Homesteader Fast Foods

HEALTHY HEAT-UP-AND-SERVE MEALS

Modern Pioneer - - Contents - By Kristi Cook

Healthy heat-up-and-serve meals

Liv­ing with less” and “the sim­ple life” are key phrases of­ten as­so­ci­ated with the self-suf­fi­cient life­style. Sadly, they’re of­ten con­fused with sip­ping lemon­ade on the front porch and let­ting life hap­pen. As a mod­ern homesteader, I don’t sit and sip; usu­ally, I’m gulp­ing my drink as I head out­doors to work in the gar­den, tend live­stock, run er­rands or home­school my kids. While my pace re­duces slightly dur­ing the win­ter months, it’s far from slow since my work-ath­ome ca­reer gains mo­men­tum dur­ing the slower win­ter gar­den­ing sea­son.

All of this work makes for very long days, so by din­ner­time, pre­par­ing an elab­o­rate meal isn’t on my to-do list. How­ever, my fam­ily must be fed, so I’ve learned to make what I like to call “homesteader fast foods”—whole­some, healthy meals and snacks that re­quire less time to pre­pare than a trip to Mcdon­ald’s.

What are Homesteader Fast Foods?

I like to keep ready-made snacks handy that we can grab and eat. For in­stance, I’ll turn nuts, seeds, rolled oats, dried fruits and maple syrup into de­li­cious, preser­va­tive-free, non-gmo gra­nola. An­other fa­vorite is a sim­ple mix of dried fruit, nuts and deer or beef jerky for a quick en­ergy burst be­tween meals. The key to keep­ing these health­ful snacks in my kids’ and hubby’s hands in­stead of candy bars or potato chips is to sep­a­rate them into sin­gle-serv­ing pack­ages. All the hun­gry for­ager must do is open the pantry or fridge and grab a pack.

For heartier meals, I de­vote a bit more ef­fort to keep our fa­vorites stocked: lasagna, veni­son chili, whole-wheat waf­fles or pan­cakes, break­fast sand­wiches and even the oc­ca­sional batch of from-scratch cook­ies. To con­serve ef­fort in the kitchen, I plan ahead and cook a dou­ble batch of the in­tended meal, freez­ing the sec­ond one for later. This saves tons of time. By dou­bling the recipe, I only have to cook and wash dishes once for two or more meals.

I’ve out­lined sev­eral of my fam­ily’s fa­vorite homesteader fast-food recipes. I hope you en­joy them as much as we do.

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