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Friday, December 18, 2009

Oat FUN!!

Today, being the snowy & cold day that it is, I decided that I wanted to spend the day in the kitchen. This is a surprise to many who know me lately..I am three months pregnant and SICK, SICK, SICK, so for me to be back in the kitchen is not my normal self. Who would have thought I would hate to be in the kitchen?? This baby number 5 has thrown me for a loop! (This is also the reason for my lack of posting lately, sorry!!)

Anyway, since I was feeling okay today, I decided to try some new food storage recipes I have had in my recipe pile for over a year now. I am going to put even more great recipes in the newsletter for Dec. & Jan., so watch for that (www.dealstomeals.com to sign up) All three of these recipes using OATS were SO fun to make and DELICIOUS!!

The idea behind these three recipes is that making items from scratch (from items in your food storage) can save you SO much money at the grocery store. Not only will it save you money, but these three recipes were actually SUPER fun to make. Even the kids liked to help and didn't make too big of a mess :)

This recipe for homemade instant granola tasted EXACTLY like Quaker's Instant Oatmeal. I have a friend who's children will not eat the 'old fashion' kind of oatmeal, and will ONLY eat Quaker Instant. I can guarantee, with this recipe they will not be able to tell the difference! Not only will this homemade instant oatmeal cost PENNIES compared to the $3 for 10 packets, but this is a MUCH healthier version too! Those packets are filled with so much extra sugar and salt, and who knows what else. With this recipe, your children will be getting whole grains and their dairy (powdered milk has many vitamins and minerals). Give it a try!

Here is this delicious recipe. It was so good I made me a bowl for lunch!

Homemade Instant Oatmeal
1 Packet:

1/4 c. quick oats
1/4 c. powdered oats (put 1/4 c. of regular oats into a blender or food processor until they are blended into a powder--not as fine as flour, but just enough to break down the oats)
1 t. powdered milk (dry)
1 t. sugar or honey powder (you could omit this if you want to just season the oatmeal yourself)
1/8 t. salt

Mix all together and then pour into a microwaveable bowl. Add 2/3 c. milk or water to the oatmeal. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and then serve with dried or fresh fruit, brown sugar or honey, and a little extra milk.

Amounts to make a container full of oatmeal mixture are below. I am going to keep a #10 can of this mixture in my pantry so the kids before school can scoop out a heaping 1/2 c., put into their bowl, add the milk, microwave, and breakfast will be served. Every few times you use this mixture, you will want to stir what is on the bottom to the top to make sure all of the powder, milk, salt, and sugar gets evenly distributed. I think this will be easier than making several bags of the 1 packet amounts. But, either way will work.

Large Batch of Instant Oatmeal:
5 c. quick oats
5 c. powdered oats
1/3 c. powdered dry milk
1/3 c. sugar or honey powder
2 1/2 t. salt

Mix all together and put in a Tupperware or #10 can for later use.

**For different variations, add cinnamon and dehydrated apples (I used my apples from the LDS Cannery and it was AWESOME!), or you can add dried fruit or other flavorings to make different types of oatmeal.

Another recipe I made today was homemade granola bars. I have seen this recipe on several blogs, but I wanted to try it before I recommend you making them. If this recipe was judged on how easy they were to make, this would be a winner. I made my homemade instant oatmeal, granola, and granola bars in only about 1 1/2 hours.

Here is the original recipe for the Regular Granola Bars and below is the recipe I came up with for Peanut Butter Granola Bars (I couldn't bare to add 1 c. of butter. For some reason the 1/2 c. butter and 1/2 c. peanut butter sat better with me).

Regular Granola Bars

5 c. quick oats
1 c. krispy rice cereal
1/2 c. coconut
2 T. dry powdered milk
1 c. brown sugar (I cut back a little and they still worked fine)
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips, raisins, or dried fruit (craisins, blueberries, etc.)
1 t. salt
1 c. melted butter
1/2 c. honey
1 t. vanilla

Mix all of the above ingredients together until all of the oats are coated in the honey and butter. Spray a 9x13 or 11x14 pan and put mixture into the bottom of the pan. Spread the oat mixture into the bottom of the pan until flattened. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and cut into desired shape (rectangle).

*One trick with these granola bars is to make sure they are sticky before you bake them. If you think they need more butter, peanut butter, or honey to make sure they stick together, do it! They will be crumbly if they are not sticky enough.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
5 c. oats
1 c. krispy rice cereal
1/2 c. coconut
1/4. c. chocolate chips
1/4 c. peanut butter chips
2/3 c. brown sugar (I used even less)
1 t. salt
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. (plus another 2 T. or so) peanut butter, melted (just put the butter and peanut butter in the microwave for a few seconds until soft)
2 T. corn syrup
1/2 c. honey
1 t. vanilla

Mix together and bake same as above.

Alright, my third oat recipe for the day, Homemade Granola. I have posted this recipe before, but I LOVE it! The reason I made this again this week is because Sunflower Market has their fresh blackberries on sale for .67 (6 oz. container). This is an AWESOME price, so stock up! This sale continues through Wednesday, so get some and freeze them for later. The blackberries have been good in desserts, over yogurt (with the granola), in cereal, and in smoothies. Any time fresh fruit is on sale for great deals like this, that is the time to add them to your freezer and stock up! I just rinse the fresh fruit and then put it in a large freezer Ziploc bag. If you have time and room in your freezer, you can put the fruit on a piece of wax paper over a large, flat, cookie sheet. Freeze them until each piece of fruit is frozen and then put the fruit into the Ziploc bag. This will make it so they don't get frozen in one large clump.

Is your food storage running low on oats? The LDS Dry Pack Cannery sells their oats for the lowest price. (If you are not LDS, check with the cannery nearest you, most will allow ANYONE to come and purchase items in bulk). Their website is www.providentliving.org (then go to Home Storage and then location link up at the top). Good luck!

Athlete's foot

Have you ever had athlete's foot? Man I'll tell you it sucks! I just had a quick thought I want to share with you guys. You might want to add some medicated foot powder like Gold Bond to your preps even if you're like me and tend to use baby powder. Itchy feet suck! Also you might want to add some Tinactin to your preps! I find it takes about half a bottle to get rid of athlete's foot using it twice daily so you might want to keep four or five bottles available to you at all times. Plus you'll be able to avoid having to run to the store to buy Tinactin or something like it if you find yourself needing it. Then you can just replenish your preps when you have time instead of running out to get some out of nessesity of comfort!


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Daypacks: Top Quality Characteristics

Do you do any day hiking? You’ll need a good daypack.

What sets a top quality daypack apart from bargain models that you can get from any department store? Basically it’s comfort, convenience and performance. Let’s look at these three characteristics more in depth.


Padding: Different models offer increased comfort by padding different parts of the pack. Shoulder straps, scapula pads, back panels are the main parts.

Load Management: Some models, to keep the center of gravity more forward, are structured to maintain daypack loads closer to your back.

Ventilation: Some back panels are ventilated for enhanced cool comfort.

Feminine Contouring: There are daypacks designed to specifically fit female contours and dimensions.


Waistbelt Pockets: These convenient pockets keep small items such as lip dew, gel packs and small pocket knives within easy reach.

External Loops: These loops are for attaching such things as ice axes or trekking poles.

Hydration System Accommodation: A port to hold a hydration hose and a sleeve to hold a hydration reservoir are common accessories on a high-quality daypack.


Tougher and Lighter Fabrics: The high-quality materials, like 630-denier nylon, used in the more sophisticated daypacks will help lighten your load and at the same time increase durability.

Super Zippers: Doing a better job of keeping out the elements, these high-tech zippers save weight by eliminating storm flaps. This improvement comes from innovations such as gluing or welding the zippers to the fabric. This creates a much better moisture barrier than stitching in the zippers. These modern zippers are also stronger than the previous types.

So, it may be time to upgrade your daypack.

by Richard Davidian, Ph.D.


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