Can I Eat Expired Food Storage?

Can I Eat Expired Food Storage?

                                                                                                  By Jeanette Vale

Can I Eat Expired Food Storage?!  Well….It depends.  But my unofficial answer would be:  I do.

I have eaten rice, wheat, potato flakes, popcorn, and many other dried grains that were past their expiration date and I have lived to tell the tale!

With food shortages on the horizon, I don’t think it’s a good idea to throw away food. 

Beans / Legumes

Have you ever boiled beans, for hours and they remained hard as rock?  Over time, the water content in a legume evaporates.  Once they are expired, they are no good!  

….Or, are they?  

I have only good news for you my Taco Tuesday friend!  I have hacked the legume!   I processed a pot of pinto’s that were over five years past their expiration date!  They became as soft as if they were harvested recently.  Here is the secret and I quote from

“Hard water is high in calcium and magnesium, and increases the cooking time of dried beans by slowing and even preventing softening. Baking soda adjusts the pH level of the water, allowing the beans to soften as usual. Baking soda also helps tenderize beans by speeding the deterioration of pectin, essential to plant cell structure and strength. If you're using hard water or beans damaged by age or storage, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per pound of dried beans to the soaking water. If you empty the soaking water and use fresh water to cook the beans, replace the baking soda”.

I personally allow the beans and baking soda water to soak for eight hours.

In the morning rinse and put beans into fresh water, processing as the package says.  Bring to a boil.   I actually don’t add fresh baking soda to my new water.  Turn down heat and simmer with a lid on for eight or more hours until beans are soft.

Measure the ingredients accurately.  Once, I threw it together sloppily, as if measurements didn’t matter.  There was no luck with soft beans.

Potato Flakes

The forgotten potato flakes, sitting in the pantry for who knows how long.  I found a whole bulk bag of them once.   My mom wretched when she prepared and tasted them.   She eats anything so as not to waste food.   It was so gross she couldn’t even finish it.  Who bought this big bag of Potato flakes?  What a waste!

Ahhh….but was it a waste?  I think not!  I hacked the potato flakes!  I found a wonderful bread recipe that called for them.  I baked the bread.  It was beautiful.  It smelled wonderful as  I cut into it.  Hot steam rose.  The potato in the bread gives it a springy texture.  I tasted it.  It was magnificently delicious!  Here is that recipe:

Potato Bread Recipe

Into a kitchen mixing bowl add

⅓ Cup warm water 105 to 115 degrees 

2 ¼ teaspoon yeast (1 packet)

1 Tbsp sugar or honey

Set these aside for ten minutes

Then add:

2 tsp salt

1.5 cup milk

3 Tbsp unsalted butter (1.35 oz)

1 Cup reconstituted potato flakes, turned into mash

 4 Cups of flour, then an additional

1 cup for dust & knead.  Knead for ten minutes.

Oil two bread pans

Allow the dough to rise until double in size, 45 minutes

Punch it down and allow it to rise another 30 minutes. 

Bake at 375 degree oven for  30 minutes


My friend Kristen is a master at not wasting anything.   In the food world this means leftovers are always eaten at the next meal, served alongside the fresh menu.  The family knows to kill the leftovers.    She was strict - there was no wasting food.

Her mother had taught her that.  As a teen in charge of dinner one night, she scraped all the leftovers into a casserole dish, poured in some scrambled raw eggs, and covered it in cheese.  She baked it and brought it to the table.  

Her mother asked, “What is that?!”   

And she spat out,  “mom, this is SHUMMAH-DUMMAH-DISHDAH!”    

She coined the term right there on the spot.  It pretty much means leftover casserole, don’t ask, don’t tell what the ingredients are. 

We need to learn this thrift with our food.  Food prices are shooting through the roof while the amount of food we have access to is shrinking.

Hundreds of Food Processing Plants Burning 

I think the food shortages that we were warned about will get worse.  Recently (in the past two years) hundreds of food processing plants have caught fire, or had planes crash into them.  Grain Silo’s, chicken farms, and meat processing plants have also had this happen.   I am a customer of Azure Standard.  They were my wheat supplier.  Their headquarters burned to the ground as well.

I have my ideas of what is going on.   But I’ll save that opinion for me and the mirror.  If you have food storage that you think is bad, get a second opinion.  Don’t throw it away.  Research ways to save it.

If you have chickens, they can eat the rice with weevils and produce clean fresh eggs. 

If you don’t have chickens, find someone who does and trade away bad grain for eggs in return.  Chickens eat anything!   There is not a more versatile pet, that does so much good to the family system than the chicken.  I’m going to do a blog dedicated to them.  Good-bye.

Step on, prep on and enjoy a good loaf of bread!



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