Sprouts are one of the most concentrated natural sources for all life’s building blocks. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, amino-acids, and trace elements. Seed sprouting is a capability everyone has, no matter where you live. It is a simple technique and with only the need for clean water, requires no energy to prepare.1 As a matter of fact, you can sprout seeds while you’re on the move, if necessary and will create no cooking odor to give away your position.
For survival preparation and self reliance, there are few better foods. Sprouting seeds can be stored for a long time – up to four years at stable 70º F, and even longer if stored in a colder environment. From time to time we test our supply for viability simply by sprouting some. Buy them in bulk and package them yourself in glass canning jars with rubber ringed lids. These will keep out vermin.2 Sprouted seeds increase in nutritional value exponentially over cooked dried seeds. Being natural nutrition, the components will fully penetrate the cell membranes and even help oxygenate cells.
Nutrition Packed and Ready to Go
In a survival situation and you’re hungry now, simply soaking seeds, nuts, grains or legumes in water for 30 minutes will activate some enzymes, increasing their nutritional value.3 Starch begins to disappear and is replaced by enzymes and an increased quality of protein, fat, certain amino acids, total sugar and B-group vitamins appear.4
Sprout different types of seeds to add more variety into your diet. In addition to good nutrition, many studies are showing that they have health benefits to protect us from diseases. Some sprouts have components that lower bad cholesterol and fat. Others offer protection against cancers. Alfalfa, broccoli and soybeans have been extensively studied.5
Billie Nicholson, Editor
March Newsletter Articles:
Add Sprouting Seeds to Your Supplies http://www.sunoven.com/archives/13252
How Bleach Kills Germs http://www.sunoven.com/archives/13270
Salt – Fact or Fiction http://www.sunoven.com/archives/13279
Onions More Benefits Than You Know http://www.sunoven.com/archives/13282
Veggie Balls for Pasta from the Solar Chef http://www.sunoven.com/archives/13153
Every Day Uses for WD-40 http://www.sunoven.com/archives/13288
Sun Ovens Teach Solar Energy Concepts http://www.sunoven.com/archives/13294
Starting Seeds and Caring for Seedlings http://www.sunoven.com/archives/13297
Sun drying is an economical method of food preservation. Anything you see dried on your grocer’s shelves, you can dry. If you grow it, you can be assured of maximum freshness and food value. Dried items require no additional energy to store and can be kept for extended periods.
Dried fruit can be mixed with cereal or granola, or with nuts and seeds to make energy bars, if you can stop eating them when the drying process is complete. Dip fruit like peaches or apples in Fruit-Fresh® to preserve the color. Most dried vegetables can be easily rehydrated in soups or by soaking them in water for 10 minutes to an hour.
Drying meat or fish may take up to two days. Sun drying will keep the odor out of your house. Leave meat in the oven and seal the latches, this will suspend the drying process and keep bugs from getting into the oven. Finish the drying process the next day. This is a great way to make deer jerky.
Place your SUN OVEN® outdoors in a sunny place, facing south. The multi-level racks can be covered with parchment paper, filled with sliced items (the thinner the slice, the quicker the drying), and stacked inside the SUN OVEN® on the leveling tray. Turn one of the latches inward and set the glass on top leaving a gap between the glass and gasket allowing moisture to escape. The ideal temperature for drying is between 110 and 150 degrees F. Keep the temperature low to avoid cooking the food.
Billie Nicholson, editor
Need drinking water and have no SUN OVEN® or water filter? Remember these six steps to more drinkable water.
- Locate a clear plastic beverage bottle.
- Look for the recycle symbol with the number 1 inside it, marked PET. This type bottle can be used for water purification.
- Collect clear water with low sediment, pour into the plastic bottle.
- Cap the bottle and shake it well.
- Leave the bottle in direct sunlight for at least six hours; longer if weather is overcast or water is cloudy.
- After six hours in sunlight, you will have bacteria free water – UV rays kill all harmful bacteria. Depending on your water source, this water should be drinkable.
Remember that this method of water filtering doesn’t remove chemicals or viruses, but in many cases those aren’t the top concern in an emergency water situation.
Billie Nicholson, editor
Seeds are dormant baby plants sleeping inside connected to their food supply. To be classified as living, this dormancy must end in order for new life to begin. In nature, this seed will grow into a plant, which will make more seeds and the circle of life continues. In just a few days and in less than a square foot of counter space, you can grow tasty miniature plants – components of salads, snacks, sandwiches and stir-fries. Sprouting can be done year round, no need to wait for spring.
Ending seed dormancy is easy, just add water. Seeds absorb lots of water, usually 2-3 times the volume of seeds is enough. It is a good idea to clean seeds first to remove debris and dust. In addition to washing them, look through the seeds for small rocks, or mounds of dirt and any broken or odd looking seeds accumulated during the harvesting process. Due to the possibility of bacterial contamination, resulting in food-borne illness, be sure to keep your sprouting environment and the sprouts clean. Home-growers can wash seeds in a mixture of lime juice and vinegar, followed by a hot water rinse and then a cold soak to kill bacteria. Soaking time varies, but the norm is 8-12 hours.
Seeds use their stored food supply to get life started, until they get to sunlight and start making their own food through the process of photosynthesis. A primary ingredient in the raw food diet, sprouts are claimed to have higher concentrations of nutrients and enzymes than the grown plant. In addition to lots of anti-oxidants, vitamins and protein, they also boost your dietary fiber. Eat some … they’re good for you.
You can sprout a variety of tasty seeds. Some of the most favorite are alfalfa, chickpeas, broccoli, and Mung beans. Here are the basics for sprouting.
- Soaking: After cleaning the seeds, add two to three parts of water to each measure of seeds. Remember that larger seeds will soak up more water. Times vary, so check the instructions accompanying the seeds you have selected. Warm water may encourage some hard seeds like Adzuki to absorb water.
- Rinsing: This is a critical step in sprouting. Rinse with cool water – a lot of it, usually two to three times a day.
- Draining: The second critical step is draining. This allows oxygen to get to the seed. Spin, shake, bounce or twirl your sprouter. Get the water out.
- Air Circulation: Plants need to breathe while they grow. Leave them out in the open air, not in a dark cabinet.
- Greening: Plants only begin photosynthesis once they get leaves. Contrary to some popular dogma, it does no harm. Sprouts of all colors are packed with flavor and nutrition. Use indirect sunlight and don’t let the plants get dried out.
- Cleanliness: Wash your sprouter well between crops. Sterilize when necessary. You can use food-grade Hydrogen Peroxide to cleanse your sprouting device. Be sure to rinse it well. Small seeds like alfalfa can get stuck in the drain holes, use a paper clip or tooth pick to push them through.
- Storage: Properly stored, fresh sprouts will keep for up to 6 weeks in your refrigerator, but eat them sooner, fresher is better. Make sure sprouts are dry before refrigeration.
Some companies that sell seeds for sprouting are:
Buy sprouting seeds from trusted sources, preferably Certified Organic Sprout Growers whose certified organic seeds have never been blamed for a single illness.
Billie Nicholson, editor
Billie and Robert Nicholson
Tired of purchasing salad dressings with all kinds of “secret” ingredients and unknown preservatives? Here is an alternative. Compare this with store-bought salad dressings and you will find: a. Cost savings b. Tastes better c. Known contents (what you know and trust) d. You can vary the ingredients to your taste e. Gives you the satisfaction of being independent, more in charge of your food sources & improving your family’s quality of life. Send us your modifications for comparison.
2 Sun dried tomatoes (or 1/2 cup dried slices – we dried our tomatoes by slicing & putting them in dehydrator – Sun Oven® works great – on parchment, added some herbs and dried them @ 95º F)
1 large clove garlic, sliced
1 tsp capers, rinsed
3 sprigs fresh Oregano (dried will work)
3 sprigs fresh Parsley
1 TBS Tomato Paste (we open can of paste & freeze the leftover paste in ice cube tray, wrap each spoonful in plastic wrap and store in zip-lock bag in freezer for later use)
1/8 cup filtered water
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of Red Pepper (we dried ours, then ground up seeds and all for more kick)
Pinch of fresh ground Black Pepper
Pinch of salt (optional)
Start with the dry ingredients first in a blender on high, then add other ingredients and blend together. Decant into bottle of your choice and refrigerate between uses. This delicious salad dressing will thicken over time and you can add a touch more water to help it pour easily. We serve one to two tablespoons per 2 cup salad.
Billie Nicholson, Editor
What is Weather?
What is weather, how is it formed and how can future weather be predicted? Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy.1 Almost all weather conditions begin with the sun. It provides the energy to raise temperatures, and the uneven warming (water warms slower than soil and shady soil warms slower than soil in the sun) triggers air movement. Add to that a spinning earth and you have a weather producing machine.2 Weather forms when the air masses begin to move, based on air pressure (temperature and moisture) differences, interacting with the surface of the earth and one another. This air movement influences air throughout all levels of the atmosphere, not just close to the earth’s surface.Weather conditions have a profound influence on human life and humans have been thinking about it for centuries. Even today it is a frequent topic of conversation.
Ancient weather forecasting relied on observed patterns. Over the years these observations became known as weather lore and were used as the basis of predicting weather. With the invention of the electric telegraph in 1835 modern forecasting began. The telegraphed reports of weather conditions from a wide area almost instantaneously allowed predictions of impending weather events to be made using the knowledge of what was going on upwind.3
The Weather Bureau, established in 1870, originally was assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Service within the Department of War. Twenty years later it was transferred to the Department of Agriculture. In the early 1900’s scientists proposed that the evolution and motion of the atmosphere was governed by complex mathematical equations, the laws of fluid motion and thermodynamics, could be used to calculate and thus predict the coming weather. Today we use supercomputers to carry out these calculations. Granted current weather forecasters do not always get it right, things have come a long way since 1870.4
Anticipating Weather Changes
How will we anticipate weather conditions in a survival situation? We will need to return to the knowledge base of observations in nature to help us guesstimate weather changes. An article in The Preparedness Review, Winter 2014 (TPR5-Winter 2014.pdf)includes some behaviors to note:
- Wild animals tend to feed heavily before a storm.
- Animals make noise before a storm.
- Herding animals get together before a storm.
- Bees are nowhere to be found before a storm.
- “Red sky in the morning, sailors (and everyone else) take warning.”
- Body aches and pains appear before a storm
- The lower the clouds the greater the chances for a storm.
1. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Weather
Earth, Eastern Hemisphere Part of NASA’s Blue Marble collection, this image is a composite built from images taken during eight orbits by the Suomi NPP satellite on March 30.
Billie Nicholson, Editor
What is Powdered Milk?
Wikipedia defines powdered milk as a manufactured dairy product made by evaporating milk to dryness.This technique gives milk a much longer shelf life than liquid milk; it doesn’t need to be refrigerated; and in this evaporated state, it is easier to transport.
Marco Polo wrote of sun-dried skim milk during the days of Kublai Kahn, whose troops carried it in the form of a paste. The first form of modern production was invented by a Russian physician. Today powdered milk is usually made by spray drying milk products. The milk is concentrated to about 50% milk solids, which is then sprayed into a heated chamber where the water evaporates instantly, leaving powdered milk solids. Another process is freeze drying which preserves more nutrients that heat drying. The drying method may alter the solubility in cold water and the flavor.1
Powdered Milk is Nutritious
Most of us have had a less than pleasing experience with powdered milk. Improvements in the processing techniques has resulted in a much more agreeable product. It is a prepper staple that we should all add to our supplies. One cup of dry milk provides you with a good source of protein, vitamins A and D, calcium, magnesium and essential fats.2
Powdered Milk Facts
Here are some things you should know about powdered milk:
• There is a big difference between Regular Nonfat Dry Milk and Instant Nonfat Dry Milk. Regular can be turned into a variety of milk products; Instant can only be drinkable milk.
• There are almost twice as many servings in Regular Nonfat Dry Milk as in Instant.
• There is more protein per serving in Regular Nonfat Dry Milk.
• Instant Nonfat Dry Milk tastes better.
• Instant dissolves easier than Regular Nonfat Dry Milk.
• Instant can be found in most grocery stores; Regular is available online in emergency preparedness stores.3
Regular Nonfat Dried Milk can be used to make:
Sour Cream – by mixing 1/3 c dry milk with 3/4 cup plain yogurt. Makes a great low fat dip.4
Regular Milk – just substitute 1/3 cup dry milk and 1 cup cold water. Best chilled.
White Sauce – mix 1/3 cup dry milk, 3tsp melted butter and 3 TBS flour to form a paste. Slowly ad 1 cup water and whisk until smooth.
Yogurt – can be made using 1 cup Regular Nonfat Dried Milk mixed with 2 cups warm water (110ºF) and 2 TBS plain yogurt as a starter. Keep at 110º about 8 hours to thicken. This technique can also be used to make Yogurt Sour Cream and Cream Cheese. These can be used in pancake mixes and Stroganoff recipes3 as well as hot cocoa, instant oatmeal and pudding mixes.2
Billie Nicholson, Editor
I wanted to maximize storage options in our new broom closet but didn’t want to add another “honey-do” list. We do too much digging under cabinets and through boxes to find things, so most storage items aren’t going to help that. My first idea was door hanging shelves, but they might be noisy and tall items could fall off. My problem was also complicated by the fact that the broom closet’s door is only 19-1/4″ wide. I am blessed that the door has no knob on the inside and two magnetic catches. As long as what I found allowed for door closure without too much weight, I was good to go. Last night at Walmart I found my solution in the closet accessories area — a hanging shoe bag. For $9 I have what I want.
Billie Nicholson, Editor
Measles is highly contagious
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus and spread through coughing and sneezing. 90% of people coming in contact with an infected person will become infected if they are not already immune. Immunity is achieved by either having been vaccinated or having previously contracted the disease. Symptoms include a high fever, severe skin rash, cough and sensitivity to light.
In 2000, prior to the formation of the Measles & Rubella Initiative, more than 500,000 children died worldwide from measles complications each year. About 30% of reported measles cases have complications like pneumonia, blindness, diarrhea and encephalitis. These debilitating effects are most common in children under five and adults over the age of twenty.
There is no specific treatment for measles
Most patients will recover with rest and supportive treatment. Treatments for the symptoms include ibuprofen to reduce fever and pain and fluids.
With the introduction of vaccines around the world, by 2012 the death rate had been cut significantly, but still kills about 122,000 children – mostly children less than five years old. Measles can be completely prevented with two doses of a safe, effective and inexpensive vaccine. Avoid measles parties.1
A recent outbreak of measles cases has been linked to a popular theme park. The strain of measles in the California cases has been matched to the strain circulating in the Philippines. Stephen Cochi, senior advisor with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “That virus has spread around the world.” From his experience tracking previous measles outbreaks in the U.S., Cochi says the source was probably an American. “It’s really traveling Americans who are unvaccinated, then return to the U.S. with the virus, who are causing most of the current out-breaks.” 2
Billie Nicholson, Editor
Planting a garden using the phases of the moon is a method of cultivation as old as agriculture itself. For centuries, farming records show a reliance on using the proper phase of the moon for timing planting, crop maintenance and harvesting. Astrology and it’s symbolic figures were used as guides for many parts of everyday life including planting, harvesting, raising, butchering meats, and even marrying. The Farmer’s Almanac, still published today, includes these directions along with a long range weather forecast and suggestions for other life activities. This old style knowledge provides a schedule for planting that we can use just as gardeners in days passed. Today it is referred to as “Biodynamic Gardening.” 1
As the moon revolves around the earth the sun’s light creates a changing shape or phase of the moon as seen from earth. The earth’s gravity is affected by both the sun, moon and planets. The ocean tides are highest during a full moon, when the sun and moon are lined up with the earth. Our forefathers believed that as the moon draws the tides, it also draws upon all water, causing moisture to swell up in the earth promoting growth. This is the best time to plant.
Gardening By Moon Phases
- New moon to first quarter – This is the time to plant above ground crops; those you can see. Examples are cabbage, celery, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, grains, leeks, celery, lettuce, spinach, parsley, cauliflower.
- First quarter to full moon – At this time you would plant above ground crops that you can see that have seed within a fruit or pod, and flowers. Examples are tomatoes, peppers, beans, melons, cucumbers, beans, squash.
- Full moon to last quarter – This is when you plant root crops, bulbs, perennials and biennials. The idea is that these plants need strong roots. Examples are onion, turnips, garlic, carrots, beets and radishes.
- Last quarter to new moon – If you have to plant during this time, it must be in a fruitful sign such as Scorpio, Pisces, Cancer, Taurus, Libra or Capricorn. If you need to weed, or cultivate, do it in a barren sign like Virgo, Leo, Aquarius, Gemini, Sagittarius or Aries. Harvest in Aquarius, Gemini, Leo, Aries, or Sagittarius. 2
Our Moon zooms around the Zodiac wheel while visiting each of the 12 signs in only 28 and a quarter days, thus having to change into a different astrological sign every 2-3 days. With the understanding that each of our 12 signs are categorized into the 4 elements of fire, earth, air and water- this is the basis of how one can determine what sign the Moon is passing through is the best one to plant under to make sure that a successful harvest will be the end result. Moon phase gardening has been around a long time. It is worth trying if you haven’t yet. Learn More
Billie Nicholson, Editor
Our January 2015 issue of “Every Needful Thing” also includes:
The Magic of the Side by Stephen D. Palmer
9 Simple Tips to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance by Gaye Levy
and from Our Solar Chef – Vegetarian Chickpea Curry Pie
Don’t miss our January Special on case lots of fuel disks for your Cube Stove