You could believe that only unhealthy meals can be kept for a long time, but this isn’t true. There are various nutritious options with extended shelf life if you are wanting to construct an emergency food store for any situation that may arise, so let’s take a deeper look.
Healthy Emergency Foods to Stock Up On
Dried fruits are an excellent way to store up on healthy food in case of an emergency. Dried fruit, such as raisins, dried figs and dates, dried berries, bananas, apples, coconut, mango, and more, can survive up to a year if stored properly, which means away from air, moisture, and light.
You’ll want to use a dehydrator to get as much moisture out of the fruits as possible, because the less moisture they have, the longer they’ll last. When fruits are dried, they lose a lot of their vitamin C content, but they keep the majority of their other components, including vitamins and carbohydrates.
Whole Grain Crackers and Whole Grains
Although whole-grain crackers may not be your first pick, they are nutritious due to their high fibre, mineral, and carb content. They’ll give you a boost of energy.
When properly stored, whole grains like barley, oats, and other similar foods can last for up to a year, especially if frozen. Whole grains, including whole-grain crackers, will keep for up to 6 months if not frozen.
Seeds and Nuts
Nuts and seeds are also helpful to keep on hand in case of an emergency. Nuts and seeds, especially nuts, are abundant in lipids, protein, fibre, and carbohydrates, all of which are essential in a survival situation, especially when it comes to gaining energy.
When it comes to long-term storage, look for nuts and seeds that are still in their shells. Also, constantly keep an eye on the expiration date. When stored properly, nuts and seeds should last about 6 months.
With the exception of root vegetables, when it comes to long-term storage of vegetables, the majority of veggies will not stay good unless they are frozen, freeze-dried, or dehydrated. Root veggies can last 4 to 12 months if stored in a cold, dry, and dark location.
Vegetables are essential in any diet since they include a wide range of vitamins and minerals. White potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, onions, and garlic may all be preserved for lengthy periods of time if you have a proper storage facility, even a root cellar.
You may not believe that anything preserved in a can is healthy, but this is not the case. This is especially true for canned seafood like tuna, salmon, and other similar items. To begin with, canned tuna has a lengthy shelf life, perhaps up to several years, making it ideal for long-term storage in your survival store.
Canned fish, especially tuna, is high in omega fatty acids, proteins, and minerals, all of which your body requires to survive in an emergency. Canned tuna is also very adaptable, as it may be used in a variety of ways. Just make sure the cans aren’t damaged before transporting them to their new home.
Here’s another one that you might not consider to be particularly healthy. However, there are several energy and protein bars on the market that are completely nutritious.
If you can find some high-quality bars, you might be able to discover ones that have a lot of calories for energy, are fortified with vitamins and minerals, have a lot of fibre, but don’t have too much sugar or fat.
High-calorie protein and energy bars make excellent survival snacks because they may fill you up quickly, provide energy, and last a long time. There are special energy bars designed specifically for survival that can last up to 5 years if properly preserved.
Freeze Chicken Breast
You’ll need a freezer to store chicken breast for an extended amount of time. Chicken breasts that have been packed in an airtight bag can be frozen for up to a year.
Chicken is one of the best animal-based protein sources, second only to tuna, in terms of animal-based protein sources. It is high in protein and minerals, yet low in fat and cholesterol. There’s also the fact that chicken breast is fairly adaptable in terms of what it may be used for.
Although powdered milk may not be your first option, keep in mind that it is high in calcium and protein, two nutrients that your body requires in a survival situation. Dried milk can last for up to 18 months if stored properly.
Yes, this one is a little unusual as well, but if you can find whole wheat canned spaghetti, you’ll be fine. Of course, canned food isn’t the healthiest option because it contains preservatives, but if you can get whole wheat pasta in a delicious tomato sauce, you’ll be getting enough of nutrients. With all of the fibre, carbohydrates, and vitamins, this meal can be considered nutritionally balanced.
If you’re afraid about losing power, stock up on nonperishable things, and add frozen foods if you’re anxious about not being able to travel to the shop. Avoid convenience foods such as frozen dinners and canned soups, which are high in sodium, fat, calories, preservatives, and added sugars.
Instead, Emily Gelsomina, a registered dietician at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, advises, “get a supply of flexible items so you can cook healthful meals.” According to Gelsomina, you should prepare a supply of foods from the following categories.
Using Your Healthy Emergency Foods
You’ll be able to maintain your diet diverse and healthy if you have a well-stocked emergency food bag. What can you prepare using nonperishable or frozen ingredients?
Consider fruit and milk smoothies topped with nuts and seeds for breakfast, or cereal or cooked quinoa topped with fruit and milk.
Sandwiches made with whole-grain nut butter or whole-grain crackers with tuna or chicken salad make a great lunch. You may easily prepare soup with just a few cups of stock and whatever vegetables, beans, pastas, meats, or seasonings you like. Take, for example, lentils, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, cumin, and coriander navy beans, chicken, green beans, carrots, garlic, and rosemary.
To cook a tasty dinner, you just need a few emergency supplies. Remember that lonely box of penne and can of beans, for example? For a hearty Mediterranean dinner, combine them with sautéed spinach, tomatoes, olives, and garlic. Other suggestions include tuna, whole-grain pasta, steamed broccoli, and olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Toss canned fish with lemon juice and asparagus over quinoa canned chicken with boiled peas, almonds, raisins, cumin, cinnamon, and pumpkin seeds over whole-grain rice.
How much do you need?
Depending on your situation, you might want to start with a few days’ worth of goods. All of the meals on this list will last for roughly 10 months to a year.
Take inventory on a regular basis. Make a running grocery list of what you require. So you’ll know to replace goods from your supplies if you need to use them. The idea is to keep a food safety net in place that is ready to use anytime you need it.”
Eating Healthy During A Food Shortage
In the end, just because you need your food to survive for months or years doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy. Healthy and long-lasting aren’t always mutually exclusive terms. You should be able to put together a healthy emergency food stockpile for yourself and your family if you choose the correct ingredients.