In the last few years, we've all heard that it's more inexpensive to eat high-calorie, nutrient-sparse foods.    Are we then doomed to a life of either nasty nutrition or perpetual poverty because of our ballooning food budget?

No way!   The whole premise turns out to not really be true.

But then, those of you who cook your own food probably took the earlier studies with a grain of salt.

Fresh and whole foods are cheaper especially if eating from scratch... whole grains and legumes are especially inexpensive per serving (you know, that stuff that stores long-term really well!).

The original studies, we now learn, were comparing price per calorie in healthy vs. unhealthy foods.

Now, if you're comparing a fresh apple to a side order of fries, it looks something like this:

1 medium apple, about 5 ounces (141g) = about 80 calories    at $1.50/lb,  this costs $ .47  (if you buy them when they're on sale for $1/lb, then it's $ .31)

1 medium order of McDonald's fries, about 5 ounces (147 g) = 453 calories, in my city it costs $1.49

Both weigh approximately the same.  You'll feel about as full with each one; they both fill the same amount of space in your stomach.  According to the old numbers, though, the fries are much cheaper because   $1.49 divided by 453 calories gets you 3 calories per penny.  The apple, at $ .47 for 80 calories, comes out at 1.7 calories per penny. 

This would matter in a country where every calorie is precious.  Our problem here, though is the reverse.  Most of us eat too many calories, and being full with fewer calories is a helpful thing.

The price difference gets worse, too.  Here in Utah, sales tax on food is 3%.  Sales tax on food from a restaurant, however, is 8%.  That means you're paying one to two cents to the government when you buy the apple, and twelve cents when buying those French fries.  (Maybe that's where the money came from to fund that first study saying fast food was cheaper?!)

So is healthy food always cheaper than fast food?  No, not always.  Often.  It depends on what you buy.  (like Dave Ramsey says, eat "beans and rice; rice and beans" for those trying to live very frugally.) 

But your grocery budget already told you that.

Click on the link below to read the article that sparked this blog entry:


If you're new to cooking with whole wheat, I recommend you also read Wheat Basics.

If you’re using whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, there are a couple things to know for successful baking.  Whole grains contain fiber-rich bran and nutrient-rich germ, as well as the starchy endosperm.  Processed white flour contains only the starchy part, not the bran or germ.  Because of this, you'll need to adjust your ingredients a little bit, either reduce the amount of flour by 2-3 Tbsp. per cup used, OR increase liquid by 3-4 Tbsp. per cup used and increase leavening by about 1/3.   Otherwise, your baked goods will be more dense, heavy, and flat than they need to be.   See more on this below.

is the outer protective layer of the kernel, it's very high in fiber and minerals, and vitamins.  That fiber  is very absorbent.  Because of this, whole wheat flour (measured by weight) absorbs about 25% more liquid than processed white flour does.   Bran also makes it harder for gluten to form; its sharp edges tend to cut the tiny gluten strands.  Soaking the dough – mixing at least the flour and liquid, then letting it sit for a few hours or overnight - softens the bran.  That’s one reason European breads have long rise times. The technique works well for pancake batter and cake batter- leave eggs out of the batter until ready to bake, or soak covered in the refrigerator.

The germ is also high in vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, some fiber and fat (vitamin E).   Its name comes from the same Latin root as the word "germinate"; germen , which means to sprout or shoot.   The germ is the part of the grain that can grow into a plant.  It is dense and heavy, and therefore you'll need more leavening in the recipe.  The vitamin E, which is an oil, is the reason for whole wheat flour's short shelf life; this type of fat oxidizes quickly, which makes it slightly rancid.  Store fresh-ground flour in the fridge or freezer to prolong its life and vitamin content.  If you leave the flour at room temperature, it's at its best within 24 hours, but is still good (though less nutritious) for about a week.  It won't make you sick after that, just won't give you all the benefits it would have when more fresh.  Neither does it taste as good.  That's why bread made from freshly ground flour tastes so much better than bread made with whole wheat flour from a bag at the store.

To recap:  
either use about 20% less flour (2-3 Tbsp. less per cup used),
or increase water by about 3-4 Tbsp. per cup of liquid and add about 1/3 more of any leavening agent you’re using (1 tsp. more per Tbsp).  

Fresh-ground flour is fluffy and less packed in the cup, so there’s already less there.  For the most accurate measuring, go by weight, not volume.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are counseled to have three months’ worth of everyday food on hand, and then store more, longer-term storage foods, where possible.  This has typically been defined as a “Year’s Supply”, at least in the last couple generations.  Having food on hand is an invaluable part of being self-reliant.  It’s insurance, if you will, for times of unexpected illness, disability, unemployment, power outages, or for when a neighbor down the street needs a meal.  It’s also handy for sharing with a local food bank.  (Hint, hint: right now their supplies are very low!)

Once you get three months’ worth, how much will a year’s supply of food cost you?  When you look at your monthly grocery bill, is it overwhelming to think of buying more?  I looked an emergency supply store’s catalog; they advertise a basic year’s supply of food for ‘just’ $1,299.99.  For one person.  They list options of up to $3800 per person per year.  Is it really that much money to get a year’s supply?

Adding up all the 7 essentials, purchasing them mostly at the Home Storage Center, a month’s worth of food for one person is $25.31. This provides about 2200 calories a day; the catalog’s has 2000.

A year’s worth for one adult is $303.86. 

(It was $194.76 in 2010.  That’s an increase of 56%.  How’s that compare to your 401(k)? I’m quite sure food will go up more.  It is a great investment!  Wouldn’t you like to eat at last year’s prices?)

Figure in that you’re getting your year’s supply after building your three-month supply; that knocks it down to getting nine months’worth;

$227.90 per adult

SO, if you really want to spend $1299.99 plus tax, you could buy a year’s supply for not just one person, but for FOUR adults.  Yes, it’s different food than the ‘gourmet’ version ($3800), but here’s the counsel we’ve been given:          "We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” “For longer-term needs….gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time  and that you can use to stay alive (from All is Safely Gathered In, First Presidency pamphlet)

 If you’re storing food for children, plan on 50% of the amount for age 3 and under, 70% for ages 3-6, 90% for ages 7-10, and 100% for ages 11 and up.  Or store as much as you would for an adult, and have enough to share. 

For great recipes using this stored food, see my Favorite Resources page, under "Cooking and Recipes". 
Here is the cost breakdown:

Grains, 300 lbs- if you get 100 lbs each of wheat , rice, and oats, at the Home Storage Centers they cost between $11.45 and $15.45 for 25 lbs. depending on if you get white or red wheat,  rice, quick- or regular- oats.  If you average this out, it will cost you $13.55  per person, per month.  $162.60 per year’s worth. This category doubled in price from early 2010.  Your daily allotted amount would be about 2 ½ cups of flour, or about the size of a loaf of bread.

Milk, 16 lbs is $1.89/lb at the cannery, which is $2.52 per month, $30.24 per year.  Daily amount is just under ¾ cup of reconstituted milk.  This is enough to cook with, not enough to drink very often.  For instance, making your loaf of bread would/could use up this entire amount.

Sugar, 60 lbs is $ .85/lb there, $4.23 per month, $50.76 per year.  Daily amount is just about 1/3 cup, but keep in mind you’ll probably want to use it to help bottle fruit or make jam, as well as for making your bread or breakfast oatmeal.

Oil, 10 qts –this isn’t sold at the cannery, but the last good sale price I found was $2.50 for 1 ½ quarts (48 oz.) At that price, after tax, it’s $1.43 per month, $17.17 per year.  It’s only $14.38 if you buy it at Sam’s Club ($6.98 + tax for 5 qts.)  .)  Daily amount: about 2 ½ teaspoons; will also be used in making bread. Fat is necessary to help you digest fiber, as well as to access the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Salt, 8 lbs- 4# box at Costco or Sam’s Club is a dollar; $ .16 per month, $2 per year.  Daily amount: about 2 tsp. It never hurts to store extra salt; it is an excellent preservative for meats and more.

Legumes, 60 lbs– the cannery sells black beans, pinto, and white, from $16.00 to $18.55 for 25 lbs.  Averaging the prices, it’s  $3.42 a month, $41.09 per year.  Daily amount: about ½ cup dry, or 1 ½ cups cooked.

In addition to the above, storing some water is an essential part of your home storage.  Plan on 1 gallon per person per day, for 2 weeks (14 days).  This is enough to drink, and not much else. 
Water, 14/gal/person-   You can store this for free by using 2- and 3- liter pop bottles, or juice containers (not milk jugs- they break down).  Or use the 5-gallons square jugs or big blue barrels; they’ll run you about $1 per gallon of storage. 

Total daily food allotment: 1 loaf of bread, 1/3 c. sugar for cooking or preserving, 1 ½ cups of beans, 2 ½ tsp. oil, a little salt, ¾ c. of milk.  You won’t get fat on this, but it will keep you alive.  It also stores in a fairly small amount of space.

When you’re done storing these items, you might decide to add a few ‘gourmet’ items- spices, flavorings,  and unsweetened cocoa are high on my list here, as are non-hybrid garden seeds.  Practice growing them now; you can save seeds from what you grow, for next year’s crop.

Notice that the costs were just for food, not containers to store them in. Most of my storage containers cost nothing.   You CAN get buckets for free, with a little effort- most bakeries give them away; all their frostings and fillings come in those buckets.  Plan on washing them at home.  There are two main sizes; 5 gallon and 2 ½  gallon.  I keep packages of dried fruit in the smaller buckets, also cornmeal or other things that I don’t use as much.  They are a great size for a pantry, too.  Some of the buckets have gaskets, some don’t.  The ones that don’t seal well are still good for storing sugar.

If you want all your wheat, powdered milk, sugar, and legumes in #10 cans from the cannery, it will cost you $86 more to get a full year’s worth, $65 to do 9 months.

I don’t can my wheat, sugar, or beans because we go through large quantities; one batch of bread would use a whole can.  It’s pretty silly storage for me.  Besides, it’s easier for me to find space for 10 buckets than 60 #10 cans; they hold about the same amount of food.


Have you found good deals on strawberries?  Or are your plants starting to produce them?  We love to make and eat strawberry leather, though I often mix strawberry puree with applesauce or any other mashed fruit, to make the strawberries go farther.  For a simple way to make fruit leather, see http://www.theprovidenthomemaker.com/1/post/2010/11/what-to-do-now-in-the-garden-fruit-leather.html


If you’re in the Salt Lake valley, I just learned about a lady who puts together group orders every month; she lives just a mile down the road from me.  The prices are great, and the food is good quality.  It comes from a Utah/Idaho farmers’ co-op; most of the items are even organic.  Her website is http://www.organicemily.com 


The following excerpts from an article are from Ezra Taft Benson, published in the Ensign magazine, January 1974, entitled “Prepare Ye”.  He repeats D&C 38:30 three times in it (“if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”), and this talk has been extensively quoted.  It contains at least 12 segments I’ve quoted or heard quoted.  Read through the talk, and see how many pieces of it you’ve heard before.

Here are some excerpts:

“In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes. …” (Matt. 24:7.) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man’s manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature’s God, but that they will come seems certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse—a divine disclosure of future events.

Yet, through all of this, the Lord Jesus Christ has said: “… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.)

…At the April 1937 general conference of the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints], President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., of the First Presidency, asked: “What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us?” President Clark then set forth these inspired basic principles of the Church welfare program:

“First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously. … Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow.  Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little.

Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26.)

There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and/or a fruit tree or two. Man’s material wealth basically springs from the land and other natural resources. Combined with his human energy and multiplied by his tools, this wealth is assured and expanded through freedom and righteousness. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of each of these particulars.”

 Healthful foods, proper rest, adequate exercise, and a clean conscience can prepare us to tackle the trials that lie ahead.”

Left- White Wheat
Right- Red Wheat

As you can see from the loaves, red and white wheat bake up nearly identically except for color.  They differ quite a bit in flavor.
"50%" means that the loaf is made of 50% whole grain, and 50% all-purpose flour.

Last time you made bread, was it coarse and crumbly once it sat for a while?

If it was, you had a gluten problem.  It could be that the dough wasn't kneaded enough to form good long gluten strands, or your flour may have not had enough gluten in it to begin with.   If so, use flour with a higher gluten content next time, or add gluten itself.  Cans of gluten are often sold with breadbaking supplies. 

Another thing that makes a big difference is how finely ground your flour is: if it's coarse, gluten can't form well.  Develop enough gluten, and you have small, even air bubbles in your bread, and a chewy texture.

Why is gluten so important?  

Gluten is the main protein in wheat.  It forms tiny elastic chains that allow the dough to stretch and hold together, and that matrix forms walls around the carbon dioxide bubbles produced by the yeast as it grows.   If there's not enough gluten, the cell walls break, leaving large, unevenly-shaped air bubbles.    Gluten is activated by liquid, warmth and kneading- which is why you use as little of those three when you're making pie crust.  That's one food that you want to avoid gluten forming.  Gluten makes great bread, but tough pastry.
Wheat comes in different colors and 'hardness', or protein content.  You can buy "soft white", "soft red", "hard white" and "hard red".   There are even distinctions among the hard wheats- it is often labeled as "spring wheat" or "winter wheat".  Winter wheat is planted in late fall, and grows using the moisture from winter snow and rain.   Spring wheat is planted in spring, and grows through the hot, dry summer.  The more water the wheat gets, the more grain it produces, but these higher yields result in lower protein content.  So hard spring wheat, growing when it's hot and dry, ends up with a higher protein content.  (This explanation is somewhat simplified- if you like scientific details, see here.)  If you buy a bag that just says "hard red wheat", assume it's winter wheat.  Being able to label wheat as "hard spring wheat" is a selling point, and the farmers get more money for higher-protein wheat. 

This also means that if you buy the cheapest 'hard' wheat, you'll most likely have lower protein content.  Which means it's gonna take a little more effort to make it into good bread.

Red Wheat, either hard or soft, has a deeper, heartier flavor, and a reddish-brown color.

White Wheat, hard or soft, has a more delicate flavor, and a light tan color.  If you're just starting with whole-wheat bread making, this is a good one, since the flavor is more subtle.  It tastes more like 'white bread', but better!  I love the taste and fragrance of freshly-ground wheat in bread.  Hard white wheats are relatively new to the market.

Hard Red or White Spring Wheat is usually between 12-15% protein (or gluten), the best-quality ones run between 14-15%.  This is what you want for good whole-wheat bread.

Hard Red or White Winter Wheat generally contains 11- 13% protein.

Soft Red or White Wheat only has about 6-10% protein. 

The protein content can be as low as 2%, or as high as 18%.  It depends on growing conditions, what variety the grain is, and even how moist the wheat is.  And not all the protein is gluten: only the amino acids "gliadin" and "glutenin" will become gluten.  That's why oats, though high in protein, will not make good yeast bread on its own.  They don't contain gliadin and glutenin as part of the amino acid profile.  This is also why celiacs can have oats.
(see here for more info on amino acids and celiac.)

Soft wheat is best in quickbreads and things where you DON'T want gluten forming: cookies, pastries, cakes, quickbreads. (This also means that non-gluten containing grains and seeds are good for this group of breads.)

Hard wheat is best for yeast bread, tortillas, and pasta. When I use 100% hard wheat flour in bread,  I still have to add something to increase the dough strength- crushed Vitamin C, lecithin, dough enhancer, gluten, extended soaking, or using part all-purpose flour; see Making Bread for suggested quantities. 

See here for info about baking with whole wheat flour.
image courtesy photos8.com

Seasoned flour is fabulous to coat any meat before cooking.  It's also delicious added to onion-ring batter.  All you do is mix 1 cup pancake batter with 1 Tbsp. seasoned flour.

Slice an onion and separate it into rings.  I like to leave the center tiny rings together.  Dip into batter, and drop into 375-degree oil.  It will take only 1-2 minutes per side to cook.  Drain on paper towels.

One giant onion (18 ounces!) and a half-hour later, we have a giant pile of delicious onion rings. 

This recipe is kind of a shake-and-bake thing, but cheaper and fresher.  It is really delicious with any kind of meat- chicken, beef, pork, fish, you name it.  Put ½ cup of this on a plate, then dredge (dip) raw meat in it, coating both sides.  The mixture is pretty salty, so use serving-sized chunks of meat.  If you’re going to coat chicken-nugget-sized pieces, combine mixture with an equal amount of cracker crumbs or flour, or the meat will be too salty.  (Lesson learned the hard way.)  Heat up 1-4 Tbsp. of oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat, then cook the meat until as done as you like.  Any leftover (used) seasoned flour can be kept in the freezer until you need it, or mix it into a batch of biscuits, breadsticks, or cornbread.  My new favorite use for seasoned flour is Onion Rings: make pancake batter (any recipe, don’t add oil or butter) but add 1 Tbsp. of Seasoned Flour to it for each cup of flour or pancake mix you used.  Slice an onion and separate it into rings, dip them into the batter, and deep fry a few at a time until golden.  NO restaurant onion ring in my memory can compare to this!

 Seasoned Flour 
4   cups   flour   
3   Tbsp.   seasoned salt
3   Tbsp.   garlic salt   
3   Tbsp.   onion salt   
3   Tbsp.   pepper   
3   Tbsp.   salt   

Mix together and store airtight in cupboard.  Makes about 4 ½ cups.

 If you don't have garlic salt or onion salt,  use 
4 cups flour
3 Tbsp. seasoned salt
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
3 Tbsp. pepper
1/4 c. salt

If you don't want to keep more than a quart jar's worth, give the extra 1/2 cup to a neighbor to try- they'll want the recipe too!

Have you heard this before?  It’s a quote from Brigham Young  (if you’re short on time, just read the bold):

  “Were I to ask the question, how much wheat or anything else a man must have to justify him in letting it go to waste, it would be hard to answer; figures are inadequate to give the amount. Never let anything go to waste. Be prudent, save everything, and what you get more than you can take care of yourselves, ask your neighbors to help you. There are scores and hundreds of men in this house, if the question were asked them if they considered their grain a burden and a drudge to them, when they had plenty last year and the year before, that would answer in the affirmative, and were ready to part with it for next to nothing. How do they feel now, when their granaries are empty? If they had a few thousand bushels to spare now, would they not consider it a blessing? They would. Why? Because it would bring the gold and silver. But pause for a moment, and suppose you had millions of bushels to sell, and could sell it for twenty dollars per bushel, or for a million dollars per bushel, no matter what amount, so that you sell all your wheat, and transport it out of the country, and you are left with nothing morethan a pile of gold, what good would it do you? You could not eat it, drink it, wear it, or carry it off where you could have something to eat. The time will come that gold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat. Gold is not to be compared with it in value. Why would it be precious to you now? Simply because you could get gold for it? Gold is good for nothing, only as men value it. It is no better than a piece of iron, a piece of limestone, or a piece of sandstone, and it is not half so good as the soil from which we raise our wheat, and other necessaries of life. The children of men love it, they lust after it, are greedy for it, and are ready to destroy themselves, and those around them, over whom they have any influence, to gain it” (Journal of Discourses, 1:, p.250).

The onion rings and some hushpuppies.  This was from a 2-cup batch of onion ring batter.  Next time I'll use 1 cup and a normal-sized yellow onion.

If you have extra batter, you can add a little oil or melted butter (for tenderness), and stir in cornmeal and/or flour until it's thick enough to get round spoonfuls.  Also nice with some dried parsley for color.  Drop the spoonfuls into the hot oil, flip to the other side after a minute.  Drain on paper towels, too.

courtesy photos8.com

Today you get the cookie recipes.  Lest you think the whole cookbook is for treats-- because last week was cakes & frostings-- I'm also giving you the table of contents and index.  (The truth of the matter is that the categories are in alphabetical order.)

Cookies card 1
Cookies card 2
Table of contents and index

A post last week had a short list of seeds you may not need to buy because you have them already.  Here's a longer list of them.  It includes ones I've mentioned before, to put the info in one place.
There are lots of seeds that you may already have at home, that you can plant outside. For instance:

-dry beans  (i.e. pinto beans, Great Northern, kidney, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, Lima, etc.)
-seeds inside a tomato (may or may not be hybrid- look it  up online if it matters to you.  What it grows into will NOT be a hybrid, though!)
-seeds from melons or any winter squash (some are hybrids)
-wheat kernels (good for sprouts, wheat grass, or let it grow to maturity)
-amaranth (good for greens, as well as the seeds)  or quinoa

-flax seed (gives you beautiful blue flowers, more seeds, and fiber if you're interested in spinning...)
-coriander (whole, not ground!) the plant it grows is cilantro; harvest the seeds for more coriander
-mustard seed- the greens are good eating, plus more seeds..
-fennel seed
-celery seed (actually is not celery, you grow this one for the celery-flavored seed)
-aniseed (anise seed)
-other whole spices or herb seeds
-raw unsalted sunflower seeds
-raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
-raw unsalted peanuts

And roots you can plant:

-carrots or parsnips (you'll get ferny foliage and lacy white flowers, followed by lots of seed for next year)
-other root vegetables- beets, turnips, radishes, etc- will give you seeds this season
-onions, garlic, or shallots that are starting to sprout (or not).  You'll get ball-shaped flowerheads, then seeds from them this year, too.
-potatoes that are shrivelling or sprouting- turn that one into several!  -don't throw them away!
-horseradish (a chunk of root from the grocery store will grow)- this is the 2011 Herb of the Year
-ginger root
-Jerusalem artichokes ('sunchokes')

And if you want a tree:

-raw tree nuts- walnut, pecan, hazelnut, almond, etc.
-avocado pits
-seeds from any citrus
-cherry, apricot, pear, plum, peach pits or seeds.  NOTE: these are almost always hybrids.  The fruit it grows will most likely not be the same as you ate.  But it's something, and it's food, and if you don't like it, you can always use it as rootstock for a graft from a neighbor's good tree.  Or firewood.   :D

It's helpful to look online to find the plant's ideal growing conditions and how many days until harvest. 

 (originally from 4/25/10)
This great list was sent to me by one of my sisters-  enjoy!  It is written specifically for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; the information is good for everyone.


Top 10 Food Storage Myths BustedBy Danielle Ellis, Desert Saints Magazine

A quick glance through any grocery store reveals that the average American food supply has come from far and wide. Produce from around the globe, grains from hundreds or thousands of miles away, canned goods from who-knows-where. A single calamity, whether man-made or an act of God, would leave those shelves empty, without much hope of a new supply.  For this reason, and many more, Latter-day Saints have long been counseled to have a year’s supply of food and basic supplies in their homes. Yet research has shown that never more than a small percentage of saints have complied with this vital instruction. We’ll bust some of the myths surrounding food storage that may be holding you back. Then make your plan and complete your year’s supply!

10  I Don’t Need Food Storage“There aren’t enough of us; my parents have mine; I don’t think I’ll ever need it.”  These are all ways of saying that you, for some reason, are exempt from prophetic counsel. You’re not. We have been told that our food storage will be as vital to us as boarding the ark was to Noah’s family. You need food storage!

9 There’s Food In The Bishop’s Storehouse“If something happens, I’ll go to the bishop’s storehouse.” Estimates are the bishop’s storehouse would be cleaned out in a matter of minutes. As President Monson advised over twenty years ago, “The best storehouse system that the Church could devise would be for every family to store a year’s supply of needed food, clothing, and, where possible, the other necessities of life.” Be your own storehouse.

8 I Don’t Have A Place To Store FoodIf you knew the lives of your family members depended on the food in your home, would you find a way to store it? Clear out some of your baggage (clutter) to provide for the future. You can find many places for storage. Make it a priority.

7 I Don’t Know What To Store Visit providentliving.org. If that’s too daunting, consider this: the Church advises storing 300 pounds of grains and 60 pounds of beans per adult per year. Break that up into breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and find some recipes. You know what you eat: store it.

6  I Don’t Know How To Store It If you’re confused by oxygen absorbers and gamma seals, don’t be. Get basic foods in your home and begin using them. Once you know how to use them, figure out how to store them for longer periods. You should be using and rotating your foods in an orderly plan, not keeping them for generations.

5  I Have Food Allergies You’re eating something now to stay alive. Figure out how to get a supply of that. If you want to store grains, try millet and oats. Millet is the least allergenic of all grains and oats contain no gluten. Quinoa is a totally different type of grain than wheat and is a nutritional powerhouse. Those with special dietary needs especially need food storage.

4  I Don’t Know How To Prepare It Brigham Young once said, “we need not ask God to feed us, nor follow us round with a loaf of bread begging of us to eat it. He will not do it….” It is our job, and nobody else’s, to figure out how to feed ourselves. There are many cookbooks created to use food storage ingredients. Find some and start using them.

3 The Food Will Go Bad The food will only go bad if you buy short-life products, then stick them under the bed and wait for “d-day.” Buy whole-food products, store them properly, use and rotate them and you’ll be in great shape.

2  I Hate Wheat Then find grains you like, or new recipes, or find different ways to use wheat. Sprouting wheat provides a new dimension of possibilities, as well as additional nutritional benefits- enzymes, extra vitamins and minerals. Try barley, buckwheat, bulgur, couscous, millet, oats, quinoa, rye. Or durum wheat for pasta. Whole grains have the longest storage life and great nutrition.

1It’s Too Expensive If you buy food you never use, you will never find “extra” money to purchase food storage or ways to use and enjoy it. I recently made a large purchase of grains. Including the cost of shipping them to my door, the grains ended up costing LESS THAN 35 CENTS/LB! Look at anything you buy from the grocery store- you are paying much more. Incorporating simpler, whole foods into your diet will improve your health and ease your pocketbook. Priceless.

* * * * * * *         

Menu suggestion- serve this soup with crunchy apple slices and 'Best Drop Biscuits'.  Turn on the oven first; it will be hot enough by the time you get the soup in the pot and the dough mixed.

Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup 

2  ½   c.  water    (or use broth and omit the bouillon)
1 (8-oz). can  tomato sauce   
10-16 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (or 2-3 cups fresh)   
A handful of noodles  or other pasta 
2   tsp. or 2 cubes  chicken bouillon   
2   c. cooked chicken (or turkey),  cut up

Combine water, noodles, sauce and veggies.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Stir in chicken.  Bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Makes about 6 cups. 
I frequently make this my clean-out-the-freezer soup; instead of adding a bag of mixed vegetables, I add all my frozen odds and ends


from photos8.com

(originally from 6/03/10)
Have you stored water yet?  Benjamin Franklin wrote, “When the well is dry, they know the worth of water.”   Even a little bit helps.  Keep a few water-filled 2-liter bottles, or 2-quart juice containers, under the sink in the kitchen and bathrooms.  I screw the lids on REALLY tight because of my curious little ones….

These are great for when the city water suddenly goes out, or a pipe breaks in your house.  (Last winter we were out of water TWO times in two weeks because of broken pipes!)   Then figure a way to keep a lot more water stored someplace; President Hinckley told us to store at least a gallon per person per day, for two weeks.  The blue barrels are good for this, and can be kept in your garage. If you’re buying storage containers, figure a dollar for each gallon of storage capacity- $50 or under for 50 gallon barrel, $5 or so for a 5-gallon jug, etc. You can live a lot longer without food than you can without water.  If you want to have even MORE than the minimum, check out the super-size containers at
http://familywatertanks.com/    Our water already has chlorine in it, so it will stay clean and safe as long as the container is closed securely.   If/when we have a large-scale disaster (remember Sister Beck told us to prepare for ‘eventualities’….) the city can get to repairing much faster if they don’t have to spend all their time hauling water around to all of us.

Here are some more applicable quotes from Franklin, enjoy!

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.
“Well done is better than well said.
“God helps those who help themselves.
“It is hard for an empty sack to stand upright.”

* * * * * * * 
 Here’s the bread recipe I’ve eaten for the last 30+ years; it’s my mom’s recipe.  The beauty of bread is that is so adaptable.  Use this recipe to make anything from white sandwich loaves, to whole wheat bread, pizza, fluffy dinner rolls or mouthwatering cinnamon rolls.   See Making Bread for these variations and more.  The bread freezes well, so I always make an oven full; it’s no more work to make six than to make two.  I keep enough in the pantry for 3 days because it is fresh-tasting for only that long; I put the rest in the freezer as soon as it's cooled and sliced.  


          Basic Bread

Six loaves:                                        Two loaves:
2 Tbsp. salt                                          2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. yeast                                       2 tsp. yeast     
½ cup -1 cup sugar                             1/4 -1/3 cup sugar
½ cup oil                                             3 Tbsp. oil
6 cups hot water (hottest from           2 cups hot water
  faucet, not over 130 degrees)                   

8 cups flour to start- you will             3 cups flour to start, will be 5-6
  use around 16 c. total                          total

      Mix salt, yeast, sugar, oil, water, and first amount of flour in a bowl.  Beat about two minutes with a wooden spoon.  Stir in half of what’s left, then mix in more until too stiff to stir.  Dump out onto a floured counter and knead for 8-10 minutes, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.   The dough should be smooth and elastic after kneading.  (Yes, you could use a stand mixer for this, too….)

     Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic grocery bag and let rise 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled.  Punch down and shape into loaves.  Place in greased 8x4 loaf pans and let rise about 45 minutes or until nearly doubled.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes (or at 375 for 25 minutes) or until the sides of the bread are brown.  (Tip a loaf out of the pan to check.)  Remove from pans and cool on a rack.

Follow above 6 loaf recipe, using all whole wheat flour, and also add one of the following:

1/4 c. lecithin, 1/4 c. gluten, 1/4 c. dough enhancer, or 1000 mg Vitamin C, crushed or dissolved in water.  These improve texture and reduce coarseness.  Any of the variations can be made with whole wheat.
(originally from 6/17/10)
Ezra Taft Benson

"There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and a fruit tree or two.  Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own" (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 266).

In Google Docs there
 is a file with the recipes  I made for the basic-foods class today; Using Wheat Without A Mill.  It covers different ways to use your wheat (all without a mill- a grinder-), including sprouting it, cooking it whole or cracked, how to crack it in the first place, blender-wheat recipes (including a chart to help you convert your own recipes to use whole wheat with the blender), making malt, and soaking wheat before using it.  The last page also has links to some great recipes and resources for using your wheat.   These links are also listed below.
Please buy wheat!  You cannot beat it for price.  You can buy it by the bag at the cannery, you don’t have to get it in the cans. White wheat there is $5.80 for a 25 lb bag, which is about 23 cents per POUND, which is enough to make one whole loaf of bread.  You pay that much, or more, for each OUNCE of breakfast cereal.  If you don't have a grain mill (grinder), or don't know yet how to use wheat if it's not already flour, now is a great time to jump in and get some wheat anyway.  If you're worried that you won't be able to rotate/use it before it goes bad, don't let that stop you from following the commandment to build your food storage.  It lasts for a long, long time.  Decades or more, if stored right.  Get it, then learn how to use it.  It's healthy stuff to have on hand anyway! It’s also inexpensive insurance.  You'll be glad you have it, and I know you’ll be blessed for following the prophet's counsel.


Notes from what we tasted and learned at the class-:

We sampled Blender Wheat Pancakes, Wheat Puree Bread, Wheat Salad with Chicken and Corn, Strawberry Nut Jello Salad (the 'nuts' are wheat), Gourmet Banana Nut Cookies, cooked wheat, cracked wheat, sprouted wheat, malt powder .  Also covered was the difference between COOKED and SPROUTED wheat, and how to make malt. 

Why  eat it:  it's CHEAP, stores a LONG time, high in fiber, high in some proteins, vitamins, minerals.

 (summary of the class):   How to eat it:  Grind in blender (2 cups for 1 ½ minutes) or food processor (the dry grains or soaked/cooked), crack in blender, cook whole or cracked, sprout and eat as kernels (as breakfast cereal, or ground beef extender, or rice/pasta/nut substitute), make malt, or sprout and eat as wheat grass or wheat grass juice.

Ways to cook wheat:  in a Thermos, rice cooker, crock pot, regular pan, use in breads (quick/yeast), cakes, salads, (including Jello).  You may cook them then freeze for later. 

Why soak grains before eating them- phytates (phytic acid, the form the phosphorus is in) are anti-nutrients, they bind with and so block absorption of minerals, especially zinc, that you need for proper growth and immune system strength. You inactivate phytates by making the grain think it’s sprouting- warm, moist. Also, soaking freshly ground grain in warm liquid also destroys the phytic acid by activating the enzyme phytase.  A diet rich in Vitamins D, C, A, and calcium help mitigate the effect of phytic acid on the body.  Sprouted wheat is a vegetable, does not lose gluten, but the amino acid profile and vitamins change and it becomes more easily digestible.

 Wheat Berries

2 cups hard red winter-wheat berries
7 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt

Place wheat berries in a large heavy saucepan. Add water and salt.
 Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse. To serve hot, use immediately. Otherwise, follow the make-ahead instructions. Makes about 4 1/2 cups.                    
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate  or freeze. 
For Cracked Wheat,  put ¼ to ½ cup of uncooked wheat in a blender, run for 30 seconds or til cracked. 

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per 1/2 cup: 151 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 4 g fiber; 263 mg sodium; 0 mg potassium.
2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 2 Starch

Ready-made toppings for your cooked wheat:
Pure fruit spreads
Fruit butters, such as apple, apricot, prune, pear
Marmalades, jams, preserves, conserves
Frozen berries and fruits, with or without syrup
Nut butters- peanut, almond, cashew
Lemon and lime curds
Maple syrup
Pure honey, whipped, unfiltered or in unusual flavors such as sage, lavender, or chestnut
Chocolate-hazelnut and chocolate peanut butter spreads
Sundae toppings

Making malt: http://www.dryit.com/diastaticmalt.html 

Put 1 cup of wheat kernels in a quart jar, cover with water, and let soak for about 12 hours.  Drain the water (which has vitamins and minerals- save for broth, watering plants, or making bread), rinse, and drain completely.  Rinse and drain 1-3 times a day for 2 days, until the sprouted part is about the same length as the grain. Spread on cookie sheets to go in the sunshine or warm oven or in a dehydrator; dry thoroughly but don’t heat over 130 degrees, so you don’t kill the enzymes.  Grind in a mill or in your blender.  Makes about one cup.  Store tightly covered.  This will keep indefinitely in the fridge or freezer.  Use about 1-1 ½   teaspoon (1/10 of 1% flour) per loaf of bread.  More than this will give you sticky dough and is not beneficial. 

The enzyme in malt (diastase) converts starch in the dough to sugars (maltose) that the yeast can use; longer fermentation (rising) times are needed to be most effective.   Malt replaces sugar/honey and feeds the yeast, browns the crust.  It also has lots of enzymes and vitamins, and so makes your bread more digestible and more nutritious.  The enzymes also improve the flavor, make a finer texture, and increase shelf life.  If you wanted to make malt syrup, you would slowly cook the sprouted grain to get a dark syrup.

Also see:  http://makinghomemadewineandbeer.blogspot.com/2008/05/making-malt-extract.html 


http://everydayfoodstorage.net/training-cooking/grains, http://everydayfoodstorage.net/2008/10/12/pumpkin-blender-wheat-waffles-with-caramel-sauce/food-storage-recipes Pumpkin Blender Wheat Waffles with Caramel Sauce, http://everydayfoodstorage.net/category/long-term-food-storage/grains/wheat/blender-wheat  Red, White and Blue Blender Pancakes (blender pancakes with red and blue berries, whipped cream), http://everydayfoodstorage.net/2008/04/01/food-storage-gourmet-blender-wheat-cookie/food-storage-recipes Gourmet Blender Banana Wheat Cookie, http://everydayfoodstorage.net/2008/06/24/bring-one-of-these-one-of-a-kind-salads-to-your-next-gathering/food-storage-recipes Feta Wheat Berry Salad, Wheat Berry Salad with Apples and Cashews

http://selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com/search/label/Wheat%20Berries Black Bean, Edamame, and Wheat Berry Salad, Crockpot Wheat Berries, Stovetop Wheat Berries, Pressure Cooker Wheat Berries, Carroll Shelby’s Chili, Wheat Berry Pineapple Chicken Salad, Wheat Berry Salad, Wheat Nuts (like Corn Nuts); http://selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com/2010/02/4-blender-pancake-recipes.html 4 different blender pancake recipes to try

http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/delegate.do?fnSearchString=wheat+berry&fnSearchType=site  Wheat Berry Tapenade, Mushroom Wheat Berry Pilaf, Cumin-Scented Wheat Berry-Lentil Soup, Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili, Rice, Red Lentil, and Wheat Berry Salad, Wheat Berries and Greens (Farro e Verdure)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/delegate.do?fnSearchString=wheat+berry&fnSearchType=site Easter Wheat Pie (Pastiera di Grano); the same type recipe baked in a springform pan to be a cake is as http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-la-pastiera-di-grano

http://www.ldspreparedness.com/Files/cookbook.pdf   The “New Ideas For Cooking with Food Storage” cookbook (20 pages).  Meat substitutes and extenders, Bulgur Wheat, another Blender Wheat Pancake recipe with variation for Waffles, Chinese Fried Wheat (instead of rice), Italian Fried Wheat, Spanish Fried Wheat, Cracked Wheat Casserole (includes burger too), Popped Wheat (similar to Corn Nuts), how to cook it: stovetop, Thermos, gas range’s pilot light, crockpot, as cracked wheat.

http://www.suegregg.com/  for whole foods, including lots of blender wheat recipes