Food Storage Essentials: Food storage can contribute to great-tasting, economical breakfasts

Published: Friday, Feb. 3 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

Planning meals you will eat ensures that you have stored what you need to make them delicious.

Leslie Probert

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Food storage breakfasts do not have to be bland and boring. Some simple tips can keep them interesting and delicious.

Planning food storage is simple when you plan around the recipes you will serve, and breakfasts are no exception. Find a week’s worth of recipes made with storable foods that your family likes to eat, multiply ingredients by the number of weeks for which you are planning, and you have planned for breakfasts. It’s that simple.

Boxed cereals are one option; however, these are more expensive, not space efficient and do not have a long shelf life.

Whole grains are easy to store and have a longer shelf life, and breakfast foods made from them cost pennies compared to boxed cereals. The nutrition is the best available! Plus, whole grains are more filling. A generous serving of whole grain cereal for an adult is about ¾ cup, while it usually takes a whole bowl full of puffed, sugary, boxed cereal to feel satisfied; teenagers will also eat more.

Another thing to consider is young people today are losing their taste for nutritious food, with all the processed foods they're consuming because parents are so often in a hurry. That does not set children on a path for a lifetime of good health. America’s rate of obesity is now more at more than 30 percent for adults and about 17 percent for children and teenagers, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s worth the small amount of time it takes to prepare healthy whole-grain breakfast foods.

Whole grain breakfast ideas

Oatmeal, cornmeal mush and cracked wheat make inexpensive and delicious cooked cereals. Quick oatmeal and cornmeal mush take only five minutes to cook. Cracked wheat cereal takes about 20 minutes to cook, but it takes just two to three minutes to measure ingredients and get them simmering. A busy parent can set a timer and leave the kitchen to get ready for the day as the wheat cooks. It’s really not time-consuming.

Besides cereals made from these basics, consider storing other inexpensive options like six- or nine-grain cereal. Cream of Wheat or Malt O’Meal are not whole-grain cereals; however, they do add some variety to breakfast cereals to keep them interesting. They store remarkably well. Rice dishes are even good for breakfast.

Try making oatmeal granola. For a quick option, there’s always whole wheat toast.

Cereal toppings

Make cooked cereals interesting and appealing with a variety of storable toppings. Consider serving them with brown sugar, maple syrup, jam, nuts and/or fruit — raisins, dried cranberries or canned or bottled peaches or other fruit. (Cornmeal mush is absolutely delicious drizzled with maple syrup.) Watch for sales on these toppings.

Muffins and pancakes

Muffins and pancakes are many times a family favorite. One can assemble a muffin recipe in the time it takes to preheat an oven (about 10 minutes) and do other things while the muffins cook for 15 to 20 minutes. These are a great way to use whole wheat flour. For variety, add coconut and a little flavoring (almond or coconut) or reduce the liquid and add drained canned pineapple or other fruit.

If weekday mornings are especially hectic, pancakes are nice on the weekend. These also are a yummy way to get whole wheat flour into your diet.

Scrambled eggs

Scrambled egg mix or freeze-dried scrambled eggs taste very good and make delicious breakfast options. These, however, are more expensive. Fry some dried potato dices or hash browns for a delicious side dish.

Affording a grain mill

Did you know if you can save just $5 a week by eating inexpensive food storage breakfasts, at the end of a year you would have enough money to buy a grain mill? You’ll be able to buy an electric mill or a good hand mill, like a Wonder Junior. Save for a second year and buy the other mill. That’s certainly simple.

Here’s a fun recipe for breakfast:

FLUFFY WHOLE WHEAT PANCAKES

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons dried whole egg, sifted (push through small sieve)*

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups reconstituted dry milk*

2 tablespoons oil

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add oil to milk; quickly whisk into dry ingredients just until combined, leaving a few lumps. Allow to stand 4 minutes (batter will rise). Gently drop by 1/3-cup amounts onto hot, oiled griddle. Makes 12 6-inch pancakes.

Coconut Pancakes: Add ½ cup shredded coconut to dry ingredients and ½ teaspoon almond or coconut extract to milk.

* Substitution: Add 2 fresh eggs in place of dried whole egg and reduce milk to 1 ¾ cups.

— “Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition,” Leslie Probert and Lisa Harkness

Leslie Probert, a graduate in home economics from Brigham Young University, has been a popular speaker and is co-author of "Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition" with over 400 fast, creative recipes. Email: foodstoragechick@gmail.com

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