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How to Stock Your Disaster Pantry

Worried about having enough food to last through the next mega-storm? Here's our guide to a sensible backup food supply that will sustain a family for a month.

By John Galvin 11March2013 

When disaster strikes and your family, friends, and neighborhood need your help, the last place you want to be is stuck in a food line. A backup food supply that's easy to manage and won't break the bank is a cornerstone of disaster prep. The biggest question: How much food is enough?


FEMA and the Red Cross suggest a two-week supply. On its website, the Mormon Church advises a more world-weary approach, advising its flock to keep a three-month supply of food "that is part of your normal daily diet" on hand. It's not a bad goal, but the commercial food grid is usually up and running in much less time, so we suggest starting with a month's backup. How much is that?


"We need to debunk the one-size-fits-all solution to how much food you need," says survival instructor Cody Lundin, author of the excellent disaster-survival manual When All Hell Breaks Loose and pony-tailed star of Dual Survival. "Age, sex, weight, height all factor in. Just ask any mom with three teenage boys who play football if they will eat the same amount of food as her neighbors with younger kids."


The first step is to figure out the basal metabolic rate—the amount of energy a body uses at rest—for each member of your family. Keep in mind that in a disaster situation, people aren't usually at rest, so add more food to compensate. Visit a site like this one to calculate your family's BMR. Our sample family has a husband and wife in their 40s (4400 calories per day), and a son and daughter between 9 and 13 (2400 calories per day). We then added 1000 calories as a cushion, putting our requirements at 7800 calories per day and 234,000 per month.


Remember, you don't have to buy it all at once. Each week, add a few extra items to the shopping list until you've filled up your basement shelves to your satisfaction. We built up a sample store of goods for this photo as a guide to the sorts of foods that store well and could keep a family of four well-fed and sane through the aftermath.


"Canned goods are great for a disaster supply," Lundin says. "They're already cooked, they don't need to be heated, you can eat them right out of the can, and they've got an expiration date printed on them."


First in First Out (FIFA) is the time-honored rule of thumb when it comes to rotating food in and out of your disaster pantry. Use the year-old bag of white rice for regular meals and resupply your stock with a fresh bag.


Go for whole grains for health, nutrition, and satisfaction. "In my field courses we have 14 people, and on one night we eat the high-tech, freeze-dried, backpacker food that costs about $7 a person," Lundin says. "Then the next night we cook rice and beans in a pressure cooker for about $5 for the entire group. They are always hungry after the backpacker food, and after the rice and beans they always say they feel full and satisfied."


What's wrong with 250,000 calories worth of chocolate bars? If that's all you have, then nothing. But because we're talking about preplanning, we filled our pantry with enough food to build a 30-day diet made up of 55 percent carbs, 25 percent fats, and 20 percent protein. That puts us within the 2010 dietary guidelines suggested by the USDA for all age groups.


The downside of all that rice, beans, dried pasta, dried milk, and instant coffee is that it takes water to bring them to life. Our month's pantry requires 78 gallons of water.


The downside of all that rice, beans, dried pasta, dried milk, and instant coffee is that it takes water to bring them to life. Our month's pantry requires 78 gallons of water.


SPAM? Hey, some people love it, and if you need an injection of calories, fat, protein, and salt, it's not bad. Each can has 1080 calories, 96 grams of fat, 42 grams of protein, and hardly a carb. Deviled Ham is another high-protein, high-fat alternative.


Don't discount the need for coffee in the morning. The downside: It requires 8.5 gallons of water.


Don't forget your veggies (they will somewhat redeem the SpaghettiOs and SPAM).


Only in a disaster should cling peaches and applesauce count toward your fruit intake.


Peanut butter is loaded with protein and fats. Just don't forget about food and nut allergies.


Long a staple of preppers, dried milk can be used to create sauces, lighten your coffee, make yogurt, and, yes, fill a glass with milk.


Crisco is probably the most stable, easy-to-store fat in the history of the world, but canola oil works well too.



Food Storage



“We encourage [you] to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise, and do not go to extremes. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.” (See All Is Safely Gathered In.)

What am I supposed to have in my food storage?

There are three main components of food storage:
  • Food supply (three-month and long-term)

  • Water supply

  • Financial reserve

Store foods that are a part of your normal diet in your three-month supply. As you develop a longer-term storage, focus on food staples such as wheat, rice, pasta, oats, beans, and potatoes that can last 30 years or more. Learn more about a long-term food supply.

How much food storage do I need?

Take the amount of food you would need to purchase to feed your family for a day and multiply that by 7. That is how much food you would need for a one-week supply. Once you have a week’s supply, you can gradually expand it to a month, and eventually three months.  

For longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans. A portion of these items may be rotated in your three-month supply. (See All Is Safely Gathered In.)

Where should I store my food storage?

Make sure your food storage is properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place.  

If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source, then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pretreat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices or soda. Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight. Learn more about water storage and purification.

How much does it cost?

Costs may vary depending on where and how you purchase your food storage. It is important to remember that you should not go to extremes; for instance, it is not prudent to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. Develop it gradually to diffuse the overall cost over time so that it will not become a financial burden.

Longer-Term Food Storage  

For longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans. These items can last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place. A portion of these items may be rotated in your three-month supply. Consider using this resource from the BYU Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science: “An Approach to Longer-Term Food Storage.”

Foods Lasting 30 Years or More

Longer term food storage

Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (24°C/75°F or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought, according to findings of recent scientific studies. Estimated shelf life for many products has increased to 30 years or more (see chart below for new estimates of shelf life).


Previous estimates of longevity were based on "best-if-used-by" recommendations and experience. Though not studied, sugar, salt, baking soda (essential for soaking beans), and vitamin C in tablet form also store well long-term. Some basic foods do need more frequent rotation, such as vegetable oil every 1 to 2 years.


While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.
Food New "Life-Sustaining" Shelf-Life Estimates (in Years)
Wheat 30+
White rice 30+
Corn 30+
Sugar 30+
Pinto beans 30
Rolled oats 30
Pasta 30
Potato flakes 30
Apple slices 30
Non-fat powdered milk 20
Dehydrated carrots 20



Product Recommendations

The following suggested amounts are for one adult.
Quantity for One Month Recommended Products Long-Term Storage Life
11.5 kg./ 25 lbs Wheat, white rice, corn, and other grains 30+ years
2.5 kg. / 5 lbs Dry beans 30+ years
You may also want to add other items to your longer-term storage such as sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, baking soda, and cooking oil. To meet nutritional needs, also store foods containing vitamin C and other essential nutrients.  

Packaging Recommendations

Recommended containers for longer-term storage include the following:

  • Foil pouches (available through Church Distribution Services)
  • PETE bottles (for dry products such as wheat, corn, and beans)
These containers, used with oxygen absorber packets, eliminate food-borne insects and help preserve nutritional quality and taste.  

Under certain conditions, you can also use plastic buckets for longer-term storage of wheat, dry beans, and other dry products.


Warning: Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in packaging that reduces oxygen. When stored in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers, products must be dry (about 10% or less moisture content).


Storage Conditions

Storage life can be significantly impacted by the following conditions:
  • Temperature: Store products at a temperature of 75°F/24°C or lower whenever possible. If storage temperatures are higher, rotate products as needed to maintain quality.
  • Moisture: Keep storage areas dry. It is best to keep containers off of the floor to allow for air circulation.
  • Light: Protect cooking oil and products stored in PETE bottles from light.
  • Insects and rodents: Protect products stored in foil pouches and PETE bottles from rodent and insect damage.

Dry Products for Longer-Term Food Storage

Products intended for longer-term storage must be dry (about 10% or less moisture content).  

Warning: Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in packaging that reduces oxygen.


Dry products that are not suitable for longer-term storage due to moisture content, oils, or other concerns include:
Barley, pearled Meat, dried (such as jerky)
Eggs, dried Nuts
Flour, whole wheat Rice, brown
Grains, milled (other than rolled oats) Sugar, brown
Granola Vegetables and fruits, dehydrated (unless dry enough, inside and out, to snap when bent)

PETE Bottles For Longer-Term Storage

Bottles made of PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic can be used with oxygen absorbers to store products such as wheat, corn, and dry beans. PETE bottles are identified on the container with the letters PETE or PET under the recycle symbol.  

Other types of plastic bottles typically do not provide an adequate moisture or oxygen barrier for use with oxygen absorbers. Do not use containers that were previously used to store nonfood items.


PETE bottles can also be used for shorter-term storage (up to 5 years) of other shelf-stable dry foods such as white rice.


Moisture content of stored foods should be about 10 percent or less. When moist products are stored in reduced oxygen packaging, botulism poisoning may occur.

Packaging in PETE Bottles

  1. Use PETE bottles that have screw-on lids with plastic or rubber lid seals. You can verify that the lid seal will not leak by placing a sealed empty bottle under water and pressing on it. If you see bubbles escape from the bottle, it will leak.
  2. Clean used bottles with dish soap, and rinse them thoroughly to remove any residue. Drain out the water, and allow the bottles to dry completely before you use them for packaging food products.
  3. Place an oxygen absorber in each bottle. The absorbers can be used with containers of up to one-gallon capacity (4 liters).
  4. Fill bottles with wheat, corn, or dry beans.
  5. Wipe top sealing edge of each bottle clean with a dry cloth and screw lid on tightly.
  6. Store the products in a cool, dry location, away from light.
  7. Protect the stored products from rodents.
  8. Use a new oxygen absorber each time you refill a bottle for storage.
Where to Get Oxygen Absorber Packets  

Oxygen absorber packets are available online at Unused oxygen absorbers can be stored in glass jars with metal lids that have gaskets.

Oxygen Absorbers

Oxygen absorbers protect dry foods from insect damage and help preserve product quality. They are used when dry foods are packaged in sealed containers. Oxygen absorbers can be purchased from home storage centers and Church Distribution Services, or they can be ordered from  

What are oxygen absorbers made of?


Oxygen absorbers are small packets that contain an iron powder. The packets are made of a material that allows oxygen and moisture to enter but does not allow the iron powder to leak out.


How do oxygen absorbers work?


Moisture in the packaged food causes the iron in the oxygen absorber to rust. As it oxidizes, the iron absorbs oxygen. Oxygen absorbers rated for 300 cubic centimeters (cc) of oxygen work well for properly packaged dry food in containers of up to one-gallon capacity (4 liters).


Is the use of oxygen absorbers equivalent to vacuum packaging?


Oxygen absorbers remove oxygen more effectively than vacuum packaging. Air is about 20 percent oxygen and 80 percent nitrogen. Absorbers remove only the oxygen. The air left in the container is mostly nitrogen and will not affect the food or allow the growth of insects.


What types of products can be stored using oxygen absorbers?


Products should be low in moisture and oil content. If the moisture content is not low enough (about 10 percent or less), storing products in reduced oxygen packaging may result in botulism poisoning.


What types of containers can be used with oxygen absorbers for food storage?


Oxygen absorbers should be used with containers that provide an effective barrier against moisture and oxygen. The following containers work well:

  • Metal cans with seamed lids.
  • Foil pouches (such as those provided by Church home storage centers and available from
  • PETE plastic bottles with airtight, screw-on lids.
  • Glass canning jars with metal lids that have gaskets.
Oxygen absorbers are not an effective treatment method for plastic buckets, milk bottles, or other types of plastic bottles not identified as PETE or PET under the recycle symbol (see right).  

What is the proper way to use oxygen absorbers?

  1. Cut open the top of the bag of absorbers. Do not open the individual absorber packets.
  2. Remove the number of absorbers from the bag that you will use in the next 20 to 30 minutes, and spread them out on a tray. Remove additional groups of absorbers from the supply as you need them during the packaging process, but do not open and close the bag repeatedly to get only a few absorbers at a time.
  3. Reseal the remaining supply of absorbers by one of the following methods. Do not store absorbers in ziplock bags.
    • Seal the bag of absorbers with the special blue clamp provided by the home storage center.
    • Seal the bag of absorbers with an impulse heat sealer.
    • For longer storage when an impulse sealer is not available, remove the absorbers from the bag and place them into a glass canning jar that has a metal lid with a gasket. A one-pint jar (500 ml) will hold 25 absorbers.
  4. Place one absorber into each container of food as it is packaged.

Foil Pouches For Longer-Term Storage

What type of pouch is available at home storage centers, at Distribution Services, and online at  

The pouches are made of multilayer laminated plastic and aluminum. The material is 7 mils thick (178 microns) and protects food against moisture and insects.


What types of foods can be packaged in pouches?


The pouches can be used to store foods that are dry (about 10% moisture or less), shelf-stable, and low in oil content. Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in oxygen reduced packaging.


How much food does each pouch hold?


Each pouch holds 1 gallon (4 liters) of product. The weight varies by product. A pouch holds 7 pounds (3.2 kg) of wheat, 6.8 pounds (3.1 kg) of white rice, or 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of dry milk.


Do foods react with the aluminum in the pouch?


No. Foods do not come in contact with the aluminum because they are separated from it by a layer of food-grade plastic. The metal barrier is important in protecting the food from moisture and oxygen.


What is the best way to seal pouches?


Pouches should be sealed using an impulse sealer (see related instructions). Do not use an iron or another household heating device because it will not provide an adequate seal, especially for powdered products such as flour or dry milk. The impulse sealers used by Welfare Services (American International Electric AIE 305 A1 and Mercier ME 305 A1) meet the following specifications: 3/16-inch (5 mm) wide seal, 11.5-inch (305 mm) wide jaws, rated for up to 8-mil (205 microns) thick pouches, and equipped with a safety switch to cancel operation if the jaw is obstructed.


Where can I find an impulse sealer?


Impulse sealers are available at most home storage centers. Many stakes also have impulse sealers available. If you prefer, you may purchase an impulse sealer from Distribution Services or online at


Is it necessary to remove all the air from the pouches?


No. Oxygen absorbers remove the oxygen from the air in the pouches. The low oxygen content eliminates food-borne insects and helps preserve product quality.


Is it normal for the sides of the pouch to pull in once the pouch is sealed?


With most products, the sides of sealed pouches will pull in slightly within a few days of packaging. This is more noticeable with granular foods than with powdered products.


How should pouches of food be stored?


The pouches store best in a cool, dry, rodent-free area. Storage containers should not be in direct contact with concrete floors or walls.


Are pouches rodent proof?


Pouches are not rodent proof. If rodents or other pests are a significant potential problem in the storage area, the pouches should be placed into containers that are rodent or pest proof. Do not store them in containers that have been used to store nonfood items.


Should emergency kits be packaged in pouches?


Many emergency supply items are not suitable for packaging in foil pouches. First aid items and food rations, such as granola bars, are best stored in containers with removable lids to allow for frequent rotation.

Pouch Sealer Instructions

For Portable Operation of AIE (and ME) 305 A1 Sealers  

Please read the entire sheet before starting.


Setting up

  1. Place the sealer on a sturdy surface about 5 inches (13 cm) above the table top. This will place the sealer jaw opening about 8½ inches (22 cm) above the table for the correct sealing position. Connect the foot switch to the back of the sealer, and place the foot switch on the floor. Plug in the power cord. Caution: Do not allow children in the area when the sealer is plugged in.
  2. Set Recycle dial to 2, Congealing dial to 6, Sealing dial to 4, and Action Selector switch to Manual. Open the bag containing oxygen absorbers. Remove the number of packets that you will use in the next 20–30 minutes. Reseal the bag with the impulse sealer.
  3. Open and reseal the bag as you need additional groups of absorbers.
Filling pouches
  1. Fill a pouch with one gallon (4 liters) of product. (Overfilling will result in a poor seal.) A two-quart (2-liter) pitcher, cut off at the two-quart (2-liter) line, is a good measure to use in when you are filling pouches. Fill with two level measures, tapped down.
  2. Place an oxygen absorber packet on top of the product in each pouch.
  3. For powdered products, wipe product dust from inside the seal area using a dry towel.
Sealing pouches
  1. Turn the Power switch on. (Do not allow small children in the area when the sealer is on.)
  2. Place the pouch in an upright position in front of the sealer. Rest its weight on the table or shelf; do not let it hang.
  3. Close the pouch by grasping the side seams and firmly pulling them outward. Fold the top 1½ inches of the pouch (30–40 mm) over at a right angle, and push down on the pouch to expel extra air from the package. Settle the product, and flatten the pouch opening. If the top will not flatten and fold over easily, check if the pouch is too full.
  4. Hold the pouch by the side seams, and insert the top edge of the pouch into the jaw opening. Keep fingers clear of the jaw.
  5. Position the pouch to seal it near the top. Stretch outward on the side seams to remove wrinkles. Press the foot switch to activate the sealer. Release hold on the pouch after the jaw closes. Remove the pouch when the cycle is finished.
  6. Label the pouch with contents and packaging date.
Testing seals
  1. Inspect the seams to ensure that they are adequate and without burned spots. The seam should resemble factory seams.
  2. Check to see if the seam can be pulled apart.
  3. Push on the pouch to see if air or product can be forced out.
  4. If seams pull apart, check for inadequate cleaning of seam area or for overfill. If necessary, increase sealing setting by ¼ step (for example, from 4 to 4.25). Verify that the congealing setting is at 6.
  5. If seams are burned, decrease the sealing setting by ¼ step.
  1. The sealer comes from the factory with two bolts protruding from the front of the machine. These bolts are for holding the shelf provided in the box. Remove the bolts, and do not use the shelf unless it is used as part of a separate stand.
  2. If the Teflon cover on the lower jaw is burned, unplug the sealer, loosen and lift up the cover, and carefully clean off any burrs that may be on the heat strip. Advance the cover approximately ½ inch (12 mm), trim excess, and retighten.
  3. If the sealer fails to operate, check the two fuses mounted in the lower back of the case. If necessary, replace them with fuses of the correct size.
  4. Dry foods that are packaged for long-term storage should be limited to those that best retain flavor and nutritional value. These foods should be low in moisture (approximately 10 percent or less), of good quality, and insect free. Avoid exposing dry foods to humid, damp conditions when packaging them. Warning: Products that are too high in moisture should not be stored in reduced oxygen packaging because botulism poisoning may result. Visit for specific product guidelines.

Plastic Buckets For Longer-Term Storage

Plastic buckets may be used to store food commodities that are dry (about 10 percent moisture or less) and low in oil content. Only buckets made of food-grade plastic with gaskets in the lid seals should be used. Buckets that have held nonfood items should not be used.  

To prevent insect infestation, dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) should be used to treat grains and dry beans stored in plastic buckets. Treatment methods that depend on the absence of oxygen to kill insects, such as oxygen absorbers or nitrogen gas flushing, are not effective in plastic buckets. Avoid exposing food to humid, damp conditions when packaging them.


Dry Ice Treatment Instructions

  1. Use approximately one ounce of dry ice per gallon (7 grams per liter) capacity of the container. Do not use dry ice in metal containers of any kind or size because of the potential for inadequate seals or excessive buildup of pressure.
  2. Wear gloves when handling dry ice.
  3. Wipe frost crystals from the dry ice, using a clean, dry towel.
  4. Place the dry ice in the center of the container bottom.
  5. Pour the grain or dry beans on top of the dry ice. Fill the bucket to within one inch (25 mm) of the top.
  6. Place the lid on top of the container and snap it down only about halfway around the container. The partially sealed lid will allow the carbon dioxide gas to escape from the bucket as the dry ice sublimates (changes from a solid to a gas).
  7. Allow the dry ice to sublimate completely before sealing the bucket. Feel the bottom of the container to see if the dry ice is all gone. If the bottom of the container is very cold, dry ice is still present.
  8. Monitor the bucket for a few minutes after sealing the lid. If the bucket or lid bulges, slightly lift the edge of the lid to relieve pressure.
  9. It is normal for the lid of the bucket to pull down slightly as a result of the partial vacuum caused when carbon dioxide is absorbed into the product.
Storage of Plastic Buckets
  • Store plastic buckets off the floor by at least ½ inch (1.3 cm) to allow air to circulate under the bucket.
  • Do not stack plastic buckets over three high. If buckets are stacked, check them periodically to ensure that the lids have not broken from the weight.
Is your Bug Out Bag Going to Get You Killed? TOP

Israeli Breakfasts - Don't Skip that Morning Meal

El Al Breakfast 

Learn from those delicious Israeli hotel breakfasts - whether you are in Israel or anywhere else - and don't skip a healthy morning meal..


By Nili Abrahams, CHHC, 30/04/13 09:04 Israel is famous for its breakfast. This fresh and colourful morning meal served at Israeli hotels and vacation destinations includes: an assortment of salads, cheeses, herrings, fruit and breads to start. It might possibly be the reason that Israel was ranked 6th by Bloomberg Rankings of the World’s healthiest countries in May 2012.


Israelis know how to start their morning right.


Are you trying to lose weight by skipping breakfast each day? Do you grab coffees a few times throughout your day rushing to just keep going? Do you find yourself binging at supper and well into the evening?


This is not the ideal weight loss plan. Skipping breakfast must mean that the body’s need and craving for food is ignored. A cycle of binge eating sabotages all efforts at staying nutritionally balanced. Many people overeat in the evenings because they are beyond hungry. Good intentions and weight loss goals can’t be met under these erratic conditions.


The first step to successful weight loss is eating a healthy breakfast. Many studies show that this meal lays the foundation for lifelong health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, improving sugar numbers and possibly preventing heart disease. Breakfast feeds the brain the nutrients it needs for learning, problem solving and improving short term memory while ensuring you feel more energized.


Going without breakfast may mean eating more throughout the day. And finally breakfast eaters consume more nutrients such as calcium and potassium than non breakfast eaters.


A healthful breakfast could consist of eggs, vegetables, fruit and a wholesome grain. You might enjoy a smoothie made with plain yogurt, berries and some ground flax seeds and chia. Leftover brown rice and steamed vegetables make a perfect breakfast. Mix up your breakfast choices to prevent boredom and falling back on old habits.


The possibilities for a creative start to your day are endless. So enjoy your tasty beginnings knowing that you are doing your body a great favour.


Nili Abrahams, Certified Holistic Health Coach at ChooseLifeNutrition, integrating Health and Wellness with Torah’s Wisdom.


And remember you can choose your best life one step at a time.


How Circadian Rhythms Affect Blood Sugar Levels

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Say ‘good morning’ to the Israeli breakfast

By Avigayil Kadesh 24 April 2013 

You don’t have to make do with coffee and a roll. The famous Israeli breakfast smorgasbord will keep you fueled up all day long.


is an Israeli breakfast staple Copyright: Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


t’s an open secret that if you eat an “Israeli breakfast” you won’t need to eat lunch. And maybe not even dinner. Especially if you take along a doggie bag to pack up leftovers from the bountiful buffet-style morning meal that Israeli hotels – and many restaurants – are famous for.


Israeli breakfast is a culture unto itself. The usual items on the smorgasbord are eggs in several styles (more on that later), a variety of vegetable salads (chopped cucumber and tomato, for sure), smoked fish, hard and soft cheeses, fresh breads, yogurts, fruit, granola, blintzes, vegetable soufflés, pancakes or waffles. Coffee, tea and fresh juices complement the meal, while pastries are put out for dessert – if anyone still has enough room in the belly by then.


Why is the Israeli breakfast menu such a far cry from the standard American coffee, danish and/or cold cereal, or the meat-heavy Continental morning fare?


It’s all because of another Israeli cultural symbol, the kibbutz collective farm.


“You had two very divergent breakfast cultures in Israel, one of which came out of austerity -- the lachmaniya [hard roll] and leben [a type of buttermilk],” says food writer-historian Gil Marks, who relocated to Israel from New York in August 2012.


“The other came out of the kibbutz culture, because if you have a long day of manual labor ahead, you need a good breakfast and can’t get by on leben. They would have a rather extensive spread of whatever was available, and the Israeli hotels picked up on that.”


Most Israeli hotels maintain a kosher kitchen. Breakfast meat could not be on the menu, therefore, because the dietary laws prohibit mixing meat with milk. The kibbutz-style breakfast buffet offered a filling option for tourists who might otherwise miss their morning bacon and eggs.


Today, some of Israel’s non-kosher restaurants have put the meat back in the breakfast menu while sacrificing none of the traditional items. A prime example is Benedict in Tel Aviv, where you can have ham with your eggs Benedict.


The basics of an Israeli breakfast


According to Marks, the must-haves of an Israeli breakfast buffet include various flavors of yogurt, which replaced leben by the end of the 20th century; scrambled or hard-boiled eggs; rolls; cold cereals; and two kinds of hot cereal (daisa) -- oatmeal (though oats are not native to Israel) and semolina porridge.


“You’ll also have different salads, and North African-Mediterranean-Middle Eastern foods like shakshuka, which is usually the way the eggs are served,” says Marks, who provides his own shakshuka recipe in his award-winning Olive Trees & Honey cookbook.


This hot mélange of tomatoes, bell peppers, poached eggs and spices – sometimes called a cousin of huevos rancheros – comes in different styles. “If you see tomato sauce with eggs in it, it’s the classic one,” says Marks.


A more extensive smorgasbord may also include traditional Yemenite Sabbath foods such as malawach (fried bread dough) and jachnoun (malawach that gets rolled up and baked).


As for the vegetable soufflés, Marks explains that this dish is actually the Iberian-inspired pashtida, which is a cross between the Eastern European kugel and the French quiche.


“Pashtida should have some form of a crust, while kugel does not, although in Israel pashtida has made a comeback as a synonym for a quiche,” he explains. “So you will find at breakfasts different pashtida-quiches, and some European foods also show up, such as croissants and pastries as opposed to Middle Eastern burekas, which are also quite common.”


Not just for breakfast anymore


By the 1950s says Marks, Israeli restaurants began getting on the breakfast bandwagon.


This was a significant advance, because it meant that now the classic Israeli tourist breakfast wasn’t just for tourists anymore. Israeli residents call it just plain “breakfast” (aruchat haboker in Hebrew, meaning “morning meal”) and it’s often available all day long.


Google “Israeli breakfast” and you will find no shortage of recommendations for where to eat this all-important meal.


In Lonely Planet’s recently released “Food Lover’s Guide to the World,” Jerusalem’s Tmol Shilshom café was cited as a Top 10 spot for the world’s best breakfast, specifically for its shakshuka. “Don’t forget to ask for extra crusty bread to mop up the hearty sauce,” the guide advised.


A typical Israeli breakfast buffet.


Some other frequently recommended breakfasts in Jerusalem are served at Café B'Gina, Café Modus, Alice, Mamilla Café and Nocturno. In Tel Aviv-Jaffa, breakfast hot spots include Mazzarine, Loveat, Orna & Ella, Dr. Shakshuka, Café Arlozorov, Café Birnbaum and Cordelia.

How to Make an Amazing Israeli Breakfast Buffet

The Dishes Lean Toward Savory Versus Sweet

When you make Aliyah, you will learn about the Israeli Breakfast. With fresh Salads, Fruit, Hummus and Pita and ELITE Instant Coffee "Nes Cafe" to wake vou up in the morning there is nothing like an Israeli Breakfast. Fruits and Vegitables are very healthy. Israelis live 14 years longer then Americans. Israeli diet ranks among healthiest in world  

When it comes to entertaining, it's also a nice change-up from the standard bagels and lox brunch. Even if you're looking for a different weekday breakfast, these dishes are ideal inspiration for those days when you want something more exciting than cereal or an egg. After all, hummus, cucumbers, and tomatoes in a pita are a great way to fuel up in the morning.

Classic Israeli Hummus

Classic Israeli Hummus

Classic Israeli Hummus  

Hummus—that much loved, humble chickpea dip—is a vital part of the cuisine throughout the Middle East. In Israel, where it's served at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack times, it's practically iconic.


Nowadays, you can find tubs of hummus in supermarkets worldwide, in all sorts of flavors. But nothing beats homemade hummus, and once you get the hang of the basic recipe, you can tweak it to get exactly the texture and flavor you desire.


Hummus is naturally high in good fat because of its sesame seed and olive oil content, with around 1 tbsp (30g) containing 8g of unsaturated fats. Hummus is low in carbohydrates and is also a fairly good source of plant-based protein and fibre. Depending on the recipe, it can be slightly high in salt, so it needs to be used sparingly if you're watching your salt intake.


Hummus contains some omega-3 fats, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, as well as most of the B vitamins. It also counts as one of your 5-a-day because it contains chickpeas, but only up to a maximum of 80g, which is approximately 3 tbsp.

Pita Bread

Pita Bread

Pita Bread  

This recipe for Israeli pita bread makes it easy to enjoy your own fresh pita breads (pitot in Hebrew) warm from the oven. If you want to make them ahead, you can store them in the freezer so they stay fresh, then warm them up before serving.


Pita, by the way, isn't the only bread you'll find in a typical spread. Rolls, multigrain breads, challah, and bagels are all popular choices, too.

Israeli Salad

Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Israeli Salad

Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Israeli Salad  

This chopped tomato and cucumber salad is so iconic of Israeli cuisine that it has been dubbed "Israeli salad," and shows up on the table any time of day—breakfast included. It's virtually impossible to imagine stuffing a falafel sandwich or enjoying some freshly baked pita and hummus without it.


The truth is, Israelis aren't the only ones who appreciate this simple salad; you'll find similar recipes throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean region. Some include fresh herbs, other vegetables, or vinegar.


Each ingredient in the salad has unique health benefits. Fresh Persian cucumbers (peel on) are fat-free, full of water, and a good source of fiber. Fresh tomatoes provide Vitamin C, A, and cancer fighting lycopene (organic tomatoes provide up to three times the lycopene of non-organic!). Onions are rich in chromium, a trace mineral that helps cells respond appropriately to insulin.


Onions can lower blood sugar levels, and they’ve also been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Fresh parsley is a great source of Vitamin K. It also contains Vitamins C and A, Folate, and anti-oxidants. Lemon juice is full of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and potassium. It’s also a natural diuretic. Olive oil provides a healthy dose of MUFA’s (mono unsaturated fatty acids) and can help with digestion. See the full post:

Baba Ghanoush Eggplant Dip Recipe

Baba Ghanoush Eggplant Dip Recipe

Ghanoush Eggplant Dip Recipe


Popular throughout the Middle East, Baba Ghanoush—also known as Baba Ghanouj and Babaganoush—is a dip or spread made of roasted eggplant and tahini. The recipe is straightforward: simply roast the eggplant, spoon out the softened pulp, and then puree with tahini and seasonings. Scoop it up with fresh pita bread or raw veggies. This dish is a great source of proteins and dietary fiber. It also contains a lot of fat with up to 30 grams of fat. However, this fat is healthy as it consists of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Chia Oatmeal Pudding

Chia Oatmeal Pudding

Oatmeal Pudding

A alternative to a sugary American Breakfast.

Oats are Heart Healthy: You may or may not know that heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. And, you’re probably trying to think of ways to not be afflicted by this unfortunate disease. Fortunately, oats are great for your heart! They contain a fiber called beta-glucan which is shown to be effective at reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels. The beta-glucan can also increase the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, which in turn helps circulate levels of cholesterol in the blood. Last, oats can help with reducing inflammation in the arteries, reducing risks for heart attacks and strokes.


Oats Improve Blood Sugar Control: Oats can be very beneficial for those who have diabetes. The beta-glucan fibers in the oats can help prevent blood sugar levels from rising after a meal. Not only do oats help reduce blood sugar levels, it also improves insulin sensitivity. Oats Help Alleviate Constipation: Everyone experiences constipation from time to time, and some more than others. We can all agree that constipation is not a fun experience at all. But, luckily, oats can help with that. Because oats are fiber-rich, they help keep bowel movements regular. Oats Can Help You Lose Weight: Part of losing weight is eating a lower calorie diet so that you burn more calories than you eat, but also that you are taking in the macronutrients necessary for your body to be healthy. Oats are both filling and have well-balanced macros to lead you on your way to your weight loss goals.


Oats Can Help Reduce Risks for Cancer: We don’t have to tell you how much cancer sucks. But, fortunately, oats can help reduce your risk of cancer. Oats contain phytochemicals which have been known to reduce susceptibility to hormone-related cancers such as prostate cancer or breast cancer.  

Chia Seeds Are Loaded With Antioxidants. ... Almost All the Carbs in Them Are Fiber. ... Chia Seeds Are High in Quality Protein. ... Chia Seeds Are High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids.



  • 1 Cup Oatmeal Steel-Cut Oats, or Rolled Oats
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
Optional Toppings - fresh berries or diced fruit, Bananas, Dried Dates, cut lengthwise and remove the pitt, dried berries or fruit, chopped nuts, seeds, nut butter, yogurt, granola, shredded coconut, cacao nibs  


  • Add all of the ingredients except the Optional Toppings to a small refrigerated container with a lid and mix well to combine. Leave sealed in the refrigerator overnight to thicken.
  • In the morning top with your choice of toppings.

Hashachar Ha`ole” Chocolate Spread and Israeli Bakery items

Hashachar Ha`ole Chocolate Spread

Neeman-Bakery מאפה נאמן

Neeman Bakery מאפה נאמן

OK; Bottom line is this is highly adictive and will ruin your diet. That said: Think of chocolate spread as Israel's answer to Nutella, only without the hazelnuts. Like its much loved Italian counterpart, Israeli chocolate spread first hit the market in the mid-1940s and has been popular as a breakfast spread, snack, and dessert ever since. Unlike Nutella, the most commercial chocolate spread is pareve, so it can be enjoyed any time of day or night.The original and arguably most popular brand in Israel is called “Hashachar Ha`ole” literally - “Bright Morning” spread—so how can one not associate it with breakfast? Try it on challah or warm pita, or as a filling for crepes. Add some banana or strawberries if you want to up the nutrition factor.

Round Challah

Round Challah


In Israel, freshly baked bourekas with all sorts of fillings are a bakery mainstay, and the supermarkets sell frozen ones as a convenience item. Kosher supermarkets in the U.S. and elsewhere often carry them, too, but they can be hard to find otherwise.

Fortunately, they're not at all hard to make at home. Cheese or potato bourekas are often included as part of a breakfast buffet at Israeli hotels, and you can grab them on the go from countless bakeries or shuks (open-air markets).


Cinnamon Raisin Kosher Challah Bread Recipe




ELITE Instant Coffee

ELITE Instant Coffee

Israel has always had a strong coffee culture, ELITE Instant Coffee "Nes Cafe" is the most popular coffee here but historically Turkish coffee is a perpetual mainstay. But espresso-based drinks have gained lots of ground, too. One favorite is the "cafe hafuch," or "upside-down coffee," a latte-like drink made with steamed milk on the bottom, espresso, and sometimes foamed milk on top.





Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet. They're a natural fit for a meal featuring savory fares like hummus, cheese, and eggs.


Israeli fruit

Israeli fruit


Israel is known for it's Fruit. Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol.


Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that are underconsumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).


Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.


Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as fruits help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Whole or cut-up fruits are sources of dietary fiber; fruit juices contain little or no fiber.


Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.


Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods, and in addition 400 mcg of synthetic folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.

Gavina Labneh

Labneh is a thick, tangy strained yogurt that's delicious with cucumber and tomato salad,



Gavina Labneh is a thick, tangy strained yogurt that's delicious with cucumber and tomato salad, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with za'atar, or served as a spread for pita and breakfast breads.

Like most Middle Eastern foods, labneh is extremely good for you. Apart from being an important source of protein, labneh is considered a probiotic food, meaning that it is high in a range of healthy bacteria that help to boost your immune system.


Fruit yogurts also tend to make an appearance on Israeli breakfast buffets, so if you prefer things on the sweeter side, feel free to add.

Shakshouka (Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce)

Israeli Breakfast

:Shakshouka, from the Hebrew word leshakshek meaning “to shake”, is a popular, spiced, egg and tomato dish.


Shakshouka:"This Tunisian and Israeli dish is like a Mediterranean version of huevos rancheros. Fried eggs simmer in a sauce of tomatoes, onions, colorful bell peppers, chile peppers, and spices. Eggs of all sorts are a staple of the Israeli breakfast. Shakshouka, eggs cooked in an aromatic, tomato-based sauce, is an Israeli specialty and becoming more popular across the globe. This recipe makes individual shakshouka, but you can cook it in one large pan for everyone to share. The great thing about this egg dish is that you can prepare it up to cracking the eggs and then once your guests arrive, add the eggs and cook until hot and set.

Ingredients: 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/3 cups chopped onion 1 cup thinly sliced bell peppers, any color 2 cloves garlic, minced, or to taste 2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon salt 1 hot chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped, or to taste 4 eggs Directions: 1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, bell peppers, and garlic; cook and stir until the vegetables have softened and the onion has turned translucent, about 5 minutes. 2. Combine the tomatoes, cumin, paprika, salt, and chile pepper into a bowl and mix briefly. Pour the tomato mixture into the skillet, and stir to combine. 3. Simmer, uncovered, until the tomato juices have cooked off, about 10 minutes. Make four indentations in the tomato mixture for the eggs. Crack the eggs into the indentations. Cover the skillet and let the eggs cook until they're firm but not dry, about 5 minutes. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2013 Printed from 5/1/2013

Best Breakfast Recipe in the World, Home Made!

Rami Mor 12December2012



The Real Message of Passover, Not Obama's Version

The Obama Democrats certainly consider his custom of holding sic Jewish Passover Seders good politics, which they probably are in the American Jewish reality.  But in terms of the true meaning of the Pesach Passover holiday, they've gotten it all wrong. And United States President Obama also got the Passover message wrong when he was telling us (and the world) during his recent visit to Israel that he sees a connection with the Arabs aka Palestinian demands for a state inside the Biblical Land of Israel and the Passover holiday.

THE JEWISH PEOPLE NEVER ASKED FOR A JEWISH STATE IN EGYPT!  So using the Passover narrative to support the Arab demands should only make some sense if the Arabs were to leave Israel and find some other land to demand.

The story of the Jewish People in Egypt was very different.  It's more like the story of Naomi and Ruth, which is read on Shavuot, the Holiday most connected to Passover. We are required to Count the Omer, the forty-nine days, seven weeks from the second night of Passover to right before Shavuot.

In both stories, the Jewish People or main characters started off in the Land of Israel.  We must begin the Passover story as a prequel, to show how we ended up in Egypt.  By ignoring what precedes Jewish slavery to Pharaoh we can't fully understand what the holiday is really about.  Over a hundred years earlier, there wasn't a large Jewish People, there was just a family.  Jacob was the father, and he had twelve sons from four women.  One of his sons, the favorite-being the elder of his favorite wife, had disappeared under suspicious circumstances.  His other sons claimed that the boy had been killed by an animal, but he didn't believe them.  No body and no closure. 

Jacob was a very wealthy man, so a number of years later when the area was cursed by famine he sent his sons to buy food in Egypt. And to make  a long story short, it ended up that the missing son was the very high official in charge so selling food during the famine.  Pharaoh probably didn't want the son to possibly leave Egypt and join his family, so he invited the entire clan to live in a very fertile location in Egypt.

The Jewish time in Egypt had started as a privileged one, but at some point everything went downhill and they became slaves.  Conditions became unbearable for Jews and they cried out to G-d to make life easier.  G-d appointed Moses and told him that he would take the Jewish People back to the HolyLand.  And that's where the Passover story comes in.

In Megillat Rut, The Scroll of Ruth, we have a similar scenario.  The story starts with Naomi, whose husband Elimelech decides that his family must flee the famine and go to nearby Moav.  Just like with the Jewish People in Egypt, it turned out disastrously.  He and their sons die leaving Naomi poverty-stricken and alone with the two childless daughters-in-law.  Naomi then decides to return to the HolyLand alone, but one daughter-in-law, Ruth, insists on joining her and her fate as a Jew.  At first Naomi is shunned, but Ruth ends up the great-grandmother of the greatest Jewish King, King David.

To simplify both stories:

  • Jews leave HolyLand for economic reasons.
  • Jews have great hopes that their new lives will be better, and maybe they are for a while.
  • Jews end up poverty-stricken, suffering.
  • Jews end up realizing they must return Home to the HolyLand!
That's it in a nutshell.

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My beloved rabbi and spiritual Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a told me some amazing things today:

    1. Despite all the reports of the imminent nuclear bombs in Iran's hands, the people of Israel have nothing to worry about. The Rav said, "Hashem, with one little grin, can wipe out their whole nuclear program." The Rav then said that Iran, Syria, Hizbulla and Hamas are meaningless to us, only sticks in Hashem's loving hands to prod us to do teshuva, for our own good. This is of course on condition that the Nation of Israel makes a serious effort to get closer to Hashem.

  • 2. Hashem loves us more than we can ever imagine, but we don't believe that - that's our main blemish in emuna. Since our emuna is weak, we don't pray enough. Our prayers are not effective because we don't believe in the power of prayer, in Hashem's love, and in the fact that Hashem wants to give us everything.
  • 3. When I told the Rav about the two particular GRAD missiles that landed in our neighborhood - one 200 meters from our apartment and the other about 350 meters from our apartment, both in parking lots of densely populated areas, he said that these are examples of Hashem's love - He's waking us up with a jolt, but doing so in a way that so few get hurt.
  • 4. The Rav says that the current lull in hostilities here in Israel is Hashem's delay of the Geula: Hashem doesn't want to bring the Geula with dinim or stern judgments. Rather, Hashem wants to bring Geula with mercy, b'rachamim, and with joy. But, Hashem needs for more of us to do teshuva and strengthen our emuna to do so. No one knows how long this "quick breather" will last. Many speak about difficult timees ahead, but teshuva, emuna, and lots of prayer can mitigate all the difficult things.
  • 5. The Jews abroad must make Aliya as soon as possible. The only justification for remaining outside of Israel is to spread emuna with total dedication.
  • What are we waiting for?

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