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Storing Foods, Part 4 (variety)

Variety!

We've heard of people just storing wheat flour, beans, salt, sugar and oil. Yes, you'll be able to stay alive living off of those, but (1) where are your veggie and fruit food groups, and (2) BORRRRiNG!

We don't even like eating the same things two days in a row. Our family wouldn't last long on the above at all!

So... here are a few thoughts to exchange your recipe repertoire:
  1. Wheat isn't the only grain/starch you can store. Think about rice, cornmeal, potato flakes, oats, millet, amaranth, etc. Yes, wheat and rice are the cheapest to store but see if you can fit a few of the others into your budget and storage plans.
  2. Add color: red from tomatoes, green from spinach, orange from carrots, etc. Try to have more than just one color on the plate.
  3. Add spice: next time you're in the spice aisle at the grocery, take a look at the variety! Ever cooked with cumin? Coriander? Turmeric? What about almond or lemon extract? And remember the colors - if you can tolerate coloring foods, go for pink mashed potatoes, or purple rice. Now... browse this section, then every time you go, check out the prices so you can catch them on sale. Don't let them sit in your spice cupboard; start using right away! Oh, and in case you didn't know, storing your spices near your oven will SHORTEN their shelf life, so store away from heat. And rotate annually - they don't last much longer than that, and you have no idea how long they were sitting on the shelf before you bought them.
  4. Plan your meals. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but try it. If you have baked beans on Monday, don't have beans again on Tuesday - how about canned ham or canned chicken? Then Wednesday, have lentils. And so on.
  5. Try cooking your rice in apple juice instead of water. Or broth. Or grape juice! Yummm...
  6. Don't count out just-add-water desserts, like pudding or gelatin. And sometimes, adding that candy bar or hard candy to the end of a meal is very satisfying.
More coming!

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