Food Safety Advice: Long Term Storage Ideas for Milk, Eggs and Cheese
Milk, Cheese, Eggs When storing food for an emergency, you'll need more than just beans, rice and Spam if you are to enjoy a good variety in your diet. Many people just assume they'll have to do without certain...
When storing food for an emergency, you'll need more than just beans, rice and Spam if you are to enjoy a good variety in your diet. Many people just assume they'll have to do without certain things such as milk, cheese and eggs during an emergency; however, that's not necessarily the case. Here is some food safety advice you can use for the long-term storage of milk, cheese and eggs.
Eggs have a relatively long lifespan when they are preserved the right way. One of the easiest methods is placing beaten eggs in ice cube trays and then freezing them. You can then easily remove them for cooking-one frozen cube is approximately equal to one large egg.
If you're concerned about losing power during an emergency, dehydrating eggs might be a better option. To dehydrate eggs:
- Beat eggs until they are thoroughly mixed
- Place waxed paper on the racks of your food dehydrator, folding the edges up to make a tray
- Pour the egg mixture onto the paper and smooth lightly with a spoon so it will dry evenly
- Dehydrate for around 8 hours or until eggs are fully dry
After dehydrating eggs, you can then blend them until they are the consistency of a fine powder. Store in a glass jar away from direct sunlight. You can use them by adding a tablespoon of hot water to a tablespoon of powdered egg to create one whole egg. Dehydrated eggs can also be used in recipes.
Milk can easily be preserved by canning it in a pressure canner. To can milk, you should:
- Sterilize jars, lids and rings
- Fill a pressure canner with water up to the fill line, but do not preheat it
- Pour room temperature milk into your jars, leaving around ½ inch of head space at the top
- Place lids and rings on jars
- Place 10 lb weight on your canner and allow to build to ten pounds of pressure. You may need to adjust this weight based upon your altitude.
- Allow jars to cool, and then check seals and rings to ensure they are tight
Many people report that canned milk is much like evaporated milk purchased in cans. It is ideal for cooking with, but may take some getting used to when drinking it.
Dehydrate milk by creating small containers with parchment paper to place on the rack of your dehydrator. Add just a small amount of milk to each one and allow to dehydrate overnight. This will leave you with a yellowish sheet of milk that appears slightly crackled. Use a food processor or blender to bring it to a powdery consistency, and then place in a glass jar for storage. Milk that is dehydrated at home may be chunkier than powdered milk purchased at the store, which means you may need to do a little more mixing to get the chunks out of it when reconstituting.
To preserve cheese for an extended period, you'll need to keep light and air from getting to it. One way to do this is by “waxing” full blocks of cheese with a special “cheese wax” that is designed to prevent bacteria and mold from growing. You'll need to melt this wax over medium heat and then dip your cheese in until it is completely covered.
For best results, between two and four coats of wax are recommended. In between coats, brush over any thin or empty spots with a brush to ensure your cheese is completely covered. Many people add a string to their cheese to make dipping easier. If you add a string, keep in mind that wax may not stick to the area around it, in which case you will need to brush it on by hand.
To can cheese, simply grate and melt it on the stove over medium-high heat. While the cheese is still warm, pour it into wide-mouthed canning jars that have been properly washed and sterilized. Seal lids tightly, and then place in a water bath canner for around 40 minutes. Once jars have cooled, remove them from the canner and check the lids and seals. To use, simply open the jar and use in any recipe that calls for melted cheese.
These preservation methods will ensure you have plenty of milk, cheese and eggs to keep you sustained during an emergency. To find out more, contact us.