This is part 2 of my last three weeks without a fridge.
It’s a SHTF Feast! I had a game night at my home and I wanted to make something nice for my guests. I started preparing days in advance. That leads me to where I’m going to start:
Sprouting — Bean Sprouts Success
Bean sprouts offer the best chance you are going to get for a decent volume of fresh food, in winter, during a SHTF Event. You can store the seeds for as long as you can store any seed, which is often for years. Then, when you need some fresh food, you can have it, in just a few days. Here is what I did.
The first thing I did was buy some mung beans and these wide mouth canning jar screen lids off Amazon. I tried to find the beans locally but didn’t have luck. There are lots of beans, lentils and other seeds you can sprout and whole seeds sold for eating are also probably good for sprouting. When you buy “bean sprouts” at the store, it is mung beans that you are getting, most of the time. The five pounds linked to above, will go a long way.
When I looked into making sprouts, a friend told me he used a nylon over the top of his jars. I was thinking of saving money, but these things didn’t cost much and I don’t keep nylons around. Later, you will see why I was glad I bought them.
Before I move on, I thought I’d give you a list of other sprouting seeds I found besides mung beans, so you can see just how many choices you have.
Mung Beans The most popular sprouts on the market
Broccoli and Friends Broccoli, alfalfa, radish and clover
Alfalfa Seeds This one surprises me because horses eat alfalfa but sprouts are more tender
Sample Pack Salad Mix, Alfalfa, Holly’s Mix, Mung Beans, Hard Wheat and Broccoli
12 1 pound packs of seeds Alfalfa, Radish, Clover, Lentil, Mung, Garbanzo, Green Pea, Bean Salad Mix, Protein Powerhouse Mix, Crunchy Lentil Mix, 3 Part Salad Mix & 5 Part Salad Mix. This looks like a nice pack of seeds. They come in Mylar resealable bags too. You could eat for a while on these.
I could make this list go pages long, with different mixes and different seeds you can sprout. There are dozens of sellers too. My search for “sprouting seeds” in the gourmet food category got me 313 results. It’s probably best you search around and see what interests you. If you aren’t sure what is best, just get the mung beans and try them first, or get the 12 pound pack and try them all.
Step one is simple. Just put some beans in the bottom of a jar and put the vent cap on. Then tip the jar upside down to drain it. You have to rinse them a couple times a day. I looked at the picture on the back of the lids and this looked like about the right amount of seeds. There is plenty of room for the beans to expand. Wrong! I ended up with 3 jars of beans, by the time I was done. This was good, though because we ate them all at the feast.
In very short order, the beans were swollen and beginning to crack open. Think of like when soaking beans to cook. This was less than 24 hrs. later.
I’m beginning to see I have too many.
I put them in two jars and eventually three.
When you buy bean sprouts, they don’t have the green husks with them. These screen lids really help with that. You rise the beans and the husks come out the top. It is a bit tedious though. I wonder if there is a better way. I’m glad I bought these instead of just using cloth.
This is my first time using dry beans during the month. It was just simpler to use canned beans but dry beans are an important part of your deep storage for long term no food scenarios. I have the beans on this tray to sort them for any possible dirt. After this I hot soaked them for an hour. I have more beans that I need. I froze some for after the month was over.
My favorite way to cook dry beans is in the pressure cooker. It takes about half the time and you have absolutely tender beans when done. An Amazon search shows there are dozens of pressure cookers for sale. There are 3 main types: Electric pressure cookers; pressure cooker sauce pan sized pots; and pressure caners. You can cook beans in all three.
The sauce pan ones are compact and good for small to medium batches. I have a 5 qt one in the picture. The electric ones run 2-8 qt. and they offer all kinds of other functions besides pressure cooking. These include rice cooking, steaming, or slow cooking. The caners are very large. You can make gallons of beans in them and you can use them to can meats and veggies. You can also put a couple cut up frozen racks of ribs in one. The caner, I have, I bought for beans and to use as a stock pot. Only later did I start canning.
Typically, a pressure cooker can cook at a maximum of 15 psi. Make sure whichever one you get, can do at least that. Some of the electric ones can’t but some can. It affects cook time. All pressure cookers should come with a booklet explaining how to use it. The booklet will also contain recipes with cook times that are specific to that cooker. The cook times between a pressure caner and a 5 quart cooker will vary quite a bit due to the difference in time it takes to pressurize them. I plan to do an entire post about and reviewing pressure caners.
Here is the bean dip. I sauteed the beans in oil. That causes them to break up. It’s a lumpier fried bean, than you get out of a can. They are quite good. Tomato powder and chili powder made a spicy red chili sauce. I set the dish on the candle base for my teapot, to keep the beans warm. Besides being without a fridge, I wanted to go without crock pots, this month. This is to avoid using a crock pot to cheat as a way to store leftovers. The candle base worked well.
The Main Course
Bean Sprouts, vegetable soup mix, green beans, broccoli, bell peppers, garlic curry powder, chicken ramen noddles, canned chicken, pepper, white whine vinegar, rice, eggs, minced onions, tamari wheat free soy sauce, dark sesame seed oil. (Amazon links where I have them)
A closer look at some of the ingredients. Green beans, boiled eggs, vegetable soup mix, bell peppers.
Success! I made a stir fry out of everything and it was great.
Speed Round – More Meals, Less Talk
I plan to write one more article in this series. What did I learn from this experience. After all, why did I do this if not to learn. I covered some of that throughout the series to date, but there is definitively more on this. I promised you I would talk about one fail that I had. I’m going to make a separate post about that. Summer is coming. I want to talk about some gear you might want to try out in the summer. So I’ll do some product reviews. Specifically, I want to talk about rocket stoves and why every prepper should have one. Later — in time for gardens and farmers markets to come in, I want to do some reviews of pressure caners and dehydrators.
Articles In This Series
I’m Going To Live With No Fridge For a Month My thoughts about what I expected to come and how I planned to live.
Canning Pork – An Awesome Preparation for a Month Without Refrigeration This was a great experience and I highly recommend it.
Day 1 of the Month Without a Fridge and Canning Beef My initial actions on day one. I store fresh foods to make out out of the fridge for a month.
My First Week without a Fridge — In Delicious Pictures I’m taken by surprise by how well everything is going
My Last Three Weeks Without a Fridge –In Delicious Pictures Pt. 1. Everything is going great and I learn some new things.
The End of My Month Without a Fridge – Spouting Beans. I had a SHTF Feast! More deliciousness to share and more to say about preparing SHTF food.