In the face of unexpected emergencies, having a stockpile of non-perishable foods can be a game-changer. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a power outage, or a global crisis, these essential supplies can keep you nourished and energized when fresh food is scarce. This blog post serves as your guide to the 11 best non-perishable foods to keep you going in any emergency.
We’ll explore a diverse selection of non-perishable staples that are not only shelf-stable but also packed with nutrients. From hearty canned goods to energy-boosting snacks, our list covers a wide range of options that offer sustenance and comfort in challenging times. We’ll also provide tips on proper storage and rotation to ensure your emergency food supply remains reliable.
Preparing for the unexpected is a sign of resilience and foresight. So, let’s dive into the world of non-perishable foods and discover the essential items to include in your emergency pantry.
Top Non-Perishable Foods That Are Both Healthy & Affordable
Non-perishable foods are the backbone of a well-prepared kitchen, providing sustenance during emergencies, busy days, or when you simply don’t have the time to make a trip to the grocery store. Let’s explore the eleven healthy & affordable non-perishable foods that should have a permanent place in your pantry.
1. Canned Beans
Canned beans, encompassing varieties like black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans, are indispensable in any pantry. These protein and fiber powerhouses offer versatility and nutrition in abundance. From crafting hearty stews to protein-packed salads and effortless dips, canned beans prove their reliability in a range of culinary endeavors. They stand ready to elevate your dishes, whether it’s enhancing the substance of a meal or providing a quick and nutritious solution during emergencies. A pantry stocked with these nutritious gems ensures that you’re well-prepared for flavorful and wholesome creations in various scenarios.
2. Canned Tuna or Salmon
Canned fish, particularly varieties like tuna and salmon, stand out as valuable sources of lean protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These pantry essentials offer the perfect solution for fast, nutritious meals. You can effortlessly prepare a tuna salad, infuse pasta dishes with the goodness of canned salmon, or craft a satisfying and quick sandwich using these versatile staples. Their long shelf life and nutritional benefits make canned fish an ideal choice for any situation, ensuring you can enjoy the benefits of lean protein and essential fatty acids whenever the need arises.
Dried pasta is a fundamental kitchen essential that deserves a permanent place in your pantry. Beyond its role as a substantial source of carbohydrates for energy, pasta acts as a versatile canvas for culinary creativity. Whether it’s crafting timeless spaghetti recipes or exploring inventive pasta salads, the diverse range of pasta shapes in your pantry ensures that you’re well-equipped for dinner, even on the busiest of nights.
Its long shelf life and adaptability make dried pasta an invaluable asset, promising both convenience and endless possibilities in the realm of home cooking.
Oats emerge as a morning hero, boasting richness in fiber and serving as a vital part of a hearty and nutritious breakfast. Their unique ability to keep you feeling full and satisfied until lunchtime is a valuable asset for daily nutrition. Beyond breakfast, oats showcase remarkable versatility, extending their utility to baking endeavors. As a baking ingredient, they not only enhance the texture and flavor of various dishes but also offer sustained energy, ensuring you stay energized throughout the day.
Whether as a comforting bowl of oatmeal or as a secret ingredient in your favorite baked goods, oats are a reliable and wholesome addition to your culinary toolkit.
5. Nut Butters
Peanut butter, almond butter, or any nut butter you prefer are treasure troves of nutrient-dense healthy fats and protein. These versatile spreads serve as go-to options for speedy and nutritious snacks, or they can be stars in a multitude of recipes. Beyond their delectable taste, they contribute both flavor and nutrition to a wide range of dishes, whether blended into smoothies, stirred into hearty oatmeal, or generously layered onto sandwiches.
With their rich protein content and beneficial fats, nut butter provides a satisfying and nourishing component to your daily meals, making them indispensable additions to your pantry for health-conscious and culinary reasons alike.
Dried rice, whether brown or white, stands as a staple grain in your pantry, boasting versatility and extended shelf life. This essential grain pairs harmoniously with a multitude of dishes, serving as a reliable source of sustained energy. Whether as the foundation for vibrant stir-fries, flavorful curries, or countless other culinary creations, rice offers a quick and convenient path to a satisfying meal. Its presence in your pantry guarantees that you’re well-equipped to craft a nourishing and delicious dish in no time, making it a cornerstone of many beloved recipes and a practical solution for various mealtime needs.
7. Canned Vegetables
Canned vegetables, encompassing favorites like tomatoes, corn, and peas, bring a burst of nutrients to your pantry. These nutrient-rich additions serve as a valuable source of essential vitamins and minerals, enhancing the health quotient of your meals. Their adaptability extends to a diverse array of recipes, whether it’s enriching hearty soups, wholesome stews, or comforting casseroles. With an extended shelf life, these canned vegetables provide a consistent reservoir of healthy ingredients, ensuring your culinary creations remain wholesome and flavorful.
They offer both convenience and nutrition, making them an indispensable part of your pantry’s toolkit for versatile and nourishing cooking.
You May Also Like: 9 Best Taco Bell Menu Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind
8. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds, cherished for their portability and nutrient density, are valuable non-perishable staples suitable for a variety of situations. They’re not only favorites of backpackers and hikers for their high-calorie snacking potential but also essential for any emergency pantry.
The average shelf life for nuts at room temperature (around 68℉ or 20℃) is approximately four months, but this duration can significantly vary among different nut varieties. For instance, cashews can maintain their quality for up to six months under these conditions, while pistachios have a shorter one-month shelf life at the same temperature.
Seeds, like nuts, offer a similar shelf life. According to the USDA, pumpkin seeds, when stored at room temperature, can remain fresh for about six months. These non-perishable options not only provide nutrition but also a valuable source of energy, making them excellent additions to your emergency food supplies.
Whole grains, such as oats, rice, and barley, are highly practical choices for extended food storage, with significantly longer shelf lives compared to more perishable carbohydrate sources like bread. Notably, brown rice maintains its quality for up to three months when stored between 50–70℉ (10–21℃), while farro demonstrates an impressive shelf life of up to six months at room temperature.
These grains prove their versatility as non-perishable ingredients, adding depth and sustenance to dishes like soups, salads, and casseroles. Beyond their durability, whole grains offer valuable health benefits, potentially reducing the risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and specific cancers. Including these shelf-stable options in your emergency food supplies ensures both nourishment and long-term sustainability in challenging circumstances.
Meat preservation, an age-old practice, serves to prevent spoilage of protein sources. Jerky, a popular method, involves curing meat in a salt solution and dehydrating it. Some processed jerkies include preservatives, flavorings, and additives.
Jerky comes in various types, such as beef, salmon, chicken, and buffalo. Plant-based alternatives crafted from coconut, banana, and jackfruit are also available, though they differ nutritionally from meat-based options.
Commercial jerky has a pantry life of about one year, while homemade jerky, as per USDA recommendations, should be consumed within two months when stored at room temperature. In moderation, any jerky type can be enjoyed, but the healthiest choices are those without added sugar, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Jerky remains a reliable and long-lasting protein source for emergency food storage.
Canned and dried soups are ideal additions to your pantry, favored not only for personal use but also by food donation organizations. Most canned soups, with their low acidity, maintain their quality for up to five years when stored at room temperature. Notably, tomato-based varieties have a shorter shelf life, typically lasting about 18 months.
Dried soup mixes, on the other hand, should remain reliable for approximately one year, but it’s advisable to verify expiration dates on product labels. Opt for soups brimming with nutritious elements like vegetables and beans, and whenever possible, choose low-sodium options to promote your well-being. It’s important to note that excessive salt consumption can have adverse health effects. These pantry staples provide sustenance and versatility for emergency situations while accommodating various dietary preferences.
In times of crisis, a well-prepared emergency pantry can be a source of comfort and sustenance. The 11 non-perishable foods highlighted in this blog post are your key to ensuring that you and your loved ones have access to essential nutrition when you need it most. Whether it’s canned goods, dried fruits, or protein-rich snacks, these items are designed to withstand the test of time, offering nourishment and energy during emergencies.
By selecting and storing these foods wisely, you’re taking a proactive step towards preparedness, helping you face unforeseen situations with confidence and resilience. Stay safe, stay prepared, and stay nourished with these non-perishable essentials.
Non-perishable foods can have a varying shelf life, but many items are designed to last for several months or even years when stored properly. Check the expiration dates on the packaging and rotate your stock as needed.
Store non-perishable foods in a cool, dark, and dry place to extend their shelf life. A pantry, basement, or closet can work well. Be sure to keep items in airtight containers or their original packaging.
Yes, there are non-perishable options available for various dietary preferences and restrictions. Look for labeled items that meet your dietary needs, and consider stocking up on dried fruits, nuts, and canned vegetables.
Regularly check the expiration dates on your non-perishable foods and use a “first in, first out” system to ensure you’re consuming the oldest items first. This helps maintain a fresh and reliable supply for emergencies.