.0

800+ Organized Canning Recipes for Winter Storage

800+ Organized Canning Recipes for Winter Storage800+ Organized Canning Recipes for Winter Storage – Image To Repin / Share
Image – http://www.diyncrafts.com/3657/homemade/800-organized-canning-recipes-winter-storage

Canning is not difficult and is easy on the wallet. Here are some awesome fall and winter-themed recipes you can relish during the darker months of the year. Links to other recipes are added at the end of the article.

1. POMEGRANATE JELLY

6 cups fresh pomegranate juice
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 cups sugar
1 3oz pouch Certo (liquid pectin)

Mix the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a large pot and bring to the boil. Once the mix is boiling, add the certo. Let it boil for another two minutes. Carefully (it is extremely hot) ladle the jelly into sterile jars and put on sterile lids. Process for another five minutes by placing these in a boiling water bath. Thick rubber gloves will be helpful in giving some safety from the boiling hot liquids.

2. HONEY LEMON APPLE JAM

12 cups chopped apples
2 cups lemons juice
2 cups honey
3 cups sugar
1 envelope of liquid pectin
zest of three lemons

Combine the chopped apples and lemon juice in a canning pot. Cook them over medium-low heat. Stir the mix frequently until the apples have broken down. Add the honey and sugar once you have produced a chunky applesauce. Bring the mix to a boil and cook for five minutes. Add the pectin and boil the mix for three more minutes. Stir in the lemon zest if the sauce becomes nice and jammy. Fill the canning jars with the boiled mix and process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.

Related: Eating in Winter – Growing Our Food And Seasonal Eating From The Root Cellar

3. ONION MARMALADE

4 large onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, preferably Muscovado
black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger

Combine the onions, garlic, olive oil, mustard and coriander seeds in a large pan. Stir well and cook the mix over a low heat for thirty minutes. Add the vinegar, ginger, and sugar. Cook the mixture for another fifteen minutes until the onions are translucent and the marmalade well reduced. Add four tablespoons of water to cook for another ten minutes until the marmalade is well thickened.

Here are the rest:

http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/3_USDAcanningGuide2_06.pdf – 32 Pages filled with canning recipes from National Center for Home Food Preservation.
http://www.food.com/recipes/canning
http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes.aspx
http://allrecipes.com/recipes/side-dish/sauces-and-condiments/canning-and-preserving/
http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/type/canning/
http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/preserving-canning/canning-recipes/

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800 Organized Canning Recipes For Winter Storage
graphic – © off-grid.info. Images – PD