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Monday, April 16, 2012

Fats, Oils, Butter and Margarine Substitutes

In most food storage calculations, an adult needs at least 20 lbs. of fats/oils per year.  Some items store longer than others.  I wanted to point out some options.

If you have a major disaster, and don't have power for weeks, your butter and margarine will be used up or they will be spoiled.  So you need to have something in your longer term storage which can be used instead.

Here are some fats and oils to store in your long term food storage, which will keep longer than regular butter and margarine.

Vegetable oil.  This bottle was purchased in 2008, it is labelled "purchase by March 2009", and I am using it in July 2012.  I don't know how long you can store oil, but obviously four years is still okay.  Oil has a shorter storage life than shortening.

"Red Feather" brand canned butter from New Zealand.  Purchased in 2009.  I opened one can in 2011, and it was fabulous.  It was just regular butter in a can.  So I am choosing not to open any more for another couple of years.  I trust it will still be fine.   Note:  This was a little pricey when I bought it in 2009, and now I have heard it has gone up a lot more.  I will consider it a luxury item if and when I have to live off my food storage.

Crisco Baking Sticks. No refrigeration necessary.  These are cheaper than butter, but can be used in place of butter in cooking or baking.  It is not suggested to use these as a spread on toast, that doesn't taste good.  I bought these in 2011, and they are labelled "best if used by March 2013" so I guess they last longer than two years.  I have been using them, and they are still good.

(These come in packages of three one-cup sticks, so don't make the mistake I did of using one stick for one stick of butter.  That was exactly twice as much as I needed, since one stick of butter is 1/2 cup, not one cup.)

Crisco Shortening.  Wendy Dewitt, a food storage expert, says that Crisco will last ten years, and I am going to take her word for it.  Friends of mine have had bad luck with off brands of shortening going rancid sooner than that, so I am going to only store Crisco brand for my long term food storage.  If you want to be sure to have a one-year's supply of oil, and you are worried you won't rotate your oil fast enough, store extra cans of Crisco.  You can always melt it and use it instead of oil.

Bean Paste.  I learned from to pressure cook dry beans, then blend them up in the blender, and store the bean paste in the freezer.  You can use dark colored bean paste in dark colored baked goods (like chocolate cakes or cookies) and use light colored bean paste in light colored baked goods (like chocolate chip cookies or spice cake).  Just substitute equal parts of bean paste for the shortening or oil called for in the recipe.  (Note:  I have stored mine in 1 cup containers in the freezer, but wish I had stored them in 1/2 cup amounts instead.  1/2 cup of oil is what most of my recipes call for, so sometimes I have had to throw the rest away.)

Applesauce.  Before I learned about substituting bean paste, I learned to substitute applesauce for oils in baked goods.  I have a great pumpkin bread recipe, which called for 1/2 cup of oil.  Many years ago I quit using oil, and began using 1/2 cup of applesauce instead, and the pumpkin bread turns out fabulous.  I have been substituting applesauce in brownies and cakes for years.  (Note:  I have also discovered that dehydrated applesauce powder makes perfect applesauce.  So I have stored a lot of cans of applesauce powder to make the applesauce with.)

I'm sorry I don't have any butter powder or margarine powder, or I would tell you about those.  I am planning to buy some soon and start using them.


  1. Great information!!! Makes me feels better about some of our purchases regarding fats and oils for our storage. Good to know about the canned butters too. We also bought canned butter in 2009 and I was worried that that would end up being a waste of money and thinking about starting to use them all up before they go "bad". Now I will keep them in my storage longer knowing that replenishing them would cost us even more and that the ones I have are STILL good! YAY! Thanks again!

  2. I just got a can of butter powder from Shelf Reliance. It was so good.