The worst is going to happen at some point.
At some point you’re going to have to rely on your food storage to stay alive. It doesn’t take too many meals of white rice and dry cornbread with canned chili to make you miss your favorite restaurant.
It’s going to get bad, some might say bad enough to make you wish you hadn’t survived. Sure, that fresh fish from your aquaponics setup is great and fresh micro-greens from your raised bed garden is really great, but you want some Udon noodles or carne asada burritos right?
Well, it’s not as far out of reach as you might think. Great food can made if you plan well; in fact, there are tons of awesome shelf stable foods that bring you back to your favorite meals while you wait out the storm.
In these articles, you’re going to get a huge list of items which are seriously cool, and have excellent shelf life. When you follow along with this set of articles you’re going to get a bunch of great ideas to really amp up your food preparation during a time of “crisis”, when excellent food can be a powerful morale booster and motivation to be more productive.
Are you ready for some seriously cool food recommendations?
Since there are so many great foods in these articles you’ll just have to keep reading to see all of the great recommendations. Don’t worry there’s seriously good stuff in here.
Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Herbs, Spices and Flavoring
Your garden probably isn’t big enough to handle growing all the herbs for fifteen different cuisines, and the season can dictate what types of fresh foods you’ll be able to make. The solution? Buy cheap, plentiful and delicious dried herbs and produce.
Ordinarily, you wouldn’t want to put too much faith in non-renewable food resources, but in this case, you really can’t go wrong. Freeze drying and dehydrating for herbs and specialty produce allows low bulk, low weight,long-lasting storage for a ton of different styles of cooking.
You can get a few ounces of turmeric or five spice or jerk seasoning and call it a day. You’ll get the flavors of the dishes, without having to take up a lot of room in the garden and it will cost you less than $15. That’s bang for your buck. Dried Spices and produce can last over 6 years.
Polenta is a corn meal based product that is sort of assembled like a risotto, and give a creamy, hearty texture, while adding an excellent platform to incorporate bold flavors and fills you up. Usually, you’d see polenta on an Italian menu or in the refrigerated section at the grocer.
Polenta might be a peasant food in some countries, but it’s got an undeniable flavor and consistency that brings comfort food to a new level. But what you need to know is that whether you put the polenta together or you buy it already mixed; in its dry form, it doesn’t take much to get it to where you want it to be.
Once you realize you are eating a hot and hearty, creamy corn polenta while your neighbors are stuck with Vienna sausages in a can, you’ll realize that everything is going to be alright.
Rice and Bean Based Noodles
You find them in all types of Asian cuisines around the world, and they are one of the original prepper foods, but usually you relegate yourself to ramen noodles from the dollar store. You can get dried noodles with Asian styles and made from Asian flours just the same as you can buy Italian style noodles.
A package of dry udon noodles lasts 10 years if packaged properly and can be made in less than ten minutes for a hearty meal. What’s better, is a dash of soy sauce, some fish sauce and a bit of chili paste, some mirin soaked dried shiitake mushrooms and a bit of salt with some fresh spring onions out of your garden, and you’d be hard pressed to think you’re outside of a great Japanese restaurant.
ALL of these items have a 2+ year shelf life. Shiitake mushrooms are cheap when you buy them dried at Asian markets (like $3 a pound), soysauce can be bought in bulk and stored out of refrigeration for many months and all of the condiments listed (also touched on in the OFF GRID GOURMET articles you’ll find here) are available for low cost with very long shelf life.
Ten minutes for gourmet noodles sounds a lot better than 3 minute ramen that tastes like Styrofoam.
Cooking Oils and Fat
Having fat to cook with is important, but olive oil can go rancid in less than three weeks; other sources of fat can also go bad quickly too. Having a shelf stable source of fat with good properties is essential. Good preppers will have some cooking oil is vegetable oil and lard (shelf life of 1 year or so).
But the best survivors will subsidize their pantry with much longer lasting oils and fats such as Ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil and duck fat, all of which can last 5+ years. All of these oils will give better flavor and texture to your food than standard oils. They also store better and while relatively expensive in comparison, they offer a more long-term solution with proper planning.
Coffee and Tea
This is a no brainer for bringing you back to normal. If properly packaged, coffee and tea can last at least 3 years (though you probably won’t let it). Another great advantage with coffee and tea is that it’s perfect for barter. Specifically:coffee and tea offers people good memories in tough times. Even cheap coffee and tea can be made to last and made to taste great.
These are just some of the best items to put in your long-term food storage. What you need to do now is take stock of your current storage; use these recommendations to see where you can add to it. There are upcoming articles that will highlight some more foods that are absolutely must haves.
P.S. Unless you’ve spent a decade searching for items that last for years on the shelf, you’re going to want to see what’s coming up in these articles. Sticking around will not only give you fresh ideas for your own preps, but it will also give you some insight into the best long-life foods and how they’re made.