What’s Inside: In this article, I review the book, 100 Day Pantry by Jan Jackson. I go over what’s included in the book, and give you the pros and cons of the book. I also share my thoughts on how I personally recommend adapting the recipes in the book to suit your own needs and preferences and how to use the tips in the book to use your food storage items.
- The book includes recipes that only require shelf stable ingredients to prepare. You don’t even need to have water on hand to cook pasta or rice.
- The goal is to store enough food (based on the recipes) to feed your family dinner every day for 100 days.
- All of the ingredients in the recipes have a shelf life of 2 years or more.
- It’s best to try a recipe once to see if you like it, and if you do, purchase enough to make it 3 times.
- During non-emergency times, plan to make one meal a week and replenish the items you use, so the food in your pantry never goes bad.
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If you’ve ever found yourself standing in front of a pantry full of canned goods, pasta, and rice, wondering what on earth to cook, then Jan Jackson’s book 100 Day Pantry (Amazon) is for you. This practical guide takes pantry prepping to a new level, ensuring that you not only have enough food for an emergency but also know exactly how to use it to create delicious meals.
100 Day Pantry by Jan Jackson Review (Video)
Check out the book, 100 Day Pantry on Amazon.
The Premise of the Book 100 Day Pantry
Before I go any further, let me say that I think this is a great book. I’ve purchased so many books that have great ideas for pantry meals, but this is the first one that I feel I can actually apply without stressing out or feeling overwhelmed. The bottom line is that it’s a simple concept that actually works for knowing how to build and cook from a prepper pantry.
The unique premise of “100 Day Pantry” is that with careful planning and purchasing, you can prepare one meal every day for 100 days using only ingredients from your pantry. The focus here is on dinner, the main meal of the day, and all the required ingredients can be stored in your pantry for two years or more.
A standout feature of the book is that even components like water, often a necessity in cooking, are replaced with liquids from the canned goods. For example, when cooking rice, instead of adding water, you can use the liquid from the canned goods, making these recipes truly self-contained.
If you’re anything like me, when you look at the recipes, you may think, “There is no way that’s enough liquid to cook the rice” or whatever the grain/pasta is. The bottom line is that in spite of it seeming that way, trust the process! It works, in spite of how it may seem like it won’t.
The Recipes in 100 Day Pantry
The book is structured around a variety of recipes, categorized by the main ingredient—chicken, veggies, beef, fish, ham, and bacon—with a few fun additions like cookies. Other than the extras, like cookies, each recipe is a complete meal in itself, so you know exactly what to cook and that you have all the ingredients on hand.
A Recipe Example
Let’s take a closer look at one of these recipes as an example. The Chicken Creole recipe calls for rice, dried onions and bell peppers, canned goods including chicken broth, ham, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste, plus basic seasonings.
What’s interesting is that for everyday meals, the author provides alternatives to using your stored goods. For instance, she suggests replacing dried onions with fresh ones and cooking the noodles in water instead of broth. This allows you to save your dried goods for emergencies while still enjoying the recipes.
Adapting the 100 Day Pantry Recipes
While the book offers excellent guidance, you can certainly adapt the recipes to suit your preferences or dietary needs. For instance, if a recipe calls for canned broth, which often contains a lot of sodium, you can replace it with water. With plenty of other flavorful ingredients in each recipe, you won’t miss the broth.
Pantry Organization and Rotation
In addition to the recipes, the book (Amazon) provides valuable tips on organizing your pantry and tracking your food supplies. It’s recommended that you make one meal per week from your prepper pantry. Given that the ingredients are designed to last for two years, this ensures that you consistently rotate through the food in your pantry, preventing it from going bad.
Replacing Pantry Items
One of the key principles of efficient pantry management is to replace items after using them. For instance, if you’ve used canned chicken, chicken broth, tomato sauce, corn, and processed cheese for a meal, ensure to replenish these items on your next grocery trip. This practice ensures your pantry remains well-stocked for future meals.
Particularly if you do delivery, or grocery pick up like I do, you can build your shopping list online, throughout the week. Whenever I use an ingredient, I log into my Walmart account and add the item to my grocery list. That way, I don’t have to remember to add it later. It’s an easy way to remember to replace ingredients you’ve used, so that you’re sure to have everything you need on hand when it’s time to make a recipe.
Where to Buy Dry Ingredients
One thing that may trip some people up is that this book often calls for dry ingredients, such as dry broccoli or onions. If you dehydrate a lot of food, you may be in pretty good shape with this. However, you still may not have all of the ingredients you need. You also may not want to have to dehydrate everything before adding a recipe to your pantry rotation list.
I definitely fit into the latter group. While I dehydrate a lot of food, sometimes I just want a helping hand. The good news is, there are a lot of great companies out there that sell freeze dried and dehydrated food. Here are my three favorite freeze dried food companies:
Augason Farms has a great selection of products, are their prices on freeze dried food are some of the best out there. They’ve been around for a really long time, and I’ve been happy with their products. It’s my go-to source for both selection and value.
I like Nutristore for their selection of freeze dried meat and cheese. They also have a couple of vegetables that Augason Farms doesn’t, so if you can’t find what you want in the Augason Farms product listing, be sure to check out Nutristore.
I really like Mother Earth Products for their selection of both freeze dried and dehydrated foods. But what I love most is that they offer most of their items in a wide range of sizes, ranging from two cups to five pounds! If you want to test something out to see if you like it, this is the company to use.
Trying Recipes Before Bulk Buying
Jackson recommends trying out a recipe once before buying ingredients to make it multiple times. This approach prevents waste and ensures that you and your family genuinely enjoy a recipe before it becomes a regular feature in your meal plan.
Organizing Your Prepper Pantry
The book presents two approaches to pantry organization: storing by food type or by meal. Storing by food type means keeping all like items together (all canned soups together, all canned vegetables together, etc.). On the other hand, storing by meal involves keeping all the ingredients for a specific meal together, perhaps in a tote. This latter approach can be particularly useful in emergency situations, allowing you to quickly grab everything you need for a week’s worth of meals.
Criticism and Adaptation of the Recipes in 100 Day Pantry
Despite its many merits, “100 Day Pantry” (Amazon) has faced criticism for its reliance on canned goods, which often have high sodium content as well as other less-than-healthy options. However, the book is still recommended as a valuable starting point for creating similar meals with shelf-stable ingredients. You can also adapt the recipes to suit your dietary needs or preferences.
For example, if you enjoy home canning, you could incorporate home-canned products into your pantry rotation. For instance, since I can food, I sometimes add home canned pot roast, chili, soup, and more into the rotation. I also sometimes use home canned vegetables in place of commercially canned vegetables. Not only does this increase variety, it also gives you more control over the ingredients – but it’s not 100% necessary, so don’t sweat it if you don’t can your own food. 🙂
A Meal a Week from the Pantry During Non-Emergency Times
Finally, I recommend pulling something from the pantry to prepare a meal once a week, whether it’s a home-canned item or a meal made from canned goods. This practice not only ensures variety in your diet but also helps rotate your pantry supplies to avoid expiration.
100 Day Pantry by Jan Jackson (Amazon) is a practical guide that goes beyond traditional pantry prepping. Not only does it ensure that you’re prepared for emergencies, but it also helps you incorporate pantry items into your regular cooking routine. The book is a valuable resource for anyone looking to make their pantry work harder for them, turning those cans and packets into delicious, easy-to-prepare meals.
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