Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let Freedom Thrive - Sale ends July 5th!

Shelf Reliance just came out with some new sale prices today for the Independence Day weekend. These prices are great! If you let me place your order, I can get you the Party pricing, which is cheaper than I've ever seen the party prices go.

For example, a big #10 can of diced dehydrated red and green bell peppers is only $13.29. You get the equivalent of 21 bell peppers in that can, so it's quite a steal!

Instant beans are on sale as well - these are different than the regular beans because instead of having to soak and then cook for hours, they have been par-boiled prior to being canned, so they should only take about 20 minutes to cook (and they are full beans, not bean flakes or mashed up refried style).

The pancake mix is great, and I'm in love with the yogurt bites (perfect for anyone who buys their baby those gerber yogurt melts and want to get a bulk deal on the same type of product). We have the strawberry yogurt bites at home and they're such a yummy snack!

Butter powder, shortening powder, all the #10 cans you see below are on sale. If you want to see the full website ad yourself, go to: Under the Q tab, hit "Main website" and then you'll be taken to the site where the freedom sale will be one of the big rotating ads at the top of the page. But if you want the party pricing, you've got to order through me, otherwise you'll pay the retail price (which is still on sale, but not as good a deal as the party pricing).

So take advantage of these great offers before time runs out. Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The importance of Net Wt comparison

Recently, I've had two customers place an order for some of THRIVE's great TVP and other products, but when it came time to order the FD fruit, they said they were holding off to go buy those through a different company, because the prices were so much cheaper. Curious as to how much cheaper, I asked for the company name and took a peek at their prices on-line.

Sure enough, a #10 can of FD Strawberries was only $18.99, while the THRIVE price was $24.09. And their #10 can of pineapple is only $25.99, while THRIVE's is $33.99. I was disappointed at how big the price difference was. But then I noticed on their site that the strawberries come with 6 ounces of product in the can and the pineapple comes with 12 ounces. I happen to have #10 cans of strawberries and pineapple in my pantry from THRIVE, so I went to compare. THRIVE #10 cans come with 9.6 ounces of fruit, not 6 ounces like the competitor. And THRIVE gives you 19.2 ounces of pineapple instead of just 12. So while the size of the can you would be receiving is the same, how much of that can is product and how much is just empty space is NOT the same from one company to the next.

When comparing costs, be aware that the number of servings and the serving sizes can be deceiving if the fruit is in larger chunks in one company's product than another company's. The only way to do a true cost comparison is through Net Weight, which is the weight of the item, minus the weight of the container, leaving you with the weight of product in the container. By law, the Net Wt should be printed on the front of each can, usually down at the bottom of the label.

So if we take $18.99 and divide by 6 ounces, you're paying $3.16/ounce of FD Strawberries with the other guy. With THRIVE, $24.09 divided by 9.6 ounces = $2.50/ounce of FD Strawberries.  Not only do you save $0.66 per ounce with THRIVE, but you save space as well. Who wants to waste precious storage space on half a can of air?

The pineapple is a striking difference as well. With them, $25.99/12 ounces = $2.17 per ounce of FD Pineapple. With THRIVE, $33.99/19.2 ounces = $1.77 per ounce.

Shelf Reliance is a company with integrity.  They aren't going to deceive you with lower prices, only to give you half empty cans like some other companies do. Their THRIVE products taste great, are fairly priced, and are of the highest quality. To see for yourself, contact me to place an order, or visit my website at:

*Note: On the Shelf Reliance website, if you zoom in on some of the pictures of #10 cans  (such as FD Strawberries, FD Pineapple and FD Bananas) you may be able to read a  Net Wt on the labels that was accurate at the time the picture was taken, but some Net Wts have changed since then. The current Net Wt is listed as "Unit Weight" on the individual product page. I have compared the "unit weight" listing on the website with the actual Net Weight on the #10 can labels of strawberries, pineapples and bananas that I have at home and they match up.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Incredible Edible Egg Powder

This is a product reivew on the incredible, edible Whole Egg Powder offered by THRIVE.
To order some, contact me at


Powdered eggs are fully dehydrated REAL eggs. They are not an egg substitute. It starts with real fresh eggs, which get washed, opened, chilled, filtered and dried, (through a spray-drying process much like powdered milk), and the end result is a free-flowing powder.


You use them just like you would real eggs! To reconstitute, use an egg to water ratio of 1:2. 
To get one medium egg, simply add 1 Tbsp egg powder to 2 Tbsp water, whisk, and voila!

You can use powdered eggs to make scrambled eggs or omelets, or use them for all of your baking needs. When baking, you don't have to reconstitute first. Just add the egg powder in with your dry ingredients, and add the appropriate amount of water to your wet ingredients.  I have even heard of people using them to make mayonnaise and egg nog. Just about the only thing you can't do with these is make hard boiled eggs.


Thus far, I have personally used THRIVE Egg powder in Cornbread, Pizza crust, Ham fried Rice, and a Breakfast scramble. And I have been pretty impressed. When it comes to eaten them plain like a scrambled egg, they are tasty. Not quite the same as a freshly cracked egg, but still pretty good. When it comes to using them in baking, I have not noticed any difference. None what so ever. My recipe turns out exactly like it did when I used fresh eggs.


As of today, a #10 can of Whole Egg Powder costs $20.99 (236 Medium Eggs). A Pantry can costs $9.09 (60 Medium Eggs), and a Mylar Pouch will cost you $6.99 (37 Eggs). All prices quoted are the Q Club/Party Price, which I can get for you if you contact me to place your order, or you can place the order yourself and pay the current webprice by going to:


An unopened #10 or pantry can, if stored in a cool, dark place can last up to 5 years. Once opened, the product will last for 6 months, with the provided plastic lid sealing the can between uses. A Mylar pouch will last 2 years unopened if stored in a cool dark place, and 6 months once opened, with the pouch resealed between uses.


  • Money Saver -  A #10 can contains 236 medium eggs, which is equivalent to 217 large eggs. Divide that by 12, and you've got 19.66 dozen medium eggs or 18.15 dozen Grade AA Large Eggs. Since the can costs only $20.99 right now, that's about $1.07 a dozen for the medium, or $1.16 a dozen for the Large. The average price of a dozen eggs is $1.99 or more in grocery stores, so using powdered eggs will actually save you money!
  • No fear of harmful bacterias like Salmonella. Because those harmful bacteria like Salmonella are eliminated in the drying process of powdered eggs, there's no risk involved with consuming products containing raw or undercooked powdered eggs. You and your kids can enjoy spoons of cookie dough and licking the cake batter beaters without fear.
  • You can half an egg now. - Powdered eggs are perfect for cutting recipes in half.
  • No more broken shells - You won't have to worry about eggs accidentally getting dropped or broken in transit. No more tiny pieces of shell landing in your food when you crack one open. All of which makes letting your kids help in the kitchen so much more convenient!
  • Space Saver - Save precious space in your fridge by storing eggs in your pantry. And being powdered means you can fit 19 dozen in the space that only 4-5 bulky egg cartons would have taken up. This is especially true when you take eggs camping. A scoop of powder in a bag that doesn't have to be refrigerated in a cooler. How easy is that!
  • Time Saver - No more running out to the store or calling up neighbors to borrow an egg because you ran out. With a can of THRIVE Whole Egg Powder in the pantry, you have eggs on hand whenever you need them.
  • Shelf stability - You never know when eggs will become too expensive or too scarce to find at the grocery store. Since a can can last 5 years on your shelf, THRIVE Whole egg powder is a great form of food insurance to prepare your family for any disasters, global or personal, that might arise.


1 serving size of THRIVE Whole Egg Powder is equivalent to 1 medium egg. But most people don't use medium eggs. Most are used to Grade AA Large eggs. So here is some information you may find useful. 

According to my on-line research, a Medium egg is 3 T of liquid volume. A Large Egg is 3 1/4 Tbsp of liquid volume. I did my own comparisons to double check that data. I mixed one T powder and 2 T water, and ended up with 3 T of liquid egg. Then I got out one of my Grade AA Large eggs in the fridge, cracked it, whisked it and go just over 3 T of liquid egg. The difference is that small. See for yourself. The left picture is a THRIVE egg reconstituted, the right is a fresh Grade AA Large egg whisked from my fridge.

Since the difference is so slight, substituting 1 medium egg for 1 large egg won't notably affect your recipe. I noticed no difference in my pizza crust at all. But in recipes that specifically call for larger quantities of LARGE eggs, you may want to add a little bit more.

If you wanted to get technical, to achieve that extra 1/4 T of liquid volume, you'll need to divide that by 3 (since it's 1 part powder and 2 parts water), which gives you 1/12 T of extra powder you need. 1 T = 3 tsp, so 1/12T = 1/4 t. Here's the final reconstitution guidelines.

A Medium egg is 1 T powder, with  2 Tbsp water.
A Large egg is 1 T + 1/4 tsp powder, with 2 T + 1/2 tsp water.

While the difference between Medium and Large wasn't notable in my baking, I found it interesting that once scrambled, the difference between the large fresh egg  and the medium powdered egg seemed magnified. (see picture below, powdered egg on left, fresh egg on right). I don't know how or why the difference is magnified in scrambled form, but non-existent in baking. Perhaps the scrambling/frying process causes more fluffing than baking? I don't know. But if you're  used to eating 2 scrambled eggs in the morning, plan on using a little bit more to get your same fill.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Backpacker's Scramble

Just recently, my husband was away with some Boy Scouts for a week long camp. During that time, I took my boys up to my parents house to play with extended family in that area (which is why I missed a day or two posting, I apologize!) I had brought some products up with me for my family to sample, and in honor of my husband being gone, I wanted to do a camping experiment.

My question was: If I combine egg powder, TVP, cheese and bell peppers in the same container, can I just add the appropriate amount of boiling hot water to not only rehydrate the products, but be hot enough to cook them as well? (Specifically, the eggs) How nice would that be for breakfast out in the woods, just add boiling water and don't worry about a skillet?

So I started my experiment by putting the following ingredients into a small Tupperware.

2 Tbsp THRIVE Whole Egg Powder
1 Tbsp THRIVE Freeze-Dried Mozzarella
1 tsp THRIVE Bell Peppers
dash of salt

 Here's what it looks like all combined - the egg powder coats most everything and makes it that pale yellow-y color.

Then I boiled some water in a pot, put 6 Tbsp of boiling water into the Tupperware, stirred it up, put the lid on and let it set. After 5 minutes, I went back to check on it. This is what it looked like:

So the answer is, no. The boiling hot water is not enough to cook the eggs by itself. Everything was rehydrated (the cheese had already melted completely and dispersed its flavor), but the eggs were still very much a liquid.

But wouldn't this still be a convenient and tasty camping meal? After all, simply using a little skillet or mess pan wouldn't be too big a deal. You could just use whatever you boiled the water in. So I went ahead and fried it all up in my small sauce pot I had boiled the water in. 

And after a few quick turns in the pot, the eggs were scrambled and cooked, and here's what I had:

It was fairly tasty. What I would change for next time: It needed a higher ratio of egg to match the quantity of stuff we put in it. The peppers were pretty flavorful, but I like peppers, so it didn't bother me. And I would have liked to use cheddar instead of mozzarella I think. It would be better to have the cheese melted on top, but you'd have to reconstitute first, then melt once scrambled. And we're going for convenience here, so I'll settle for the cheese flavor dispersed amongst the eggs. Also could have used a dash of black pepper and a second dash of salt, in my opinion.

My mom gave it a 6 as an every day meal, and an 8 as a food storage meal. My grandmother said it was alright, needed more eggs to balance out the flavors, and chuckled when she looked down and realized she had eaten the whole bowl as she was talking to me about it. "Well, looks like I just ate the whole thing, perhaps it was a little better than just alright."

For a quick and easy camping meal, I think THRIVE products are an excellent way to go. Very portable, no lugging around coolers filled with ice, etc. In addition to the initial recipe I gave above, here's a modified recipe I would suggest, implementing the tweaks we've mentioned.

In a small ziplock bag, combine the following:
1 Tbsp THRIVE FD Cheddar
1 tsp THRIVE Bell Peppers
1 tsp THRIVE FD Onion
4 Tbsp THRIVE Whole Egg Powder
dash of salt
dash of pepper

Once camping, bring 2/3 cup water to boil in a small mess kit pot. Add contents of bag, stir, add lid, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Then put back over heat source and stir until egg is cooked. Enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Green Bean and Mushroom Saute

I apologize for not getting this posted yesterday. I took the boys up to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house with me while Daddy is off camping with the boy scouts. In the chaos of packing over night bags and visiting with my mom and sisters (and making freezer jam!) the day slipped away from me. But here is a post for you I meant to do yesterday. If I have time, I do another post today as well.

For Father's Day, I gave my husband the ultimate gift of love; I sacrificed to the extreme and added mushrooms to the menu. I don't care for anything in the fungi category, and since only one of us likes them, it doesn't make sense to buy a whole package of fresh mushrooms, as we'll only put a few in the recipe and the rest will go bad before I ever think of using them. But when I saw that THRIVE sold FD mushrooms, I thought I would splurge and buy some for him.

In a way, I didn't pay for them. I had 10 different veggies I was going to order #10 cans of anyways. Then I saw the Vegetable Sample Pack of #10 Cans. ( It retails for $218.09, but if you place your order through me,  you can get the Q Club/Party price of $187.99.  The pack comes with the 10 veggies I was going to order anyway, plus 6 others, for the same price I would have paid for those 10 cans. It was an awesome deal, and it's like I really got the mushrooms for free. But if my husband asks, I bought the mushrooms just for him. :-) (If you want just a #10 can of FD Mushroom Pieces, they sell individually for $18.49.)

So here's how I cooked with the mushrooms for the first time. In a small pot, boil 1 cup water. Once boiling, add 1 1/2 cups THRIVE FD Green Beans and 1/2 cup THRIVE FD Mushroom pieces. Stir well, cover with lid, remove from heat and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Once rehydrated, put pot back on heat (leave any excess water in pot - it will cook off shortly). Add 1-2 Tbsp butter or margarine, 1 tsp of minced garlic, and salt to taste.  Saute over low heat, stirring off and on until all butter as melted, veggies are tender, and bottom of green beans start to brown slightly. Serve as a side dish (they complimented our Rosemary Pork chops nicely) and enjoy!

This recipe serves 2, was super quick, and tasted great. I did pick around as many mushrooms as I could when dishing mine up, leaving as many as I could for him, but still, there were some in mine and I didn't really notice when I ate it. So that is a big compliment from me. No rubbery texture making me gag.  As for my hubby, he loved the mushrooms, and to top it all off, he assumed I had used canned green beans. That is a big compliment from him, because even though I think they looked and tasted NOTHING like gross canned green beans (these were actually still GREEN after all), my husband really enjoyed them. And he only really enjoys canned green beans. He prefers them over fresh, frozen, etc. I don't understand it, but that's his taste preference. He was surprised when I told him they weren't the canned, but the Freeze Dried instead.

I forgot to get his official rating, but I would assume based on his comments that this ranks as a 9 every day and a 9 or 10 on the emergency scale. We both really enjoyed it, and I hope you do too. Here's the recipe, condensed.


1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cup THRIVE Green Beans
1/2 cup THRIVE Mushroom Pieces
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp Butter or Margarine
Salt to taste

Add veggies to boiling water. Remove from heat, cover with lid and let stand 3-5 minutes. Remove lid, return to heat, add butter, garlic and salt. Saute until veggies are tender and green beans are slightly browning on bottom.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sausage and Bell Pepper Pizza

Pizza recipes are a little tricky, because everyone has different preferences when it comes to pizza -- how thick the crust should be, how much sauce, how much cheese, what kinds of toppings, etc. But if you want a good food storage pizza recipe to try out and then tweak according to your preference, try this one I made a few days ago.

I was bringing pizza to a party I was doing, and wanted to have enough for my family as well. So I doubled the crust recipe and did a long rectangle pizza and a round pizza, which is why you'll see both shapes in the photos. What you won't see in the photos is the crust in the making - I forgot to take some, sorry! Hopefully it will be easy enough to explain.

I'll review and explain the dough, the sauce, the cheese, and the toppings, all separately, so we'll start with the dough. This crust recipe is one I have used before from my Aunt Bev. I substituted the regular milk, eggs and shortening with their THRIVE components and didn't notice a difference at all. Here's the recipe I used for a single batch:

Pizza Dough
1 tbsp yeast + 1/2 c warm (but not too hot) water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp THRIVE shortening powder + 1/2 Tbsp water 
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 Tbsp THRIVE powdered milk (non-Instant) + 3/4 c water
1 Tbsp THRIVE whole egg powder + 2 Tbsp water
2 ½ - 3 c flour
THRIVE Corn meal

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in ½ c warm water. Add sugar.
2.In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup + 1/2 Tbsp water with shortening powder, salt, and milk powder. Scald.
3.Cool and add yeast mixture.
4.Beat in 1 Tbsp egg powder and 2 Tbsp water.
5.Add flour. Mix well and knead.
6.Let rise for 15 min. great 18 x 12” pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Stretch dough to cover pan.
7. Bake at 400-425 for 10 min.
8. Add sauce and toppings. Bake another 10 min or until done.

1. In the original recipe, you can use shortening or butter, so if you don't have shortening powder on hand, try making it with butter powder instead.
2. Since the shortening is in powder form and doesn't need to melt, I'm thinking it might be possible to skip the whole scalding and cooling phase, and just combine the shortening, milk, and egg powders, with their appropriate water amounts, straight into the yeast mixture. I will try omitting this step next time I make it and let you know how it turns out.
3. This makes for a pretty thick crust. If you like a thinner crust, really hone your dough stretching skills, and you can get a small personal pizza on the side in addition to your 8"x12".

Okay, now on to the sauce and toppings. I used THRIVE Tomato powder, Bell Peppers, TVP Sausage and Freeze Dried Mozzarella Cheese. (See below)

For the sauce, I used 1/4 c Tomato powder, and 3/4 cup water. Then I added 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pizza seasoning, and an additional dash of garlic salt. But you can season yours according to your preference. And if you like a thicker or runnier sauce, simply adjust the amount of water you add. That's the beauty. I did a double batch of this sauce and it was more than enough for my double batch of dough.

Then it was time to reconstitute the toppings. Reconstitution is a fine art. It's not too hard, but it does take a little practice to get the hang of it. That's why I like THRIVE foods to much. They taste so good, I don't mind incorporating them into my every day diet, which means I get practice on how to use them in my every day recipes. I'd hate for an emergency to come up and not know how to use the food I had stored up.

My Ham Fried Rice experience taught me about the loss of TVP flavor in excess water. So this time I did 1/2 cup of Sausage TVP in small bowl, and added 1/4 c hot water on top. I put the lid on and let it sit for about 5 minutes. I noticed it needed a little more water, so I added another 2 Tbsp. That was just the right amount. There was no excess water to drain off, so the full flavor was left in my sausage pieces. 

The bell peppers were a ration of 1 part pepper, 2 parts hot water. Cover and let them soak (preferably with a lid on) for a few minutes until tender.  Drain the excess water. (there was a bit of excess water to drain,  but I didn't think it drained away the flavor of the peppers at all).

Here's a close up picture of the TVP and peppers once reconstituted.

Then it came time for the cheese. However much cheese you want, place it in a bowl with a lid, and add enough cold water to cover it. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Once rehydrated, drain off the excess water. Now that's the tricky part. Getting all the excess water out. I had heard a tip that once the bulk was drained, you should use a paper towel or cheese cloth, put you newly hydrated cheese in there and give it a light squeeze to get out some of the extra water. So I tried that. Only problem is that by squeezing it, I had mushed the cheese into a ball. And when i tried to separate them into individual shreds again, it didn't work.  So as you can see in the picture below, my cheese didn't look very pretty.
 I had to put it on the pizza in little clumps, rather than evenly dispersed shreds. This is what it looked like before I added the toppings:
It might have looked funny before, but guess what? You couldn't tell a difference once it was baked! The cheese melted together beautifully and spread out evenly over the pizza. I had some leftover mozzarella in the fridge we needed to use up, so I did the below pizza half regular shredded and half reconstituted clumps. And when it came out of the over, it looked uniform. You couldn't tell a difference.
Not only could we not see a difference, but we couldn't taste a difference either. We tried a slice of the regular cheese and a slice of the THRIVE cheese, and they tasted the same. So if your first attempt at reconstituting the cheese turns out to be not so perfect in appearance, don't fret. It will still melt and taste just like real cheese (because it IS real cheese).

Now, on that note, let me just say that I have seen and tasted perfectly reconstituted THRIVE cheese before, moist, but not clumpy, individual shreds separated, the kind you could sprinkle on top of a salad or taco. After this attempt at reconstituting the cheese myself, I've spoken with other consultants to get their tips, and next time I'm sure it will be better. I'll do a future blog specifically on how to reconstitute cheese once I fine tune my methods.

But to summarize the whole pizza -- Dustin (my hubby) gave it a 7 or 8 as an every day meal, and an 8 as emergency food, mainly because there was too much crust for his liking.  I don't know how long this recipe took me to make. I had family over and kept starting and stopping between stages to deal with other things.  Some things to improve on for next time, but all in all a great little comfort food made possible by THRIVE.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ham Fried Rice

This next recipe comes straight from the THRIVE Sampler Pack recipes sheet. It calls for THRIVE rice, but I used some regular rice I have in my pantry that I need to use up before opening any new cans. 
The THRIVE ingredients I did use were: TVP Ham, Whole Egg Powder, Freeze-dried Onion dices, Carrots, and Freeze-dried Peas.


Start by cooking 1 1/4 cups rice in 2 1/2 cups water. For those who don't cook rice often and need a reminder: put rice in water, bring to boil, once boiling, reduce heat and simmer with lid on for 15-20 minutes. All water should be absorbed. If the water is all gone but it hasn't cooked, you can pour in more water a little bit at a time to make sure the bottom doesn't burn. If the rice is done and there's too much water, remove the lid so the water can evaporate. 

While the rice is cooking, in a large pot, put 1/4 c carrot dices, 1/4 cup onion dices, 1/2 cup peas, 1/2 cup TVP and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes. It will look like this:

While the rice and veggies are simmering, add 2 Tbsp egg powder to 1/4 cup water. Mix well, then fry up in a pan like scrambled eggs. Set aside.

Once the rice is done, set aside. Once the veggies are done, drain the water. In large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Add 3 T soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, veggie/TVP mix, and rice. Stir well to coat with flavor and blend ingredients. Gently fold in scrambled eggs. Serve warm. It makes a ton!

Here's what it looks like close up!

Notes: 1. The carrots and the onions are FINELY diced. So small, I couldn't use my colander to drain the veggies, and had to carefully hold the lid over the pot and attempt to drain that way. I need to invest in a strainer with tight mesh to keep working with these. But, it is nice to have them so small, because it makes them less noticeable to kids, and thus easier to incorporate into their foods.

2. When my hubby tried it the first thing he said was: "Hey, those eggs are surprisingly good. Are they made with real eggs?" The answer is yes! They're not just made from real eggs, they are real eggs, just with the water added back in. However, there weren't enough eggs in his, or my, opinion. So next time I make this, I would double the eggs (at least) to 4 T powder and 1/2 cup water.

3. The Ham TVP didn't seem too flavorful to him, and I think I know the problem. When boiling the meat and veggies to reconstitute, a lot of the flavor went into the extra water, which was then drained off. In the future, I think I will add less then 4 cups of water to everything since I think I drained off 1 or 1 1/2 cups afterwards, OR, I will boil the veggies (the peas were just fine and didn't lose any flavor) and then reconstitute the TVP separately by pouring just enough boiling water onto the TVP in a small sealed container and letting it sit. If you get the water amount just right (I think a 1:1 ratio should be good in the future) then you wouldn't have to drain off any water, and should retain all the flavor.

4. It needed more salt/pepper according to my hubby's taste, but even with that, and
with the egg quantity and TVP flavor issues that need to be improved on, he still gave this a 7/10 for every day eating, and said he wouldn't mind if I made it on a regular basis. (He gave it an 8/10 for emergency eating). I'm not a big rice eater myself, but I still enjoyed the dish. It made so much that I was able to take half the batch to a party afterwards, and everybody there seemed to really enjoy it as well.

From start to finish, this took me 30 minutes to make, and it was a filling all in one meal for our family. Here's the original recipe, with asterisks to remind you of what I would change.

2 1/2 c. cooked rice
2 T Thrive egg powder plus 1/4 cup water* (see note 2)
4 cups water* (see note 3)
1/4 c Thrive Carrot dices
1/4 c Thrive FD Chopped Onions
1/2 c Thrive FD Peas
1/2 c Thrive TVP Ham
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt* (see note 4)
3 T soy sauce

Combine TVP and veggies with 4 cups water (see note 3). Bring to boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain excess water (see note 1).
Combine egg powder with 1/4 cup water, mix, and fry up as scrambled eggs. Set aside.
In large skillet, heat oil, add rice, meat/veggie mix, soy sauce and salt. mix well and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Gently mix in scrambled eggs. Serve warm.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Raspberry Macaroons

Before I get into our first recipe, let me explain a few things:

1 - I am not a professional chef. I love food and enjoy cooking, but I am not perfect. I will post the recipe exactly as I made the food, but check my notes and reviews, because I may very well mention a few things I wish I would have done differently. 
2- Any ratings given are from my husband, who has never been asked to rate food on a scale of 1-10. I told him with all my recipes, I'd like him to rate it as an "Every day food" and as an "Emergency food". The rating system is very subjective and may need some tweaking and fine tuning as we get further down the road. That said, let's start our journey!

This recipe comes from a fellow Shelf Reliance Consultant. It uses only 2 ingredients (plus water). Those are: THRIVE Freeze-Dried Raspberries and THRIVE Macaroon Mix (Beware when you open the Macaroon mix - you might spend more time than you want just standing and inhaling the heavenly sweet coconut aroma!) 

Start by preheating your oven to 350 F. Grease a cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, place 1/2 cup THRIVE Raspberries. Add enough water to just barely cover them. *Note: since Freeze-Dried products are so light, they tend to float, and it makes it harder for the items on top to rehydrate as well as the ones on bottom. Occasional stirring will help with this.*  Let the berries rehydrate for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add 2 cups of THRIVE Macaroon mix, and 4 Tbsp of Hot water.Stir until all the mix is moistened. Here's what those steps will look like.
After the berries are rehydrated, you'll want to drain off any excess water. The amount of water you need to rehydrate varies based on the size and shape of the container you are using. You will have to play with it a little bit to find just the right amount. You don't want to add too much water, or else when you drain off the excess, you'll be losing a lot of the raspberry juices. So you want to drain only as little water as possible.

Once drained, take a spoon or fork, and mash the berries up into a puree, then dump into the macaroon mix and stir. It will look something like this when you're done.

Then you'll drop the dough by spoonfuls onto your cookie sheet. I did mine in mini 1 tsp size mounds, because I was taking these to a party for people to try, and wanted bite-sized samples. It made 33 little bite-sized cookies. Smaller cookies like these will bake in 8-12 minutes, depending on the sheet and the oven you're using. Larger cookies will take 12-15 minutes. You know they're done when the tops start to get a little golden brown. Let them cool on a wire rack before eating. Here's what ours looked like, you'll notice some are missing in the corner - we had some hungry family members who couldn't wait until Mommy took the picture.
My husband loves these and rated them a 10/10 as both an every day food and an emergency food. Since the Gold Standard in his rating system is now a macaroon, I'm not sure how non-dessert foods will measure up on his scale, but we'll just have to see moving forward.

From opening the cans to taking these out of the oven, this recipe took 20 minutes, including bake time. Here's the final recipe:

2 cups THRIVE macaroon mix
4 Tbsp hot water
1/2 THRIVE raspberries, reconstituted and mashed.

Combine mix with water. Add mashed berries.
Drop by spoonfuls onto greased sheet.
Bake at 350 until tops start getting golden brown (8-15 minutes).

Don't just survive, THRIVE

Welcome to THRIVE with Hemsath! This is my new blog to showcase various recipes I've made using my THRIVE foods and other food storage items. In addition to recipes, you'll find reviews on individual products, food storage tips and health information, and a few tips on overall self reliance. I welcome any comments you might have, especially if you try the recipes yourself - PLEASE! share with me your experience and what you thought.

To get started, let me introduce you to what the THRIVE food line includes. They have the highest quality powdered, dehydrated, and freeze-dried foods available on the market, many of which have a shelf life of 25 years or more, and once you open the can, just reseal it with its plastic lid and  most will stay good on the shelf for another 1-2 years. 

The products are broken down into the USDA food pyramid food groups: Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy, Meats and Beans, and Fats/Sugars/Cooking Basics. They also have all-in-one entrees and some awesome desserts as well. The products come in 3 sizes: #10 cans, small "pantry cans", and even smaller Mylar Pouches, (which are perfect for 72 hour kits or camping trips). Let me tell you, these things taste GREAT!

Another thing I love about these foods are NO ADDED PRESERVATIVES!!! A can of freeze dried raspberries has just that in it - Raspberries. No added colors, no added sodium, just au naturel! Gotta love that.  If you want to see what the prices for these foods are, and what items are specifically offered, here is a link to the current summer home party prices. If you contact me to place your order, I can get you the price labeled "Q-club price", or you can place the order yourself through my website and pay a slightly higher price (1-2% more that Q-club, but still cheaper than the retail price). Click here for the current summer prices:

Well, enough chit-chat. Time for me to go cook and take some pictures so you can see for yourself what all the fuss is about. If you don't add yourself as a follower (you can follow by e-mail if you want by clicking on the link in the right menu bar of the blog), then make sure you keep coming back often so you don't miss out on any great reviews, recipes, tips or tricks. Now let's start Thriving!