Alternative Protein Sources

What are your plans to provide alternative protein sources in an emergency situation?

As you collect canned goods don’t forget about this vital nutrient. The human body is nearly half protein, found in muscles, blood, antibodies and enzymes which make other body functions work. Often commercially processed meats are loaded with salt to enhance the flavor.  There are other sources. Here are some items to consider adding to your supplies.

  1. Nuts and Seeds – are high in protein and healthy fats. If you buy them prepackaged, they are ready to eat. They only last six months to a year, depending on the type of nut. Their high oil content reduces shelf life. Peanut butter is high in protein and available dried.
  2. Beans - are one of the longest cultivated plants, easy to digest and high in fiber. They also help maintain stable blood sugar levels by slowing the rate of carbohydrate absorption.1 Dried beans are economical and store well for an extended period of time. Store them in jars or mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. They will require water for presoaking before cooking, so plan ahead when preparing them. Cook with anise or coriander seeds to reduce flatulence as they’re digested by microbes in your intestine. There are lots of varieties for your culinary pleasure. Canned beans can be eaten right after opening, even cold in a power down situation.
  3. Chia Seeds - have double the amount of protein found in other seeds. Humans began eating chia seeds around 3500 BC. Aztecs and Mayans considered them magical because they increased stamina and energy over long periods. Chia seeds are high in fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, and antioxidants as well. Because they absorb 12 times their weight, their expansion in your stomach will curb your appetite.
  4. Protein Powders – are available in three common forms, whey, soy and casein. Whey is the most popular because it is a water-soluble milk protein. It contains all nine amino acids necessary to build proteins in the human body. Soy has been favored by vegans, but recently it has been associated with altering estrogen balance. Casein powder is used with cheese production.
  5. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) - is produced from soy flour after the oil has been extracted. It is cooked under pressure, extruded and dried. Soy flour has a long shelf life if kept in a cool, dry place. With varying flavors added, it can taste like sausage, beef, ham, bacon or chicken. Easily rehydrated, it is economical and an excellent meat substitute or meal extender. One ounce of TVP is the equivalent of three ounces of meat.
  6. Freeze-dried Meat - has the water removed through sublimation, which turns water molecules into vapor. Freeze-drying food affects meat’s texture more than other preservation techniques. They are extremely light and easy to carry but more expensive to purchase. While some fruits taste great freeze-dried, meat will need to be rehydrated.
  7. Powdered Eggs and Milk – made by spray drying, the process removes nearly all of the water prohibiting the growth of microorganisms. Non-fat dried milk is best for long term storage.  Eggs are available as whole, yolks and whites. Store cool and dry. Refrigerate when opened.

Billie Nicholson, Editor 2014

References

1 http://readynutrition.com/resources/the-top-5-protein-sources-for-your-shtf-diet_27032013/

2 http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/lindsey-duncan-nd-cn/chia-ancient-super-secret

3 https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/information_center/all_about_textured_vegetable_protein.htm

Additional Articles in the April 2014 Issue:

  • A reminder to review and rotate three types of items in your 72 hour emergency kit.
  • A discussion of the importance of “duck and cover” in surviving a nuclear attack
  • Are members of your family hearing impaired that might not hear a smoke alarm?
  • Our featured contributor this month is Tess Pennington of ReadyNutrition.com. She shares an article about Bio Mass Briquettes. Now you’ll have an environmentally friendly use for those shredded documents.
  • Sun Ovens are a perfect partner for bio mass briquettes, here’s how …
  • Some of our friends have complained that their yards were so shady that they doubted they could grow anything in a garden. In answer to their questions, here are some plants that can be grown in shade. Don’t give up on your yard either. Read more …
  • Speaking of gardening, do you use Epsom salts? Here’s why.
  • We can all be prepared to take the initiative to save a life, should we be faced with a life or death situation. Here are three critical first aid procedures that can be accomplished with one dressing.
  • Our Solar Chef has included a wonderful recipe for Solar Stuffed Shells. Give it a try, these are yummy.

 

Solar Breakfast Mini Muffins

Mini Muffin Pans

These mini egg muffins can be frozen for convenient weekday breakfasts. They are also a great party food. And, mini muffin pans fit perfectly on the Sun Oven baking racks.

Sun Oven Mini Egg Muffins

Ingredients

2 small zucchini, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Read more »

Solar Broccoli and Potato Frittata

Frittata with Broccoli

Frittatas are probably one of the few egg dishes that actually taste better the next day making them perfect for packed lunches or picnics. This one, with broccoli, potatoes, and cheese is a little bit like a fully loaded baked potato to go.

Sun Oven Cheese and Broccoli Frittata

Ingredients

1/2 pound red potatoes, well scrubbed and diced

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced

10 ounces broccoli florets, cut into small pieces

7 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

Read more »

Solar Frittata with Rapini and Pancetta

Rapini Frittata

I really liked the egg, rapini, pancetta combination of the savory pudding I made a few weeks ago but don’t often have the right kind of bread on hand. This frittata delivers the same flavors to the taste buds without the extra trip to the bakery.

Sun Oven Frittata with Rapini and Pancetta

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch rapini, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8 eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon milk

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Easter Eggs and Asparagus

It’s a shame to let any of those Easter eggs go to waste but if you’re like me there’s a limit to how much egg salad you can eat. Luckily, solar roasted asparagus is delicious with crumbled hard boiled eggs and vinaigrette.

Sun Oven Asparagus with Egg and Vinaigrette

Ingredients

1 hard boiled egg, chopped

1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed

salt

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon lemon juice

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Savory Solar Bread Pudding

Rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, has a slightly bitter taste that pairs perfectly with pancetta. If you can’t find it, or don’t like it, use regular broccoli instead.

Sun Oven Savory Italian-style Bread Pudding

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch rapini, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature

8 cups county-style white bread, cut into 1-inch pieces

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Minty Solar Frittata

This colorful frittata can be cut into bite sized pieces and served as an appetizer. If you prefer uniform squares, bake it in a rectangular baking dish instead of a cast iron skillet.

Sun Oven Tri-Color Frittata

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 zucchini, cut into matchsticks

1 orange bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Read more »

More Solar Frittatas

We liked the pumpkin frittata sandwiches I made a few weeks ago so much that I came up with a variation. This time I baked it in a rectangular baking pan to make it easier to cut into sandwich bread sized pieces.

Sun Oven Mashed Potato and Ham Frittata

Ingredients

6 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 1/2 cups steamed kale or other leafy greens, excess water squeezed out and chopped

4 ounces ham, chopped

2 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded

Read more »

Solar Pumpkin Frittata

 

It’s October and pumpkin is popping up everywhere – including my Sun Oven. This fall flavored frittata served with a tossed salad makes a nice light lunch.

Sun Oven Pumpkin Frittata

Ingredients

4 bacon strips

4 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup steamed leafy greens (swiss chard, kale, or spinach), excess water squeezed out

2 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

salt and pepper

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a dark pie pan or cake pan with cooking spray, set aside.

Place a rack over a rimmed toaster oven sized baking sheet. Arrange the bacon strips in a single layer on the rack. Cook the bacon in the Sun Oven until browned, about 30 minutes. Leave the Sun Oven out. Let the bacon cool slightly then chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Beat in the pumpkin until well blended. Stir in the greens, the chopped bacon, and the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking in the Sun Oven until evenly browned, about 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

 

Solar Risotto Frittata

While it is possible to use the Sun Oven to make a decent risotto, click here to see how, it still needs to be served immediately. Which means either having it for lunch or a really early dinner. For this reason I usually prepare risotto the old-fashioned way – on the stovetop. But, even if risotto is at its best fresh off the burner, that doesn’t mean any leftovers should go to waste. Mix it with a couple of eggs to make a solar baked frittata.

Sun Oven Risotto Fritatta

Ingredients

2 large eggs

Leftover risotto, about 2 cups

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Coat a light-weight, dark pot with cooking spray.

Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in the risotto. Season with salt and pepper. Spread rice mixture out in the prepared pan, cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the eggs are set and the frittata is starting to brown around the edges, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

corin