Leslie Probert
Eating basic food storage meals helps to identify spices and other foods needed to make them taste delicious.

A food storage cookbook should not be stored with food storage. It belongs in the kitchen where it can be used to find great tasting meals using basic food storage. These can be enjoyed in everyday menus as well as in an emergency. Here are six important reasons for cooking with what you have stored.

Recipes help you plan what to store

Having a food storage cookbook signals a desire to make delicious meals with basic food storage. However, how can delicious meals be made in an emergency if the additional ingredients that make them delicious have not been stored? Not cooking with food storage now is a recipe for blah meals. It is possible to find great meals that can be enjoyed in everyday menus as well as in an emergency. After good recipes are found, it’s easy to plan needed spices and other ingredients to make sure there are plenty on hand during an emergency.

Enjoy interesting and tasty meals

One of the big advantages of storing the basics is the large variety of delicious meals that can be made with them. In an emergency, families will not be limited to eating the same five or six meals over and over. Even the most delicious gourmet meals can get boring if repeated too often. Now is the time to try recipes and plan accordingly. A wide variety of meals using the basics keep food storage meals appealing both now and in emergencies.

Save money on meals

Who is not looking for a way to save a little money these days? Meals made with beans and rice — even when adding dried and canned vegetables and canned meat — are more economical than buying take-out meals or cooking convenience foods, especially when stored foods have been purchased on sale. Eating tasty food storage meals one or two times a week can be a nice saving on the food budget.

Get great nutrition

Food storage meals made with the basics are very low fat and highly nutritious. Maurice R. Bennink and Elizabeth A. Rondini, authors of "Beans and Health," speak about the nutritional benefits of eating stored beans and whole grains: “It is becoming increasingly apparent that many people could reduce their risk of developing a chronic disease simply by eating more beans. Chronic diseases are conditions that typically take many years (10 to 30 years) to develop and include certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and other diseases of the blood system.

“These diseases are the most common causes of death in the U.S. and they significantly lower the quality of life for millions.”

According to Whole Grains Council, “In April 2010, the American Society for Nutrition brought together researchers to review the evidence regarding the health benefits associated with whole grains. Current scientific evidence indicates that whole grains play an important role in lowering the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also contribute to body weight management and gastrointestinal health. The findings were published as a supplement to The Journal of Nutrition in May 2011 ... ”

Of course, storing canned beans for fast meals, and grinding wheat into flour for use in baking in place of white flour makes using beans and wheat easy.

Get used to eating high-fiber foods

An added bonus to using beans and whole grains now is that bodies become used to high-fiber foods, while not eating them until an emergency will be a shock to digestive systems.

Rotating stored foods is easier than you think

Using what you are storing makes it simple to rotate what is stored. There is no waste and stored food is kept fresh. If food storage meals are eaten two days a week, a whole year’s supply of food is rotated in just 3 1/2 years. That’s certainly simple. Even eating such meals one day a week, a whole year’s supply of food can be rotated in just seven years.

People have everything to gain by storing inexpensive basic foods and using them now. Make it a goal this year to find great tasting meals using the food you are storing. Enjoy these meals now and plan enough spices and additional foods to enjoy them in an emergency.

Leslie Probert, 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 more than 400 fast, creative recipes. Email: foodstoragechick@gmail.com