Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Most Important Meal of the Day

I was talking to another food storage blogger through email a few weeks ago. It is always interesting to me the approach different people take towards food storage. Her theory is, and she has fairly young children, that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. I’ve never really been a breakfast person, but she says when you have a good breakfast you start the day with lots of energy and aren’t as hungry the rest of the day. For her storage she plans good, sturdy breakfasts and one larger highly nutritious meal for the late afternoon. She claims that sandwiches or snacks will do well in-between in emergency situations.

I thought about this a lot and I’m sure it is a very good idea. She is a strong believer in the “short term food storage plan” as well, and started with her breakfast meals to begin her storage. She chose 7 breakfast meals, making sure they were all able to be made from food storage items. Then she planned to have these 7 meals each 4 times a month and shopped for all the ingredients for these 28 meals and put them in her food storage. Then she doubled that amount and had 2 months storage of breakfast meals. She told me she was excited because it was fairly inexpensive to do, buying things for homemade pancake mixes, oatmeal mixes, powdered eggs, milk and etc. Eventually she chose another 7 breakfast meals and doubled her storage. She now has and KEEPS the ingredients for almost a full year of breakfast meals on hand. She is also working on food storage for other meals but says that having the breakfast meals in her pantry was a big relief to her.

She tells me they rely on lots of pancake recipes, oatmeal varieties (which her kids love) as well as many other variations she has come up with. She loves using powdered eggs (which we need to discuss in another post) and says she uses powdered milk every day.

Her kids love cold cereal, but she limits the number of times they can have it each week. She did say that if you find cold cereal at a good price, it is a good storage item because most cereals have about a one year shelf life. But she says if your family won’t eat cereal with powdered milk, don’t bother to store it. She stores some of the real milk that is processed and packaged to store on the shelf for a year in her storage (, which she rotates regularly. She does caution though that it takes up quite a bit of room but they love having it. I have some of this also and it is good. It keeps well and tastes good. My only concern with storing too much of this is that it might at some point leak so I store what little of it I have in storage totes. (I know, I’m paranoid!)

I’m now trying to think what varieties of foods I can fix for breakfast that allow me to have enough ingredients on hand to fix breakfast for a year. Quite a challenge.

Some of my strange and miscellaneous ideas for breakfast meals would be (Many of these we have covered in other posts but just for the sake of making a list I really like):
Rice pudding
Pancakes or waffles
Quinoa Cereal
Oatmeal varieties with fruit & nuts (notice the flavored powdered creamers in the oatmeal mix)
Granola bars
Toast and jam, French toast or cinnamon toast served with fruit
Flour tortillas with eggs, sausage or bacon TVP, cheese, or other breakfast fillings
Coffee cakes
Cinnamon rolls are always good. I could eat them for any meal – or every meal.
My next experiment will be to make an omelet with powdered eggs and other food storage ingredients. If it is good, it will make a great food storage option.

Here are a few breakfast recipes I’ve collected over the years. Thanks to my friend Annette for sharing her favorite food storage breakfast meals. Try these soft and chewy granola bars, they are so good!

Cranberries And Cream Oatmeal Mix
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup French vanilla creamer
1 cup loose brown sugar
2 cups dried cranberries (try dried cherries too)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together and store. To use: Add about 2 Tbsp of mix per serving of oatmeal or to taste

Good Morning Cookies (Annette)
¼ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar
¾ c. whole wheat flour
¾ c. applesauce
½ c. rolled oats
1/3 c. bran
¼ c. dry milk
1 egg or egg white or powdered eggs
½ t. soda
½ t. cinnamon
¼ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
1/8 to ¼ t. ground cloves
½ c. raisins
¼ c. chopped nuts
Flavored cream cheese or peanut butter
Mix butter and sugar well. Add next 11 ingredients and mix well. Stir in raisins and nuts. Using a silpat or sprayed baking sheet, drop dough by rounded Tablespoons 2-3” apart. Spread dough with back of spoon so each cookie is about 2” across. Bake at 375º for 10 minutes or until set. Cool on racks. Use flavored cream cheese or peanut butter to make “sandwiches”. Refrigerate or wrap well and freeze. Y: 8 large sandwich cookies

Spicy Apple Pancakes (Annette)
2 c. bisquick or homemade baking mix
½ t. cinnamon
1 egg (or powdered egg equivalent)
1 1/3 c. milk (or mixed powdered milk)
¾ c. grated apple (or dehydrated apple slices, diced and rehydrated)
Combine pancake mixture then stir in apples. Cook on greased griddle. Serve with Cider Sauce:
2 c. cider or apple juice
1 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
2 T. lemon juice
Combine dry ingredients. Stir in juices. Bring to a boil and stir 1 minute while boiling. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ c. butter. Y: 2 ½ c. sauce

Corn Fritters
2 eggs, beaten
1 can cream style corn
3 t. sugar
½ t. salt
1 ½ c. flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
Mix ingredients together and drop by ½ T. full into deep hot fat. Cook till golden brown. Serve with butter and syrup, honey or jam.

Try this overnight oven French toast with your own homemade bread, mixed powdered eggs and evaporated milk made from your powdered milk.

Oven French Toast
1 loaf French bread cut in 1” thick slices (or use unsliced cinnamon raisin bread cut in 1” slices)
6 eggs
1 c. evaporated milk
2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
½ t. cinnamon
½ t. nutmeg
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. butter
2 T. Karo Syrup
Chopped nuts (optional)
Spray a 9x13” pan with cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in pan. Mix other ingredients and pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Next day, spread with topping then bake at 350º for 40 minutes. Should be a dark golden brown. Serve with syrup.

Baked Blueberry pancake
2 c. pancake mix
1 ½ c. milk
1 egg
1 T. canola oil
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
Butter & Syrup
Combine pancake mix, egg, oil and cinnamon just till blended. Batter will be lumpy. Fold in blueberries gently. Spread into greased 15x10” pan. Bake at 400º until golden brown. Serve with butter & syrup. Y: 6 servings.

Coffee Cake is a fun breakfast option. If you have any of those mini muffin mixes in your pantry there is usually a coffee cake recipe option on those also. Coffee cake recipes are pretty forgiving. You can usually tweak them to your liking with good success.

Overnight Coffeecake
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. salt
1 c. buttermilk
2/3 c. melted butter
2 eggs, beaten (Can use powdered eggs)
1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries or finely diced fresh or canned, drained peaches
Streusel Topping:
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. chopped nuts
1 t. cinnamon
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the buttermilk, butter, and eggs in another bowl. Mix the wet with the dry ingredients and fold in berries, if using. Pour into a greased 9x13 and sprinkle with topping; refrigerate. Bake at 350º for 45-50 minutes, or until done.

Potato Pancakes
4 c. shredded, peeled potatoes (4 large) (Or use well rehydrated dried hash brown potatoes)
1 egg, lightly beaten (can use powdered eggs)
3 T. flour
1 T. grated onion
1 t. salt
¼ t. pepper
Rinse potatoes in cold water. Drain well. Place in large bowl. Add egg, flour, onion, salt & pepper & mix well. In skillet heat ¼” oil over medium heat, drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls into hot oil. Flatten to form a pancake. Fry till golden brown, turn & brown the other side. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with syrup or sauce of your choice. Y: 6 servings

Summer Harms Healthy Chewy Homemade Granola Bars
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. flax seed, milled
1/4 c. quinoa
3/4 c. shelled sunflower seeds
1 c. chopped nuts (any kind or combination)
1 c. shredded coconut
1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon (desired amount)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
2 t. molasses
4 T. butter
2 t. vanilla
4 T. peanut butter
1 c. dried, chopped fruit (optional)
½ c. mini chocolate chips (optional)
Mix first 8 ingredients together and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 400º oven for 9-12 minutes. Watch it so it doesn't burn! Stir and let cool at least 15 minutes. Bring next 4 ingredients to a simmer, stirring continuously. Stir in the vanilla and peanut butter and cool for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put the toasted ingredients and dried fruit and chocolate chips if desired, in a large bowl and pour the liquid ingredients over it. Mix very well. Place parchment or wax paper in the rimmed baking sheet and butter the top side, then place the granola bar mixture in the pan. Put another butter sheet of paper, buttered side down, on top of the mixture and press down. (I use silpats instead of parchment or wax paper and they work perfectly!)Roll with a rolling pin to make it very tight, smooth, and even. Let set for 2-3 hours and cut into desired bar size. Y: about 20-24 bars. Package in snack size bags or an airtight container. If not using within next few days, store in freezer. They keep very well, and thaw quickly.

This bread is great as it is or toasted or spread with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and broiled under the broiler until bubbly.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread Y: one 9” loaf
1/4 c. whole milk
4 T. (1/2 stick) butter, cut into ½” pieces.
2 1/4 t. dry active yeast
1/2 c. warm water, about 110 degrees
1/3 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t. salt
3 1/4 to 4 c. all purpose flour (or half whole wheat), plus more for dusting the work surface
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Milk for brushing
1 large egg
2 t. milk
Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter melts. Cool until warm. Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat the sugar and eggs and mix at low speed to blend. Add the salt, lukewarm milk mixture, and 2 c. flour and 1 t. cinnamon; mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook. Add 1/14 c. more flour and knead at medium speed, adding more flour sparingly if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Turn the dough onto a work surface. Squeeze the dough with a clean, dry hand. If the dough is sticky, knead in up to 1/2 cup more flour to form a smooth elastic dough. Transfer the dough to a very lightly oiled large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours (the ideal rising temperature is 75º). After the rise, punch down the center of the dough once. (The dough can be refrigerated, covered for up to 18 hours.) Making sure not too fold the dough, turn onto an unfloured work surface; let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5” loaf pan. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Press the dough neatly into an evenly shaped 8x6” rectangle. With a short side of the dough facing you, roll the dough with a rolling pin into an evenly shaped 19 by 8-inch rectangle (flour the work surface if the dough sticks). Brush the dough liberally with milk. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border on the far side. Starting at the side closest to you, roll up the dough, pinching the dough gently with your fingertips to make sure it is tightly sealed. To keep the loaf from stretching beyond 9 inches, push the ends occasionally with your hands as you roll the dough. When you are finished rolling, pinch the seam side tightly to secure it. With the seam-side facing up, push the center of both ends. Firmly pinch the dough at either end together to seal the sides of the loaf. Place the loaf seam side down in the prepared pan; press lightly to flatten. Cover the top of the pan loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to let rise. Let rise until the dough is 1” above the top of the pan, about 1 1/2 hours (if the dough has been refrigerated 2 1/2 hours). As the dough nears the top of the pan, adjust the oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 350º Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk. Gently brush the top of the loaf with the egg mixture. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool to room temperature on it's side for 45 minutes. Hand-Kneaded Cinnamon Swirl Bread (in case you don't have a mixer) Follow the recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Bread, sprinkling yeast over the water in a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to incorporate all other ingredients as directed. When the dough comes together, turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. 12 to 15 minutes, adding more flour if necessary. Transfer to lightly oiled bowl and follow the rest of the instructions from this point on.

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