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Food Storage Essentials: Storing dried eggs is like having a chicken in the cupboard

Published: Friday, March 7 2014 5:00 a.m. MST

Dried eggs can be used to bake a large variety of cookies, pancakes, muffins, breads and desserts.

Leslie Probert

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Storing dried whole eggs greatly expands what can be made with stored grains. A large variety of cookies, pancakes, muffins, breads, cakes and other desserts can be made from whole wheat flour, white flour, oatmeal, cornmeal and other grains. It’s nice to know that such comfort foods can be made in an emergency without having to raise chickens in the backyard.

Some people in suburban areas do enjoy raising chickens these days, but many in more populated places are simply not able to do so for a variety of reasons.

Of course, it is possible to store baking mixes, and there is small variety of great tasting mixes to choose from. These are convenient and generally have a shelf life of 10-plus years, if packaged for long-term storage and stored in a cool, dark place. When purchased in pouches, shelf life drops to one to three years. Remember that most mixes will contain some preservatives.

Recommended proportions of dried whole eggs to water vary between brands. One tablespoon dried whole egg plus two tablespoons water works well to equal one whole egg and stretches dried egg powder. Because dried eggs can cost $20 or more a No. 10 can, it is wise to register with food-storage companies for mailed catalogs and email notices advertising sales. A good sale price is around $15 to $16 for a No. 10 can. Smaller size cans are also available.

Dried whole eggs store for up to 10 years when packaged for long-term storage and stored in a cool, dry place. (Be sure to double-check the information on the package for shelf-life information.)

Once opened, dried whole eggs are good to use for at least a year. In humid climates, they should kept away from moisture. The drying process kills Salmonella bacteria in dried eggs, making them safe to store at room temperature after opening without refrigeration. Cookie dough made with dried eggs is safe to eat without cooking — for those who just can’t keep their fingers or their spoons out of the bowl.

Do not be put off by the smell of dried eggs. When cooked in baked foods, the smell disappears. They produce such great results that people would never know they are eating dried whole eggs.

It is not necessary to reconstitute dried eggs before adding them to a recipe. Egg powder can be combined with dry ingredients and the water to hydrate them is added with liquids in the recipe. Most dried eggs are lumpy. Pushing them through a small sieve with the back of the measuring spoon is an easy way to sift lumps out. For convenience, store the sieve with measuring spoons.

In cookies, dried eggs can be added with the necessary amount of water to the creamed sugar mixture at the beginning of the recipe. The sugar breaks lumps up easily.

If ever there is a need to half a recipe, it is simple to half an egg using only a half a tablespoon of dried eggs and one tablespoon of water.

Scrambled egg mix combines dried eggs with additional ingredients to produce very good-tasting scrambled eggs and omelets. Breakfast burritos are a fun addition to food-storage breakfasts. Like dried whole eggs, scrambled egg mix does not require refrigeration.

Freeze-dried egg crystals have a natural taste like fresh eggs and make great scrambled eggs and omelets. These also do not require refrigeration, however are comparatively very expensive.

Why not be adventurous and buy a can of dried whole eggs to try them? Discover for yourself how delicious and simple they are to use. While they are usually a little more expensive than fresh eggs, finding a sale makes them comparable. I like to open a can every year and use it within that year. This way, I’m rotating what I store and I have plenty of time to find a sale to replace them. Dried eggs are very convenient to have on hand and make a big difference in food-storage recipes. They're like having a chicken in the cupboard.

Here’s a yummy recipe to try:

Pineapple Muffins

1¼ cups whole wheat flour

1¼ cups white flour (or use all whole wheat if desired)

⅔ cup white sugar

1 tablespoon dried whole egg, sifted (pushed through small sieve)

3½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained, reserving liquid

water

⅓ cup cooking oil

In a bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add water to reserved pineapple juice to make one cup; add to dry ingredients with pineapple and oil. Stir just until combined. Scoop into greased muffin pans and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Makes 12 cupcake-size muffins.

"Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition," by Leslie Probert and Lisa Harkness, published in 2011

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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