When you think about emergency situations, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? If it is dark because there is no electricity, probably think where the lanterns and candles are. If it’s winter and your oven is not working for some unforeseen reason, you probably think about grabbing blankets and other warm things.
It does not matter at what time of year, if the electricity is cut off, you run the risk of losing all the food you have stored in your refrigerator and freezer. If it is not open, a full freezer will remain cold for approximately 24 to 48 hours in the winter. In summer time, the temperature of your freezer will change more quickly, so the food will stay cold for less time. Try not to open the doors if you do not have to.
DIY MREs or ready-to-eat meals are the way to go when it comes to preparing for emergencies, power outages, those wonderful blackouts that happen from time to time, the end of life as we know it, even for a simple day of backpacking. Not preparing is preparing to fail. Benjamin Franklin said that, it’s a great date and, oh, true.
Create DIY ready-to-eat meals is as simple or as complicated as you want to do it. You can go to the local grocery store and buy any food you want to have in your personal MRE. First you need to buy some type of vacuum sealer and / or oxygen absorbers. Eliminating all oxygen will help keep bacteria away from food and will also help preserve its freshness.
Under ideal conditions, a home MRE must last at least 5 years. Talk about effective cost! Go to the store and buy 1 box of instant oatmeal, which by my count has 8 bags of flavored oatmeal inside.
Now go and buy 1 box of your favorite granola bars, which you think also has 8 servings. Get some napkins or paper towels if you think you may need them, 1 box of plastic spoons and 1 box of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. The choice is up to you. If you want additional treatment, also collect a box of dehydrated milk. Go to the register and pay for all your items, now let’s go home.
Preparing your DIY MREs
You will need the following items:
- 8 packets of oatmeal with instant flavor
- 8 packages of granola bars
- Instant coffee, tea
- Bag or pack of hot chocolate.
- Paper towels
- Milk powder
- Spoon plastic
Follow these steps:
- Open all packages and delete the contents. Do not remove the contents of the milk powder unless you are going to use it all. Put them all on the counter.
- Determine the amount of each item you want in each MRE.
- Separate them in their own small piles.
- If you are using instant coffee that comes in a jar and is not pre-measured, measure the appropriate amount according to the instructions and place the crystals in a sandwich bag and cut or cut them. Do this for each MRE stack you have.
- Do the same with dehydrated milk. Follow the instructions on the package, place it in a sandwich bag and twist or fold it to close. Do this for each MRE stack you have.
- Once you have collected all the breakfast contents, put them in a vacuum sealing bag and close them. Do not forget to mark what they are and date them.
There you go! You have made your first MRE DIY batch! Was not it so easy?
Tips and tricks and other possibilities.
There are other ways to seal – you can Use Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. which are available for purchase online. Mylar is basically a polyester resin that has high barrier properties against moisture and oxygen. What this means is that when you add food to a Mylar bag, they will be protected from exposure to moisture.
You can also triple the lives of your MREs done at home by protecting them three times. Take a food saver bag, an oxygen absorber and a bag of Mylar and store your MRE in it. Make a lunch MRE this time. Go to the local grocery store and get tuna, chicken or spam in bags. Go to the cookie aisle and choose your favorite cookie pack. If you want condiments with your MREs, see if you can find the single-serving packages.
Do not forget your dry drink. Go to the assistant’s hall and find the individual packages of dry drink mix; Those where all you need is to add it to a bottle of water. Then, go to your granola aisle or sandwiches and choose your favorite. Remember not to take anything too soft; You do not want to have to lick it from the wrapper. Now let’s go home and make your lunch.
- Place all the chosen items on the counter or table.
- Open the packages and separate them into individual stacks.
- Take your Mylar bags and drop an oxygen absorber.
- Fill it with your chosen lunch items
- Measure your food saver bag to be approximately 4 inches longer than your Mylar bag
- Seal the bottom of the food saver bag
- Slide your filled Mylar bag so that the open side is toward the open side of the food saver bag.
- Vacuum seal your food saver bag
- Mark the contents and date them.
Another way to create a home MRE is by making a meal in a jar putting all the ingredients for a meal in a jar of preserves and sealing. You can seal it to the vacuum if you have the accessory that goes to the lid and vacuum sealer.
Canning of the oven It’s not something I can do with everything, as vacuum sealer is, and neither is canning for jars. Most DIY MREs have a variety of foods, not just a meal, so for canning in the oven I think I would keep it for a pot’s dishes and things like rice, flour, dried corn, things of that nature.
I would stick with the basic Mylar and the oxygen absorber or the vacuum seal for DIY MRE. Yes, you may be doing it in bulk but you want a variety. The average calorie count for an MRE should be between 1200 and 2000 calories. Try to make sure that when you buy items for your MREs they are stable and have a long service life.
Here are some food ideas that should help you on your trip through DIY MRE.
You can do many things with ramen noodles. Things that I bet you’ve never thought about. Here are some recipes for your DIY MREs.
The ramen seasonings are filled with lots of salt. On a hot summer day, you probably need more water, but with this first recipe you’ll take out the seasoning pack and replace it with a dry tomato skin.
Article you will need:
- I pack ramen noodles
- ? cup of dried shrimp or crabmeat
- ? cup of dried vegetables (your choice)
- ? well-packed tomato leather cup
- 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of water
- Break the noodles into pieces
- Combine all ingredients except Parmesan cheese in a pan
- Bring the water to a boil and cover.
- Remove from heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the Parmesan cheese and enjoy.
When you are going to pack this in a Mylar or in a vacuum bag, you should place the noodles and dried vegetables in the same bag, but everything else in your own bag. You do not have to seal them separately, you can put them in a sandwich bag with a twist and then close them or fold them to close them, but they must be separated. Do not forget to add your sweet snack and mix of drinks.
Dehydrating chili is another fantastic idea for a DIY. I mean how many people do not like chili. You can even dehydrate the rice to accompany it if you want it with meat. There are two ways to do it: buy chili cans or do it at home. If you’re making homemade chili, let it sit overnight. An easy way to measure the amount of water you will need to rehydrate is to use a canning container as a measure.
Steps to dehydrate the chile for MRE
- Fill the canning jar with chili
- Spread your chili on the roller tray of your dehydrator evenly
- Place and empty the dehydration tray on top of the chili tray
- Place another tray with the rolled film on top of the empty tray and fill it with the chili spread evenly
- Add another empty tray and then cover
- Turn on your dehydrator
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the drying guide.
- Place your MRE in a vacuum sealed bag or Mylar
- Brand and date
Do not forget to write in the bag the amount of water you must add. Whatever the size of the canning bottle you used is the amount of water needed to rehydrate. Boil the water, add the dehydrated chili and simmer, stirring constantly for about 20 to 25 minutes.
You can take many of the items you prepare for dinner and turn them into ready meals to eat by simply dehydrating them. Do not create a night of leftovers, which most children hate, and do not waste food. Take that or a tablespoon of mashed potatoes, peas, mixed greens or whatever you have to dehydrate. Close it and use it in a DIY MRE, not only save you money but it will accumulate quickly and soon you will be ready for whatever comes.
Make granola bars
Granola bars and trail mixes are great for packing in the back or just for eating if you have one of those hunger pains where you just need something. If you do not have a protein like meat in your MRE because you’re a vegetarian or just do not trust the long-term storage of meats, then you can supplement it. I do not recommend it because meat is an important part of our human diet, but each of them is our own.
Making your own granola is fun and exciting. You just have to follow some basic ingredients and then you can embellish it with whatever you want. For your baby you should always have a sweet, why not make it good and tasty too?
Basic ingredients of the granola recipe:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ? cup of honey
- ? brown sugar cup well packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Spread the rolled oats on a baking sheet, stirring occasionally
- Toast for about 15 minutes (while toasting).
- Combine the honey, brown sugar and vanilla in a large saucepan
- Cook until brown sugar dissolves.
- Remove the rolled oats from the oven
- Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees
- Immediately pour oats rolled in the hot liquid
- Stir to combine
- Butter to bake to prevent sticking.
- Turn the mixture over a baking sheet, crush and distribute evenly
- Bake for 25 minutes
- Cut in slices
This is a basic recipe, the recipe by which nothing is added. If you decide to add butter 1 ounce to the liquid mixture before applying heat. If you add dried fruits, berries, nuts or any other dry product, add them to the rolled oats before putting them in the oven. If you decide to put candy, I’ll ask you not to do it a second time.
Mix of nuts
It’s great to have the trail mix in your meals ready to eat. They are excellent for a quick snack and a quick solution when you need something quick. You can add candies to these, as well as dried fruits and nuts to add protein. In a hurry they will do the trick.
Items you will need:
- 1 cup of almonds
- 1 cup of peanuts (skins)
- ? cashew nuts
- ? Brazil nut cup (optional)
- ? cup of glazed / sugar-coated walnuts
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup of candies M and M
- 1 cup of Reeses candies Pieces
Mix all these ingredients in a large bowl and go. Pack and seal them. Do not forget to date them.
When you start doing your MREs at home, your possibilities open up as to what you can put into them. If you start to dehydrate your own homemade food, the expansion of your MRE increases enormously.
The cost of military meals ready to eat compared to DIY is much cheaper and taste, there is no comparison. If you save a penny and then dehydrate the leftovers from the meals you have made during the day at home, it will save you much more. If you are looking just to prepare for the next storm that looms and topple your power and want to enjoy what you have to eat.
DIY MREs are very economical and have a very long lifespan if they are packaged and stored correctly. If you really do not have the time or the initiative to dehydrate your own food, go to the local supermarket and buy the items you need.
There are suppliers out there who will also sell you freeze-dried canned foods, such as Saratoga Farms or Mountain Grove. They are more expensive than going to the local grocery store, but if you do not trust those small packages of spam, chicken or tuna to stay long term, these guys are the way to go.