Week 43: Drink Mix

8 lbs of Powdered Drink mix and 1.5 lbs of Flavored Gelatin


After this week, you should have 8 lbs of Powdered Drink mix and 1.5 lbs of flavored Gelatin stored. This is the program goal. This is the only week we address Powdered Drink mix and Flavored Gelatin.

You may be asking yourself why drink mixes and gelatin is included in this food storage program. While you may not be a regular connoisseur of drink mixes and jello, it does have its place. They keep for a long time and they fall under the category of comfort food, which we feel will be an important category to have under times of stress or duress, such as during an emergency. Having said all this, if you live in Utah, you have to at least store some green jelly, I mean come on. After all, the green jello pin was one of the most sought after pins during the SLC 2002 winter olympics. I still have some of those pins.

Drink Mix:

Storing powdered fruit drink can be a bit controversial, so you’ll have to decide for yourself what’s best for your family. Personally, I don’t drink a lot of juice, flavored water or power drinks, but my kids love juice and various drink mixes, so we store some powdered drink mix for them. There is one drink mix I always keep in our pantry as well as in cold storage, and that is Emergen-C. I store packets of it in our 72-hour kits and I also keep several packets in each vehicle, just in case. They provide about 35 calories, tons of Vitamin C, B6, and B12, and are a good source of electrolytes.

Why Store Drink Mix?

Why would an ordinary water drinker need drink mixes? Under normal circumstances, it's probably not necessary, but if you're looking for added carbs and calories when you’re under a lot of stress and physical activity, then these drink mixes are really convenient. That’s why athletes don’t always just drink water, they need all the other stuff to help them keep going. Gatoraid is a great example of this. Did you know? In 1965, following a request from Florida Gators football head coach Ray Graves, Gatorade was created to help athletes by acting as a replacement for body fluids lost during physical exertion. The earliest version of the beverage consisted of a mixture of water, sodium, sugar, potassium, phosphate, and lemon juice). And this is how I look at this category of drink.

There is the “mix things up” reason too. Every now and then it’s fun to “mix things up” and so I’ll drink juice or other drinks (Emergen-C usually) just to have a new flavor. Drink mixes can turn a stressful time into a more fun time. If you have kids, you know that they too like a change.

But the main reason I store drink mixes comes from my time in Korea. In several areas I lived, we were required to boil our water before consuming it. Boiling changes the taste of water and it can be quite distasteful. For this reasons, many koreans add barley to their water to give it some kind of a taste. While barley is definately the more healthy alternative, sometimes we had to change it up to something a little sweeter. It was always a welcome treat. So, while drink mixes might not be a normal part of your diet, you may want to consider keeping some stored in case of an emergency where you're required to boil or use your stored water.

Storage:

As for storage, use drink mixes by the expiration date on the container/packaging. Of course, store it in a cool dry place.

Gelatin:

Well, I’ll be honest I feel like I can pass on this food storage item. Gelatin for food storage? You have got to be kidding me. Why would I need Jello in my food storage? I never eat that stuff on a regular basis anyways, definitely something I can live without in a disaster situation, right? I figure we’ll research it out just to be sure, so I’m not missing something. [off to do some internet researching...]

Nutritional Value: (found on eHow.com)

Calories:

Most varieties of regular JELL-O gelatin contain 80 calories per serving, but most flavors of sugar-free JELL-O gelatin contain 10 calories per serving.

Fat:

Both regular and sugar-free varieties of JELL-O gelatin are fat-free. Do not confuse JELL-O gelatin with JELL-O pudding, which does contain fat.

Carbohydrates/Sugars:

Most varieties of regular JELL-O gelatin contain 19 grams of carbohydrates, all of which come from sugar. Sugar-free JELL-O gelatin, on the other hand, does not contain any carbs.

Sodium:

Most varieties of regular JELL-O gelatin contain about 80 milligrams of sodium. Most types of sugar-free JELL-O gelatin contain between 45 and 55 milligrams of sodium.

Protein:

Most varieties of regular JELL-O gelatin contain 2 grams of protein, while most varieties of sugar-free JELL-O gelatin contain only 1 gram of protein.

Other Nutrients:

JELL-O gelatin does not contain a significant amount of any other nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, or iron, when prepared as directed on the package.

We have previously mentioned comfort food in times of stress, and it may be that JELL-O and gelatin fit this category. So, you may want to consider including some of this in your short/long term food storage. You can make a lot of things with flavored gelatin besides standard Jell O. (who knew?)

You can make:

  • Jams & Jellies

  • All kinds of Salads

  • Popsicles

  • Candy

  • and even Bread.

Storage:

Unprepared gelatin has an indefinite shelf-life as long as it is wrapped airtight and stored in a cool, dry place. #10 cans of gelatin work perfectly for this. This long shelf-life makes storing gelatin worth it. You never know. To make it easier to rotate through your opened #10 cans, because no one makes that much Jello at one time, just use clear jars and label them.

Tips: (found on About.com)

  • To avoid clumping, dry unflavored gelatin should be mixed with a little cold water first for 3 to 5 minutes to moisten and separate before adding hot water.

  • To suspend fruits, meats, or vegetables in gelatin, chill until it is the consistency of cold egg whites. Then mix in the additions and chill until completely set.

  • Two hours of chilling should be enough for standard clear molds, while it may take up to 4 hours for those with additions. Layered gelatins will take longer, since each layer must be individually chilled and firmed before adding the next layer.

  • Do not bring gelatin mixtures to a full boil or you risk losing its thickening properties.

Page updated: 10/14/20