High-nutrition food storage

People in my community are dedicated to storing a year’s supply of food (myself included), and we are blessed to have many preparedness experts around us.   I struggled for years to achieve a food supply that we would actually eat, that wouldn’t go to waste because it’s so nutritionally inferior or has such a short shelf life.   (I threw out a lot of stuff over the years.)

I feel that I now have a solid food storage I can rotate into our diet.   So I’m including here a list of what’s in The Hatch.   That’s what we call our cold-storage room in the basement, in honor of our favorite ABC TV show, Lost.   I hope it helps you, and if you’re a preparedness guru, please share any ideas on what YOU store.

I know some of you will have to get creative, space-wise, to achieve any kind of storage, and perhaps you will want to consider starting with a three-month supply of food.)   Tons of natural disasters in the last couple of weeks, along with an international food shortage and skyrocketing fuel costs, have put food storage at the forefront of many of our minds.

I’ve put at the top of this list the things I feel are most nutritionally valuable in my list (the least important things are at the end).   For length, I’ve left off the list all the non-food items and dog food.

 

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Raw sauerkraut (from my garden cabbage)

Organic extra virgin coconut oil

Extra virgin olive oil

Raw legumes: small red, black turtle, small white, pinto, garbanzo, and 11-bean mix, plus lentils and split peas

Grains: popcorn, wheat, Kamut, quinoa, rye, oat groats, rolled oats, brown rice

Shredded coconut

Raisins

Nuts and seeds: raw almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews (many of these are in my upright full-size freezer)

Coconut juice (canned)

Raw apple cider vinegar (gallons are on sale right now at Good Earth, locals!)

Sweeteners: raw honey, raw agave, real maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, stevia

Spices: sea salt, kelp, cinnamon, cocoa powder, baking powder, basil, oregano, cayenne

Natural peanut butter

Whole-grain pasta

Canned: Powdered milk (to make kefir/yogurt)

Whole eggs

No-sugar-added spaghetti sauce

Canned diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce

Dehydrated fruits and vegs (bell peppers, onions, apples, bananas, mixed fruit)

Beans: black, vegetarian refried, garbanzos (for convenience)

Corn

Vegetarian chili

No-sugar-added applesauce

No-sugar-added peaches, mandarin oranges

Some other random items like canned black olives and liquid chlorophyll

raw sweet potatoes and Jamaican cheese

Costco has the coolest new item in produce: raw sweet-potatos, peeled and cut in  sticks.   Sweet potatoes are something you may not have eaten RAW before, but they’re crunchy, mild, and best of all, one of just a handful of foods that have all of the eight amino acids your body cannot manufacture on its own (cucumbers are another one).

The lady in line in front of me asked how I keep them from getting mushy.   I drew a blank and said, “They’re not mushy–they’re crunchy.”   She said, yeah, but when you freeze and thaw them, when you go to cook them . . .Instead of cooking sweet potatoes, try putting them in your kids’ lunches.   I just came home with some, and my kids have almost disappeared them already.

You know the lady who writes on your receipt with a marker on your way out of Costco?   She said to me, hey, these things are so great deep fried!   I couldn’t help it–I busted out laughing. (She doesn’t know me, like the checkers and baggers do.)   I said, “Awesome!   Then you make a really, really healthy food into junk food!”   She said, yeah, but it tastes so good!

I laughed all the way to the car.   (Still, I’m going to try  sauteeing them in a little coconut oil, since it doesn’t create trans fats even at high temps,  and see how they are–I’ll let you know if they’re any good.)

Jicama is another vegetable for you to try raw, cut into sticks: it’s crunchy and sweet.  If you don’t know how to pronounce it, it’s Spanish, “hi-ca-ma.”  You had to be there at the salad bar years ago: we were going through the line.   A young boy in front of us pointed to jicama on the salad bar and asked his mom what it was.   She looked at the label, tried to sound it out, gave up, and told her son, “It’s . . . it’s . . . Jamaican Cheese!”   In my family, we’ve called jicama “Jamaican Cheese” for 10 years now.

tips for eating right inexpensively

Q:   Dear GreenSmoothieGirl, I can’t afford to eat the way you suggest. Any ideas?

A:   Most people base their purchasing decisions on taste, convenience, price, appearance, and shelf life.

Of course, what tastes good is dictated by our addictions, and you know if you read my blog that sugar is the most addictive substance on the planet.   Having to wash fruits and vegetables can’t compete, for convenience.   Organic produce doesn’t always look shiny and pretty.   And produce and most whole foods don’t last long on the shelf.   Nutrition is the loser in most buying criteria and decisions!   (If you don’t believe me,  take a peek at  what’s in virtually all grocery carts next time you’re in the store.)

I do have 11 tips for you to save money (and many more are in 12 Steps to Whole Foods):  

  1. Plan meals ahead of time and keep a shipping list to avoid impulse buying.  Along with your shopping list, keep a list of what constitutes “good” prices, as well as a calculator to take along on shopping trips. 
  2. Quit buying chips, soda, and packaged cookies and candy. Quit buying meat.   Quit buying fast food. These things are costing you more than you may realize.
  3. Instead, buy grains and legumes, which are higher in protein than people expect, inexpensive, and they keep in storage for years.   Try serving grains/legumes most nights a week instead of meat.      
  4. If you have a family, invest in a big freezer.   Put it in the garage.   Buy it used if you need to.
  5. Start learning what things cost, and buy larger quantities (5# or more) of produce, nuts, seeds and grains when they’re in season and on sale.
  6. Freeze on-sale fruits in small bags in the freezer.   Put greens in the freezer for green smoothies, if you can’t use them before they will go bad.   Freeze bulk-purchased nuts and seeds in freezer bags.
  7. Ask around and find the buying co-ops for local produce and health-food items.   Get on email lists for those co-ops.   You don’t have to buy huge bulk amounts for Azure Standard and other co-ops.
  8. Dig a cold-storage hole in the ground against your home, if possible, line it with plastic or wood or straw, and put a wooden lid on top.   Store potatoes, onions, carrots, homemade sauerkraut, nuts, seeds, and oils through the winter.
  9. Grow a garden.   Even if all you have is a patio or tiny backyard, you can grow a surprising amount of produce.   This will give you organic produce, and you can freeze whatever you’re not able to use, for fall and winter months.
  10. If organic produce is really expensive, buy conventional and just wash it well, with a veggie soap.   I use Shaklee Basic H.   A gallon of it lasts me a decade.
  11. Go shopping when you’ve just eaten, not when you’re hungry.   Then planning and intelligence informs your shopping decisions (not cravings and addictions).