I'm on a quest to build my food storage into a 1 year supply with foods that I know my family will eat. I've decided to keep a blog with recipes that I know my family will love and using only pantry or food storage items, and maybe in the interim this might help someone else who is also working on obtaining a 1 year supply with foods that not only your family can survive on but they will also love eating. If anyone has any recipes that they would like to add please email me at basicfoodstorage@gmail.com

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dave's Killer Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

I recently made a trip to our favorite grocery store Winco and came across this bread that looked so delicious!  Today we made vegetarian sandwiches and it's exactly what I have been looking for in a bread for so many years.  A true whole wheat bread, but not bitter or tough.  Soft with lots of nutty texture and it's vegan!  Our whole family is completely hooked.  But with each loaf costing $4.00, I thought there has to be something out there in google world that could help me come up with something similar to make at home. Just recently I have been using some recipes from everdaydish.tv and have found most of them to be super tasty, and then today I found this Dave's Killer Bread Recipe.  Although I don't usually post recipes on my site until I have tested them in my own home, on my own family, I figured that this one was one that I definitely wanted to post, as I will be trying it out tomorrow, and I'll be sure to post an update of the outcome.  If this turns out to taste like the bread we just bought, then my searching for the best bread recipe is officially over.  To be continued......

For now here is the recipe, as posted on Everday Dish.


This is an awesome loaf of bread! If you’re looking for a whole grain, soft sandwich bread with a wonderful, sweet nutty flavor, this is your bread!

Note: This recipe is best made with a heavy-duty stand mixer.

3 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (14 1/4 ounces/403 grams)
1/2 cup organic sugar
1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp canola oil

3 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (14 1/4 ounces/403 grams)
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (30 grams)
2 tsp salt

1. Sponge In bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 3 1/3 cups whole wheat flour, sugar and yeast, mixing until combined. Add the water, molasses and oil to the flour, mixing until incorporated. Beat dough for 5 minutes on low. Cover bowl and set aside for one hour.

2. Dough: Add the remaining flour, gluten, salt to the sponge, beating until well mixed. If dough is too dry, you can add another tablespoon or two of water. Using the dough hook, if possible, beat the dough on medium high speed for 10 to 15 minutes, until a window pane develops (see video). You should have a nice, smooth dough.

3. Cut the dough into two equal pieces, cover with a slightly damp towel and set it aside to let it rest for 15 minutes. Roll dough into a smooth log, making sure to get the air out. Repeat with remaining dough. Place shaped dough into greased pans and let proof until it begins to peak over the pan. Preheat oven to 350°F while bread is rising.

4. Let rise in pans about 1 hour, or until the dough has risen enough to really fill up the pan, and has crested over the top. Bake loaves in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 190°F.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Raised planter beds and Companion gardening ideas

We have just successfully finished 200 total sq. feet of raised planter beds and now we are in the process of adding our soil and vegetable starts.  I can't wait to see our garden grow, and start picking from our garden for some fresh healthy meals.

During the course of our planting I have been studying and learning more about companion gardening.  Here are a few things I have learned from various expert gardeners.

  • When planting in raised garden beds make sure you have soakers, or ample amount of water going to your beds.  With raised beds they tend to dry out more easily and need more water than an inground type of bed. 
  • You can start planting a little bit earlier in raised garden beds than in an inground garden bed because the raised garden beds aren't as susceptible to ground frost.
  • Be prepared to sew in fish emulsion and compost tea every year for a good productive raised planter bed.
  • use mulch in your planter beds.
  • planter beds need to be atleast 12" deep with soil. 
  • place weed barrier inside your planter bed to help with keeping weeds down.
  • do not use pressure treated lumber in the construction of your planter beds, the chemicals will leach into the vegetables.
  • Keep your beds 24"-36" in depth to make it easier to weed, and harvest.

  • Corn, Pole Beans and Squash - these can all be planted together in order to save room.  Plant the corn seeds first 8" apart in a circle.  When 6" tall plant pole beans on the outside of the circle of corn plants, after 1 week plant the squash seeds on the outside of the pole beans circle.  As the corn grows the beans will grow up the stalks of corn and the squash will give you a nice harvest below.
  • Tomatoes- they like lots of water, make a 12 hour watering container by using a liter bottle.  cut off the bottom and punch 3 holes in the cap.  Place the bottle in the soil next to the tomato plant and fill the bottle with water.  This will water the plant for the next 12 hours, continue to keep the bottle filled. Tomatoes also love mulch, but plastic mulch is better as it keeps the soil warm.  work in mulch around the tomato plants to keep them healthy and happy.  Also, work in shovels of compost into the soil and liquid feed weekly with compost tea or liquid food (fish emulsion)
  • Basil - Plant basil with tomatoes it will improve their growth as well as their flavor.
  • Lettuce- do not plant lettuce next to cabbage, they do not grow well together.
  • Onions- Chamomile and Savory plants improves their flavor.
  • Strawberries - plant onions with strawberries they help fight strawberry disease.
  • Parsley- increases the scent of roses when planted around the base of a rose bush.
  • plant marigolds in your garden to help with bugs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gardening and Saving Seeds Part II


You purchased your seeds, you grew your plant and now you want to know what to do with the seeds.  
First of all as previous posted.  In order to harvest plantable seeds you need to use Non-hybrid seeds.

FYI:  When a plant is ready to flower it stops putting energy into the food part and instead puts it into the stalk, flower and seeds. 

Root vegetables like carrots,  are generally biennials, this means that they take 2 years to make seed.
The first year it makes a root and stores food in it, then the next spring the root now sends up a long stalk, the tall stalk flowers and then where each flower is, seeds will be. Gather the seeds and let them dry out (see below)

Make their seed inside the fruit.  Melons, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplants etc.  First comes the flower and then the fruit.  For fruit plants you will let the seed bearing fruit get fully ripe, then scoop out the seeds and let them dry (see drying out seeds below)

Like Potatoes are similar to root vegetables, they send up a stalk sending pretty above ground flowers but then finishes by making potatoes with eyes below ground.  


Home grown seeds can sustain a shelf/storage life of 10-years (or more) if properly dried and stored.

  1. Dry seeds to less than 8 percent moisture, by drying at 100 degrees F for six hours. This can be done by drying them in the sun (most natural way), with a food dehydrator, or by using a conventional oven. Never use a microwave oven.  Note:  do not use your food dehydrator if it does not have a temperature gauge, as most food dehydrators operate a a much higher temperature than 100 degrees. 
  • Using The Sun: Spread the seed out in the sunlight, use a thermometer, try to obtain 100 degree temperature for 6 hours. Note: Because sunlight is harsh and can easily exceed this temperature, drying in the shade may be a better option if the outside air temperature is approx. 100 degrees.
  • Food dehydrator: Keep dehydrator setting at 100 degrees F for six hours. Do not use your food dehydrator if it does not have a temperature gauge, as most food dehydrators operate a a much higher temperature than 100 degrees. 
  • Conventional oven: Keep the oven door open several inches, and make sure the seed is not heated to more than 100 degrees for 6 hours. I would also suggest using an oven thermometer to check for temperature accuracy. 

Once you have dried your seed at 100 degrees for 6 hours.  There are 2 simple methods to see if your seeds have been dried to 8 percent or less moisture.
  1. Long seeds will snap cleanly in half when bent.
  2. Wheat, beans, peas, corn and other large seeds should shatter and turn to powder when hit with the head of a hammer.

Once seeds are completely dry, place them in airtight moisture-proof storage containers. Protect them from dampness, dampness will kill the seed. Store seeds in a sealed can, glass jar, or plastic container sealed with freezer tape.  Do not use plastic bags.  Note:  A moisture-proof container is one that stores seed safely while submerged in water.
Mark the containers with the seed names and date, then store them in a cool dark place. If possible, a refrigerator or freezer is an excellent environment for storing survival garden seeds.

Storing your seeds properly will achieve the longest life possible.
Remember these important factors when storing survival garden seeds:
  1. Constant cool to cold temperature (40 degrees or below)
  2. Dark place - never in sunlight
  3. Keep in moisture-proof containers
  4. The drier the seeds are - the longer they will store

Seeds from many plants can remain VIABLE for years if properly stored at cool - to frozen - temperatures. However, it is best to use most of your home-harvested seed the following growing season. A good emergency preparedness practice is NOT planting all of your seed... save some of each harvested seed variety so that you always have extra emergency garden seed on hand to plant and replace with the next seasons harvest.

Some more resources for harvesting seeds:
  • Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step techniques for Collecting and Growing More Than 100 Vegetables, Flowers and Herbs  By:  Carole B. Turner 
  • Seed to Seed: Saving our Vegetable Heritage by Suzanne Ashworth 
  • The New Seed Starter’s Handbook by Nancy Bubell 
  • The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control by Barbara Ellis and Fern Bradley.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gardening and Saving seeds


 Hybrid seeds are generally what you find at most garden departments. They are produced by artificially cross pollinating plants.  They were originally produced/bred to improve on the existing crop of plants, to yield better uniformity, quantity, color, unique flavor, improved resistance to plant disease and insects etc. Today these are the predominant seeds that you'll find when you visit a garden store or department. Hybrid seeds are famous for their vigor and productivity but they also often don't breed true and can throw back to ancestors having really bad characteristics or sometimes they don't breed at all. 

Non-hybrid seeds on the other hand are a little harder to find.  (please see list of links below)  They are also known as Heirloom Seeds and Open Pollinated seeds.  They are not usually as big or colorful as the hybrid seeds, but provide more nutritional value and save money by providing the ability to save seed from these plants and replant them producing more and more plants.

HYBRID SEED FACTS             
  1. Easier to come by 
  2. More variety 
  3. Package is less money
  4. seeds cannot be saved
  5. new seed must be every planting
  6. requires some chemical substances and fertilizers to maintain healthy plants.  
  7. Large amounts of water and irrigation in order to grow these plants.
  8. Not produced for nutritional content
  9. Produced for more company revenue
  1. A little harder to come by in garden departments
  2. Seeds can be harvested, and replanted, providing a unlimited amount of planting.
  3. requires knowledge and a little time to harvest and store seeds from plant.
  4. better nutritional content more wholesome.
  5. Sustainable gardening- able to save seeds and replant
  6. Food storage security - if food supplies are challenged, non-hybrid seeds provide security in the ability to plant a sustainable garden.
  7. Crop Diversity- planting non-hybrid seeds protects the these crops from becoming extinct.
  8. Investment- Seeds are an excellent investment to money, stocks or even gold.  When times are tough food is needed.
  9. lower cost of living - in difficult times one of the best ways to reduce your cost of living is growing your own food, and saving your seeds form personal harvest is an immediate way to save money on your next year's produce. 
So are you convinced?  If so, here are some links that sell non-hybrid seeds, you can also buy non-hybrid seeds at some health food stores, Wild Oats, Whole Foods and some specialty garden stores are starting to carry a wide range of Non-Hybrid/Heirloom seeds.

www.emergencyessentials.com (these non-hybrids are on sale right now)

www.ebay.com  (search for heirloom or non-hybrid seeds)

There are so many  more places that I could not list.  Just google search words (heirloom seeds, food storage seeds, non-hybrid seeds, or Open-Pollinated seeds).

Food Storage Menu Planning Powerpoint