Wheat Class

We had a great time last night at our Wheat class. I think that we are motivated and realize just how easy it is to use our wheat.

I suggested that an easy way to make sure we are using our wheat is to fill up a plastic container that will fit in your pantry.
Now weather you want to just put the whole wheat berry in there or grind it up, either way get it up out of your food storage and put it where you will see it. 
I have a container of wheat in mine and I grind it every Saturday as this is my baking day anyway. 
Be sure to note that if you do grind it, I suggest keeping it in the fridge to keep all the nutrients fresh.

So, when we think of using our wheat I fell like we think everything we make then has to be 100% whole wheat. NOT SO. just adding a cup here and there in our regular everyday recipes will not only add nutrients but we are rotating and using our wheat. 
If we stop thinking of all this as "food storage" and rather a life style, it will make it a lot easier to utilize. 

I know that making your own bread can seem to take up too much time, however if you just use one dough recipe to make two or three different things for the week, it makes the effort worth it. 
With the bread recipe I have posted , you can make a loaf of bread, some rolls for Sunday dinner, and pizza crust. Or use it to make a loaf of bread and the rest rolls, freeze them and you have rolls to pull out for any nights dinner. Sandwich rolls are a nice change to the kids lunch too. And remember its so much healthier. You are also learning skills that we have been asked to learn. 
When you are ordering your wheat, remember that there is more than just red wheat, there is white wheat also. Both are great sources of nutrients and can be added into our diets very easy. 
Start trying out your recipes by adding a few cups here or there, let me know your results!



If you don't have a dehydrator, see if you can borrow one, it's great to have on hand. I have been using it to dehydrate apples. Kroger was having a sale on braeburn apples last week. I wanted to take advantage of the sale so I bought a bunch and dehydrated them for the kids lunches. It's a great way to get them to eat their apples!
Slice up your fruit. If you are doing apples, fill a bowl with cold water and add about 3t. lemon juice to every cup of water. As you chop put the apples in the water solution to get a whiter dried apple. Then pat them off before placing on the rack.

You can sprinkle Cinnamon sugar on them to make for a treat.

I also did yogurt drops. A thick yogurt like Dannon works best.
The longer you leave them in the dehydrator, you will get a crispier apple, like a apple chip. These are what my kids like, rather than to have them more chewier.
I think this is a great way to take advantage of sales!
Fruit by the foot was a hit here as well.

I took a cup of applesauce and about 1/4 cup of my homemade jam. I am sure store bought will work as well. I mixed them together, and spread over the tray, then rolled it up, cut and there you go- fruit roll up! 
I personally do not like doing bananas, but pineapple, pears, oranges, and other fruits are so yummy. 
I tried carrots this week and they did great! I actually liked having them to munch on when I just felt like grazing.

Dehydrating your fruits and veggies are actually a great way to KEEP your nutrients in your foods. Nutrients are lost by your food just sitting on the table, in fact once its harvested it starts to loose its nutritional value. So dehydration is a GREAT way to keep in those nutrients. 


Just some thoughts

So I have had the thought to write this post for a while now, but hesitated for simply prideful reasoning. But, I’m over that and just hope that it can benefit anyone going through the same situation, or help prepare those who might.

Food Storage, as I have said before, is a spiritual thing in it’s own right. I have learned so much about myself, about the ways of the Lord and much more through this journey. However, I did start my food storage preparations not ever thinking that I would be using it this soon!

Since before Christmas Aaron told me that because his industry is changing things are going to be tight financially for a while. I knew tight, we had done tight before. So I was feeling prepared, I had begun my three-month food storage and it was coming along nicely. The more the months passed, the tighter it became. We did all right things in my mind, getting rid of wants like cable and some extra curricular activities, no eating out, etc. All the basic things I knew to do to keep ahead. I started to rely more and more on my food storage. I began using it, still trying to build here and there, but more using than storing!

I’ve drastically cut the grocery budget last couple months to getting only fresh things like eggs, cheese, veggies and fruit. Utilizing what I had in storage. This worked out just fine. I had already been cooking in a way that things didn’t change drastically in the way we ate. I did find myself baking more- like bread and treats so as to not have to buy those things. But overall, I realized again the importance of why food storage is a lifestyle and not just something we check off our list of things to do.

Now for the things I have learned along this journey that I am so grateful to have the knowledge of. I realized that because using the food storage was food that we already ate, the kids didn’t know any different. And I too didn’t feel like I had to start eating Mac and cheese every night. This really affects the mind when going through a hardship. The last thing I wanted to feel was frustrated in the kitchen, wondering what in the world am I going to make and how the heck do I make bread, or what in the world do I do with this wheat. Things just kept rolling forward. I had to become a little more creative in certain areas, like I wanted to make these bagel pizzas but couldn’t get them, so I made them. And I wanted to have French dip for dinner and didn’t have the large rolls, so I made them. Now I saw this only to show that by taking to time to learn these skills, it helped me to not feel self-pity, or frustration as a homemaker. I found that I looked forward to Friday Pizza Night because it was the closest to “fast food” as we were getting with the Soda being allowed and all!
I realized that while living off food storage, I was glad to have had so much variety. Instead of sticking to my original 14 meals I was using to build off of, I had started adding more and more meals. This has made it so nice, again, to not FEEL the lacking, but to FEEL blessed that I had so much! If I had mostly Mac and Cheese, spaghetti and such stored up, and had three months of it- we wouldn’t starve- no. BUT my point is that if I had to open up the cupboard and pull out another box of noodles one more time I would go nuts!!!
So when planning your three-month supply, really think about what you and your family will eat, plan around that. And we need to be constantly learning how to cook, how to make different foods, how to make those convenient foods that we rely on a lot more than we think! I will do admit, I miss the freezer section on the store!!!!
I am grateful that I have been able to get to the store for those few things that do make meals nicer, I have however, not been able to a couple times and thought to myself, ok what do I substitute this with? Being creative with your meals is not as hard as we think.
Keeping positive and really embracing my roll as a homemaker can be challenging in times like this. I am glad that I have had this experience where it really could be so much worse that it is. I know now though, that doing all I can to keep positive for the children is huge! And having Aaron see that I am OK, that I’m not complaining about not being able to go to the store and get this and that. It helps him to be able to focus on his main role. Keeping the home happy is a hard thing outside these types of challenges let alone in the middle of it. So I commend all those who have done this and kept the peace! I have to work at it every day, and there are better days than others that’s for sure. I do know however, that I have a great role as a mother, and a homemaker. I k now that this is no easy job, and embracing it, learning all I can in it, and DOING IT the best I can, not letting my doubts about myself get in the way, is the best job ever!

I think on average, these last three months I have saved over $600 in grocery bills. WOW. I also will say I found Mexican foods are easier and faster to put together. I found that we went through more cereal than I had planned out for. I had 25 boxes in storage. Once I start building again my new goal will be 40. I also realized just how important it is to stick to the meal plan for that reason alone. My food storage has lasted a lot longer than three months, and I think part of that is sticking to what I had planned to make, which makes sense when you think about it! But I am finding that for my kids, pancakes are not wanted as much as I thought. And when we do eat them we don't use as much batter as I calculated for, so the three bags are lasting twice as long. I found that I like having the freezer as part of my food storage use- good thing I have a generator! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are made just as often as I planned and kids are not getting sick of them. I do not use pasta as much as I thought- more Mexican foods. 
I had exactly three months of can chicken when i started actually having to use it and I am almost out, so that was about half a month shy. I will up my numbers on that, I really do like using it over the fresh in most recipes. 
Let's see, I have not used my tomato soups that I stocked up on- those are a last resort meal. 
I will store more dry beans this next time because I  know now that I can grind them into flours and make cream of soups out of them. I love that! And I will store more 6 grain. I have not run out yet or anything but have been frugal with it as to not run out. I love making granola and it has been very filling. I'm using less wheat because I have been combining it with my bread flour. So both those have lasted longer because I do that. I will up my numbers on Crisco, and chocolate chips!
Snack food we flew through. I didnt think it would go that fast. But with kids in school and having to make lunches, yep- it goes fast. This is where home made things have been a must. Like making mini muffins and such. But I still will store more of that too next go around. 
Also I have been grateful for the stocking up on Toilet paper, paper towels and laundry soap. Things like that are so expensive when you are trying to tighten things up. I have felt so lucky to walk down and get TP when we are out, knowing that I couldn't really afford it right now. Soaps, shampoo, toothpaste- glad I have had all that. I will up the numbers with body soap. We were using it prior to the actual start of food storage use, but i will still stock up on that more. 
Oh, and cleaning products. I had not really got to a full three months on that yet and really wish I had! I think that about does it.
I will say that when I was teaching the three month class i said that even if we are buying one extra can of soup a week to build toward our supply we will be blessed. i do believe that and have done just that when I go tot he store. I have taken advantage of my coupons and have been able to get things for just cents. So it's possible even under stressful situations financially. 
I hope I have not just blabbed on and on, but I really wanted to share what it’s like from one perspective at least, to live off food storage. I learn so much every day and am glad I have a place to share it. Keeps me going on those harder days!

Freeze Your Bell Peppers!

These can get very expensive certain times of the year. Bell peppers add great source of FIBER to you diet so I like to have them all year round. Take advantage of sales, like right now KROGER is having RED BELL PEPPER on sale for .75 cents each. I bought a few and will freeze them up. I am also anxious to get mine growing in the garden :)

7/2010 update: Just bought peppers on sale this year- 5 for $1 !!!!!! The yellow, reds and oranges! Thats HUGE SAVINGS.

Here is how to freeze them:

Bell or Sweet Peppers (Green, Red, Yellow, Orange, Purple)

*Select crisp, tender peppers.
*Cut out stems and cut peppers in half.
*Remove seeds and membrane
*Cut peppers into strips, dice or slice, depending on how you plan to use them.
*Freeze peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet with sides, about an hour or longer until frozen. This method is often referred to as "tray freezing."

*Transfer to a "freezer" bag when frozen, excluding as much air as possible from the bag. The peppers will remain separated for ease of use in measuring out for recipes.

***For a crisper texture, peppers that will be used in uncooked foods can be frozen without being blanched beforehand. For peppers that will be heated, water-blanch halves for 3 minutes and strips or rings 2 minutes.

****Thawing: Sliced or diced sweet and bell peppers lose their crispness when frozen, however they can still be used for cooking. Add them to dishes directly from the freezer without thawing. (except I would thaw first before using on pizza, it will add more moisture than you want)

***** These should last up to at least eight months in the freezer if stored properly.

TVP Follow Up

I finally received my TVP ! Now the real test. IS IT GOOD????
This is what it looks like out of the can. I have the Taco Flavored can open here. 

So I mix 1 C boiling water to 1/2 C TVP. Let it sit a minute and then yo have what you see down below.
When I stir it around, I realize this is NOT meat. And you have to remind yourself this if you are going to use it. It's NOT mean, it's not trying to be meat, it's soy, with flavor! So honestly I was a bit worried at first as I am stirring this stuff around. But, I experimented and this is what I found:

Plain TVP in a burrito with all the fixings. Do not really prefer this
TVP mixed with refried beans and the fixings: Good, kids couldn't tell, ate it up
TVP mixed with actual groud beef: What I prefer if able to buy meat. 

The kids didn't even know the difference, however Aaron felt like the TVP with beans needed more flavor. And the TVP with real beef- Bingo!

I will be experimenting more with this and have updates to this post as I do!
Please let me know if you are experimenting with it too!!


Package Dates?

What do packaging dates mean?

"Sell by" means the store should sell the product by the printed date, but the product still can be safely eaten by the consumer.

"Best if used by" means the consumer should use the product by the date listed for best quality and flavor (not for safety reasons).

"Use by" or "expires" means the product should be used by consumers by the date listed; you are likely to see a marked deterioration in product quality and safety after that date.


17 Healthy Foods Under $1

One of the best ways to reduce your food bills is to cut back on packaged and processed foods and substitute in more fresh and healthier foods. Packaged and processed foods typically contain more sugar and sodium. They're also quite a bit more expensive.
Actual prices can vary quite a bit based on geography and growing season.

Rice - Rice is the most consumed staple in the world with nearly half of the developing worlds caloric intake coming from rice. The processing of rice removes much of its nutritional value. Brown rice retains the most nutritional value and white rice loses the most. Many rice producers enrich white rice with vitamins to add back in some of the nutritional value lost in the processing of rice. When you go to the supermarket many rice products will say "enriched" on the packaging. Even after enrichment whole brown rice is still more nutritional.

Cost: Rice can be stored up to two years so it makes a good deal of economic sense to buy in bulk. If you buy 20 pounds or more you can find rice for less than 50 cents per pound. It is one of the most economical foods on the planet with a 100 calories of cooked rice costing roughly 3-4 cents.

Oatmeal - Oatmeal is rich in dietary fiber and has been shown to lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.

Cost: Old fashioned oatmeal for 42 cents a pound. I typically have a cup of oatmeal with some cinnamon mixed in for breakfast costing roughly 20 cents.

Potatoes - As long as potatoes are prepared without loading them up with butter or sour cream they can be an extremely nutritious low calorie staple that's high in fiber and other vitamins.

Cost: There are several types of potatoes but you can typically find most types of potatoes for between 40 and 60 cents per pound.

Eggs - A great source of affordable low calorie protein. One egg contains just over 5 grams of protein.

Cost: Less than 15 cents per egg.

Popcorn - Popcorn is high in dietary fiber and low in calories and fat as long as you don't load it up with salt and butter. According to Wikipedia popcorn became a popular snack food during the Great Depression. It's easy to see why, popcorn is one of the most inexpensive snack foods around especially if you pop your own popcorn.

Cost: Loose kernels cost around 75 cents per pound. A typically microwave packet contains 2.8 ounces of dry popcorn kernels which comes out to roughly 13 cents if you pop it yourself.

Apples - An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are loaded with dietary fiber and antioxidants. Nearly all apples are under a dollar per apple in the supermarkets produce sections.

Cost: Apples like all fruits are considerably cheaper during peak harvest seasons. Jonagold and Golden Delicious apples run between 70-80 cents per pound, Red Delicious typically run around 90 cents per pound and Fuji apples $1.20 per pound.

Watermelon - Watermelon is a great summertime thirst quencher. It's very filling and low in calories due to the amount of water it holds. It's also packed with a number of antioxidants and vitamins. It also contains amino acids such as citrulline and arginine which promote cardiovascular health.

Cost: You can typically find watermelon for around 40 cents a pound, and cheaper during growing season.

Garbanzo Beans - As with most beans garbanzo beans also known as chickpeas are rich in dietary fiber and are a great source of protein. A cup of garbanzo beans contains more than a quarter of daily recommended protein. Studies have also shown that garbanzo beans lower LDL, the bad cholesterol.

Cost: You can pick up garbanzo beans for a $1 per pound.

Pinto Beans - Like garbanzo beans, pinto beans are packed with dietary fiber that helps reduce the bad cholesterol and is a great source of protein. Pinto beans are among the most affordable beans available.

Cost: 77 cents per pound.

Bananas - Sort of like natures candy bar bananas are a delicious creamy fruit which is rich in potassium and delivers a burst of energy.

Cost: 40-70 cents per pound.

Kiwis –Packed with vitamin C, this sweet tasting low calorie fruit makes an excellent out of the ordinary snack.

Cost: You can often find kiwis on sale three for a dollar.

Cantaloupe – Cantaloupe is rich in Vitamin A and C, and potassium. This sweet, cool fruit is also low in calories. Like most fruit Cantaloupe prices vary greatly throughout the year.

Cost: In-season you can find it for low as 19 cents per pound and out-of-season it can run you up to 60 cents per pound.

Carrots - Have garnered a reputation for improving eyesight because of the beta-carotene they contain. Carrots are low in calories and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are easy to pack and make a great healthy snack.

Cost: Carrots typically cost 50 cents per pound for the large variety and $1.25 per pound for baby carrots.

Lentils - Lentils are a protein powerhouse, one cup of cooked lentils contains more than a third of recommended daily value of protein. Lentils like most legumes are also packed with cholesterol lowering dietary fiber.

Cost: 90 cents per pound.

Grapefruit – Is a fruit so low in calories it even has a diet named after it. Grapefruit is packed with Vitamin C and extremely low in calories. It has a tart taste which helps to quench people's hunger.

Cost: 50 cents per pound.

Nuts – Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are packed with monounsaturated fats which are considered healthy fats. Several studies have shown that nut consumption lowers your risk of heart disease. Nuts make a great snack that’s easy to pack up and take anywhere.

Cost: Almonds $2.98 pound, Walnuts $2.88 a pound.

Water - Water is one of the key building blocks of health. Replacing soft drinks and high calorie, sugary drinks is one of the best things you can do for your health. Drinking plenty of water also cuts down on hungar and food consumption.

Cost: Practically free.

Food Storage Rotation

This always confused the heck out of me. But I get it now! So after you have your three month food storage in place. You will continue to shop for your weekly meals that you write out, from the same meal list that you based your food storage meals off of. Whats the point of having a 3 month supply of food if your not going to use it right?

So for example:

*I have my six meals I am making this week on a list.
*I have written down the ingredients I need for this on my shopping list. ( you can not use your food storage items,yet)
*Then I go shopping for those items.
*I come home and take my groceries to my storage pantry and put the can of beans I just bought in the back of the row of canned beans and use the first can in the row when I cook that week.

This is why it's important to stick to your planned meals, and grocery list. This doesn't mean you cant venture out- but don't get lost and loose momentum of what you have just worked so hard to accomplish.

Bread Making


I learned so much about what really goes into making bread and all the WHY's about it. It helped me to understand the recipes better and ultimately make really good bread. Here are some things I learned. If you have a question about something please ask!

1. Prepare the Ingredients & the Yeast

Yeast: It must be fresh when used in a recipe. If your bread is not rising well, this is the first ingredient to check.
You can test the yeast by adding a teaspoon of yeast to 1/4 cup warm water with a little sugar dissolved in it. In ten minutes the yeast should have dissolved and become a sludgy, frothy liquid.

If the dissolved looks like a gray-brown, thin liquid without foam, its probably stale or dead. Toss it in the garbage bin and buy a new batch, making sure to check the expiration date on the package.

2. Mix the Ingredients in a Foolproof Way
There are a couple ways to mix bread- most common is the stand mixer-

Using a stand mixer: In the mixer bowl, proof or dissolve the yeast in warm water or liquid.

Then, attach the flat paddle attachment, turn on the mixer to medium-low and mix in about half of the flour/dry ingredients, a handful at a time.

Then, switch to a doughhook for the rest of the mixing.
I have seen others use it from the beginning, but doing that will cause excessive stretching of the dough which will toughen the gluten too much.
Add the remaining flour, a 1/2-cup at a time, and mix thoroughly after each.
Kitchenaid company advises against exceeding speed 2 when kneading dough with the mixer.

When the dough starts to become smooth, add the flour in, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough becomes smooth and elastic -- you may not need all or you may need more than the recipe calls for depending on how fast the flour absorbs moisture because of its protein level. Don't be alarmed if a recipe calls for 5 cups flour and you use 7 cups!

Keep mixing on low for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, as well as slightly sticky. You should not have any dough sticking to the bowl, especially at the bottom center of the bowl.

If you see a small glob of dough at the bottom, your dough is too wet or the mixer didn't pick it up. With a rubber spatula, scrape the pieces left on the bottom and set them aside temporarily. Resume mixing and add the scraps to the bowl to incorporate them -- scraps usually contain a lot of flour. Afterwards, stop the mixer and see if you need more flour. If you do, add 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix after each addition until the dough is just right.

When ready, let the dough rest, covered, for 5 minutes in its bowl. It is now ready to be kneaded.

3. Knead the Dough

As you knead dough many important things take place: the gluten becomes developed so the bread can rise to its fullest, air bubbles are incorporated into the dough necessary for the dough's rise and the ingredients are redistributed for the yeast to feed on resulting in a more active fermentation. This enables the dough to expand to it fullest during the rising and baking steps.
Use both hands in an opposing position to form the dough into a ball also known as "rounding". Dough rises best when the top has been rounded and smoothed. The smoothness will come from proper kneading, while the roundness comes from rounding. A rough surface with breaks will allow the gases to escape and not achieve the proper fermentation.
So that the dough can rise properly, place it seam-side down in the well-greased bowl.
Spray the side of plastic wrap that will eventually touch the dough, and tightly seal the bowl. For extra insulation, you can cover the top of the bowl with a large, light kitchen towel. If the dough isn't correctly covered during rising, it will develop a dry surface which will give you are hard bread crust, will not brown correctly and may even separate from the rest of the bread when baked.
The dough is ready to go through its First Rise. Or, it can also be frozen for up to four weeks at this point before its first rising, shaping and the second rising. (Or, later after it is shaped).

4. The First Rise and Punch Down

Use a warm, draft-free rising place - best is a 75 - 85 degrees F:
Rising (Part 1) improves the flavor and texture of bread, and is an important step in bread-making. When the dough has risen sufficiently (Part 2) then, it is time to deflate it.

Rising is where the dough is placed in a warm place and allowed to double in volume. (Some peasant breads are allowed to raise to triple volume). Usually a dough goes through two rising periods, the first after mixing and the second after shaping, except for Artisan breads, which usually go through one. Those made with Instant Active Dry Yeast require only one.

Yeast is a living organism, so don't get discouraged Rising is influenced by how warm the rising place is, the amount of kneading, cold weather, barometric pressure and the use of cold ingredients. Recipes with a lot of sugar, whole wheat flour and grains, and add ins, such as raisins and nuts take a longer time to rise, too.

During rising, the dough will go through a magical transformation. From the yeast's fermentation, it takes time to accumulate a volume of carbon dioxide gas during the risings, strong enough to stretch a bread dough and to hold it high. On the outside, you'll see the dough expanding like a balloon, called rising (Part 1), but on the inside, where it's invisible to the eye, lots of things are happening, too.

During rising, the gluten, which is comprised of two different proteins, begins to repair and pull together, which also makes the bread dough easier to work with. Yeast, a single-celled live organism, feeds on the starches in the flour and doubles in number. All of these by-products are important when making bread: the carbon dioxide causes the air bubbles created in the dough to expand or rise, the alcohol contributes to the bread's flavor, and an organic acid glutamathione, relaxes the dough and gives it more elasticity. This allows it to absorb surface water, making the dough less sticky.

*Do NOT let your bread dough rise more than double. If the dough has collapsed, it has over-risen.
*If an emergency interrupts your rising session, punch down the dough, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you can get back to it. Then, transfer the dough to a warm bowl and let it warm slowly to continue rising.

TO DEFLATE THE DOUGH: Deflate the dough when it has doubled in size; it makes the shaping of the loaf, in the next step, a lot easier. This essentially gives the dough a fresh start, as it releases the build up of gasses that have accumulated in the dough; too much are toxic. Here, you are expelling the carbon dioxide, redistributing the yeast cells for more growth and relaxing the gluten. It also redistributes the yeast's food source, as well as the carbon dioxide for the final rise. This helps to improve both the texture and flavor of the finished bread.


A cool rise, also known as a refrigerator rise, is when yeasted dough, whether shaped or unshaped, is placed in the refrigerator to rise slowly. The cold slows the yeast's activity, allowing for more flavor and an interesting texture to develop.

When bakers use a sourdough or sponge starter culture, where the yeast is allowed to ferment over a long period of time or chill a dough and slow down its rise, the cold dramatically reduces yeast activity. The bacteria, on the other hand, function well even in cold temperatures, so they now have an opportunity to thrive, producing many more marvelously flavorful acids. However, there are a number of chemicals naturally present in dough that promote the breakdown of gluten. This is one of the reasons you cannot hold the dough infinitely long in a fermentation to improve its flavor.

5. Shape the Loaves & the Second Rise

After the bread dough has doubled in size from it's first rising and you have punched it down, it is time to shape the dough. Afterwards, it goes through a second rising and the bread is baked after it has doubled in size (on the shy side).

Shaping not only provides a decorative touch, but afterwards, a second rise takes place for the dough to produce more carbon dioxide and alcohol for better texture and taste. Shaping also forms the dough for oven-spring or rise when placed in an oven to bake and a shape so the dough won't drip and bake all over the oven.

HOW TO COVER THE SHAPED BREAD DOUGH AND NOT WRECK IT: (This used to always make me so mad!)
Most recipes instruct you to let the dough rise and cover the dough in its pan with plastic wrap, sprayed with vegetable oil on the side that touches it. When it rises, the top presses against and sticks to the wrap. When you take it off, the stuck dough goes with the plastic wrap, tears the dough and the bread deflates.

To prevent this from happening:
If you use a glaze before baking- you don't have to worry about covering. The glaze will prevent the dough from drying out. Which is why I always glaze!

Or, instead of placing plastic wrap directly on the shaped dough, use a large inverted glass bowl to cover the dough in its pan. Or, if just chilling a portion of the dough, place it on a greased cookie sheet and invert a glass bowl or rectangular glass pan over it. Make sure all inverted bowls and pans have been sprayed with cooking oil or greased with butter so the dough won't stick while rising; or,

6. Preheat the Oven, Final Touches, Bake, Cool & Store

When the loaf is first placed in a well-preheated and hot oven, the heat from it causes a final burst of fermentation and expansion called "oven spring". This gives the bread a nice rounded and well-risen top.
Oven spring continues through the first five to ten minutes of baking and stops when the loaf has reached 140 degrees F when the yeast dies. The flour's starches gelatinize and the gluten sets, making the loaf's shape permanent.
The bread's crust browns in the final stages of baking. The sugars that did not ferment during rising, caramelize from the heat of the oven, resulting in a nicely browned crust with lots of flavor. This is caused by the complex reaction between the sugars and the proteins on the surface of the loaf, called the Maillard Reaction.- I know, so technical!
Follow the recipe’s directions for preheating and baking.

When the loaf starts its second rise after shaping, it is a good time to PREHEAT the oven. This means you will have a good 30 to 45 minutes so it gets really hot before you put the loaf in for the best oven spring! Before you start, adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven (or as directed in the recipe).

FOR YEASTED BREADS: After you turn on the oven to preheat, it is time to give some finishing touches. Use a clean, soft pastry brush to apply a thin coating. Here are some of my favorites.
Glazing Before Baking: When applying a finishing touch before baking, be careful not to "glue" the loaf to the rim of the loaf pan or the baking sheet. This will make it difficult to remove the loaf from the pan after baking. If it does, use a sharp knife to the bread from the pan's sides if it does.

Glazing After Baking: Transfer the loaf or rolls to a wire cooling rack, then apply the prepared finishing touch using a soft brush while the bread is still warm. This is done to add flavor to the bread and to soften the texture of the crust.


Egg Wash: will give a shiny, golden look to the crust as well as make a harder crust. This is my favorite. Beat together 1 egg or 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon of water. (1 whole egg will impart more color because of the yolk.) Apply it right before baking. If you forget, you can brush your loaf five minutes before it's ready to come out of the oven.
Egg White Wash - Seeded Breads: Poppy, caraway, sesame seed or rolled oats are eye-appealing and tasty toppings. Whisked egg whites make a great "glue" and are used to glue one piece of dough to another.
Take 1 or 2 large egg whites beaten with 1 teaspoon water and brush on the bread dough before baking. Let it set a second and then reapply and immediately sprinkle on your seeds. You could try patting the seeds down gently. The egg white wash acts as a glue.

Butter: adds flavor and a nice brown soft crust to your bread. Brush top of loaf with about 2 tablespoons softened butter.
Honey: gives it a soft, sweet, sticky dark brown crust to a sweet dough if a few tablespoons honey are brushed on top of a loaf before baking. For a soft, sweet, sticky crust, brush a baked, still-warm bread from the oven with honey.
Milk: you'll get a slightly soft or tender crust, with a golden color if you brush loaves with warm milk before baking. For a slightly sweeter glaze, dissolve a little sugar in it.
Olive Oil: adds flavor and makes a nice golden crust with a slight shine. Do so immediately before and after baking.
Salted Water: makes for a light shine and crisp golden crust. Mix together 1 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons water. Brush on right before popping in the oven.
Cornstarch Glaze: For a chewy crust with a sheen, brush the dough with a mixture of cornstarch and water that has been cooked until translucent and then cooled. Professional bakers also use this glaze. Combine 1/2 cup cold water and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. In a small saucepan, with a small whisk, stir together water and cornstarch. Heat mixture to a gentle boil. Stir, reduce heat, until mixture thickens and is translucent. Cool. Brush on loaf about 10 minutes before baking is finished and again 3 minutes before bread is completely done.


Slashing: The scoring of some breads before baking is done for a couple of reasons. First, for a beautiful visual appearance and second, this scoring allows the dough to expand quickly during baking so it reaches its maximum volume. It also prevents a "blow out" from happening if bubbles appear under the crust and then burst. Slashing was used historically to also give a distinctive slash to a bread baked along with others in a French communal oven. Since the bread of each household would be mixed with others, a distinctive slash was one way to tell the loaves apart.
For regular and large-sized breads: After the shaped Sourdough or Sponge dough rises, glaze and slash top 3-4 times with sharp knife, lightly sprayed with vegetable oil, to prevent dragging. Cut each about 1/4 inch deep at a 30 degree angle.
To slash small breads, such as rolls, you can snip a crisscross with kitchen shears. Cut the dough about an inch deep into each roll. You can also slash it if desired.
Steam: For a crisp crust on a rustic or sourdough loaf, brush or lightly spray with water. Heat a pan in the oven while preheating and add hot water after you place the loaf in the oven. Quickly shut the door.


Flour with Power

There are so many options when it comes to flours. I really try to stay away from bleached white flours because of how nutrient depleted it is. There are so many more options out there that make beautiful baked products!
I try to grind all the flours once a month because of what a mess it makes. But then store them in gallon size bags- all ready to re-fill my tuba wear during the month.
Here are some optional flour ideas:

Pinto beans (dried)
Most Dried Beans

I have a Kitchen Mill Grinder and it will grind almost anything!

Check out the SASrecipes section for some ideas on substituting white flour for other types!

TVP- making a comeback

This is some great information about TVP- Textured Vegetable Protein. I actually have ordered a couple kinds to try out and will report back, but I was surprised at how far they have come with this. And personally I think with the food industry having so many contamination issues, I have been avoiding meat a lot lately. Plus I hate touching it :)
But here is a great article on it- CLICK

And then I ordered 2 #10 cans from HERE. $29.90
You will get 48-1/2 cups from a can. I figure that's 14 meals I will get out of it with my family size.
I spend over $5/1lb for my ground beef here, because I buy the extra lean, best brand sirloin because I HATE NASTY MEAT. I use it for ONE meal!!! I get 14 meals for $10.95 !!!!!

I just used my grocery budget for this- small investment towards food storage, huge blessings.

How Long will Food Storage Last?

Food to last a few weeks may be the surest way to conserve cash. Could you go more than a few days without visiting a grocery store?
How long you can store food in the freezer*

Food/# of Months
Bacon and sausage/ 1 to 2
Meat, uncooked ground /3 to 4
Casseroles /2 to 3
Meat, cooked/ 2 to 3
Egg whites or egg substitutes /12
Poultry, uncooked whole /12
Frozen dinners and entrees /3 to 4
Poultry, uncooked parts/ 9
Gravy, meat or poultry /2 to 3
Poultry, uncooked giblets /3 to 4
Ham, hot dogs and lunch meats /1 to 2
Poultry, cooked /4
Meat, uncooked roasts /4 to 12
Soups and stews/ 2 to 3
Meat, uncooked steaks or chops /4 to 12
Wild game, uncooked /8 to 12
* Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Frozen foods are great until the power goes out; even if you don’t open the door much, the contents of a freezer will start to thaw within a couple of days.

Our plan in a disaster or blackout,then, is to:
*eat out of the fridge first.
*then move on to the freezer.
*keeping all the shelf-stable pantry foods like pasta, canned chili and rice for last.

How long can I store _________ before its
quality deteriorates or it's no longer safe to eat?

Like many answers, this one depends on several factors: the type of food, length of time the food sat on the store shelf before you bought it, the temperature of the food while it was in the store, its packaging, how efficiently your refrigerator or freezer runs, and the temperature in your cupboards.

While you can't control all these factors, there are some precautions you can take. For example, always read the package labels and buy the products with the most distant expiration dates. When you're shopping, buy perishable foods, like meats, last. In fact, you may want to organize your shopping list so your perishables are at the bottom. At home, put purchase dates on packaging and rotate your food supplies on a regular basis. Be sure to always use the "first in first out" rule.

This publication provides handling tips and recommendations for storing food in your cupboards, refrigerator or freezer. Beyond the guidelines, though, you still have to rely on some old-fashioned common sense. And remember the most basic of rules: When in doubt, throw it out.

Cupboard Storage Chart

Store foods in cool cabinets and away from appliances which produce heat.
Many staples and canned foods have a relatively long shelf life, but buy only what you can expect to use within the time recommended in the chart. Date food packages and use the oldest first. Foods stored for longer than recommended times or beyond date on the package may change quality, color and flavor.
Buy fresh-looking packages. Dusty cans or torn labels can indicate old stock. Do not purchase dented or bulging cans.


Food Storage Handling Hints
Baking powder 18 months or Keep dry and covered.
date on can
Baking soda 2 years Keep dry and covered.
Bouillon cubes 1 year Keep dry and covered.
or granules
Bread crumbs (dried) 6 months Keep dry and covered.
Bread, rolls 3 days
Bulgur 6-12 months
- ready-to-eat, unopened 6-12 months Check date on package. Refold
- ready-to-eat, opened 2-3 months package liner tightly
after opening.
Hot cereal (dry) 6 months
- premelted 12 months Keep cool.
- semi-sweet 18 months Keep cool.
- unsweetened 18 months Keep cool.
Cocoa Indefinitely
Chocolate syrup
- unopened 2 years
- opened 6 months Cover tightly. Refrigerate
after opening.
Cocoa mixes 8 months Cover tightly.
- cans, unopened 2 years Refrigerate after opening;
- cans, opened 2 weeks keep tightly closed. Use dry
- instant, unopened 1 to 2 years measuring spoon. Can be
- instant, opened 2 months frozen to extend shelf life.
Coffee lighteners
- unopened, dry 9 months Keep tightly covered.
- opened, dry 6 months Keep tightly covered.
Cornmeal 12 months Keep tightly covered. Can be
frozen for indefinite storage.
Cornstarch 18 months Keep tightly covered.
Flour - Can be frozen for indefinite storage.
- white 6-8 months Keep in airtight container.
Keep refrigerated.
- whole wheat 6-8 months Store in airtight container.
Gelatin (all types) 18 months Keep in original container.
Grits 12 months Store in airtight container.
Honey 12 months Cover tightly.
If crystallizes, warm opened
jar in pan of hot water.
Jellies, jams 12 months Cover tightly.
Refrigerate after opening.
- unopened 2 years
- opened 6 months Keep tightly covered.
Refrigerate to extend
storage life.
Marshmallow cream
- unopened 3-4 months Cover tightly. Refrigerate
after opening to extend
storage life. Serve at room
Marshmallows 2-3 months Keep in airtight container.
Mayonnaise - unopened 2-3 months Check package date.
Refrigerate after opening.
- condensed or 12 months Refrigerate after opening.
evaporated, unopened
- nonfat dry
. unopened 6 months
. opened 3 months Store in airtight container.
- spaghetti,macaroni,etc. 2 years Once opened, store in
- egg noodles 6 months airtight container.
- liquid or dry 1 year or expiration date
. unopened
- liquid - opened 1 month Recap and refrigerate.
- white 2 years Keep tightly covered.
- brown, wild 6-12 months
- flavored or herb 6 months
Salad dressings
- bottled, unopened 10-12 months
- bottled, opened 3 months Refrigerate after opening.
- made from mix 2 weeks Refrigerate prepared dressing.
Vegetable oils
- unopened 6 months
- opened 1-3 months Refrigeration not needed.
Store in a cool, dark place
in tightly closed container.
Shortenings (solid) 8 months Refrigeration not needed.
Store in a cool, dark place
in tightly closed container.
- brown 4 months Put in airtight container.
- confectioners' 18 months Put in airtight container.
- granulated 2 years Cover tightly.
- artificial sweeteners 2 years Cover tightly.
Corn syrup Up to 3 years Keep tightly covered.
Refrigerate to extend storage
life. Remove any light
surface mold and heat to
180 �F before use.
Pancake syrup 3-4 months Refrigerate after opening.
- bags 18 months Put in airtight container.
- instant 3 years Cover tightly.
- loose 2 years Put in airtight container.
- unopened 2 years
- opened 12 months Keep tightly covered.
Slightly cloudy appearance
doesn't affect quality.
Distilled vinegar keeps
longer than cider vinegar.

Refrigerator/Freezer Storage Chart

Use foil, plastic wrap, plastic bags or airtight containers designed for use with food for packaging foods for refrigerator storage. Moisture- and vapor-proof materials are best.
Clean refrigerator regularly to reduce food odors. Remove spoiled foods immediately so decay cannot pass to other foods.
Store foods at cool temperatures. From 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Perishable foods stored at temperatures above 40 �F spoil rapidly. Check temperatures with a refrigerator thermometer or an outdoor thermometer.
Use foods quickly. Don't depend on maximum storage time.
Freeze foods in containers or materials designed for freezer storage.
Keep freezer clean and at 0 �F or lower.

Breads, Pastries, Cakes

Refrigerator Freezer
Products at 32 to 40 �F at 0 �F Comments
Unbaked 2-3 weeks 1 month Longer storage causes
rolls and yeast to become
bread inactivated and the
gluten weakened.
Partially baked 2 months
cinnamon rolls
Baked quick 2 months
Baked muffins 6-12 months
Baked breads 2-3 weeks 2-3 months Refrigeration storage is
with no recommended to inhibit
preservatives mold growth.
Unfrosted 2-4 months
Waffles 1 month
Unbaked 1-2 days 2-4 months
fruit pies
Baked 2-3 days 6-8 months
fruit pies
Pumpkin or 2-3 days 1-2 months
chiffon pies
Baked cookies 6-12 months Cookies will keep two to
three weeks in airtight
container in cupboard.
Cookies do not need to
be refrigerated.
Freezer 12 months If package is open and
pie shells not used, rewrap and
(ex. Pet Ritz) freeze remaining crust
and use within two months.
Cookie dough 3 months
Unbaked 1 month Use double-action
cakes (batter) baking powder if batter
is frozen.
Frosted 1 month
baked cakes
Unfrosted 2-4 months
baked cakes
Angel cakes 6-12 months
Fruit cakes 6-12 months
Refrigerated Expiration * Don't store in
biscuits, date on label refrigerator door because
rolls, temperature fluctuation
pastries, and jarring lower quality.
cookie dough

Dairy Products – Real and Substitutes

Refrigerator Freezer
Products at 32 to 40 �F at 0 �F Comments
Butter 1-2 weeks Wrap or cover tightly.
Margarine 4-6 months 12 months Wrap or cover tightly.
Buttermilk 1-2 weeks * Cover tightly. Flavor not
affected if buttermilk
separates; remix before
serving. Check date on
carton. Will keep several
days after date.
- cottage, 1-2 weeks 4 weeks Keep all cheese tightly
ricotta packaged in moisture-
- cream, 2 weeks * resistant wrap. If outside
Neufchatel of hard cheese gets
- hard and slightly moldy, just cut
wax-coated in away cheese � inch beneath
large pieces, and beside the mold - it
Cheddar, Edam, won't affect flavor. If
Gouda, Swiss, cheese is covered with
brick heavy mold, discard
. unopened 1-2 months 6-8 months entire block. For longer
. opened 3-4 weeks storage, freeze. Freezing
- sliced 2 weeks will affect the texture
- soft cream 5-6 days and possible taste. Cream
cheese (after opening) cheese becomes crumbly
when frozen, may be used
for cooking. Keep
refrigerated. Use within
one week of the "best
when purchased by" date.
- Parmesan 2 months Refrigerate after opening.
Romano- See cupboard storage
grated chart.
- process 3-4 weeks 6-8 months Refrigerate slices of
(opened) process cheese and cheese
food. Refrigerate loaves
and jars after opened.
Most squeeze packages and
aerosol cans don't need
refrigeration, but
check label.
- shredded cheeses Keep refrigerated. Use
within two days of the
"best when purchased by"
date on the label.
- commercial 2 weeks Keep tightly covered.
- homemade 2 days Keep tightly covered.
- evaporated 4-5 days * Keep covered.
- homogenized, 5 days * Keep containers tightly
reconstituted closed. To prevent
dry nonfat, spoilage, skimmed don't
return unused milk to
original container.
- sweetened, 4-5 days * Keep covered.
Sour cream 2 weeks * Keep covered.
Whipped topping
- in aerosol 3 months *
- prepared 3 days * Keep covered.
from mix
- (eg. 2-3 weeks 14 months May be refrozen four or
Cool Whip) five times if thawed in
Yogurt 7-10 days * Keep covered and
refrigerated. Follow the
"use by" date on the
package, or up to two
weeks after the "sell by"
date. Yogurt may separate
when frozen.
- in shell 3 weeks * Store covered. Keep small
end down to center yolks.
- whites 2-4 days 1 year Store in covered
or yolks container. For longer
storage, freeze.
- hard cooked 1 week *
- containing 1-2 days *
- custards,
pastries, cream pies
eggs or egg
- opened 3 days *
- unopened 10 days 1 year

Fruits and Juices

Refrigerator Freezer
Products at 32 to 40 �F at 0 �F Comments
Bananas Refrigerate only when
fully ripe. Skin will
Apples 1-3 weeks Discard bruised or
decayed fruit. Don't wash
before storing because
moisture encouraged
spoilage. Store in
crisper or moisture-
resistant bag or wrap.
Berries, 1-2 days
Citrus fruit 3 weeks
Juices - 6 days 8 months Thaw in refrigerator.
canned, (diluted) Keep fruit juice tightly
bottled or covered. Transfer canned
reconstituted juice to glass or plastic
container when opened. Do
not store in cans.
Pre-mixed, Keep refrigerated. Do not
full strength use after the "used by"
fruit juice date on the carton.
(eg. Tropicana)
Real Lemon 12 months
Cranberry 5-6 days 3-6 months
cocktail (diluted)
Melons 1 week Wrap uncut cantaloupe
and honeydew to prevent
odor spreading to other
Other 3-5 days Wrap cut surfaces of
citrus fruit and
cantaloupe to prevent

Fresh Vegetables

Frozen vegetables
(in box or bag, without sauce): Keep frozen three to six months.
Once prepared, store covered in the
refrigerator up to two days.
Products at 32 to 40 �F Comments
Asparagus, 1-2 days Keep moist.
corn in husks
Beans - 1-2 days Keep in crisper or moisture-
green or wax resistant wrap or bag.
Beets, 1-2 weeks Remove leafy tops and keep in crisper.
Cabbage, 1-2 weeks Keep in crisper or moisture-resistant
celery wrap or bag.
Lettuce, head
- unwashed 5-7 days Store in moisture-resistant wrap, bag
or lettuce keeper.
- washed, 3-5 days Wrap and store away from other drained
thoroughly vegetables and fruits to prevent
russet spotting.
Mushrooms 1-2 days Do not wash before storing.
Onions, Refrigeration not needed.
potatoes, See cupboard storage chart.
sweet potatoes
Shredded 1-2 days Keep in moisture-resistant
cabbage, wrap or bag.
leaf and
Bibb lettuce,
salad greens
Tomatoes 1-2 days Ripen tomatoes at room temperature
(ripe) away from direct sunlight;
then refrigerate.
Unshelled 3-5 days Keep in crisper or moisture-resistant
peas, lima wrap or bags.

Fresh Uncooked Meat, Fish, Poultry

Refrigerator Freezer
Products at 32 to 40 �F at 0 �F Comments
Red meats
- chops 3-5 days 4-6 months When meat, poultry or
- ground meat 1-2 days 3-4 months fish is bought in plastic
- roasts 3-5 days 6-12 months wrapping from self-service
- steaks 3-5 days 6-12 months counters, store in these
- stew meat 1-2 days 3-4 months packages. Meat packages in
- bratwurst, 5-7 days 2-3 months self-service counters have
precooked been handled by many
- bratwurst, 2-3 days 2-3 months shoppers. Opening these
fresh before storing risks
- variety 1-2 days 3-4 months contamination.
- chicken 1-2 days 1 year
or turkey,
- chicken
or turkey,
pieces 1-2 days 9 months
- duck or
whole 1-2 days 6 months
- giblets 1-2 days 3-4 months
- ground 1-2 days 6 months

Fish and Shellfish

at 32-40 �F
-------------- Freezer at 0 �F
(Thawed: --------------------------
Never frozen (Purchased
or previously (Purchased commercially
frozen fresh frozen for
and home and home freezer
Products refrigerated) frozen) storage) Comments
Fish fillets/steaks
- lean
�cod, 36 hours 6-8 months 10-12 months N/A � not
flounder applicable or not
�haddock, 36 hours 6-8 months 10-12 months advised. These
halibut storage guidelines
�pollock, 36 hours 4 months 8-9 months indicate optimal
ocean shelf life for
perch seafood products
�sea 36 hours 4 months 8-9 months held under proper
trout, refrigeration or
rockfish freezing
�Pacific 36 hours 4 months 8-9 months conditions.
Ocean Temperature
perch fluctuations in
home refrigerators
- fat will affect
�mullet, 36 hours N/A 6-8 months optimal shelf
smelt life, as will
�salmon 36 hours N/A 7-9 months opening and
(cleaned) closing
refrigerators and
freezers often.

- shellfish
�dungeness 5 days 6 months 6 months Although these
crab storage times
�snow crab 5 days 6 months 6 months ensure a fresh
�blue 5-7 days 4 months N/A product for
crabmeat maximum
(fresh) refrigeration
�blue 6 months N/A N/A storage life at
crabmeat 32 �F, the
(pasteurized) consumer should
�cocktail 5 days 4 months N/A plan on using
claws seafood within 36
�king crab 7 days 9 months 12 months hours for optimal
�surimi 2 weeks 9 months 10-12 months quality and
seafoods freshness of the
�shrimp 4 days 5 months 9 months product.
�oysters, 4-7 days N/A N/A
�clams, 5 days N/A N/A
�lobster, 1-2 days N/A N/A
�lobster, 4-5 days 6 months 8 months

- breaded seafoods To determine
�shrimp N/A 8 months 12 months approximate
�scallops N/A 10 months 16 months storage time for
�fish sticks N/A N/A 18 months those species not
�portions N/A N/A 18 months listed, ask your
retailer which
category (lean,
fat, shellfish,
breaded, or
smoked) they fall

- smoked fish
�herring 3-4 days 2 months N/A
�salmon, 5-8 days 2 months N/A

Wild Game

at 32-40 �F
-------------- Freezer at 0 �F
(Thawed: --------------------------
Never frozen (Purchased
or previously (Purchased commercially
frozen fresh frozen for
and home and home freezer
Products refrigerated) frozen) storage) Comments
Venison 3-5 days 3-4 months
Rabbit, 1-2 days 12 months
Wild duck, 1-2 days 6 months

Cooked Meat

Refrigerator Freezer
Products at 32 to 40 �F at 0 �F Comments
Meat leftovers
- cooked meat 3-4 days 2-3 months Keep covered.
and meat
- gravy and 1-2 days 2-3 months Keep covered.
meat broth
Cooked poultry, leftovers
- fried chicken 3-4 days 4 months
- cooked 3-4 days 4-6 months
- pieces, plain 3-4 days 4 months
- pieces 1-2 days 6 months For quick cooking, cool
covered with meat and broth separately.
broth, gravy Stir broth to prevent the
formation of a top coating
of fat which may seal in
heat. Ice cubes can be
added to concentrated
broth to speed cooling.
- chicken 1-2 days 1-3 months

Cured and Smoked Meats

Refrigerator Freezer
Products at 32 to 40 �F at 0 �F Comments
Bacon 7 days 1 month Keep wrapped. Store in
------------------------------------------ coldest part of refrigerator
Bologna, 4-6 days or in meat keeper. Times
liverwurst are for opened packages.
------------------------------------------ Refer to processor's
Dried beef 10-12 days freshness date on package
for storage times of
unopened packages.
Hotdogs and lunch meats
- hotdogs, 1 week 1-2 months In freezer wrap.
- hotdogs, 2 weeks 1-2 months
- lunch meats, 3-5 days 1-2 months
- lunch meats, 2 weeks 1-2 months
- sausage, 1-2 days 1-2 months
raw from
pork, beef,
- smoked 7 days 1-2 months
- hard 2-3 weeks 1-2 months
sausage -
jerky sticks
Ham, corned beef
- corned 5-7 days 1 month Drained, wrapped.
beef, in
pouch with
- ham, canned 6-12 weeks Don't freeze Store ham in refrigerator
(unopened) unless label indicates
label says refrigeration is not
keep needed. Once canned ham is
refrigerated opened, use within three
- ham, fully 7 days 1-2 months to five days.
cooked, whole
- ham, fully 3-5 days 1-2 months
cooked, half
- ham, fully 3-4 days 1-2 months
cooked, slices
- liver sausage 4-6 days

Baby Food

Refrigerator Freezer
Products at 32 to 40 �F at 0 �F Comments
- expressed 2 days 3-4 months For shelf storage of
breast milk unopened cans of
- formula 2 days not recommended formula, observe "use
- whole milk 5 days 3 months by" dates printed on
- reconstituted 3-5 days not recommended containers. Store
evaporated milk evaporated milk up to
12 months. Heat
liquid in hot tap
water, not the
microwave oven. Shake
bottle before testing
the temperature on the
top of your hand.
Discard any unused
milk left in a bottle.
Solids (opened or freshly made)
- strained 2-3 days 6-8 months Observe "use by" date
fruits and for shelf storage of
vegetables unopened jars. Check
- strained 1 day 1-2 months to see that the safety
meats and button in lid is down.
eggs If the jar does not
- meat/ 1-2 days 1-2 months "pop" when opened or
vegetable is not sealed safely,
combinations do not use. Do not
- homemade 1-2 days 3-4 months heat meats, meat
baby foods sticks, eggs or jars
of food in the
microwave. Transfer
food from jars to
bowls or heating dish.
For 4 ounces of food,
microwave on high for
15 seconds; stir and
let stand 30 seconds.
Stir and test the
temperature of the
foods before feeding
baby. Don't feed a
baby from the jar.

Other Foods

Refrigerator Freezer
Products at 32 to 40 �F at 0 �F Comments
Canned goods
- fruits 1 week 1-2 months Transfer to glass or
(opened) plastic container as soon
- vegetables 2-3 days 1-2 months as opened. Do not store in
(opened) can. Keep covered. Texture
- puddings, 1-2 days * will be softer after
custards freezing, but product is
(opened) acceptable in sauce,soups,
- gravy 2 days 2-3 months stews. Store all canned
and broth food tightly covered.
- meats 2-3 days * Acidic foods should be
- sauce, 5 days 2-3 months transferred to glass or
tomato plastic containers to
based avoid metallic taste if
stored for more than one
or two days.
- soups, 2-3 days 4-6 months
- sandwiches 2-3 days 1 month
- casseroles 1-2 days 1 month
- leftover see other 1 month
cooked charts
- ground 6 months 6-12 months Can be stored in cupboard
spices instead of refrigerator.
- candies not necessary 3-6 months
- fats, several months * Refrigeration is
oils, recommended to prevent
salad rancidity. Some oils may
dressings become cloudy or solidify
(opened) in the refrigerator, but
this is not harmful.
Commercial vegetable oils,
shortenings and salad
dressings may be stored at
room temperature for
several weeks without
undergoing flavor change.
- vegetable Keep refrigerated. Use
oil spread within one week of "best
when purchased by" date.
- mayonnaise 2 months * Refrigerate after opening.
- TV dinners, 3-4 months Keep frozen until ready to
frozen serve. (Best if used in
casseroles three or four months, may
be frozen up to
12 months.)
Deli and vacuum-packed products
- store- 3-5 days *
(or homemade)
egg, tuna,
chicken, ham,
- pre-stuffed 1 day *
pork and lamb
chops, chicken
breasts stuffed
with dressing
- store-cooked 1-2 days
- commercial 2 weeks *
dinners with
USDA seal,
- freezer 12-18 months

Mixes and Packaged Foods

Food Storage Handling Hints
Biscuit, brownie, 9 months Keep cool and dry.
muffin mix
- purchased 1-2 days Refrigerate if buttercream,
- mixes 12 months whipped cream or custard frostings
- angel food 12 months or fillings. Keep cool and dry.
Casserole mix
- complete or 9-12 months Keep cool and dry. After
add own meat preparation, store as casserole.
- homemade 2-3 weeks Put in airtight container.
- packaged 2 months Keep box tightly closed.
Entrees 18 months Store in cool, dry place in
original container. Do not store
in a closed container that stops
air circulation around the package.
Crackers 3 months Keep box tightly closed.
- canned 3 months Store leftovers in the
- mix 8 months refrigerator.
Hot roll mix 18 months If opened, put in airtight
Pie crust mix 8 months Keep cool and dry.
Pies and pastries 2-3 days Refrigerate whipped cream,
custard and chiffon fillings.
- instant mix 6-12 months Keep in airtight package.
Powdered 18-24 months
drink mixes
Pudding mixes 12 months Keep cool and dry.
Rice mixes 6 months Keep cool and dry.
Sauce and 6-12 months Keep cool and dry.
gravy mixes
Soup mixes 12-15 months Check package date.
Keep cool and dry.
Toaster pastries 2-3 months Keep in airtight package.

Canned and Dried Foods

Food Storage Handling Hints
Canned food
- plastic cans 6-12 months Possibly longer, depending on
Canned fruit juices 9 months Keep cool.
Juice/drink boxes 9 months Follow "best used by" date
on label.
Canned foods
- unopened 12 months Keep cool.
- opened
� baby foods 2-3 days Close jar tightly and refrigerate.
� fish and seafood 2 days For all opened canned foods,
� fruit 1 week transfer foods in cans to glass or
� meats 2 days plastic storage containers.
� pickles, olives 1-2 months Tightly cover and refrigerate. If
� poultry 2 days left in the opened can, off
� sauce, tomato 5 days flavors of some foods may develop.
� vegetables 3 days
Fruits (dried) 6 months Keep cool in airtight containers.
Refrigerate if possible.
- dried 1 year Keep cool in airtight container.
- dehydrated flakes 6 months Refrigerate if possible.

Spices, Herbs, Condiments, Extracts

Food Storage Handling Hints
Catsup, chili sauce
- unopened 12 months
- opened 1 month Refrigerate for longer storage.
Mustard, prepared yellow
- unopened 2 years
- opened 6-8 months May be refrigerated.
Stir before using.
Spices and herbs
- whole 1-2 years Store in airtight containers in
- ground 6 months dry places away from sunlight and
- herb/spice blends 6 months heat. At times listed, check
aroma; if faded, replace. Whole
cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks
maintain quality beyond two-year
period. Can be stored in the
freezer to extend shelf life.
- unopened 2 years
- opened 12 months Keep tightly closed. Volatile
oils escape.
Other extracts
- opened 12 months Keep tightly closed. Volatile
oils escape.
Soy sauce (unopened) 3 years Use within six to nine months
after opening.
Tabasco, worchestershire 2 years

Miscellaneous Foods

Food Storage Handling Hints
Cheese, parmesan (grated)
- unopened 10 months
- opened 2 months Refrigerate after opening. Keep
tightly closed.
- shredded, canned
or packaged
� unopened 12 months
� opened 6 months Refrigerate after opening.
Meat substitutes
- textured protein 4 months Keep tightly covered. For longer
products (imitation storage, refrigerate.
bacon bits, etc.)
Metered caloric 6 months Keep in can, closed jar or
products, powdered original packets.
breakfast mixes,
liquid breakfast
- in shell, unopened 4 months
- nutmeats, packaged Refrigerate after opening. Freeze
� vacuum can, for longer storage. Unsalted and
unopened blanched nuts keep longer than
� other packaging, salted.
unopened 3 months
� package or can,
opened 2 weeks
Peanut butter
- unopened 6-9 months Refrigeration not needed. Keeps
- opened 2-3 months longer if refrigerated. Natural
peanut butter must be
refrigerated after opening.
Peas, beans (dried) 12 months Store in airtight container.
Popcorn 2 years Store in airtight container.
Microwave popcorn 18 months
Vegetables, fresh
- onions 2 weeks Keep dry and away from sun.
- potatoes
� white 2-4 weeks For longer storage,keep below 50�F.
� sweet 1-2 weeks Don't refrigerate sweet potatoes.
Soft drinks 6 months
Whipped topping (dry) 12 months Keep cool and dry.
Yeast (dry) Expiration date Can be frozen to extend shelf life.
on package.