When you think “survival food,” the first things that probably come to mind are canned goods and other stored foods with long shelf lives. While these foods are the most convenient for extended emergency storage, they aren’t the only types of food you should have in your kitchen cupboards in case of a natural disaster or other unexpected event. There are many traditional survival foods like nuts, dried fruit and ration bars that can be stored for a long time, and furthermore a vast quantity of foods that can be frozen, ready for use in an emergency. Here are five top survival foods you should stock in your pantry:
Dried Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are a staple in many cultures around the world, and they make a great addition to any survival store. Not only are they high in protein, but they also contain B vitamins, iron, and fibre. Like other dried foods, beans and legumes must be cooked before eating, but they can be used in a variety of dishes including soups, stews, casseroles, and chilies. You can store dried beans and legumes for at least one year with no special preparation, and they can be eaten as-is in a pinch. Dried beans and legumes are cheap, nutritious, and easy to store.
Nuts are a great survival food as they’re high in protein, easy to store, and provide a variety of nutrients. You can purchase raw or roasted nuts in bulk at most grocery stores and they keep well at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or even in the freezer. Nuts are high in fat, but the fats are good for you – they contain a high percentage of monounsaturated fats, which helps lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Nuts are also a great source of protein, fibre, and important minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Almonds, in particular, are among the most nutritious nuts and are also one of the easiest to use in food storage. Roasted almonds can be eaten as-is, used in baking, or ground into a powder.
Dried fruits like raisins, figs, apricots, and dates are a nutritious source of carbohydrates and vitamins. They also contain small amounts of essential minerals such as iron and copper as well as dietary fibre; dried fruit is also low in sodium. Like other dried foods, dried fruit can either be consumed as is, or be rehydrated before eating. You can store dried fruit in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one year, or in the freezer for up to five years. Dried fruit is a healthy snack and can be consumed in whatever quantity necessary. Easy to carry, compact and energy dense, it is one of the ideal survival foods.
Protein shakes are available in a variety of brands and flavours, and you can even make your own with a few simple ingredients. The most basic protein shake recipe calls for one tablespoon of protein powder (whey protein is most common), one cup of milk, and one tablespoon of a flavoured syrup or sweetener. Protein shakes are easy to store and make a convenient meal on the go. In their dry powder form they can last a long time and make a really useful addition to any survival food supply.
Freeze-dried foods are a great addition to any emergency pantry because they’re compact, lightweight and easy to prepare; you can store them at home for emergency use or pack them for camping trips or other outdoor activities. The freeze-drying process removes around 99% of the moisture form the food but retains the flavour and nutritional content. Food preparation is usually just as simple as adding hot or cold water to the food and waiting a few minutes for the food to be ready.
The key to a successful food storage program is variety. Whilst longer shelf life food is the cornerstone of a survival food sore, you don’t want all of your food to have the same shelf life, so stock up on a few different types of foods at a time. You’ll also want to rotate your stockpile regularly, replacing foods that are close to expiring with new items. It’s also important to keep your stored foods in a safe place that is cool and dry, where they won’t get contaminated by insects or other pests. These tips will help you prepare for any emergency and keep your family well-fed.