Sunday, June 26, 2011

Making Food Storage .... Practical

Who wants to spend an hour at the end of a busy day making dinner when a fast food restaurant or a frozen meal is just calling your name?  While this is reasonable from time to time...for some this becomes a daily occurrence.  This is not healthy nor is it financially savvy to continue a practice like this.

We live in a world of convenience.  For some, this is the hardest part of the transition from grocery store to food storage.

What if I told you, that you can have the best of both can have your fast easy meals AND make them out of food storage!

This is why I love mixes.  I make soup mixes, seasoning mixes, cake mixes, gravy mixes......all kinds of mixes.  This allows me the convenience of a mix with the knowledge of what I am feeding my family and the comfort of using my food storage on a daily basis.

Kids want muffins?  No problem.  Kids want Taco's tonight?  No problem.  I have a busy day and need a crock pot meal?  No problem.  With little to no thought, I can scoop out the required amount of a mix and add water to make almost anything, just like the mixes at the store except I am using my food storage and controlling the amounts or types of food my family eats.  My family eats and enjoys home ground whole wheat pancakes, muffins, cookies and bread.  They prefer it to the store bought in most instances.  When you get deep into the world of food storage, you will even learn how to make substitutes or extenders with things like wheat in your tacos and beans in your cookies.

Do you think corn belongs in your chicken enchilada's?  If you use cream of chicken soup, it is there.  Do you want corn in you country sausage gravy?  If you use a packet, it is there.  You can feed your family a delicious wholesome meal artificially enhanced with corn for your convenience.

I'm not against corn, but I am going to pick on it for a minute.  I am shocked at the number of items it is in.  Everything from soda (something needs to sweeten it) to gravy packets, canned soup and ketchup.  How many cake recipe's call for corn, and yet none of the boxes on my shelf are without it.  Whatever happened to moderation?  I guess that goes out the window when something is cheap. 

A benefit of making your own mixes, is that you only put in what is needed and wanted rather than what was cheap which allows you to be aware of how much of something is being consumed and accommodate for some allergies as well.

Having food storage is a comfort.  Knowing how to use it is peace.  Did you know the difference between Taco Seasons and Sloppy Joes is about 3 spices and the quantities you use?  Instead of buying a case of sloppy joe mix and then trying to force my family to continue eating it when they decide they want taco's now instead ...... I simply store the bulk spices, mix up a small batch and when my family decides they like taco's more than sloppy joes, the bulk spices will never go to waste since they can now be used in taco's instead.  You do this with all your seasoning mixes and pretty soon, you will see it doesn't matter what mood they are in that year, month or week, you will have the stuff to make what they want.

I use this simple concept to help me use my food storage AND cater to my family's changing taste in soups, desserts and seasoning mixes.  I can change from Spaghetti to Chili to Italian Lentil to Minestrone to Taco's without ever once changing my basic food storage plan and without having to worry about rotating each individual meal.  I just rotate my bulk spices.

I also have all the individual spices on hand, so when I want to try a new recipe....there is no wondering "Do I have Marjoram??"  I know.  I use my spices constantly and that makes it easier to keep track of what I have and use, and what I don't.

Now, I am not saying we never enjoy the burger or pizza place down the street.  Sometimes we do this more than I think we should...just like I am sure all of you do too, from time to time.
I'm just saying, that with the right recipes and the right mindset, you can make your food storage foods your staples and leave the eating out for the rare, super busy or festive occasions.  When it comes to a higher stress situation, you can lessen that stress by easily serving the foods and flavors your family is accustomed too eating.

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