Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Food Storage Book Review: "It's in the Bag" by Michelle and Trent Snow and Coconut Pancake Recipe

There are lots of food storage cookbooks out there, and in the past few years a series of new ones have hit the market.  Over the next little while I will review these books so you can decide if they are for you or not.  

People always ask if I got sent the book or if I am getting paid to review it, and the answer is no.  I purchased the book and I am not getting paid to review it.  (although this book is sold by Shelf Reliance and if you want to buy a copy I would love to help you with that, e-mail me


This book teaches a convenient, system of food storage where you create bagged meals for your family.  In the bag you place all of the ingredients needed to cook the meal along with an attached recipe. This approach saves space, time and money. When you have completed several bags you’ll be able to simply grab a bag, follow an easy recipe, and enjoy a home cooked meal.

Contents of the book:
Section 1:  Bag Meals (How the system works, advantages to using baged meals,  and lots of recipes including a section on dinners and another on breakfast)
Section 2:  Cool Stuff (Home canning basics, Sprouting methods, chicken coops, and more recipes)
Section 3: The Nitty Gritty (weights and measures, common ingredient substitutions, food equivalencies, recipe index)

Our Experiance:  
I heard about this book last summer, at a family reunion my aunt brought some hands outs from and church activity she had been to. The activity focused was on this type of system.  I read through the hand outs and was very interested. Mostly because it was such a different take on food storage. I had already been making some of my own mixes, for things like muffins, cake, and bisquick.  But this book took the idea  a little bit farther.  So I got a copy ($14.84 plus shipping from Shelf Reliance) and tried it out.
What I like:  
1.  I love having complete meals stored together.  I made up a bunch of meals as described in the book, putting everything to make the meal inside a bag, and then labeling the bag with the recipes for what was inside.  Then when my family was ready to eat that meal I would pull it off the shelf and make it.  It is a great way for my family to limit the amount of fast food and convenience foods that we eat.  Because I know there is something at home that I have everything for that is easy, that my family likes.
2.  I like that the recipes in the book are things that my family will actually eat (no wheet meat).  I really feel that the key to successful food storage is to store what you eat and to eat what you store.  This system and book really follow that same mantra. 
3.  The recipes include a fruits and vegetables.  It seems that so often food storage recipes are heavy on the grains and beans and low on the fruits and vegetables.  The recipes are fairly balanced. 
4. The system can be tailored to meet the needs of the family.  You can use the concept presented in the book to work with how your family eats. 
5. The section on chickens and chicken coops made me want to get chickens.  (Sadly my husband does not want chickens, but I am working on him)
6.  I really enjoyed the section on sprouting your own seeds (to eat in the winter in place of lettuce), I have not sprouted anything yet, but I am thinking about it.
7.  I liked that the book has a variety of ethnic recipes
8.  I like that this book got me thinking about adding things to my food storage that we eat a lot (like coconut milk) that I have never really stored before.

What I wish they had done:
1. I wish there were more photos of the recipes.  There are some photos in the book but not nearly enough for this visual learner.  I always want cookbooks, to have large colorful well labeled photos. 
2.  I wish they had included the story behind the recipe.  I love it when cookbooks, give you a snipet of how the recipe came to be.  For example:  This is the recipe we always make for grandmas birthday.  I think that I just like knowing that someone really makes it.  
3.  This is the biggest one of all. I wish that the bags that the author describes were easier to find. I looked EVERYWHERE and could not find exactly what she used. (she uses a square bottom 8 by 5 by 10 inch plastic gift bag with handles).  I have seen bags like that and I know what she is talking about but I could not find them anywhere.  I gave up and ended up using regular gift bags from wal-mart that are about the same size.  I can see why she uses those plastic bags, because they hold up and can be used again and again.  My wal-mart bags are not as sturdy and only last through a few uses.

My Rating:  
I give this book 3 stars out of 4.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in food storage and especially anyone looking to eat at home more and eat out less.

Recipe:  I e-mailed Michelle Snow and asked if I could share my favorite recipe from the book. She graceiously said yes.  Thanks Michelle!

(We eat this at breakfast but we really love it for dinner.)
1 cup water

In resealable bag
2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon baking powder
In resealable bag:
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (from your pantry)
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk

In a large bowl, stir all ingredients except coconut flakes until batter is smooth. Add coconut. Ladle pancake batter onto hot oiled griddle. Turn pancakes when bubbles appear and edges are golden brown. Serves 6-8. — "It's In the Bag," by Trent and Michelle Snow

(I really like this syrup by my husband thinks that it is not really pancakes unless it has maple syrup on it)
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons powdered milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring

In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine corn syrup and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Dissolve powdered milk into water. Remove from heat and stir in coconut flavoring. Serves 6-8. — "It's in The Bag," by Trent and Michelle Snow

1 comment:

  1. Your recipee reads 1/2 sugar but doesn't give a measurement.