Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I've Stored It...Now What? -Beans

  When we think of "food storage" wheat is usually the first to come to mind, then beans. I thought it was only fitting then, that beans be the focus of our next installment of "I've Stored it, Now What?" Beans are one of those things we know we should store, but often have no idea what we're going to do with them when a disaster strikes or when we're forced to use them (like when it's time to rotate them).
  So why store beans? Beans are incredibly inexpensive, cholesterol free and low in fat. They are also high in fiber, protein and carbohydrates. The Idaho Bean Commission, reports that “Each half-cup serving of dry beans provides six to seven grams of protein, meets at least 10% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein, yet costs about 20 cents per serving.” "A single half-cup serving of cooked dry beans counts as one, one-ounce serving of lean meat in the USDA Food Pyramid Meat and Beans group, and as a full serving of vegetables in the Vegetables group." Pretty great huh?!
  What kind of beans should you store? My suggestion, the kind your family will eat! I do not like Lima beans so I will not cook them (sorry kids you'll have to gain a love of Limas from someone else), let alone add them to my Home Store. Only store things you know how to, or a willing to learn how to cook and your family will eat. Even in a crisis when I'm very hungry, I am not going to enjoy eating Lima beans! Shelf Reliance offers seven different types of the traditional dry bean (Black, Kidney, Lima, Pinto, Red, Small White Navy and Lentils) and three types of instant dry beans (Black, Pinto and Red). What's the difference? Traditional dry beans require 4-16 hours to rehydrate (the longer they soak, the less cooking time they require); here are instructions on how to rehydrate dry beans. THRIVE Instant Beans require only 10-15 minutes of boiling.

THRIVE Dry Beans                                 versus                           THRIVE Instant Beans
4-16 hours to rehydrate                                                            10-15 minutes to rehydrate
Seven different bean varieties                                                  Three bean varieties
Averages about .23/serving                                                       Averages about .32/serving
30 yr shelf life/5 yrs opened                                                     25 yr shelf life/1 yr opened
Long rehydration time means can't eat when hungry                  Ready in a flash
  The only question left I guess, is "What do I do with all these beans?" Everyday Food Storage has an e-cookbook available to purchase, Shelf Reliance offers a database full of fantastic recipes and I cook with the products here at THRIVEwiththebasics quite regularly. To give you some creative ways to use beans here's a recipe round-up:

Beans as an oil substitute in baking- Everyday Food Storage (I love this! Think of how much healthier your baked goods become!) And a recipe for Low-Fat Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

Five-Minute Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup- Your Own Home Store

Homemade Refried Beans- Chef Todd @ Shelf Reliance

Ezekiel Bread- Food Storage Made Easy

  I hope this gives you a really great start on working your way through your storage of beans. If you haven't been storing beans because your family doesn't eat them much, I hope you have a new-found respect for beans. They are incredibly versatile and sooo healthy! 

Autumn Christiansen    Independent Consultant-Shelf Reliance    435-723-0977 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Two THRIVE Packages ON SALE!

  Shelf Reliance has two fantastic packages on sale through April 16th or while supplies last. 

1 Year 4-Person Package (or 2 year/2 person)
Regular Price: $3308.29     Sale Price: $2792.99      Savings of over $515

Contents in #10 (or gallon-size) cans:

6 Six Grain Pancake Mix
6 Germade
6 Quick Oats
6 Nine Grain Cracked Cereal
36 Hard White Winter Wheat
6 White Flour
9 Whole Wheat Flour
6 Cornmeal
6 Elbow Macaroni
18 Instant Rice
8 White Rice
6 Pearled Barley
16 Potato Chunks
6 Sweet Corn (FD)
2 Broccoli (FD)
2 Carrot Dices
6 Green Peas (FD)
3 Split Green Peas
2 Chopped Onions (FD)
2 Chopped Onions
4 Sweet Potatoes
6 Red & Green Bell Peppers
2 Pineapple Chunks (FD)
4 Raspberries (FD)
1 Blackberries (FD)
1 Blueberries (FD)
4 Apple Slices
6 Strawberries (FD)
4 Apple Chips
2 Banana Chips
6 Chocolate Drink Mix
24 Powdered Milk
6 Cheese Blend
3 Taco TVP
6 Bacon TVP
6 Beef TVP
3 Sausage TVP
3 Sloppy Joe TVP
6 Chicken TVP
3 Ham TVP
6 Lentils
12 Black Beans
6 Kidney Beans
14 Pinto Beans
6 Whole Egg Powder
6 Orange Bliss
4 Simply Peach
6 Orchard Apple
2 Beef Bouillon
2 Chicken Bouillon
1 Baking Powder
1 Iodized Salt
2 Brown Sugar
4 White Sugar
6 Fudge Brownies

Gluten-Free Package
Regular Price: $1684.34     Sale Price: $1396.49      Savings of over $287

Contents in #10 (or gallon-size) cans:

12 White Rice
6 Millet
6 Cornmeal
6 Rice Flour
4 Quinoa
6 Amaranth
1 Sweet Corn (FD)
1 Broccoli (FD)
4 Carrot Dices
2 Chopped Onions
2 Split Green Peas
1 Potato Dices (FD)
3 Green Peas (FD)
6 Potato Chunks
6 Tomato Powder
2 Bananas (FD)
2 Strawberries (FD)
2 Raspberries (FD)
6 Apple Slices
1 Pineapple Chunks (FD)
1 Blueberries (FD)
1 Blackberries (FD)
6 Powdered Milk
4 Cheese Blend
4 Chocolate Drink Mix
6 Whole Egg Powder
1 Black Beans
6 Pinto Beans
3 Lentils
2 Lima Beans
3 Chicken TVP
3 Bacon TVP
5 Taco TVP
2 White Sugar

  Contact me now while these great prices are available!

Autumn Christiansen    Independent Consultant-Shelf Reliance    435-723-0977 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Making Do for 72 Hours -PART ONE: 72 Hour Kits & First Aid Kits

  I've been thinking a lot lately about the things my family would need in order to get by outside our home for 72 hours. We have been doing quite well at obtaining a long-term food storage and building a water supply, but what would happen if we had to evacuate our home immediately and only take the necessities with us? Or if we were suddenly stranded away from home? My husband has an off-roading vehicle and our family loves spending time in the mountains exploring. If that vehicle were to break down, or a freak storm suddenly hit, would we have what we needed to sustain our family for a short period of time? 
  It has become very important to us to make sure we have "72-hour kits" not only in our home so we can grab them and go in case of immediate evacuation, but also smaller versions of those kits in our vehicles. A thought occurred to me the other day that should my husband be away from our home during a natural disaster, I would want to make sure he had all the supplies to sustain himself until we could be reunited.
  Shelf Reliance has a fantastic online calculator to help your family figure out exactly what would be needed in the event of an emergency; it's like the THRIVE Planner, but for emergency supplies. I have also collected a lot of emergency preparedness information and pamphlets over the years and would like to share some of it with you.

  The following list is from a pamphlet entitled "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit" from the American Red Cross and FEMA. You can find much of this information on their and

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are items you would most likely need during an evacuation. These items should be in an easy-to-carry container as your "Disaster Supplies Kit" or "72-Hour Kit".

1 gallon per person per day (2 for drinking, two for cooking/sanitation)
Keep a 3 day supply per person

Ready-to-eat meats, fruits and vegetables
Canned Juices, milk, soup (If powdered, store additional water)
Staples-Sugar, salt, pepper
High energy foods-Peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets
Comfort/stress foods-Cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops

Sterile adhesive bandage in assorted sizes                    Assorted sizes of safety pins
2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)                                     Medicine dropper
4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)                                     Cleaning agent/soap  
Hypoallergenic adhesive tape                                       Latex gloves (2 pair)
Triangular Bandages (3)                                               Sunscreen
2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)                           
3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)                          Non-Prescription Drugs:
Scissors                                                                       Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
Tweezers                                                                    Anti-diarrhea medication
Needle                                                                        Antacid (for upset stomach)
Moistened towelettes                                                   Laxative
Tongue depressors (2)
Tube petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Tools and Supplies:
*Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils                    Needles, thread
*Emergency Preparedness Manual                                            Shut-off wrench
*Battery operated radio and extra batteries                             *Whistle
*Flashlights and extra batteries                                                Plastic sheeting
*Cash in small bills                                                                   *Map of area (for shelters)
*Non-electric can opener, utility knife                                     *Work Gloves
Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type                              
*Tube tent                                                                           Sanitation:    
*Pliers or multi-tool                                                             *Toilet paper, towelettes    
Duct tape                                                                            *Soap, liquid detergent 
*Compass                                                                             *Feminine supplies   
*Matches in water-proof container                                        *Personal hygiene items 
Aluminum foil                                                                       Plastic garbage bag, ties
Plastic storage containers                                                      Plastic bucket with tight lid
*Signal flares                                                                         Disinfectant  
paper, pencil                                                                         Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding:
*Sturdy shoes or work boots                                                    Hat and gloves
*Rain gear                                                                              Thermal underwear
*Blankets or sleeping bags                                                       Sunglasses
*Seasonal clothing (including extra pants, shirts, socks, underwear, coats)-Long pants are your best option for 72-hour backpacks as they can always be altered for warmer weather in an emergency.

Special Items:
*For Baby:                                                                 *For Children:
Formula (If you are nursing,                                        Medications
it may not be an option in a high-stress situation)        Favorite foods for comfort
Diapers                                                                       Books and small toys
Bottles                                                                        Item of comfort (ie. teddy bear, blankie)
Powdered Milk

*For Adults:                                                               *Entertainment-games and books   
Heart and high blood pressure medications                  *Important Family Documents
Insulin                                                                     Keep these in a waterproof, portable container
Prescription drugs                                                      -Will, insurance policies, contracts,
Denture needs                                                           deeds, stocks and bonds
Contacts lenses and supplies                                      -Passports, social security cards,
Extra eye glasses                                                        immunization records
                                                                                -Bank, credit card #s and companies
                                                                                -Inventory of valuable household
                                                                                goods, important telephone numbers
                                                                               -Family records (birth, marriage, 
                                                                                death certificates)

Suggestions and Reminders:
-Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the "Disaster Supplies Kit" or "72-Hour Kit" in the trunk of your car.
-Keep items in air-tight containers.
-Change your stored water supply every six months. Alternatively you could use the Aqua Mira treatment to extend the water life to 6 YEARS.
-Rotate your stored food every six months
-Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothing etc.
-Ask your physician about storing prescription medications.

  The above list is a great way to get started on kits for your family. Once you have a basic outline, its easy to manipulate it to fit your family's needs.

  This is a 72-hour food pack I created for all our extended family for Christmas. I made these packs with the intention of putting them in our smaller kits for the cars. I vacuum-sealed each food pack so they will hold up for an extended period of time before requiring rotation. It has enough food for one person for 3 simple meals plus snacks for 3 days.
  I plan to create a 3-day meal plan for our family and purchase all the required foods for those meals in THRIVE pouches. I love how light-weight the pouches are and we could make several meals with them. Watch for my meal plan in the segments to follow.

  These are pictures of my family's current first aid kit. We chose to go with a tackle-box (we purchased at Walmart) because it has individual dividers allowing us to open boxes of bandages and place them in the compartments for quick access. I love the tackle-box approach because it's compact and easy to grab. We take this with us when we go camping and will grab it in case of evacuation. Obviously it still needs quite a bit added to it.

  Watch for PART 2 which will include ideas for creating a "Grab-n-go" or "Red File" and a fully-balanced meal plan for your kits.

Autumn Christiansen    Independent Consultant-Shelf Reliance    435-723-0977 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I've Stored It...Now What? -Wheat

  I was talking to a friend last night. She mentioned her parents had given each of their children (and their spouses) a couple buckets of wheat for Christmas. Way to go mom and dad! The problem she and her husband are now facing is what to do with it. 
  So many of us are doing what we've been told by putting food away for unexpected emergencies. Good for us! Now, are you wondering what to do with it? This has sparked a desire in me to create a new segment on THRIVE With The Basics called, "I've stored it...Now what?"
  My hope is for all of us to learn some basic recipes and skills for using the products we are so diligently putting aside. Since my friend's question was regarding wheat, I've decided that should be the focus of our first installment of "I've stored it...Now what". 
  Shelf Reliance offers two kinds of wheat; Hard Red Wheat and Hard White Winter Wheat. What's the difference? Aside from cost (white wheat is slightly cheaper), hard white wheat resembles hard red wheat in all characteristics with the exception of missing genes that create the red bran coloring. This results in a wheat that is sweeter and more mild than red wheat flour, which some find to be slightly bitter.
  Storing wheat is essential to making it through a long-term emergency-type situation. However, you must make sure you have the means to use the wheat you've stored. A wheat grinder is absolutely essential. I would recommend buying two; an electric grinder for everyday use and a hand-crank grinder for when there is no power. 
  If there was no power to bake bread from your wheat, what would you do with it? Hard wheat can be cooked as a hot cereal; Cracked Wheat Cereal (which is delicious).
  At "Food Storage Made Easy", Jodi and Julie have come up with 7 ways to use wheat without a wheat grinder.
 Wheat can be used as a meat extender. Crack the wheat in a blender, grinder, or mill on a coarse setting. Cook your hamburger and drain the fat. Add 2 cups of water and a half cup cracked wheat. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes, then add to your favorite recipes.   Pound for pound, wheat is one of the least expensive foods available. Since grain products expand in your stomach, using wheat can help you stretch your budget. If you are concerned that your Home Store may be lacking in protein, a good supply of wheat and beans will form a complete protein. Half a cup of uncooked wheat contains 8 to 10 grams of protein. Not only does wheat provide the protein needed for muscle growth and repair, but it is a low-fat complex carbohydrate that will give your body the energy it needs to make it through the day.

  Wheat recipe round-up:
Bake a Better Granola Bar-why just eat, when you can THRIVE
Healthy Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins-Your Own Home Store
Tabouli Salad-Cooking with My Food Storage
Whole Wheat Angel Food Cake-Everyday Food Storage

  I prefer my wheat bread to have a little white flour in with the whole wheat flour. The following is my grandmother's recipe, which I believe to be the best there is, and completely fool-proof.

Wheat Bread

3 c. white flour                                                         1/4 c. molasses
3 c. wheat flour (plus additional 4-7 cups)                  1 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. sugar                                                               little less than 2/3 c. oil
1 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. dough enhancer                           3 1/2 c. hot water (115-118 degrees)
1/2 c. wheat gluten                                                          2 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  Place white flour, 3 cups wheat flour, sugar, dough enhancer, wheat gluten, molasses, salt and oil in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Add water and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add yeast and mix 1 minute more. Begin adding wheat flour until dough pulls from sides of bowl and cleans from the bottom of the bowl (This is important. If your dough is still sticking on the bottom of the bowl, it needs more flour). Once the flour is incorporated kick your mixer up to high (unless you have a mixer that does all the work on 2nd speed like my KitchenAid) and mix 8-10 minutes or until dough stretches without breaking when a small portion is pulled between your fingers.

Pull the dough over itself then pinch the underside
Place a very small amount of additional oil on your counter. Divide the dough into 4 equal loaves. Form loaves and place in bread pans (the grease from the counter is sufficient; there is no need to grease the pans). 
Nice, smooth top
Press down hard filling the pan

  Cover with a clean cloth and let rise until double-I place mine in a cold oven and close the door. The heat from the dough will warm the oven and allow your dough to raise in about half the time (30 minutes-1 hour).
  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves 30 minutes. Allow bread to rest in pans for at least 10 minutes. The bread will "sweat" allowing it to slide easily from the pans. Remove from pans and cool on racks. Slice, bag and eat or freeze. I like to keep two loaves out to eat that week and freeze the other two for later. Pre-slicing makes things easier once you remove a loaf from the freezer.
  A couple notes: If you do not have dough enhancer or wheat gluten, they may be omitted from the recipe, but your finished product will not be quite as light and fluffy.
  This wheat bread will continue to raise quite a bit in the baking process. I recommend baking it when it is about an inch or two smaller than you want it to be.

Autumn Christiansen    Independent Consultant-Shelf Reliance    435-723-0977 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Save a Little "Green"!

  I'm always looking for ways to save money and cut back on the harsh chemicals that enter my home. "Green" cleaning products are a great way to cut out chemicals, but can be quite expensive.
  I have been making my own laundry soap for years (here's my recipe). The little bit of extra time it takes to mix up my laundry soap has saved my family a ton of money. I priced some of the leading laundry soaps you can typically find at places like Walmart and Target. The average cost per load was nineteen cents. Doesn't sound like much, right? Well, my homemade laundry soap costs at the very most, eleven cents per load (If I only get 96 loads out of a batch; I always get way more than that). An eight cent per load difference equates to nearly $25 per year. That means in the 5 years I have been making my own laundry soap I have saved my family at least $125!
  I also have been using hydrogen peroxide a lot recently. Hydrogen peroxide has a multitude of fantastic uses (I dare you to "Google" "household uses for hydrogen peroxide" and see what pops up) and is super cheap. One of my favorite ways to use hydrogen peroxide is for disinfecting. I took the spray top off an old cleaning bottle and cleaned it really well. I then cut the hose portion to fit the height of my bottle of peroxide. Voila! A spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide! I use my spray bottle of peroxide to spray any surfaces I would have used my "Anti-bacterial disinfecting spray" on before, then simply wipe down with a dry cloth. I also spray all my produce with peroxide as it enters my home from the supermarket, then I rinse and blot the produce dry just before eating it. Those are just a couple of the dozens of things hydrogen peroxide is great for.
  Recently I got an e-mail from "All-You"; All You is dedicated to helping families save money. This e-mail had a link to an entry on their website all about creating your own household cleaners in order to save money and cut chemicals. I encourage you to check it out, cause hey, we could all stand to save a little cash, while making our homes healthier for our families!

                                                                                                                      Autumn Christiansen
                                                                                                         Independent Consultant-Shelf Reliance
                                                                                                     To purchase products, visit my online store:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                          Join my team!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Until Thursday, March 8th ONLY! Huge price cut on two "Screamin' Deals"!

Cheese 6 Pack Screamin’ Deal

2- #10 Cans Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2- #10 Cans Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1- #10 Can Shredded Colby Cheese
1- #10 Can Mozzarella Cheese

Price today $154.65
Each can individually would total $244.04 A savings of over $89

Chicken & Beef Package Screamin’ Deal

  Three #10 (or gallon size) cans each of Freeze-Dried Chicken and Ground Beef (48 servings per can)

Price today $144.60
Each can individually would total $222.24 A savings of over $77

These packages are only available through me, an Independent Consultant with Shelf Reliance. Call (435-723-0977) or e-mail me ( immediately to get these prices.

                                                                                                                    Autumn Christiansen
                                                                                                       Independent Consultant-Shelf Reliance
                                                                                                   To purchase products, visit my online store:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                        Join my team!