Imagine, you have to live by eating off your food storage... hmmm... 365 days of wheat, rice, honey and dry milk... yuck! What will you flavor it with? How will you change the taste? First off, you can change the wheat, you can grind it fine for flour, crack it with your grain mill for cereal, and sprout it for eating or making . Wow, three different things you can do with the wheat to change the texture. With your rice, you can use it as is, grind it fine to make a flour, or grind it like corn meal and have cream of rice !!! Unless you know how to make natural sourdough, or natural sprouted wheat dough, you won't be able to make bread with your wheat !!
I know the basics to start with are wheat, rice, dry milk and honey; but honestly, unless you use it daily or weekly, if you really have to try to all of a sudden survive on this you will get major intestinal upset! Not kidding, people not used to eating wholewheat will get diarrhea which then causes dehydration. Not a good option. So start using your whole wheat now, get your body acclimated to the wonderful grain.
Powdered milk does and will go rancid. Is the powdered milk in your storage whole, half fat or non fat, instant or regular? It truly makes a difference. I suggest non fat, it keeps the longest.
Honey, yes it can and will crystalize, no big deal really, you will just have to cut it out of the jar or jug. It happens when the honey loses moisture, but it does not mean it is bad!! Infact honey is a natural disenfectant. Did you know you can put raw honey on a cut and it will help prevent it from getting infected? The trick is finding true raw honey.
Rice... most of the rice I canned at the cannery is parboiled which = par gross!!! The texture is nasty, the flavor is dull, and the nutrients are lacking. If you want full nutrient rice, then you would need to get brown rice, problem is, brown rice is high in natural oils and hence goes rancid faster than white rice. AND brown rice, unless you are used to the flavor, is hard for some to like.
Ok, so far we only have the 4 things in our food storage.. How will we change the flavor? What will we make? How will we cook it?
Changing the flavor can honestly be changed by how you treat the grain. Get a family grain mill (you won't regret it) and you can now make flour, cracked wheat, and farina (cream of wheat). Did you know if you sprout your wheat the nutritional value goes up exponentially and it changes from a starch to a vegetable? Yup, very true, what a bonus. Easy to do, grab a clean peanut butter jar, or glass jar, put your 1/2 cup of wheat in there, soak in room temp water for about 18 hours, then drain. Rinse the grains 3 times a day for about 2 to 3 days or until you have little tails about 1/3 the length of the wheat kernal. Now you can grind it up fine and make sprouted wheat bread. OR grow it until the tail is 2/3 the length of the kernal, cook up and you have a nice chewy grain to eat. OR let it go until full length of kernal, and dry it and grind it fine and you have demalt (great way to get a good rise out of your yeasted breads). I will post a recipe for sprouted wheat bread in a bit. Ok, cracked wheat is a common cereal, easy to do in your family grain mill, set your mill so it cracks the wheat or breaks it in half. Cook 1 part wheat to 2 or 3 parts water depending on how you like it. Boil until all liquid is absorbed. Go a little further and set your mill to grind the wheat so it comes out like corn meal or cream of wheat, ta da, a different textured cereal.
Want a different taste? Instead of using water to cook your wheat cereals, use milk.. Yup, good ol' fashioned porridge!! yummers
Turn your rice into pudding. How? Make up your milk, and cook your rice in the milk. As it absorbs the milk, it releases natural sugars which will help to thicken up the milk..So use a ratio of 1 part rice to 3 parts milk.
You can also do something really fun with left over farina or cream of rice cereal, pour into 13x9 pan and let cool, you will want it atleast 1/2-inch thick. When cold, cut into squares and fry up in your cast iron pan, serve with a light drizzle of honey... of course you can only fry it if you have some fat..but that is an entire other blog post. You could also cover with gravy if you happened to cook up some meat and were able to make gravy.
So now after this looooong post about how to use some of the basics my question remains, Could you really handle eating only wheat, rice, honey and powdered milk for 365 days with nothing else? Think hard, I doubt it. Infact I think many of you would starve from either getting sick from eating things you aren't used to, or starving from refusing to eat it.. again..and again.. My point????
Add to the basics. Herbs can really go a long way, and if you buy them from the bulk bins you can get them for cheap. Great herbs to get???? Thyme, rosemary, marjoram, minced dried onion, minced dry garlic, oregano, basil, poultry seasoning, SALT, pepper, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, dill, ground CINNAMON (has health benefits too!!!!), nutmeg, juniper berries, alspice berries, vanilla, ground ginger, ground cloves (health benefits!!), bouillon cubes.. Spices are there to keep the palate from getting bored. You can also dry your own veggies to add: zucchini, carrots (blanch first!), potatoes (blanch first), peppers, oranges, orange peel, lemons, lemon peel, limes, lime peel, apples, bananas, raisins, peaches, pears.. Dried fruits and veggies take up less room than canned, can be rehydrated and used, or simply eaten as is, but remember to drink plenty of water.
So there you have it... what has been on my mind now for over a month. If you only have the basics, will you get appetite fatigue?