Updated: Sep 1
Knowing how to make ingredients and food from scratch is most essential and more so now in these times of high grocery costs. The food that we prepare and eat needs to be pure and unadulterated, our health depends on it. You can buy staple ingredients that will make many products. Build your ingredient pantry, both for kitchen and for bathroom. Get ingredients that will make cleaners, laundry soap and other cleaning essentials. Try to get basic tools that will help you to do these tasks, making you less reliant on spending your money on products that can be easily made and are not essential.
We talked about different systems that need to be in place, starting with systems that are pertinent to life. These include shelter, food, water, bathroom facilities and off grid laundry, cooking and heat or cooling depending on geographic location. These should be your first goals to accomplish for emergency back up plans. In various posts I talk about dehydrating and making main ingredients that are easy and cheap to make, like baking powder and self-rising flour. Keep building your pantry and foods that have a long shelf life. Keep storing food so that they stay as fresh as possible with no outside utilities and usage. What do I mean by this? Shut your power off for the day and take notes on daily living... what can't you do that is pertinent. Sometimes we truly do not understand how much we rely on power until we have none and then we just know we can make do because "it should come back on soon".... BUT what if it doesn't? The likelihood of this is getting very real and we really need to be prepared. These things are in need of alternative systems to be complete and in place. This does not mean that you have to live in the "stone age", it simply means you have emergency systems in place that can be up and running in no time to make your life a whole lot easier in an emergency situation.
When making a pantry, there are certain ESSENTIAL staples that don't seem to have a really long shelf life, no matter what you do. One other essential ingredient that is used in so much of our everyday life is oils. We use oils for cooking and baking, making soap, lotions, lights and even medicinal. Oils are something that have become very expensive and honestly very adulterated and chemically processed causing them to be unhealthy. REAL oils in their unadulterated and pure form are so healthy for you. Oils have gotten a bad reputation from the powers at be because it is cheaper for them to produce synthetic oils that have been hydrogenated and processed with hexane. These make us sick with many different diseases and inflammation. Real oil in its purest form will help lower bad cholesterol and is heart healthy. If you want to see a wonderful seminar about this, I HIGHLY suggest "The oiling of America" with Sally Fallon. https://youtu.be/fvKdYUCUca8
This information gives you the history of how big business steered society away from pure oils and fats to get us reliant on synthetics that cause dis-ease all for the sake of money and profits. Oils will store short term, but they will turn rancid in the long storage. Up until now I have learned to render lard and be able to store it, but it too is short storage and only good for about a year before it may start to go rancid. I have looked for solutions to acquiring and storing oils for cooking long term...but they all come back to, they will need to be bought as we just can not produce them here.... or can we?
This topic has been something that I have wanted to implement for a long time, but we hadn't pursued it, until now. So why the change now? Up until now we have been able to buy it without much hardship, but with the rising costs the cost of buying a decent oil takes away from the grocery budget. I have known for a while that most oil is adulterated and to find a true olive oil at the grocery store probably isn't going to happen, but we got what we felt was decent quality. I know that as this shift is happening the goal of big businesses is to continue to make cheap, processed and unhealthy grocery items for our consumption. The goals these days seem to be to create foods from toxic chemicals and ingredients that are not allowed in third world countries because of their known effect and poisoning, but here in America... we are ignorant...... lazy........ brainwashed......I am not sure the case, but we just eat. With the current Sick care system, it is most important that you are building your pantry and skills to be able to provide wholesome healthy food for your family. That brings me to this system!
Did you know that you can easily make your very own oils? Not only can you make them... You can GROW THEM! I have to say that this has been an exciting study! Even though I think that I am pretty out of the box in creating and thinking.... I have found that I am also still pretty ignorant in certain areas. So many things we don't question, and we don't even realize it. Things like "where different things come from and what they are made of?" It really was an amazing discovery to find out that oils were just pressed seeds and nuts! I had the idea that they needed to be heated and filtered and chemically extracted.
Our most used kitchen oils are olive oil, lard and sesame oil. Olive oil I use mostly as an all-purpose oil, (baking and salad dressing) and for frying, I use lard. I also like to have sesame oil on hand for stir fry's or fried rice dishes. The main oil that we use is olive oil, but most all of the olive oils that you buy in the store are adulterated and mixed with other oils and fillers that are not good for you. With so many companies cutting corners, this will only get worse. Let's face it, to buy a true and verified brand it is not cost effective and is very expensive, especially if you use it as your main kitchen oil. I know that because of where we live, olives will not be possible to grow. I want to be able to have a closed system of reliance meaning if I grow it, I don't have to rely on an outside source to make it.
For our first choices to make our own oil, we choose Sunflower and sesame, as they are easy to come by and can be grown here. Sunflower oil is a good substitute for olive oil as it is so versatile and can be used in many ways. It has a high smoke temperature, so it is good for cooking, frying and sauteing. Cold pressed sunflower oil has a delicious nutty flavor and can be used in salad dressings and other low heat applications. It is high in lineic acid, vitamin E and rich in Omega 6's which can help lower high cholesterol by raising the good cholesterol.
Sesame oil helps skin and hair, bone growth, maintains good oral health. It is high in poly saturated fatty acids which helps keep the cardiovascular system strong and the LDL cholesterol levels low (bad cholesterol) preventing atherosclerosis and reduces the risk of cardiovascular ailments. It has also been shown to manage anxiety and depression because it is directly tied to the serotonin activity in the brain. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, can be used to block UV rays, Vit E, Zinc and Vit K and improving digestive health. It also has a high copper level which means the body can function at optimal metabolism and circulation levels. sesame oil has a high smoking point but also can be used for many different applications and in my opinion has a distinct, but yummy flavor! The variety of oils are extensive ranging from pumpkin seeds to black walnuts and sunflower, all of which grow here! You can use a variety of seeds and nuts and the possibilities seem endless. All you need for tools is an oil extractor or press.
Besides the misunderstanding that making oil was a tedious chemical laden process I also thought that it would take so many seeds or nuts to make just a little bit of oil. After all, when you eat beans, nuts or seeds you don't associate them to be high in fat content. In our experience IT TOOK only 500 gr. or 1 quart of SEEDS TO MAKE a little over 1 cup of OIL. I was super happy with that conversion! If you use already shelled seeds the left-over press cake or mash is consumable, so nothing goes to waste. It can be used in salads, shakes, or even dried to some flour. We also found a few tips that made the oil extraction work better. Preparing to make our next batch of sunflower oil. I can not say how tasty and satisfying this is!! So far I have made sour dough bread, zucchini muffins and chocolate zucchini brownies and they are so tasty! Even more than usual!
There has been a couple learning curves with making the oil. The first one was to just take the time to find out the moisture content in the seeds BEFORE you start pressing.
Why? If the seeds are too dry… they will just pack tight and no oil will be expressed……Ask us how we know. 🙂 I didn’t want to take the time to evaluate first and figured they will be ok…, but I learned it has to be done first to get the best yield. To do this you measure exactly 100 grams of seeds and bake it in the oven. Then weigh again. The amount lost is the amount needed to bring up the moisture content. We ended up with 95 grams so we needed 5% moisture. Give it the needed moisture, let it sit in a bag for 48 hours and you should be good to go!
A whole new world has opened up to us and we don't have to try to save and stock up on poor-quality store-bought oils that can go rancid in a long-term pantry. By pressing our own oils, we can store seeds or nuts and press a bottle at a time keeping the quality and taste always fresh and at our fingertips.
https://amzn.to/43MEAtW Here is the amazon affiliate link to the press that we purchased. It seemed to come up frequently as a good quality and well-liked brand in my research. Besides growing your own seeds, as of right now, you can still find sources like local health food stores that you can get bulk seeds from to try making your own oils!