Let’s do it the Cheap and Healthy way. (Canning not included)
Better to prepare now than play the waiting game because the chances are high that there may be a food shortage coming. I have already seen some signs of it lately. I say this with a fair amount of confidence.
In the past a lot of folks laughed at those of us who “prepped.” The term most often used is “preppers.” Not so many are laughing these days, and I am happy to say I have been a “prepper” for many years.
Right now when people are buying and hording a variety of things, we sit here and smile because we have most everything we would need to get by for sometime should things go from bad to worse.
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There is always the expensive and not always so healthy “emergency storage foods” that you can buy. We even have some but it would be my last resort, for several reasons. The main one being the super high, generally outrageous sodium content.
I am going to share some better ideas that are much more cost effective and pretty easy to do. You will need a few pieces of equipment but take note — these are things you will always be able to use every year and you may find yourself feeling quite resourceful in both owning and using these items. Scary times or not, I use them every year.
I personally feel everyone should have one. They are so versatile and can be used for many things. Maybe you just want to make your kids some fruity roll ups.
They come in several styles and sizes. Mine is a cheap little Nesco that has never missed a beat in years. I believe I have had it since 2014.
You can dehydrate about any type of food that has moisture in it. Fruits, veggies, meat, jerky, herbs, flowers and even bread if you want dried crumbs.
I would not be without mine. Especially considering that dried meals stored in vacuum sealed bags can last for a great many years.
NOTE: Don’t forget to grab some BPA free sealer bags.
Dried Food Items:
Dried foods are often inexpensive and at the same time, very healthy. Another big plus is they are lightweight and easy to store.
Some of the dried food items I use for making my “sealer meals” are veggies and herbs from our own garden. But there are some other must haves that we stay stocked up on. Two of those are rice and lentils.
RICE: I prefer brown rice or wild rice as it has more fiber and nutrition than white rice which has had the hulls stripped off. Here is a short video that covers 8 great benefits of brown rice.
Some great choices in rice are Jasmine brown rice, wild rice or a mix.
Lentils: Lentils are an excellent choice for so many, healthy reasons. They are high in protein and a rich source of essential amino acids. Plus they are packed with fiber and contain some B vitamins,folate and iron.
Lots of choices with lentils. Red, yellow, green, brown and black. Or you can buy a mixed variety.
Dried Soup mixes and Veggies: Living in the north, our growing season is short. We don’t grow enough veggies to last all year so I will buy dried veggie mixes. There are also some great dried soup mixes.
Dried Herbs: I do grow enough herbs to dry and use all year long. Generally even more than I need and I often share with friends and neighbors.
I prefer to air dry for my herbs outdoors rather than use the dehydrator. Some are long enough to cut and hang. Others go in an enclosed herb dryer. Once dried, I store them in mason jars and have them ready for use all year. I also add them to my “sealer meals” because they flavor them so well and are also full of nutrients.
Of course you can purchase dried herbs as well.
There is a great variety of ideas for mixing dried food items with various herbs and spices to make great sealer meals. They are not only easy and inexpensive to make and are packed full of healthy ingredients, without all the processing that goes into most packaged foods.
Mix up some rice and lentils.. Add a few spices, some salt and pepper and tada !! Put it in your sealer bag, seal and you have meal that can be stored for many years.
While you have your dried items out.. You can make a lot of sealer meals within a short period of time. Date them, store them and use when needed.
NOTE: A reminder that dried items always swell when cooked.. Especially veggies. A little bit goes a long way.
Grab your FREE BIG list of “Storage Staples” in the library. It includes Baking staples, Canned goods, Seasonings, Supplements, Dried foods and miscellaneous items.
You might like my article all about Dehydrating: Find it HERE
You might also like my article All about Fermenting: