Posts Tagged ‘prepper food’


Typha latifolia


Found in every state of the U.S. including Alaska, as well as in most of Canada. Prefers saturated/flooded areas such as wet meadows, marshes, fens, ponds, lake margins, floating bog mats, seacoast, roadside ditches, irrigation canal, backwater areas of rivers and streams.  Tolerant of seasonal drawdowns in water as well as flooding but generally needs a water depth that doesnt exceed 2 1/2 inches and grows mostly in freshwater but sometimes found in brackish marshes.  Often grows upslope of open water but downslope of common reed canarygrass and willow.  Established stands of cattail generally grow in soils with high amounts of organic matter, may also grow in fine texture mineral soils but usually when there is organic matter making up the surface soils.  Even if a fire comes through the area, the rhizomes are protected under the water and will rapidly grow back after damage is done.

Uses:  Cattail has many uses such as thatch for roofing, woven into mats, chairs and hats.  Used for torches and tinder, stuffing for pillows, insulation for homes, crude flotation devices, wound dressing and many more.

Stalks/Stems: Best from early spring through summer.  Stems have a cucumber like flavor and said to be great in soups, salads and peeled and eaten raw.  Eat the stem starting at the white end and as you go up peel away the leaves to get to the tender center.

Flower Spikes (fruit): Best collected late in the spring, gather when green.  Boil them for a few minutes and they are like corn on the cob (See Recipe Below)

Recipe: Cattail Corn on the Cob


Sea Salt

Put the cattail in a large pot of boiling water and boil for 7-19 minutes.  Remove and serve with butter, salt or seeds and thyme.

Leave 3-5 inches of stem for holding the cob

Cattail Green Cobs
This is the female head of the plant and they are delicious!  
They taste like artichoke hearts (some say corn on the cob)

Eat them like corn on the cob to avoid eating the hard inner stick.  They are densely nutritious!

Pollen: The pollen can be used as a flour and should be gathered in late spring or early summer before the spikes turn brown.  The green pollen can be gathered by carefully bedning the flower head into a bag and shaking it gently.  The flour will fall and collect in the bag and saved for later use.  Once home sift out the flower with a metal sieve to remove bugs or debris and let sit out to dry and save for later use.  It is high in protein and can be combined with Rhizome flower or wheat flour to make high protein pancakes, muffins, etc, or just sprinkled on foods to up their protein content.

Recipe: Cattail Pollen Griddle Cakes


2 large eggs
1 T milk
2 T flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c. cattail flower spike pulp
1 T minced sweet red pepper
1 T minced glasswort
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of pepper

garnish with sour cream and glasswort

1. Mix the milk, egg, flour and baking powder together with a whisk until no lumps remain.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
3. Cook the batter by tablespoonfuls on a medium griddle, until browned on both sides.
4. Allow the cakes to cool, and serve with a dollop of sour cream and more glasswort.

Corms: The Corms are the little shoots that are at the base of the stalk and can be fried or eaten raw and said to taste great. best taken in the fall

Rhizome/Root:  Best harvested in Late Fall/Winter.  This can be dried into flour and even made into jelly.

according to a report by Harrington in 1972 one acre of cattails yields approximately 6,475 pounds of starch.  Native Americans used the flour to make bread and other baked goods, which contained 80% carbohydrates, 6-8% protein and is abundant in minerals and vitamins.


Recipe: Making Cattail Flower


Collect and Clean the Rhizomes: They look funny, but clean them well

Now peel the Rhizomes with a potato peel or knife the same way you would peel a potato and reveal the white/starchy interior

The Next step is to extract the starch from the rhizomes

There are two ways to do this.

1) Rhizome Breaking method

You can just put the rhizomes in a big bowl of water and break apart the rhizomes and work them around with your hands until the starch is removed.

The water will turn murky (see left) and then in a few hours it will settle and look like the right hand picture with the settled “flour” at the bottom and debris floating.

Pour off the water and get the debris out of the bowl and then lay the sediment out on a flat surface or in the oven (lowest temp) or in a dehydrator.


2) Knife/Rock Scraping Method

The other way to release the starch is to take a rock or knife and scrape along the rhizome like you are trying to get that last bit of toothpaste out of a tube

(Not in a bowl of water just on the counter)

This will then cause the starch to collect on the knife or rock, and you can wipe it off on flat surface to dry or now put it in a bowl of water (This is best so the flower can separate from the fiber threads, just use the same method as shown above to separate the water and debris from the flower).

Once the starch has been dried sufficiently you can grind it with a mortar and pestle or put it through a wheat grinder to get the fine flour like consistency.


This cattail starch can now be used as a substitute or in conjunction with any normal wheat flower in any recipe


Medicinal Uses:

Poultices can be made from split or bruised roots and applied to cuts, wounds, burns, stings and bruises.

Ash of burned cattail leaves can be used as an antiseptic or styptic for wounds.

A small drop of a honey-like excretion, often found near the base of the plant can be used as an antiseptic for small wounds or tooth aches.




During WWII the U.S. government wanted to learn more about starvation so that they could better feed and care for the millions of starving people in Europe.

Flyers and advertisements were sent out and 36 conscientious objectors (from religious groups like the quakers who cannot commit violence) volunteered for the study so they could do their part for the war effort.  These 36 men were fit and healthy before hand, and for the first three months the men were fed as normal with around 3200 kcal (same as calories we know today) provided, so that baseline information could be gathered. professor Ancel Keyes, the head of the experiment, then reduce their intake to 1800 kcal for six months, with a diet like those experienced in Europe providing, potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, dark bread and macaroni noodles.  The final three months were a rehabilitation period where the men were assigned 1 of 4 different energy intake groups to identify the best method to provide the starving in europe a healthy rehabilitation back to normal consumption levels.

During the semi-starvation period the men were expected to walk 22 miles a week and expend 3009 kcal daily. As the semi-starvation process progressed the enthusiasm of the men waned severely.  They became increasingly irritable and impatient and begn to suffer the powerful physical effect of limited food.  These men were very kind and gentle people but began to bicker and become angry with each other constantly (think of what the effects will be on someone who is already a hot head and dangerous).  The men experienced dizziness, extreme tiredness, hair loss, muscle soreness, reduced coordination and ringing in the ears.

Food became an obsession with all of them, rituals replaced normal eating habits, they diluted the food with water to “increase” the amount.  Some of the men collected cookbooks and recipes and one of them had over a 100 by the end of the experiment.  All the men lost interest in women and their sex drive and food replaced their driving wants and needs.  Many would see another guy walking home at the campus (The experiment took place on campus at the University of Minnesota) and think that he looked healthy and was moving quick so he must be going home for dinner, they would then become extremely angry and develop a hatred for a complete stranger.


I give you this because its a case in point for knowing the dangers of your fellow man.  In a collapse scenario food will be the driving force in everyones lives, especially those who dont have preps.  Many of them may be neighbors youve known for years or even unprepared friends, and you may want to help but can due to the fact you cant spare any without endangering your own family.  Think of how a religiously dedicated conscientious objector felt hatred towards a complete stranger he “THOUGHT” might be going to dinner, and how others who are less scrupulous will be.

This is why you need a good community around you, a good bug out plan and the ability to defend yourself and your preps, which for all intents and purposes are your life.

The full article can be read at



(Paraphrased from Kellene Bishop at preparedness Pro)

When chickens lay an egg the natural coating is call the bloom, this the the layer that keeps oxygen and bacteria away from the embryo.

Mostly why people are “encouraged” to refrigerate by the USDA and why they are found in refrigerated aisles at the store is because the USDA and the food industry are wary of lawsuits.

One of the best ways is to use Mineral oil…YEP PLAIN OLD MINERAL OIL!


1+ carton of eggs

1/4 cup of mineral oil (this amount should cover 4-6 dozen eggs)

*Mineral oil can be found in the medical section of a store along with pepto,laxatives and other like products*

Step 1:

Warm mineral oil for about 10 seconds

Step 2:

Set eggs outside of carton (its hard to get them out once you put on the oil so pull them out first)

Step 3:

Put on gloves (food handling or latex, food handling are cheaper though)

Step 4:

Dab warmed mineral oil on hands and puck up an egg and run oiled hands over eggs and put it in the carton pointed end down, and continue with all the other eggs.

NOTE: there is never to much or too little, just make sure the whole egg is covered

Step 5:

Now store your eggs in a cool and dry place, for long term storage try to maintain about 68 degrees, storing them like this will only keep them for a few weeks.

Step 6:

Set a reminder to flip your eggs once a month, all you need to do is flip the carton upside down gently so you dont break anyone of them.  You do this to maintain the integrity of the egg yolk.


Dont worry about eggs going bad and not knowing it, if its smells ok its ok, if it doesnt its not, simple as that.  Bad eggs will smell horrible so theres not mistaking it.  You can also test them if you really want to, if the egg floats when placed in cold water it has gone bad since oxygen will get into the egg and discplace the moisture an CO2 and make it float.

**Mineral oil is a petroleum product and can cause estrogen dominance in women and then can cause other issues as well, this is why gloves are recommended**


Another method is to store eggs in finely ground preservatives such as



-Equal mixture of finely ground charcoal and dry bran or finely ground oats

-Finely ground plaster of Paris (if you have alot on hand post SHTF)

You can use this layer upon layer, and continue to stack the eggs  just make sure the eggs dont touch each other, metal or wood.

As with the mineral oil store the eggs small side down and put them in a covered container to keep them in a cool dry place

These eggs can be kept “fresh” for up to nine months, and some places have been known to keep them like this for up to 2 years (but dont push it if you dont have to!)




As violent storms have hit the East Coast, currently 13 people have been killed and has left around 3 million people without power during the recent heat wave.

This is in the heart of The East Coast, and even our capital in D.C. has been left without power.  Now most of the more liberal folks in the D.C. area would scoff at us for being having Food Preps, Water Preps and our Bug out Bags, but the wisdom of our thinking can be proven in their helplessness.  There were areas in Virgina where even the 911 lines were cut, These people are essentially cut off from society and any help other than what their neighbors and they themselves can provide.  People were urged to conserve water until the sewage plants could come back online, now if you have a few rain barrels or followed the steps i mentioned in the Water Preps page and filled up your sinks and tubs, you would be ok with rationing for around a week.  The importance of having even a “mini” bug out bag can be seen with hundreds trapped at amtrak stations and on the trains themselves, just a few bottles of water, high calorie bars, lights and backup power in a small bag would have helped immensely!

We may be viewed as “nuts” by some of America, some of this is due to shows like Doomsday Preppers, and the fact the media LOVES to highlight folks with mental issues who have camo and a gun as “survivalists” or “preppers”, but the proof is in the pudding.  If these folks had the minimum of 90 days of food that we talk about here, they would be doing ok, and the police and emergency personnel would not have to scramble as much, they could focus on the people that really need their help, the elderly and sick.

These examples pop up constantly throughout the year, but they are still good examples of why WE ARE RIGHT!

Keep up the great work!



Came upon a new site dedicated to shelf life information when i listened to a Survival Podcast show.


It lists the shelf life from things such as beverages to snacks to fruits and meats.

Pretty good resource thought i would pass it along!



Remember to visit the FORUM and The new PODCAST SITE!

This is a great post by TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE about how to make butter from the basics in your fridge or your pastured animals


How to Make Butter with Nothing but Cream and a Jar

Just the other day as I was eating breakfast I was thinking about how I could have fresh butter in a post-collapse situation (yes I really do have strange thoughts like these). This got me looking into how butter was made and surprisingly it looked pretty easy. So yesterday I went to the task to try to make some on my own without the use of electricity.


  • 1 Pint of Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream
  • A glass jar

Turning heavy cream into butter is as simple as pouring the cream into the glass container, tightening the lid, and shaking. Here’s the transformation the cream goes through (I timed it for reference):

After shaking for about 7 min. The cream turned into whipped cream. At this point you could add a bit of sugar and have a great addition for dessert. But if you want butter you need to continue on with the shaking process.

At about the 10 min mark (3 min after the whipped cream was formed) of continuous shaking the whipped cream magically begins to separate into butter and buttermilk.

At this point you’ll want to pour off the buttermilk into a separate container (which you can drink right there or save for a future recipe).

Now pour some water into the jar containing the butter — covering the butter completely. Swish around the butter and water to wash the remainder of the buttermilk off the surface of the butter and drain.

After the butter is washed, place it in another container (like a small bowl) and mix the butter around with a fork or knife, releasing any trapped buttermilk and pour it out

Add salt to taste and viola! you got fresh, creamy, tasty butter.

One pint of whipping cream made almost exactly 1 cup of butter which is equivalent to 2 sticks.

As a test, I decided to see how long it took to make butter with a hand-held electric mixer and was pretty surprised at the results (again I timed it). Using the mixer, I was able to quickly go from heavy cream to whipped cream in about 1 minute. However it took about 14 more minutes (for a total of 15 min) of continuous mixing to turn the whipped cream into butter.

I was shocked. I thought using a mixer would speed up the process significantly but surprisingly it took longer than simply shaking it in a jar!

Obtaining Cream Post-Collapse

Now for the other major problem. Where do you get the cream if the grid goes down (and with it the supermarkets)? Well, heavy cream is nothing more than the cream that floats to the top of milk from a freshly milked cow. This heavy cream is skimmed off the top and processed in the manner above. If you live close to a organic dairy farm like I do, then you could purchase milk from them. Better yet, if you have the space for your own dairy cow that would be ideal, however few of us have that available to us.

The other option that does not require much space is goats (or for even less space try a pygmy goat ). Goats give around 3 quarts of milk a day and are small enough to fit in a 1/4 acre lot. Goat milk doesn’t separate into cream and milk as easily as cow’s milk does but making butter is still possible. Check out this article in Mother Earth News on how to make butter from goats’ milk without a separator.

Another entry into my Survival Foraging Series



Betula species

Habitat: Grows in most environments from dry slops to muskeg and peat bogs

Uses: Bark, Sap

The white papery bark of some species makes a pleasant tea with a faint caramel odor.  First peel off thin outer strips of bark from a tree and rinse them to remove dust, contaminents and flaked bark. Using only a handful per person pour boiling water over the bark and steep for 3-5 minutes.

The inner bark of the white birch can be ground down into a flour and used as an emergency food stuff and in place of bread.

Sap tapped from the tree is slightly sweet and can be used just as is, or it can be boiled down to make a syrup similar to that made from maple trees.  The sap runs for two weeks or so a time of the year when the nights are freezing, but the days are warm.  At the beginning of the “season” the sap will be clear, and towards the end it will be milky and bitter.  These milky/bitter attributes are a sign that the season is over.  The amount of sap that is produced varies from tree to tree and year to year, so it is best to tap several at once.  The sap is very vitamin rich.

To collect sap, drill a hole in the tree about 2 inches deep and 2-3 feet from the ground.  Make a spout from a piece of metal (must be clean and rust free) and put this into the hold, then hang a bucket below the spout to catch the dripping sap.  Boil down on a stove or outdoors over a wood fire (BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN THE SAP).  In Cooking Alaskan it is recommended to constantly stir once the sap begins to thicken.  You have to start out with quite a large amount of sap, it must be reduced about 35 times its volume to make a thick syrup! This process can take between 12 hours to boil 25 gallons, so be prepared. This is in contrast to maple syrup, where it only requires about half as much boiling, so we are not as lucky as our northeastern brethren.  In some countries such as Russia and Northern Europe, the sap is fermented to make wine and vinegar, and can also be used to make birch beer.

Native/Traditional Uses: The bark was used to wrap around fractures, rolled into a tube to call moose, cut into strips to make goggles to prevent snow-blindness.  The bark was also used to make containers of various sizes to carry and store things, as well as to make drinking cups.  The fungus that grows on some birch was scraped off and used for tinder or as a tobacco substitute or additive, and could be dropped into boiling water to produce a tea.  Sap was used as a gargle for mouth sores, and a wash for skin ailments.

Chemically the birch contains significant amount of methyl salicylate the same compound as aspirin! So teas from leaves and bark are often used for headaches and other pain ailments.  Birch leaf infusions are often recommended for those with urinary problems and kidney stones.

Shelters and huts using birch bark are nearly waterproof, and can be molded using wet birch bark which becomes very pliable when soaked.  In pioneer cabins birch bark was often used as sheeting under the sod roofs and walls.  Birch trees are often great companions to gardens and composting as it is believed that fermentation of the compost is encouraged by the secretions of birch roots.  It is also recommended to plant near birch as it often helps along ailing and sickly plants.

CAUTION:  For those who are sensitive to aspirin or young children should avoid birch products or prolonged use of containers made from birch bark.  Generally the tea is quite safe as it is not “pharmaceutical grade” but caution should be exercised nonetheless.


Aspen (Aspen/cottonwood)

Populus trichocarpa (cottonwood),

Populus tremuloides (Aspen)


Cottonwood ranges from kodiak island to the kenai peninsula to the Alaskan panhandle. Aspen is common from the Brooks range south.  They are abundant in river valleys, flood plains and open forests, aspen favor south slops, open woods and banks of creeks.

Uses: Catkins, inner bark, cambium, buds

Catkins of the Aspen can be eaten raw and are a source of vitamin C, they can also be added to soups and stew, but the bitter flavors often relegate them to survival foodstuffs.  The cambium (thin layer between outer bark and inner sapwood) is know to be anourishing food.  Natives would scrape it away, and fry it in grease, boil it or ground and used as a flour substitute, and was often used during famines.  The cambium may be collected in any season, but is most palatable in the spring, when the sap is flowing (to minimize impact collect from pruned branch or downed tree).

Bark of Poplars are high in glycosides sailicin and populin which is very much like aspirin and effective in reducing pain, fever and inflammations.  Decoctions and tinctures are made for arthritis, uriniary tract inflammations, diarrhea and upset stomachs.  A poultics can be made for muscle aches, sprains or swollen joints.

The wood was used to make craties, paper and utensils.  Occasionaly cottonwood was used to make dug-out canoes and cabins.  The athabascans smoke fish with cottonwood, and use the ashes to wash clothes and floors.  A Soldotna man claims that 1 teaspoon of cottonwood ashes replaces ½ teaspoon of baking soda in recipes.  Aspen is us collected in Sweden to be used to feed sheep throughout the winter months.  Trappers often used aspen as bait in beaver traps.

Balm of Gilead

famous in biblical times to treat piles, burns, cuts, diaper rash and assorted skin ailments.  For nasal congestion, place a dab of salve inside nostril or boile one tablespoon of salve in water and inhale vapors.  Spread the salve on horse saddle sores and animal wounds.  Buds are frequently added to herbal salved, and are  ahealing agent but also anti-oxidant so they prevent rancidity.

1 cup balsam poplar buds (cottonwood)

1 ½ cups lard

1 dropper liquid vitamin E

Place buds and lard on top of double boiler, boild water in lower pan. Heat (covered) for 1-2 hours then strain through muslin cloth. Squeeze well to extract as much oil as possible. Discard buds, return oil to pan and add Vitamin E, stir
well.  Pour into wide mouthed containers, when cool, cap containers.  (If desired this can be made with olive oil and thickened with beeswax)



Picea glauca (white spruce)

Picea sitchensis (Sitka Spruce)

Picea mariana (Black Spruce)


White Spruce often grows intermixed with birch and is the dominant tree of interior alaska, growing as far north as the Brooks range and as far south as British Columbia.  Sitka is most common in coastal forests, it ranges from cook inlet and kodiak island, and is very salt tolerant. Black Spruce is most tolerant of wet conditions and is often found in muskeg or swampy areas.  Black spruce is found in northern alaska, and as far south as british columbia

Uses: Wood (for building and burning), Needles, cambium (inner bark), sap.

Spruce tip tea is a favorite in northern climates, gather handfuls and steep in covered teapot with hot water, sweeten with honey, orange, cinnamon, cloves or brandy.  It has also been said that the fresh tips of the spruce can be used in a simliar fashion, and can be dried for year round use.  Spruce tea is an excellend source of vitamin C, and on captain cooks expedition was made into a beer to ward off scurvy.

Spruce Syrup and tea is recommended for coughs, colds, congestion and urinary problems. Inhaling the vapor was also reported to help bronchitis.

The sap itself has been sued since ancient times for helaing burns and sores (as with most saps it cuts it is a tight seal like peroleum jelly so there is a lesser chance of infection on top of the other qualities).  Pitch has been emploed for medicinal plasters for back-ahce and head-ache.  The pitch has also been used for caulking boats and shleters.  The pitch was also used as a type of chewing gum, and is used by professional athlets as it keeps the mouth moist and has none of the drawbacks of chewing tobbaco or commercial chewing gums.

Young red male spruce buds have a zesty flavor and can be chopped and added to salads or as spice to meat.  The soft centers of young cones can be roasted in campfire coals until syrupy and then eaten.  The seeds from mature cones can be eaten as well, but it is time intensive and difficult and could only be considered as a last resort.

The cambium (inner bark) is a traditional survival food and native food source.  It is best in the early spring buy may be sued for emergencies any time of the year.  The thin layer may be eaten raw, boiled like noodles or dried and ground into flour.  Natives mashed it into a pulp and dried it into cakes, and on the trail would boil and eat it.  The cambium may also be dried and used as an ingredient for tea.  To prevent injury to the tree only used from felled or pruned branches.

The roots were used for weaving baskets, making snares, ribs for boats and the spruce boughs for impromput mattresses (I can attest to that!).

Spruce is also a wonderful aromatic, and can be fashioned into wreaths, or just the boughs brough in the home to have a more fresh scent.

Spruce tip jelly is another product that is worth having.

(recipe from

Spruce Tip Jelly

3 cup spruce tip juice

4 cups sugar

1 package pectin

Day One: Prepare the Spruce Tip Juice

1. Rinse 3-4 cups of spruce tips in cold water. Drain and then lightly chop them.

2. Place the spruce tips in a small saucepan with 3 1/2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and then immediately remove them from the heat.

3. Transfer the tips and liquid to a heatproof bowl, cover tightly, and let rest overnight. (It was a cool evening, so I set mine out on our back porch. I don’t think it matters much whether you leave them at room temp or refrigerate them.)

Day Two: Make Your Jelly

1. Sterilize 5 half-pint jars.

2. Collect the spruce tip juice by straining the liquid through a chinois, jelly bag, or several layers of cheesecloth. (If you use a jelly bag or cheesecloth, be sure to dunk it in scalding water first — not just to cleanse it, but to hydrate it so a dry cloth doesn’t soak up that good juice.)

3. Measure 3 cups of spruce tip juice into a 6- or 8-quart saucepot. (Use only 3 cups. Adding more could screw up your set.)

4. Measure the sugar into a separate bowl.

5. Stir the entire packet of pectin into the saucepot. (I had heard some great things about MCP pectin, so I decided to see what the fuss was about. I have to say, I was impressed. The set is fabulous — a real, smooth jelly set, not like Jell-O. Also, it dissolved nicely, without lumps. As someonewho doesn’t mind using boxed pectin in simple jellies — never marmalades — where I want an easy, reliable set, I have to say I am a new fan. If you use a different brand of pectin, be sure to follow the recipe directions in that box. I’d use the proportions given for mint jelly.)

6. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil — that is, a boil that you can’t stir down — on high heat, stirring constantly.

7. Quickly stir in the sugar. Return the mixture to a rolling boil and boil for exactly 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim foam. (I use a large, shallow, stainless steel spoon for skimming.)

8. Ladle or pour the hot jelly into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp cloth and secure the lids. Process in a water-bath canner, using the correct time for your altitude: 5 minutes for 0-1,000 feet above sea level, plus 1 minute for every additional 1,000 feet.

Yields about 5 half-pint jars. (If you want more than this, plan to make multiple small batches. As with most jelly recipes, doubling the batch size may mess with your set.)


Caution: Distilled spruce oils can be irritating to the skin and should be blended well with other oils to prevent this