In the past, we've talked about how important it is to have a 72-hour kit ready and in an accessible area. Since you already know the basics of what pack, now you need to focus on things that will keep your stress levels low. I'm sure most of you will agree that sweets are a good start! Extensive studies at MIT by Richard Wurtman, MD, showed that tryptophan, the building block of serotonin, could get into the brain only after sweet or starchy carbohydrates were consumed1. In moderation, a small dose of sugar can trigger a process in the body that creates new serotonin for the brain. How cool is that?
Since we want you to make sure your "happy brain" chemicals are functioning year-round, here is a personal favorite recipe for Survival Hard Candy from the Ready Store:
Survival Hard Candy Recipe
- 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 2/3 Cup Light Corn Syrup
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons Flavoring Extract
- 3/4 Cup of Water
- Powdered Sugar
- Food Coloring
- Cooking Spray
Making Survival Hard Candy can be a tedious project since it requires you to pay attention and be ready for the next step. We recommend that before you start your adventure with making hard candy, line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
In a large saucepan, add granulated sugar, light corn syrup, and water. Cook over medium-high, stir till the sugar is dissolved.
Bring mixture to a boil - do not stir! If there are sugar crystals on the side, wipe down with a wet pastry brush.
When mixture reaches 250℉ - 260℉
Add food coloring. Do not stir since the boiling will mix it into the syrup.
When mixture reaches 300℉
Remove from heat source and wait for it to stop boiling. Add in your flavoring and stir thoroughly.
Pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet and spread evenly. Wait 15 - 20 minutes for it to cool down before trying to cut it into squares. In the case that the candy sticks to the knife, spray it with cooking spray. Let it cool for 60 minutes before lightly sprinkling it with powdered sugar. Flip it over and sprinkle the other side.
Break apart the survival hard candy where you scored the lines and place in a plastic bag or container that can fit in your 72-hour kit or next to the food storage. Heck, make an extra "emergency" baggie for yourself and store in the car for those long drives during rush hour or simply just to munch on. Enjoy!
What are some of your favorite "stress relieving" recipes?