Smoothie and Frozen Treat ideas

Found this on a forum posting, and have adapted it for my needs.

Fudgesicles

3 oz. box sugar free pudding (chocolate, or any flavor)

Non-fat milk (package directions)

13 oz can nonfat evaporated milk

DIRECTIONS:  Mix pudding mix and non-fat milk according to package directions for pudding.  Then blend in the nonfat evaporated milk.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

 

Dripless Popsicles

3 oz box of any flavor Jell-o (sugar free)

1 13 oz. can non-fat evaporated milk  OR

2 cups mixed fruit (mashed or pureed)

 

Mix jello according to package directions, but do not chill.  Blend in one can of non-fat evaporated milk (to make a “dreamsicle) or blend in 2 cups of mashed or pureed fruit for a fruited popsicle.  Pour into Popsicle molds and freeze.

 

“Fruited Milkshake”

2 tsp unflavored gelatin

1 cup water, divided

1 cup fresh fruit – any choice

1/3 cup dry milk

Mix the gelatin in 1/2 cup of water.  Place in the microwave and heat on “high” for 30 seconds or until the gelatin is melted and has the consistency of an eggwhite.

In a blender, add the 1 cup of fruit, 1/3 cup dry milk, and 1/2 cup of water.  Blend.  While blending, stream in the softened gelatin.  Add ice if desired until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth.  Serve with a spoon if too thick to drink.

 

Chocolate Shake variation

You can make the recipe above a “chocolate” shake, by replacing the base mixture with 1 cup water, 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk, and 1 tablespoon of cocoa.  Add sweetener if desired.  Blend, and while blending add the softened gelatin, then add ice to thicken.

 

Freezing Fruit

Freeze grapes, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, peach slices, banana slices, and cherries for future smoothie or popsicle use by rinsing (and pitting in the case of cherries), then laying flat on a freezer safe plate or baking sheet, and flash freezing until solid.  Store in freezer containers or freezer zippie bags and use as needed.

Bananas can also be frozen whole in their peels.  To serve, run water briefly over the frozen unpeeled banana to loosen the skin, then slice and serve.  If you allow the banana to thaw, it will turn to a gooey mush, so use quickly, or use the “mush” in banana bread or pancakes.

To freeze apple slices, dip the apples in salt water before freezing to keep the slices from oxidizing and turning brown.  For the salt water, mix 1 tablespoon of salt to a gallon of water (or half the quantities if doing fewer appls).  You won’t taste the salt, but you can use other “fruit fresh” type mixes if you prefer.  Just follow the package directions, or use lemon juice and water.

To freeze melons (watermelon, canteloupe, etc.), puree the melon, then freeze in small batches for easier use.  A popsicle pushup mold makes a good size for smoothie use in the future.  When frozen, just store in a container or freezer safe zippie bag.

The Menu Mom is offering a Summer Bundle Sale on Cookbooks

I have been a subscriber of The Menu Mom’s monthly menu plans (say THAT three times fast!) for over a year now.  I really enjoy her menus, and her e-books.  She is also a great person – and she and her family are working on adopting a Ukranian orphan as soon as they raise the money.

So her goals can be your steal of a deal!  She is offering a Summer Bundle of 9 e-books for just $10 as a way to raise some quick cash.  That’s a little over a dollar per book – and her books are a very good quality with lots of great recipes and tips.  It’s a real steal – for the cost of a meal, you can get nine different e-books that can help you eat better and feel better, and be ready for emergencies as well.

The reason I’m posting the link to her Summer Bundle is that one of her books is on Emergency Cooking – something very near and dear to my heart!  The e-book “Emergency Preparedness Recipes” offers you a chance to build an emergency preparedness plan, stock your pantry, and have quick and easy recipes at hand in case you need them.  All for about $1 for the book (part of the 9 book bundle for $10).

Get nine e-books for just $10

The nine books include:

  • Citrus Summer Meals
  • Five Ingredient Grill Meals
  • Eating Organic Handbook
  • Emergency Preparedness Recipes (featured above)
  • Gourmet Garden Salads
  • Camping Fun & Food
  • Super Foods
  • Pasta Just Got Healthier
  • Summer Picnics

When sold separately, these books fetch over $67, but can be yours for just $10.

Also – be sure to pick up your FREE Printable Monthly Menu Planning Calendars for 2013.  Yes, the year is in the second half, but free is free!  You can get the menu planning calendars just for signing up and ordering them at no charge on her site.

Get FREE printable meal planning calendars from The Menu Mom

So – what are you waiting for?  Order your FREE Printable Monthly Menu Planning Calendars, and pick up your nine e-books in the Summer Bundle Sale for just $10.  Enjoy – and happy Summer!

 

Build Your Food Storage – Rice

One of my goals this year is to build and organize my food storage.  But I thought I would do a blog series on all the different components you should have in your basic food storage – and why they are important.  Today’s post will talk about keeping rice in your food storage.

Why Have Rice In Your Food Storage?

Rice is considered a long-term food storage items, because when properly stored it can last for up to 20 years.  When combined with a legume like beans, it creates a complete protein.  And it’s really affordable, making it a good item to have in quantity in your food storage program.  So the combination of long storage life, good nutrition, and affordability make it a perfect food storage item.

What Type Of Rice Should You Store?

I tend to store simple long grain rice, although some friends of mine prefer Jasmine rice.  Long grain white rice is best for food storage because it does keep for up to 20 years when stored properly.  Brown rice, while more nutritious on it’s own, is not good for storage because the bran layer will eventually go rancid.  You can store brown rice for up to two years when properly vacuum sealed, but white rice is your best bet for longer term storage.

How to Store Rice:

I tend to put my rice into #10 cans with an oxygen absorber.  If you buy pre-canned rice from a food storage company, this is how it will come.  The #10 cans hold about five to six pounds of rice when properly packed.

I have also used a Tilia Food Saver to create a vacuum sealed pouch of rice.  This doesn’t last 20 years, because the plastic will break down and rodents can easily get into the rice if you aren’t careful.  But this is a good option to break down a larger bag of rice (like a 50 pound bag from Sam’s Club or Costco) and keep it from going bad before you can use it all.

Additionally, I’ve seen people use canning jars or clean, dry soda or juice bottles for storage.  If you can add an oxygen absorber it will increase the shelf life, but storage in these types of containers will be more short term – a few yeas at most.

How to Cook Long Grain Rice:

Long grain rice is exceptionally easy to cook.  I cook mine on the stove top in 20 minutes using this basic recipe:

  • one part Rice
  • two parts water
  • pat of butter or tablespoon of olive oil
  • teaspoon of salt

Boil the water and add the butter or oil, salt, and rice.  Lower heat to simmer, and simmer/steam for 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork before serving.

 

 

 

My Food Storage Goals for 2013

Happy New Year!  It’s a brand new year, so time to take out those food storage goals and talk about how we can build our food storage together in 2013.

How I Will Build My Food Storage This Year:

Although I have been storing food and practicing emergency preparedness principles for many years, I’m far from being done.  So here are my goals for 2013:

  • Organize my food storage pantry
  • Build up my freeze-dried food storage
  • Find new recipes to use my food storage

These three goals are about the same every year.  I need to continually use, replenish, and build up my food storage reserves.  I need to add variety through canned and freeze dried foods, as well as staples that have long shelf life.  And I need to constantly find new ways to use my food storage in everyday cooking.

Organize My Food Storage:

This is probably the area I struggle with the most.  I have several main places where I store my food, and they are constantly getting into a messy state.  I therefore resolve this year that I will clean them out – discarding expired food, organizing them so they are useful.  But beyond that I need to teach my family how to keep the food storage areas organized.

I also need to ensure my freezers and refrigerator are organized as well.  This keeps those perishable and short term food storage items from going bad and having to be tossed – which keeps my costs down!  I intend to explore some freezer cooking sites for tips.

Build Up My Freeze-Dried Food Storage

I have never really used freeze-dried food items in my cooking before.  I’ve always used fresh, canned, or staple dry goods in my food storage program and rotation.  But this year I have resolved to start trying some of the freeze dried food storage items that are out on the market.

To that end, I asked for (and received!) several very small canned of freeze dried food items as a Christmas present.  I have small cans of freeze-dried strawberries, freeze-dried broccoli pieces, and freeze dried bananas.  I intend to try these out in recipes as soon as possible.  I also got a can of powdered eggs to try in my baking!

Find and Try New Food Storage Recipes

Finally, I hope to get back to more home cooking in 2013.  To that end, I am seeking out recipes and adapting them to use food storage items wherever possible.  I’m also seeking out websites where others are sharing good tasting food storage recipes that I can try out this year.

 

What are your food storage goals this year?

I Finally Gave In And Used My Powdered Milk!

Most food storage preppers have a love/hate relationship with powdered milk.  We all believe it’s the right thing to have in our food storage.  It stores for a long time and will provide calcium and protein in the event we someday have to live off our food storage.

Yet powdered milk is really not the drink of choice for most preppers.  In fact, we all secretly pray that we’ll never have to use it.  I had been purchasing powdered milk for years, but had never cracked open a can until one day I just decided to “do it!”

Using Powdered Milk In Baking

The first thing I started using powdered milk for was baking.  Instead of using fresh milk, I used a powdered milk conversion chart to add the right amount of water and powdered milk to the recipe in lieu of the fresh milk.  The results were great!

Powdered milk is really good for bread making, because you don’t have to scald the milk first.  Fresh milk has enzymes that interfere with the yeast and rising process, so you have to scald the milk to kill the enzymes.  Powdered milk has been super-heated and pasteurized as part of the powdering process so no need to scald!  You might still have to warm up the water if you are using yeast, but powdered milk is easier for baking than fresh.

Use Powdered Milk in Everyday Cooking

The next thing I started using my powdered milk for was to make the pudding pies at Thanksgiving.  For this I did mix up the milk first, but used it just like fresh milk to make the pudding pies.  I also used it in the mashed potatoes.

Working Up The Courage To Drink Powdered Milk

I think the first step in drinking powdered milk is to make the switch to fresh skim milk.  If you currently drink 2% milk, or even whole milk, you will automatically dislike powdered milk, because it’s skim.  So start the process by getting to love skim milk from the grocery store first.

Then, purchase a can of instant powdered milk.  Instant powdered milk mixes up more easily than non-instant powdered milk.  There are several brands on the market – try them until you find one that is palatable for you.  The key – make sure the milk has chilled for several hours before drinking it!  You can also add a dash of sugar or vanilla to add some flavor.

So – give that powdered milk a try!

I Don’t Think You Understand – The Time To Store Food is NOW!

It’s never too late to start a food storage program!  But the best time to start your food storage program is right now.

We are currently living in a world of plenty.  Yes, prices are going up.  And yes, the drought is impacting some of the food supply.  But for Americans, we have food on our grocery store shelves to purchase, and so now is the time to start buying that extra can or box of food, and putting it away for the future.

Part of the problem of living in an abundance mentality is that we soon take it for granted.  Many of the grocery stores in my area are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  If I need something at 2am, I can drive to the store and buy it.

But what would happen if the grocery stores were closed?  What if the shelves were bare?  It makes so much sense to start putting aside food now, rather than trying to figure out another option when the stores are closed or the shelves are bare.

My challenge to you as we close out this year and get ready for 2013 is:  make TODAY the day you start preparing.  Buy one extra can, or two, or more if your budget allows.  Use what you have on hand, and replace and extend it until you have a weeks worth of food.  Then two weeks.  Then two months.  And keep going!

What I Hoped to Accomplish With Pilgrim’s Pantry in 2012

When I launched this blog in September, 2012, I really wanted to share my passion for food storage with people around the country, and even around the world.  I grew up knowing about food storage, but didn’t become passionate about being prepared until I was an adult and on my own.  Here is what I hope to accomplish with this blog – both this year and in the years to come

Help Others Learn From My Mistakes And Experience

Over the years I have made many mistakes related to food storage.  I’ve bought food because it was on a checklist, but never ate it.  I finally had to toss it when it went bad.  I sometimes still do this if I get a steal of a deal with sales and coupons – but want to get better about donating that food before it expires.  Now I know – store what you eat, and you’ll never have to worry about eating what you have stored!

I’ve been afraid to use my food storage.  Really – what a big mistake that is!  I was afraid of using it because it was expensive, or something I had to special order from Utah.  But now I know that using your food storage is important before there is an emergency.  By using the food storage, I’ve learned what tastes good – and what doesn’t!  I can stock up on what tastes great, and give away what doesn’t.  I learn how to use it in my everyday cooking, so it’s not just “survival food”.  It’s what we eat every day.

Food Storage Isn’t Just For Mormons Or Survivalists

The other things I really want to accomplish is to share the message that food storage is for everyone.  It’s not just for Mormons, or for people who are preparing for the end of the world.

Food storage can save everyone money.  Food storage can help everyone eat healthier.  Food storage can help everyone feel more prepared for everyday emergencies:  bad weather, job loss, illness, or financial difficulties.  Food storage brings peace of mind to everyone who invests in building and using it.

I really hope that you enjoy the blog, and can take away tips and tricks that help you build a food storage site that works for you and your family.

Acts of Food Storage Kindness

Continuing the Bloggy Mom’s “December Dare” posting topics, I’d like to share three ways you can use your food storage for random acts of kindness.

Make a Meal For a Friend Or Neighbor

Having food storage allows you the flexibility to pull together a meal for a friend, neighbor, or family member in need.  It might be as simple as making a spaghetti dinner, or as elaborate as a three course meal pulled together from food in your freezer and pantry.  Either way – food storage makes it easy to create a simple and healthy dinner and share it with someone who needs it.

Bake a Loaf Of Bread (or a Batch of Cookies)

Every Christmas, I make tons of pumpkin and banana bread to give away to families at church or around the neighborhood.  This year, I might just get brave enough to bake some homemade wheat bread (using my food storage of course!).  And Christmas Cookies are always a great way to use up some of my food storage.

Baking is an easy way to use food storage ingredients.  I grind wheat to make flour, and use the sugar I have stored to sweeten cookies and quick breads.  I use canned pumpkin or frozen bananas, as well as chocolate chips or dried cranberries in my baking.  I am just now branching out into using beans in place of butter or oil (still working on making those cookies tasty with beans!).  All of these allow me to practice using my food storage, and ensure that older items are rotated and used up (minimizing waste).  Plus – I get to give some tasty treats during the holidays!

Stocking The Local Food Bank

Finally, this time of year brings canned food drives at school, our public library, and elsewhere in the community.  I like to take stock of what I have in my pantry, and give away items (that haven’t expired of course!) to bless the lives of those in need.  I sometimes look for grocery store loss leader sales to find items that could benefit our local food banks and food drives.  Having extra on hand makes it much easier to be generous this time of year.

 

What Do We Tell Our Kids About Food Storage?

Today’s Bloggy Mom prompt was “what do we tell our kids about Santa Claus”.  Well – I couldn’t figure out how to make that work for food storage, so I changed it up a bit.  So – what do we tell our kids about Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness?

What Do We Tell Our Kids About Food Storage?

My daughter has hit the inquisitive age, where every other question is “Why?”  I’m always happy to tell her “why” I believe in food storage!

Food storage brings peace of mind to our family.  I sleep better knowing there is food in the house to feed my kids in case there is an emergency and we can’t get to the grocery store.  We have often tapped into our reserves when we run out of something on a weekend (since we don’t shop on Sunday), or when we have unexpected expenses come up.  I love knowing we have food to see us through an emergency.

Food storage saves us money.  Since I stock up when items go on sale, I end up spending less money that I would if I just bought food as I need it.  We use our long term food storage, which is more cost effective than buying pre-processed foods.  Then we can use that money for other things – like trips to Disney!

Save money by stocking your pantry

Food storage helps us eat healthy.  I love that my daughter and son eat whole wheat bread, beans, and whole grain oats in their daily meals.  Since we have started using our food storage, we eat more fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, and are on the way to weaning ourselves off fast food.  We still have a ways to go, but are doing so much better!

What Do We Tell Our Kids About Emergency Preparedness:

The biggest thing to tell our kids about emergencies is “if we are prepared, we don’t need to be afraid”.  Preparing for emergencies is a lot like buying car or homeowner’s insurance.  You might never need to use it, but knowing you have it available brings peace of mind.

It’s the same for emergency preparedness.  We make plans for common emergencies so we can be better prepared for them.  That way, when they hit, we don’t need to be afraid – we just need to execute our plans.

So – what do you tell your kids about your food storage and emergency preparedness plans?

 

When Snow Begins to Fall…Make Soup!

I have to admit – snow in Texas is a rare event.  We usually get 1-2 snow storms per winter, with an ice storm thrown in just for good measure.  But as the weather starts to turn colder, homemade soup can hit the spot!

Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe:

I shared this easy Chicken Stock recipe a few weeks ago, but all you need to do is throw a chicken carcass (maybe from a rotisserie chicken) in your slow cooker, with some onions, carrots, and celery.  Cover with water, and simmer on low for 6-8 hours.  Strain and use the broth immediately, or freeze for up to six months.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup:

Chicken Noodle Soup is a cold and flu season staple.  Whether it’s the warm broth or just the comfort of the familiar tastes, people who feel sick live for Chicken Noodle Soup.  I don’t really follow a recipe, but here is how I make mine at home.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 cups homemade Chicken Stock (canned works great too)
  • 1 to 1.5 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2-3 stalks celery, cleaned and sliced into half-rounds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 package thin spaghetti noodles, broken into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large, deep sauce pan or dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter
  2. Add the sliced carrots, celery, and onions and saute for 5-10 minutes or until they start to wilt and become tender
  3. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Lower to simmer and simmer for one hour
  4. Add the cooked, diced chicken, and the spaghetti noodles.  Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the noodles are tender
  6. Serve with crusty bread and a salad!

What are your favorite soup recipes for the long, cold winter nights?

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