Wheat and other grains are great choices for long-term food storage. They are inexpensive and can be consumed by humans and animals.
The most common grains are wheat, rice and oats. There are many others that are very nutritious and are higher in protein. These grains are quinoa, amaranth, kamut, spelt, millet and triticale. Other grains include red and white wheat, white and brown rice, wild rice, oat grouts, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, Job’s tears, sorghum and teff.
Grains can be cooked in the whole kernel state and used to replace rice in recipes. I prefer to cook my rice or whole grain in bouillon water or chicken stock. I like to use a rice cooker to cook the grain. I put it on the setting for brown rice and it times itself. The grain tastes so much better, and it cooks the exact amount of time for the perfect texture.
I like to make wheat chili. I just replace the beans with cooked wheat. It still tastes like chili, yet has a chewy texture like cooked wheat. Cooked wheat can be added to soups and used as a topping on salads.
If the power goes out, you can boil water in an outdoor fire pit or use a Dutch oven to cook the grain.
Raw whole grains should be stored in airtight containers. Grain naturally has weevil eggs in it. But if the grain has no oxygen, the larvae will not hatch because they need oxygen to live. Using an oxygen absorber or vacuum-sealing the grain in pouches will keep it oxygen free. Grain will store for many years if kept cool and stored in a dark, dry environment.
Grains — including all the different types of rice, long and short grain, white, brown and wild — can be used for main dishes. Other types of grain such as quinoa and barley can be cooked up and either mixed with rice or served instead of rice with any meal.
Rice or whole grain eaten with beans completes the amino acid chain and forms a complete protein. This adds variety and extra nutrition to meals. Whole grain brown rice and other whole grains are much more nutritious than processed white rice and white flour.
Health Benefits Of Whole Grains
The health benefits of using whole grains include:
- 30 percent reduced risk of stroke and diabetes.
- Heart disease is reduced by 25 percent.
- Better weight management.
- Reduced risk of asthma, clogged carotid arteries, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure, gum disease and tooth loss.
The fiber in grains is well known to help lower cholesterol. Doctors will tell you that it improves your health to eat oatmeal for breakfast.
Grain has been found in the pyramids of Egypt. When planted it still sprouted. Sprouted wheat can be added to bread to give it a nice texture and added nutrition. When the grain is sprouted it is 300 times more nutritious. If you use sprouted wheat in bread, do not let it sprout past the second day or it will turn to wheat grass.
Wheatgrass is highly nutritious and when put through a wheatgrass juicer produces a highly nutritious tonic. People drink it to purify their blood and cleanse the body of toxins and poisons. It is very good for the health.
Breakfast Cereals Using Whole Grains
I believe that if you have whole grains in your food storage, you can make hot cereal or mush for breakfast every day and it will sustain you. Keep your breakfast meals simple like the pioneers did.
I know a woman in my neighborhood who will be turning 100 this year. She has eaten whole grain cereal for breakfast every day of her life. She walks every day and is as healthy as can be. She attributes it to her whole-wheat mush for breakfast.
Store a variety of different cereal grains such as oatmeal, millet and whole wheat. Whole wheat can be cracked to make cracked wheat cereal. It is nice to have a wheat grinder that will crack wheat as well as grind it into flour. If you don’t have a wheat grinder, use your blender and only blend it until it is cracked in half or in larger pieces.
Whole-wheat breakfast cereal is made by cooking whole-wheat kernels in water with a little salt. You should use two cups of water and one-half teaspoon of salt for every cup of whole wheat. Just boil the water, add the wheat and cook the kernels until the wheat is soft. Eat it with honey, milk and raisins.
Another way to make whole grain breakfast cereal is to use a thermos. Start the night before you want to eat it and add one-half cup of whole wheat or grain kernels to the thermos. Add approximately 1 quart of boiling water to the thermos to fill it, then tighten the lid, shake it up and let it set overnight. The next morning you will have whole grain breakfast cereal. Serve it with milk and honey or sweetener. Add raisins or chopped up dried fruit.
Millet is one of the best grains to store for babies, small children and older people. It is easily digested and soft on the stomach. Millet is a small round grain and is also used in birdseed.
Oatmeal is great to store because it can be used so many different ways. It can be cooked and made into mush for a breakfast cereal. It can be made into granola, breads, cakes and cookies.
Cornmeal can be made into mush by mixing three cups of boiling water with one and a half cups of cornmeal and a half teaspoon of salt. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes until the mush is thick. Eat it hot with a pat of butter or honey and milk. Add raisins if desired. The leftover mush can be refrigerated and made into fried mush patties for lunch. Fry them in butter until golden brown on both sides. They are delicious.
How To Make Granola Using Whole Grains, Seeds And Nuts
7 cups rolled whole grains such as (regular rolled oats, rolled wheat or six-grain rolled cereal). Health food stores, food storage and grain companies sell these products in bulk.
1 cup wheat germ
1½ cups flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds, chopped cashews, walnuts or other nuts
½ cup roasted sunflower seeds
½ cup golden flax seeds
½ cup sesame seeds (optional)
1 cup hot water or cranberry juice
½ cup coconut oil, olive oil or butter
1¼ cups honey, agave, molasses or maple syrup or (combination of all).
½ cup brown sugar (optional)
1 Tbs. of liquid or powdered vanilla or almond extract
Add Fruit Last
1 cup of raisins or Craisins®, or dried fruit chopped into small pieces (the fruit is to be added after the granola is cooked and dried).
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In a separate, smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients until the sweetener is dissolved.
Make a hole in the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the center of the dry ingredients. Stir well with a large spoon until all ingredients are mixed well.
Spread the mixture evenly onto two ungreased cookie sheets. Place the cookie sheets in a preheated oven that is on the lowest setting (170 degrees F. or below).
Dry the granola for approximately three hours. Check the granola every hour and turn it to make sure it does not overcook and that it dries evenly on both sides.
Granola can also be dried in a food dehydrator on a low setting. If there is no electricity the granola can be dried in the sun. Cover it with a cloth to keep off the flies and honeybees.
When it is dry enough to store, add one cup of raisins, Craisins® or dried fruit chopped into small pieces. Mix well and store in an airtight container with lid. If you are going to eat it quickly, it will store fine in the container. However, because it contains butter or oil, it is best to store in the refrigerator if it is to be kept for longer periods of time.
Eat the granola with milk and fresh fruit like bananas and berries. I like to put the granola over the top of yoghurt and fresh fruit like a parfait. The recipe makes 16 1-cup servings.
Whole Grain Blender Pancakes
¾ cup whole wheat or other grain
1 cup milk
¼ cup butter or oil
1 egg or (1 tbs. dried egg powder)
2 tbs. honey or sweetener
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
If you do not own a wheat grinder you can still enjoy the delicious taste of whole grains by grinding the grain in a blender to produce coarse flour.
Add the liquid ingredients next and continue blending until the batter is mixed well. I like to let it set for a couple of minutes to get the flour to start absorbing the liquid, then add the sugar, salt and baking powder.
Turn the blender on high and mix well until it is free of any lumps and looks like a batter that can be poured into round circles. It should not be too runny and not too thick. If it looks too runny, slowly add small amounts of flour at a time to achieve the desired consistency. If it is too thick, slowly add small amounts of milk to thin it to the desired consistency.
Heat up a pan or griddle. Grease it with oil and pour batter onto the hot greased griddle. Cook until the underside of the pancake turns a golden brown. Flip it and cook on the other side. Serve with fruit, jam or syrup.
This article is the first of a two-part series on using whole grains. In the next article I will be discussing how to grind the wheat into freshly milled flour using a wheat grinder or (grain mill). I will discuss the difference between the electric grain mills verses non-electric or hand-crank grain mills. I will include a few recipes from my cookbook on how to make simple, easy whole grain breads.
I have written seven different books on the subject of food storage and preparedness. My website is www.peggylayton.com.
The recipes in this article and many others can be found in the cookbook called Cookin’ With Home Storage. It contains more than 550 simple and easy recipes using very basic pantry ingredients that can be stored for long term.
This book contains authentic pioneer recipes and fascinating historical tips on how the pioneers really lived. There are chapters on all the basic foods that can be stored. These include wheat and grains, beans and rice, dried fruits and vegetables, dried pasta, powdered milk and dried eggs.
There are charts on how to reconstitute dehydrated and freeze dried foods. There are tips on how to incorporate food storage into your everyday diet. The book also includes a chapter on Grandma’s home remedies, natural household cleaners, emergency baby food and pet food and emergency food storage and survival tips.
To purchase the cookbooks, electric and non-electric wheat grinders and grain mills, bulk food storage kits, oxygen absorbers or any of the other preparedness items mentioned in this article, click here.
If you are interested in a great source for pre-made meals that can be stored for 15 years and tastes great, I have been testing out emergency food storage meals packaged in Mylar® pouches. These meals serve four people and are ready to just add water and cook. I find them delicious, convenient and easy to use. To learn more about these meals by eFoods Global, click here.