Food prep skills are necessary for packing a great lunch as you head out the door for work, but also in preparation for worst-case scenarios. Your pantry might be packed with all sorts of your favorite canned goods, but will they be enough to hold you and your family over with proper nourishment in case of an emergency?
Many folks think they know best when it comes to foods with long shelf-life, but there are some nifty hacks which can stretch your supply.
Many families are paying more attention to maintaining a proper emergency pantry in light of various scares and constant access to global news media. Finding the best foods to keep as preppers is the key to maintaining a good emergency pantry.
Top 8 Foods for Preppers
Dry beans are arguably the superfood of dried goods. Beans are cheap, yet power-packed food. You can store them for a very long time, and while you may grow tired of eating them, they can really help you stay full and healthy in times of hardship.
If you decide to stock up on dry beans, be sure to keep a variety. There are many, many types of beans! Dried lentils would also fall into this category-some varieties have 10-11 grams of protein per serving! They are also full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals which are essential to bodily functions.
You can purchase the simplest beans-no need to buy a fancy mix or soup-specialty variety. For each trip to the grocery store, try to add a few small or medium-sized bags of beans. That way, your stocking up will be discreet and you will slowly build a large, varied stock of power food!
Make sure you store your beans according to the temperatures indicated on the packaging.
Preserved rice comes in airtight containers and is available in both white and brown varieties. These types of rice are extremely water-absorbent, which you’ll notice when you read the cooking directions as they require lots of water. You can also cook rice in vegetable broth which will give it more flavor. Just be sure to stick to the directions on the packaging.
There has been ongoing debate over whether white or brown rice is the better choice. While both are nutritious, choosing brown rice will satiate your hunger for longer than white varieties, as it contains more fiber. Brown rice also contains protein, which white rice lacks. The fiber and protein together will help to keep you full while your blood sugar and cholesterol are also kept in check.
White rice is available as an enriched food, which will also provide essential vitamins and minerals. Still, brown rice will always contain more fiber and protein. It also has a delightful, earthy taste. It also takes flavors from herbs and spices well, and is a satisfying food by itself.
Protein-rich foods are crucial in an emergency pantry. While beans, protein powders, power bars, and complex grains are enough for some, there are those who simply need their meat.
Canned meats are often met with skepticism, but given the chance, you may want to include it in your pantry as a dense protein source. Not to mention, there is no guarantee that you won’t have a meat craving from time to time.
Canned meat is prepared like all canned foods, which means you may have to add some flavor to it on your own. If you keep a good supply of spices, you’ll have no problem making canned meat an enjoyable part of your diet. You can also mix canned meats with the other foods on this list. It will help to make your meals more balanced, and provide the nutrition you need in order to survive.
Many canned meats are safe to eat for five years or more! With meats, be extra sure to pay attention to the expiration dates for your safety, and also for quality of flavor.
Power Bars/Protein bars
Power bars are a great food for preppers because there is minimal time and effort in order to get a nutrient-dense meal. Just open the wrapper and you’ve got a meal in your hand.
The main function of protein bars in your emergency time is to provide you with a large amount of protein in one serving. To put it in perspective, most bars have 20-30 grams of protein per serving, while the average adult male requires approximately 60 grams per day with a sedentary lifestyle.
Of course, when you’re leading an active life you will require more than the requirement for sedentary folks. Still, a protein bar will help you meet your daily requirement faster.
What’s great about power bars is that they are usually inexpensive. However, they expire sooner than many other prep foods.
They’re still listed here because they are travel-size, lightweight, and do not require any effort to prepare! They’re a great food to keep in your pocket in a survival situation whether you’re hunkering down or on the run.
Another rich source of protein is protein powder. These come in many varieties—from whey to plant-based. Many flavored varieties are also available, such as chocolate, vanilla, berry, and more.
Protein powders are a better protein source than most freeze-dried meats and jerky because of their low sodium content, and simply higher protein content. Dried meats can be chewy and satisfying, but they will send your sodium levels through the roof and increase your need for hydration. Protein powders provide you with hydration and nutrition without causing your body to work harder.
Instead of toting around a large container of protein powder, you can divide it up into individual servings. Just take some cleaned and dried water bottles, and put one serving of protein powder into each one. Then, just add water to the bottle!
If you’re on the trail, this can be an effortless 1-minute power breakfast. You could also add protein powder to other meals, especially if it is a mild flavor such as vanilla. For instance, if you decide on oats or cereal for breakfast, you could add protein powder instead of milk. That way, you’ll be able to get extra protein with each meal.
Powdered milk is best as a short-term solution for survival situation. It has tons of vitamin D, and it has lots of protein, too.
The one caveat associated with powdered milk is that you need to make sure you have lots of water in your survival stash in order to use it. Also, once the package is opened, it is hard to properly seal it again. Make sure you put it to best use if you open it up.
Individual pouches are also available. Although perhaps more expensive, they’re worth the investment in the long run. The individual packets will save you time and effort as you won’t have to keep small containers with lids for preparing each serving, and they will last longer.
Powdered milk is also a minimal effort food, and only takes a minute to prepare. Keep it as a source of nutrition and as an addition to your other survival foods.
Food buckets are excellent emergency staples. Anyone with military background will be able to imagine what these taste like, as they are similar to MRE’s. Just make sure you research the many varieties to make sure you get the best mix of quality and value. Some brands offer freeze-dried types which will last for 25+ years!
Some are truly high-quality options for survival, and others are poor-quality. They have a bad taste and will expire quickly.
These will be one of the more expensive items on your survival grocery bill. Still, it’s worth the investment, because they can be prepared indoors or outdoors, and provide you with the nutrients you need for a long, long time.
Oats and Oatmeal
Oats and oatmeal are excellent complex carbohydrates which are full of protein and fiber. They’re a great meal option because they’re cheap and keep you full for a long time.
They also keep fresh under many storage circumstances. Just be sure to seal it in an air-tight container, and you’re good to go even under humid conditions.
Look out for whether you’re buying classic or instant oats. The latter will expire sooner, as they often have additives for flavoring. What makes the instant oats cook faster is the powder you see in the bowl. While they make the oats cook super-fast, they make them spoil quickly.
This is a great food for kids if your family finds itself in a survival situation. It is a quick, easy meal or snack to which other foods can be added and adjusted to personal taste—a luxury not often enjoyed in times of crisis! Simply add some powdered milk, dried fruits, and you’re good to go!
It’s tine for you to get stocking! Stocking up is simple, and can be done over time. No need to get the extra-large grocery cart and fill it to the brim with these foods, all in one trip. Instead, simply add some of the foods listed here to your list. Each time you shop, pick up a few of the items, and store them in your survival pantry.
You may find that you’ve stocked up just in time the next time you lose electricity, a winter storm comes, or if something goes awry on your next hiking trip.
Stocking up on these Top 8 items will help you stay calm under duress and keep your stomach full.