Category Archives: Short Term Food Storage

No Yeast? No Problem! (+ Pizza)

sourdough starter

I have been seeing “sourdough” quite a bit lately on some of the food blogs I check up on. There are supposedly several benefits to using sourdough (aka natural yeast) rather than commercial yeast, I won’t get into these benefits but you can research them for yourself. Seeing all these sourdough posts got me thinking, WHAT IF I RAN OUT OF YEAST? What if I could not get any more yeast? What would I do? The answer is simple, I can capture my own wild yeast by creating a sourdough starter.

There are many sourdough starter methods out there but I found a simple one that just uses water and flour. You just mix flour with water, let it sit for 12 hours and feed it flour and water again. You keep feeding it flour and water every 12 hours and about 3 days in your starter will start getting bubbles in it, this is captured wild yeast. The method I used was from ebook “Sourdough from A to Z” which is similar the process in this video (click for video) but the ebook is much better in my opinion.

I decided I had to try this in-case I needed to do it. I used freshly ground whole wheat flour from my WonderMill grain mill and in about a week I had an active sourdough starter. The process was simple, the hard part was remembering to feed it every 12 hours or so. I also found that if you keep your sourdough well fed, it will not have a sour taste.

Our Little Pizza Princess

Our Little Pizza Princess

Last night, I added half of the starter to a pizza dough recipe I have used in the past. It took a little guessing to adjust the flour and water of the recipe for the addition of my sourdough starter since it was not a sourdough recipe. I let the dough rise overnight and baked pizza for lunch the next day. It worked wonderfully and tasted great.

I am definitely going to keep my sourdough starter going and use it in some other recipes for fun. The topping for this pizza was probably the best I have tried yet, Spinach Artichoke with a homemade sauce. I’ve mentioned before that I am an artichoke lover, and I am always on the lookout for a new artichoke recipe.

Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Pizza

Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Pizza

Several items I used in this post are things I store in my food storage such as canned artichoke, whole wheat, water, and shredded cheese. We have also started a vegetable garden this year and our spinach is already starting to grow. Just trying to keep true to “storing what I eat and eating what I store”.

And if you ever run out of yeast you now know you can capture your own. I suggest you give it a try and become familiar to the way mankind did before commercial yeast was available.

I also shared this post on Bake Your Own Bread linkup.

Canned Pumpkin Puree

canned pumpkin

Homemade Pumpkin Chili

Homemade Pumpkin Chili

I love canned pumpkin and I use it all the time in baking. We make pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cornbread, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin sweet rolls, and pumpkin pie of course. I recently even made pumpkin chili and, to my surprise, it was quite good. There are many other things I would like to try with pumpkin puree, it just makes food taste great.

Another great thing about pumpkin puree is that it can replace oil and butter in many recipes. For replacing oil you can use 1 to 1 ration, for example use 1 cup of pumpkin puree in place of 1 cup oil called for. For replacing butter you can use 3/4 to 1 ration, for example use 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree in place of 1 cup butter called for. These amounts might need to be adjusted from recipe to recipe but it is a good starting point for you.

Because I use canned pumpkin often, it is a perfect product to add to my food storage list, it may not be for you. Canned pumpkin has a shelf life for up to 2 years from the date it is processed, so about 1 1/2 half years from the date you purchase it from the store. I try to make sure I use it by the “best by” date printed on the can, any older than that and the quality and nutrition goes fast.

My goal is to store about a one year supply of canned pumpkin in my storage room. I use about 4 cans a month, so I would need 48 cans of pumpkin puree to reach this goal. I am only about half way to my goal right now. I buy 8 cans of pumpkin puree every month, 4 to replace the ones I used and 4 help me reach my goal. You might consider buying a 12 pack of the quality organic pumpkin puree to get a good start.

Recipes to Try

Kamut Pumpkin Pancakes

Kamut Pumpkin Pancakes

I hope to post more of the pumpkin recipes I use later on. Feel free to share your pumpkin recipe links below, I am definitely looking for more to try.


Freezen Butter

Sticks of ButterTo me, nothing makes food taste better than when it has the added rich taste of butter. Butter may not be a really long term food storage item, unless you buy the canned butter, but it can be frozen for up to one year with out going rancid. I keep several sticks of butter in my freezer and rotate them to keep them good. I don’t keep butter in the refrigerator except for a what I am going to use in the next 2-4 weeks because butter only lasts about 4 months in the fridge. I always buy salted butter because, not only do I like the taste, it keeps longer than non-salted butter.

I keep enough butter in my freezer to last about 10 months of my normal use. Just calculate how much butter you use in a month and times it by 10 and you will have your 10 month supply goal. I didn’t just buy my 10 month supply of butter at once, I built up my butter supply over a few months. Each time I buy butter for the month I bought twice as much as I needed for that month; I did this until I had an 10 month supply, if you follow this method you will have 10 months worth in 5 months. I now just buy enough butter to replace what I used that month so I always have at least a 9-10 month supply of butter on hand.

Butter is not the cheapest item you get for your food storage but it is something you probably already use on a regular basis in your kitchen so I would highly recommend storing it. I have seen canned butter for sale before that stays good for a really long time but it is usually expensive. My in-laws bought some last year and it tasted really good, just like regular butter I use.

There are so many ways that we use butter in the kitchen: sauteing, frying, in sauces, spreading over food & vegetables, flavoring popcorn, creaming, and on and on… Since I store plenty of whole grains for grinding into flour, it is a good idea to store butter for making baked goods that taste great and spreading on my rolls or bread. We also use butter quite a bit with pasta sauce. Butter is something that our family would rather not due with out.