Posts Tagged ‘Home’

Thrive TVP Options

TVP, textured vegetable protein didn’t sound very appealing to me.  At least not if there were butcher shops still serving up freshly killed protein like God intended.  But I posted a piece on having it as a back-up option if SHTF,TVP, Is It An Option.”  So I ordered some ham and Taco TVP from Thrive.  I will tell you about the Taco TVP for purposes of space.  But I will tell you about the yummy ham fried rice I made with the ham TVP and share that recipe in my next posting.

With the Taco TVP, I made small taco cups from those little taco-salad looking chips. The presentation was very pretty, especially the mini taco’s.  But the truth was in its flavor.  I gathered the grandbabies, neighbors and MrPrepperPenny.  To our delight, it was all very good.  Really.  Very good.  If we hadn’t known it was TVP, we would not have known. (more…)


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Thrive TVP Options

TVP, textured vegetable protein didn’t sound very appealing to me.  At least not if there were butcher shops still serving up freshly killed protein like God intended.  But I posted a piece on having it as a back-up option if SHTF,TVP, Is It An Option.”  So I ordered some ham and Taco TVP from Thrive.  I will tell you about the Taco TVP for purposes of space.  But I will tell you about the yummy ham fried rice I made with the ham TVP and share that recipe in my next posting.

With the Taco TVP, I made small taco cups from those little taco-salad looking chips. The presentation was very pretty, especially the mini taco’s.  But the truth was in its flavor.  I gathered the grandbabies, neighbors and MrPrepperPenny.  To our delight, it was all very good.  Really.  Very good.  If we hadn’t known it was TVP, we would not have known. (more…)

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I’m so glad I discovered this new lifestyle. Having healthy and delicious food in my home grocery store has so many advantages. In the past six weeks, I lost 15 pounds without dieting. NOTE: I am not claiming this would work as a diet plan!!!! So do not mistake my health claims as an indication of ANY medical claims. I’m only sharing my success and the changes in my life.   But, I am saving hundreds of dollars since I no longer buy milk, cheese, vegetables or fruit.  I’m not even buying much fresh meats either. In one week alone, I saved enough from my grocery budget to buy a Ninja Professional smoothie maker! I got it home, grabbed my Thrive freeze-dried peaches, strawberries and pineapple and made one of the most flavorful smoothies I could never buy! And that opinion was shared by two of my neighbor girlfriends. One of them had just spent over $4 earlier in the day for a banana smoothie she described as lots of ice and very little banana. The fruit reconstituted to its original state of freshness and you wouldn’t have known it was freeze-dried! (I’ll post the recipe I used below)

For dinner last night, I grabbed a jar of the ham and beans I canned using the ham I baked for Easter dinner.  All I really had to prepare was my fast and easy (and very cheap!) cornbread.  All these dishes came from my food storage and cost close to nothing.  Yet it all tasted like a good home-cooked meal you had at grandmas Sunday-after-church dinner!  But unlike grandmas dinner, mine took 30 minutes  to bake the bread, otherwise it would have taken even less time. So without pre-planning this paticular meal, I had everything in my pantry to make these dishes, and many more.  And even more important, I didn’t have to spend time chopping and preparing food and cooking for hours. I was able to spend more time with my little man, CJ and with Mr. PrepperPenny. And after all, isn’t that what life is about? Spending quality time with those you love the most in the world?!

Give these recipes a try and let me know what you think.

Fruit Smoothie

Photobucket 1/2 cup Thrive FD Strawberries

1/2 cup Thrive FD Peaches

1/2 cup Thrive FD Pineapple

1/2 cup Thrive Simply Peach Drink Mix

3/4 cup very warm water

2 cups ice

Combine the peach drink mix and warm water. Add the strawberries and peaches to the liquid for 3-5 minutes. Do not rehydrate the pineapple. Add all ingredients into your Ninja or blender and mix until all the ice is crushed and it has the consistency you desire. Enjoy!

Note: this is a basic recipe. You can use any combination of fruit you desire.

PrepperPenny Easy Sweet Cornbread

1 cup Thrive Cornmeal (any brand works)

1 cup All Purpose Flour

1 cup White Sugar

3 Tbs Powdered Buttermilk (can replace with 5 Tbs Powdered Milk)

1/2 cup Thrive Butter Powder

2 Tbs Thrive Egg Powder

1 Tbs Honey Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1 1/2 cup water

1 Tbs White Distilled Vinegar

Gently mix the dry ingredients until mixed well. Measure your water and add the vinegar. Gently fold in the wet ingredients into the dry being careful to not stir or whip aggressively. Pour into either muffin pan or a greased or buttered 8X8 baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Inset a toothpick Into the center of your bread. If it comes out cleanly, it’s done!

Prepper Tip:  This mix of dry ingredients is excellent to  make ahead of time and store in an airtight container to cut your prep time even more!

Variation: This recipe is great with 1/4-1/2 cup of canned jalapeño and/or Thrive FD cheddar cheese.

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TVP Burgers

TVP Burgers (Photo credit: moria)

I see my need for food through the spectrum of having to serve it in a flavorful way so that my family, especially our picky little 4-year old man, will enjoy eating it.  But as one who prepares for emergencies, I envision having to do it without the luxury of electricity to prepare it and the refrigeration to safely store it. After all, without electricity you can not save perishables in your freezer.

Just this past winter, we were with and without electricity on so many occasions I can’t even remember. Most were brief outages, but one in particular went for a week. And we counted ourselves among the more fortunate. Do you remember all the trouble on the east coast with all the harsh winter storms that left some without electricity for over a month? My family did just fine during the week that our electricity was out. We ate well because we cook with natural gas which works even during power outages.  We also had our generator and fuel to keep our television, lights and refrigerator working.  We actually enjoyed the experience. It was like camping in an expensive RV!

But within a few days, we needed to start replenishing the gasoline we were using in the generator.  I want to eventually convert to a solar generator, but that is an expense we have to budget for.  So with the courage of a true American settlers’ spirit, Mr. PrepperPenny braved the elements and  went down the road in our SUV to the 7-11 to buy gas.  He found long lines completely backed up and he wasn’t sure any gas would be left to buy by the time he got his turn at the pump.  He said it reminded him of the long lines of people trying to buy gas during the Carter Administration‘s energy crisis in the 70’s.  Fortunately, when it was his turn, there was gas and he did purchase some. But we both realized if the power outage went long enough, we were at risk of losing the food from our fridge and freezer.  Because I have prepared for such emergencies for a couple of years, I don’t keep a lot of meat in the freezer. Meat is expensive and I don’t ever want to absorb that cost by losing hundreds of dollars worth of food.  And if you are wondering, yes. We have alternative sources for cooking and heat. But I will talk about those and show you my very cool gadgets in another post.  But I say with pride and confidence, if we ever did lose all perishable foods in our home, we will be fine.  I plan for such scenarios and have a beautiful, well-stocked home store.  As we sit here today, the food in my storage will feed us for many, many months and provide all my family’s needs without having to rely on the supermarket or even our governments “rescue.”  My goal is to have a years supply by the time I harvest the last of the food my garden produces this fall.  My eventual goal is to move to Texas and buy enough property to homestead.  I dream of owning cows and chickens and growing really large gardens.

Henhouse near Ganthorpe

Henhouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because I am always thinking of ways that I can offer healthy, great tasting food in diar situations, I try to keep food in my pantry that I know my family and I truly enjoy eating.  My family loves all kinds of meat prepared many ways.  If society were to completely collapse and we were not able to buy food, be it a temporary or long-term delay, what then? I wondered about beef and chicken and pork. How easily or well would my family adjust to a very precious and limited access to meat. I know our limitations. We can grow fruits and vegetables, and powdered eggs, milk, butter and other staples are a no-brainer for us “preppers,” but it’s really frowned upon to have a cow, pig or even a little chicken coop in the backyard in our suburban home. I’m pretty sure the homeowners covenants would ban me from having any of these and my dear neighbors, who I love many and adore few, are probably happy about that.And because I’m always thinking about being self-sustaining, it prompted me to feverishly begin canning things like chicken breasts, pork roasts and meatloaf. I ravaged the supermarkets when meat was on sale until I made great headway in adding it in my home store.  Canning it was easy and I felt relief as I began seeing my shelves filling up with our beloved meat. But then, I began using them in my food rotation and realized the limitations of what I could actually do in preparing recipes with them. The chicken is very good and tasty in a quesadilla, omelets and casseroles. The pork with BBQ sauce makes a yummy sandwich. And my meatloaf? What can I say? It’s always the best in the world, either canned or freshly made. 😉  But honestly, I was limited on how I could use it. So I accepted that and moved on. Well, not really. You may know me well enough by now to know that if there were other options, I was going to find them. And luckily, I did.  I came across information about Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP).

Essentially, it is a soy product which is very high in protein and very low in fat.  Yes people, it grabbed my attention because I am, after all, a woman.  And as most women are, I am vain enough to always want to lose a little weight without actually having to diet!  But I will be the first to admit, TVP is still not meat and lacks its’ appeal.  But in shtf scenarios, it probably will look mighty appealing, even to the most outspoken nay-sayers in your family.  And one of the big advantages for me is the lower cost than that of freeze-dried meats.  A #10 can of freeze-dried ground beef costs around $44.00 while its’ TVP cousin costs only $12.00.  That in of itself prompted me to want to try it.  If I had to resort to using freeze-dried meats, I would use it in things like chili, sloppy joes, and in some of the hundreds of other recipes I have. There are nearly as many uses for TVP as there are for ground beef, chicken and pork.  But if I can replace real meat products with TVP that tastes the same and is sufficiently flavored with herbs and spices to make it pleasing on our pallet, I will do so for the economic benefit of it and use the money I saved on other food or emergency supplies – maybe a solar generator.

Man Eating Bugs

Man Eating Bugs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At least for those of us who prepare for emergencies, we can appreciate a product that is high in protein, low in fat, and high in fiber, and stores well in our pantry’s, even if it would not be our first choise.  We understand how important it will be to keep our bodies as healthy as possible during hard times.  If we lose all the luxuries we are used to enjoying and we have to actually work for food – protein, calories and water are three of the life-sustaining elements that could be the difference between life and death.  Besides, TVP can’t be all that bad – it would be better that resorting to eating insects as a main source of protein! And with most freeze-dried or dehydrated food, they pack very well in BOBs.I have ordered a can of TVP from Thrive and I will let you know how it works to replace ground beef in at least one of my recipes, maybe in chili or a casserole.  If you have experience with TVP products, please share it with us in the comments section.  And share any recipes you may already be using TVP in.  It is my simple and humble opinion, if you are seriously preparing for any emergency, TVP just seems to me to add another level of assurance and peace of mind knowing you can give your family healthy and live-sustaining foods that taste good.Here is an article I came upon by Shelf Reliance from 2009.  I thought you might glean some valuable insight.

VP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is an excellent protein source that is easy to store and use. TVP is made from soy flour where the soy oil has been extracted. It is cooked under pressure and then extruded and dried. Not only is TVP high in protein, but it’s also high in fiber and low in fat. This makes TVP ideal for food storage and for every day use. Because TVP is not made from meat, it does not have the contamination risk that many meats have with bacteria such as E. Coli and Salmonella. Because it is soy based, it is perfect for those on a vegetarian diet.

TVP is very shelf stable and can sit in a sealed container for at least a year. When sealed in an airtight container (where the oxygen has been removed) the shelf life is much longer. TVP is best stored in a cool, dry place.

To reconstitute TVP, pour ¾ cup boiling water over 1 cup TVP and let stand for 5-10 minutes. It can also be added dry to dishes with adequate liquid such as soups or spaghetti sauce. The texture of TVP can be adjusted by the amount of liquid added, so you can experiment to find out just how you like it. 1 oz of TVP is equal to about 3 oz of meat. After rehydration, TVP should be treated like meat and must be refrigerated and eaten within a few days.

TVP is also very convenient for camping as it weighs very little and can be quickly rehydrated or added to dishes. It also makes a great quick dinner as you can make sloppy joes or tacos in under 15 minutes for much less than the cost of ground beef and with more nutrition. TVP is a very economical choice that provides the protein of meat without the fat or the mess that cooking and browning can create.

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PrepperPennys Shelf Reliance Store

Independent Consultant


When I started prepperpenny.com blog, it was purely from the position of sharing my own adventures and experiences in becoming self-sufficient and reliant with my family, friends and followers. I am devoted and committed to doing all I can to cut my family’s food costs, find alternatives to processed food and learn methods of feeding my family without relying on commercially produced food. I feel a strong calling to have a sufficient supply of food in my home regardless of what emergency may emerge, be it natural disaster or manmade.

In this journey, I began buying a variety of food from companies who offer shelf-stable, nutritious food as a back up. But there was one brand, Thrive freeze-dried foods I was most impressed with. The flavor was outstanding and I found I began to use it in everyday cooking. Aside from the great flavor and variety, another way they were different from others is that they have a program which allowed me to order as much food as I want and held it in a que, The Q. I then set a budget of how much I could spend each month.  I began receiving food from The Q every month and stayed within the budget I allotted! It didn’t take long for me to see my shelves filling up.  I was so happy.

And because I want to help others to build a home store with good tasting food, I looked deeper and I took it upon myself to contact the parent company, Shelf Reliance about linking their website through this blog.  I spoke to an exceptionally nice consultant who lives several states away from me here in Washington. After talking to her and doing my due diligence (talking to Mr. PrepperPenny), I decided to become a consultant, too. Check out this short clip which tells a bit about the emergency products, shelving system and Thrive food.

So you will begin to see Thrive and Shelf Reliance references and logo’s on my site which will link you to my online website for this business venture. Please believe me when I tell you that I am doing this for two reasons,  to advance my food supply preparations and offer resources to help you do the same for your family. Plus, I really believe Thrive foods is the best company of its’ kind.

Start Building Your Own Store At HomeI was going to post a review of the products I had begun accumulating and tell you how wonderful their food was. But while I have prepped for a couple of years, my blog is only a few weeks old and I haven’t gotten to post a lot of what will eventually be here. Because the purpose of this blog is to share my experiences with you, I would have been remiss to not write about the food I am storing, how I use that food and share recipes with you. The only difference will be that recipes I post will now show the Thrive products I use. And, of course there will be the logo and links to my online store.

I’m very excited and hope I can help you to advance your own home store. And if my plan appeals to your goals to offset your costs to build your food storage and you would like to learn about becoming a consultant as well, just click here to see what Shelf Reliance offers. I look forward to answering any questions you might have. Below is a video which will explain why I am so sold on Thrive food. I believe the benefits of storing Thrive foods will work for any family who is building a food supply. For my family, the peace of mind and security of eating so well during difficult times is irresistible.

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The Garden Stick

Good morning friends!  I just came in from checking on the little green darlings. It’s so exciting to see a plan coming together. Even though we are just into the growing and gardening season (weather has been awful so far), those new heirloom seeds are sprouting and looking so healthy and strong. The vegetables and herbs offer a wealth of benefits to my family when they are harvested, eaten, preserved and seeds saved for next year, and the next and so on.  I’m only showing you those which are growing.  I have so many more plants that have not popped out. I decided to spare you the boredom of seeing a pile of fresh dirt.  😉

There are a couple of links I’d like to share to go along with this video. I show and mention The Garden Stick and My Patriot Supply. Just click to visit their sites if you are interested in learning more. The Garden Stick you see is their 6 foot by 66 inches, their largest one. I will be posting a review because I am so impressed with them.  And let me assure you, I have no affiliation with either company. I’m just a really happy customer.  If it shows up in this blog, it’s because it’s awesome!

Grab your popcorn, settle back and enjoy the show . . . .


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I just can’t stop. I learn something new in the kitchen and it leads me to something else. NO! I am not obsessed, I’m diligent. 🙂

But I do want to share another recipe with you. This sour cream recipe requires 2 ingredients, 48 hours and you will have found something new to add to your “Favorites” recipe box.

You will need:

1 Pint of Heavy Whipping Cream

3 Tbs. Cultured Buttermilk


Pour the heavy whipping cream into a large mouth jar (I use a 1 quart canning jar) and add the 3 tbsp. of buttermilk. Stir gently but thoroughly, incorporating the live culture from the buttermilk throughout the cream. Place a cheesecloth or paper coffee filter secured to the mouth of your jar with a rubber band. Leave the mixture in a warm (70+ degree) area of your kitchen for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, remove the cover from your container and replace it with an airtight lid and transfer it to your refrigerator. Leave it to set up for an additional 24 hours. After this 24 hours, open and enjoy!

You will discover how incredibly luscious and delicious this sour cream is. Nothing at all like the store-bought, commercially produced brands. The taste or texture is so superior, it should not even be compared to store-bought sour cream. Regardless if you use your sour cream to garnish a baked potato, taco’s or salads or cook with it dishes like beef stroganoff, it’s much, much better.  Plus, you control the quality of the ingredients that go into it. Pricing is about equal between homemade and my local grocery store.The heavy cream and 24 ounces of sour cream cost about the same. And I have an endless supply of buttermilk. I will share that recipe next, so be sure to check the Follow button at the top of my page so you will get a notice when I post new recipes and articles.

 But making my own foods at home is worth it to me because it always tastes so much better, it usually costs much less and I know there is nothing in it except the freshest ingredients I can buy. I don’t need stabilizers, preservatives or artificial colors because I only make what I need.

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