Food

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Making your own baby food is easy if you have a blender or food processor, but what if the power is out?

When my daughter recently had complications from oral surgery, letting her feast on nothing but ice cream for 10 days seemed pretty counter-productive to healing. While making her very soft diet for 10 days, the thought crossed my mind that post-collapse, people with dental issues and babies will still need to eat long after the jars of Gerber are gone. (And really, a lot of that jarred food is pricey and isn’t made from the best quality products, which means that making your own is a thrifty and healthful idea regardless of the circumstances.)

But, without our normal kitchen gadgets like stick blenders, food processors, and blenders, what’s the best method to make purees?

Making a puree without kitchen gadgets is only slightly more time-consuming. The only kitchen implements you need are probably things you already have on hand.

  • A potato masher (for longevity, go with a sturdy metal one instead of a cheapo plastic one)
  • A metal strainer (you want the criss-cross mesh and not the kind with perforated circles for best results.) You can get this kind with feet or this kind with a handle. Note how the one with the handle has the little hooks on the opposite side – this will make your life much easier.
  • A large metal spoon

Like I said, you probably have all of these things – the links are for informational purposes so you can envision exactly what I’m talking about. Unless, of course, you have no spoons, strainers, and mashers. Then, by all means, pick them up.

Here’s how to prepare baby food without a food processor or blender.

I used this technique with grains (like pasta, oats, and rice), fruits, and vegetables with great success. You can add broth for a little bit of protein, or, instructions for preparing meat are below.

  1. Cook your ingredients until they are soft. You won’t be able to get the right texture with lightly steamed veggies. Generally, boiling will be the best way to cook the food.
  2. Use your mesh strainer to drain the cooked food, reserving the cooking liquid to add back in for the right consistency.
  3. Depending on the sturdiness of the food, you may need to use your potato masher to prepare the food for straining. Starchier foods like potatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes, for example, will require mashing first. Once the food has been mashed, return it to the strainer.
  4. Place your strainer over another pot or a large bowl. Using your large metal cooking spoon, press the food through the mesh strainer. The pieces left in the strainer can be used for the adults by adding them to a soup or casserole.
  5. If the puree needs thinning, add some of the cooking liquid back in a tiny bit at a time, stirring constantly to achieve your desired consistency. For a very young infant, you’ll require a much thinner puree. As the child gets older and more able to chew, it can be a bit thicker.

For older babies who are able to eat a wider variety of foods, the family’s dinner can often be processed this way so that they can enjoy the same meal.

How to prepare meat for baby food.

Meat is more difficult to prepare without a food processor but can be done for older babies. If your child is just starting out with solids and you are unable to puree it in a food processor, you may need to delay introducing it for a little while and just add bone broth to their vegetable purees.

  1. A slow-cooked, tender meat will yield the best results.
  2. Once the meat is very tender, cut it into tiny pieces – and by tiny, I mean about the size of a grain of rice.
  3. Place it back into the pot and use your potato masher to tenderize it even more.
  4. Stir in some broth or add a vegetable/grain puree.
  5. Press this through a colander with bigger holes. Strain thoroughly to ensure the pieces are small enough that your baby won’t choke.

There’s also the option of this baby food-making gadget.

The methods above all use simple, easily accessible products that most people already have in their kitchens.

However, if you like gadgets and your kitchen is not overflowing with them, this potato ricer would easily strain the daylights out of some baby food, performing all of the tasks that your three kitchen tools above will.

Preserving baby food by canning

If you want to preserve some food during harvest time for baby to eat later, remember this one important thing:

You should NOT puree food before canning.

Whenever you puree a low acid food and can it, you run the risk of not reaching the appropriate internal temperature throughout the puree to keep the food safe from botulism. Botulism can be deadly for a healthy adult – it would be difficult for an infant to survive a bout of the disease.

If you are putting food back for baby, can the item as is normally directed. For example, potatoes or squash should be diced, green beans should be cut into jar sized pieces – you get the idea. Then, at serving time, use the steps above to process the jarred food for baby. You won’t need to boil it any further to reach the appropriate consistency – just start right in with the straining and the smashing.

To learn how to safely home can fruits, vegetables, and more, check out my book, The Prepper’s Canning Guide.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: The Prepper’s Guide to Making Homemade Baby Food (without a Blender or Food Processor)

About the author:

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.

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By  – The Prepper Journal

Preparedness and self-sufficiency usually turns to food production at some point. Whether we’re old hats or just getting started, there are some set standards that tend to take place in the veggie garden. Sometimes they’re very well deserved. Sometimes, though, changing things up can make a difference in our ability to produce foods. Small scale or large, when it comes to the veggies, doing things differently can buy us the time and space to get started or expand our harvests.

Doing Things Differently

We may not have time for the conventional annual-veggie garden. The big square or rectangle of bare earth set off from the house takes a fair bit of time and water to maintain, even if there’s best management practices in place that return organic matter and keep the soil healthy.

Changing things up can help us save time, especially.

Where we place our veggies alone makes a huge difference for a lot of people. Growing in a bed system is its own article. So is mapping a home, yard, or larger property with a process called zoning. We can automatically make a few changes, however, to bring our veggies to more convenient locations.

Why is convenience entering the conversation?

Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: Start Gardening Differently

Survival 101: The Right Way To Determine If A Plant Is Edible

By Rich M – Off The Grid News

When those in the survivalist and prepping community talk about living off the land, the focus tends to be on hunting, with maybe a little fishing thrown in for variety. Being a carnivore myself, I happen to like that idea, but in reality, it’s not a complete picture. Our ancestors, if you go back far enough, lived as hunter/gatherers. We tend to focus on the hunting part, without talking much about the gathering part.

Hunting is all about animal protein, while gathering is about plants. Whether it’s nuts, berries, fruit, leaves or roots, plant life helps to sustain us as much as animal protein does. In fact, those who claim expertise in nutrition tell us that it should be the larger part of our diet.

Yet few of us know enough to gather plants for food, should we find ourselves in a survival situation. That’s dangerous, as it denies us a major source of the nutrition that we’ll so desperately need. Not only that, but last I checked, a plant can’t run away from us when we’re hunting it. So, gathering should actually be an easier way to find food.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: Survival 101: The Right Way To Determine If A Plant Is Edible

How to Make Your Own DIY MREs – Homemade MRE Tips

By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival

Upon request from our readers, I was asked to make a follow-up to the MRE article. In there, I had mentioned that creating your own MRE is more efficient and cheaper than buying one of the brand-names.

Therefore, I have compiled this information together as everything you’ll need to know about creating your very own MRE.

I will be going over what I had mentioned in the previous article as well as supplying you with the “how-to’s” in drying out food, properly compacting it all into air-tight storage, and the proper steps to take in preserving your MREs.

Remember, being that you’re able to decide what goes into these MREs, you have the freedom to use this information however you please

Continue reading at Backdoor Survival: How to Make Your Own DIY MREs – Homemade MRE Tips

About the author:

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

By Theresa Crouse – SurvivoPedia

How self-sufficient are you? Do you grow any of your own foods, or at least cook your own meals from scratch?

If not, you’re dependent on the grocery store for survival and you’re eating foods that may be killing you.

And you’re definitely spending way more than you should be on food.

But how can you change all of that?

The following scenario probably describes many people’s day, at least part of the time:

They come home from work, drop their stuff on the couch, grab a bag of chips and a soda, and relax on the couch. Later, they have a microwaved TV dinner, then, before bed, a few Oreos and a glass of cold milk that you didn’t have to extract from the cow. As a matter of fact, they have no idea where that cow even lives.

Sounds familiar? Of course it does. I just described at least one day in many people’s life, if not an average day. None of that would have been possible before 1910, because that’s when food started being processed commercially. And they would have been healthier because of it.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: 5 Tips To Stop You From Wasting Your Budget At The Supermarket

It's disgusting - but not surprising - that a federal code protects the corporations instead of the consumers. Here's what we know.:

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

You probably saw the article last week about the massive recall of Sargento products. As it turns out, the Sargento products are only a drop in the bucket – there are 130 more products out there and the FDA is under a gag order not to name them, according to the website Food Safety News.

Today, Sargento added more products to the list. (You can find them below.) I think that they should be applauded for being the most open about the potential listeria contamination in their products.

Unfortunately, there are many more products out there that have been recalled for potential contamination, but we have no idea what they are. That’s because there is a clause in the federal code that prohibits the FDA from telling us which companies purchased cheese to be branded under their labels from the plant that has been affected with listeria. According to this clause, the names of those companies would be considered “confidential corporate information.”

The plant, Deutsch Kase Haus LLC, is based in Middleburg, Tennessee.

Food Safety News has tracked down some of the products that may be affected. This recall applies only to cheese, so other products from these companies are unlikely to be tainted.

I’ll only list the brands here:

  • Sara Lee
  • Saputo
  • Dutch Valley
  • Guggisberg
  • Biery Cheese Co.
  • MDS (a distributor of pre-made sandwiches and deli salads)

Some store brands are also affected, and included in the recall could be prepared foods from the deli that contain the tainted  cheeses:

  • Albertsons
  • Meijer
  • H-E-B
  • Randalls

Source: Food Safety News

I’m disgusted – but not surprised – by the fact that a federal code protects the corporations instead of the consumers.

My advice? Only buy cheese from local sources until this has all been straightened out. DO NOT purchase the corporate cheese products because, with this gag order, you have no idea if they are safe or not. Consider throwing out products you have on hand or calling the manufacturer to see if the recall applies to them.

Here is the information about the Sargento recall from my previous article:

EDIT: The recall list has been updated to include these additional products:

  • Sargento Sliced Colby
  • Sargento Sliced Muenster
  • Sargento Sliced Tomato & Basil Jack
  • Sargento Shredded Reduced Fat Colby-Jack
  • Sargento Sliced Colby-Jack Cheese
  • Sargento Shredded Chef Blends 4 Cheese Pizzeria
  • Artisan Blends Double Cheddar Shredded Cheese
  • Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby
  • Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco
  • Chef Blends Shredded Taco

Sargento has issued a massive recall on cheese due to possible contamination with listeria.

The affected products are:

  • Sargento Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Taco Cheese
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Colby-Jack Cheese
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Cheddar Jack Cheese

Listeria is a potentially deadly form of food poisoning that has become all-too-common in processed foods lately.

The Food Poison Journal says:

Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria) is a foodborne disease-causing bacteria; the disease is called listeriosis. Listeria can invade the body through a normal and intact gastrointestinal tract. Once in the body, Listeria can travel through the blood stream but the bacteria are often found inside cells. Listeria also produces toxins that damage cells. Listeria invades and grows best in the central nervous system among immune compromised persons, causing meningitis and/or encephalitis (brain infection). In pregnant women, the fetus can become infected, leading to spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, or sepsis (blood infection) in infancy.

Here’s the press release issued by the FDA:

Deutsch Kase Haus, LLC of Middlebury, Ind. has notified Sargento Foods Inc. that a specialty Longhorn Colby cheese they supplied to Sargento must be recalled due to a potential contamination of Listeriamonocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported.

The affected retail products are Sargento Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby, 6.84 oz., UPC 4610000228, with “Sell By” dates of “12APR17B” and “10MAY17B” and Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040041, with “Sell By” dates of “H14JUN17” and “H12JUL17.” These products were packaged at the Sargento Plymouth, Wis. facility.

Out of an abundance of caution, Sargento is also recalling the following products because they were packaged on the same line as the affected cheese:

  • Sargento Sliced Colby-Jack Cheese, 12 oz., UPC 4610000109 with “Sell By” date of “11JUN17B”
  • Sargento Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese, 12 oz., UPC 4610000108 with “Sell By” dates of “12JUN17B”, “09JUL17B” and “10JUL17B”
  • Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Taco Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040002 with “Sell By” dates of “H14JUN17”, “F28JUN17” and “D28JUN17”
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Colby-Jack Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040014 with “Sell By” date of “F05JUL17”
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Cheddar Jack Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040076 with “Sell By” date of “F05JUL17”

No other Sargento branded products are affected by this recall.

Consumers can check if their product is affected by the recall by visiting info.sargento.com and using the “Product Check” tool. This webpage will be updated with the latest information about the recall. Consumers can also call Sargento Consumer Affairs at 1-800-243-3737 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Central Time), or submit questions to the “Contact Us” page at sargento.com.

Our unwavering commitment to safety is at the core of everything we do at Sargento. We are vigilantly monitoring this issue to ensure the situation is resolved in a timely manner, and are working in full cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration to rigorously investigate this issue.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Cheese Recall Affects 130 More Products … But The FDA Isn’t Allowed to Name Them

About the author:

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.

how-to-preserve-potatoes

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

So you’re in the grocery store being frugal and you notice that potatoes are on sale, but you know that if you buy too many – they will spoil before your household will eat all of them…

Or, you are growing potatoes in your garden, and during harvest you have LOTS of them…

If you don’t have your own root cellar and don’t want all those extra potatoes to spoil, here are a few ways to preserve them for long term food storage.
Note: Potatoes are one of the highest calorie-per-pound garden vegetables (about 400 calories per pound), and are a great choice for the ‘survival garden’ (among other things).

UPDATED: Additional method added (a sort of DIY root cellar)

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: How To Preserve Potatoes