Often when talking about foods with a long shelf life, the items we describe don’t comprise a very appealing diet.
Living on rice and beans in a survival situation is very practical, but after about a week I imagine we’d all be sick of the same meal over and over. When we are stocking our root cellars in case of disasters and such, we can take this into consideration. What kinds of meals are we going to want to eat when we have to live off of our survival storage?
Rice is a wonderful survival food, as it is full of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the most common source of energy, and less water is required to process them than is required to process proteins and fats. There are many different ways to eat rice, so when stocking up keep in mind what you can add to it.
Breakfast With A Long Shelf Life
A great survival breakfast is warm rice with honey and virgin coconut oil. Raw honey, which can last almost indefinitely, has live enzymes that aid in digestion, as well as many other health benefits and nutrients. Virgin coconut oil is very nourishing, and just a teaspoon each day provides the necessary healthy fats to stay well. Both raw honey and virgin coconut oil have a long shelf life and can double as medicine. Honey boosts the immune system and fights colds. Virgin coconut oil is a great moisturizer and has antibiotic properties. This makes it a perfect ointment for wounds.
Directions: Boil 2 cups of water. Add 1 cup rice and cover. Simmer on low heat for an hour or until water is absorbed; this can vary depending on what kind of rice you have. Fluff with a fork and add a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of coconut oil. You can also add warm spices if desired. Spices are full of nutrients and can last a very long time. Another good option is to put canned non-citrus (citrus won’t last as long) fruit on top of this meal. Just make sure to buy it in juice instead of syrup, as you don’t need any over-processed sugar weighing your system down in a survival situation.
Survival Lunch And Supper
Rice and beans together provide all the amino acids to form a complete protein. It’s a good idea to cook them separately and mix them together to serve. Beans are best if soaked overnight and then boiled in a lot of water. In my experience, beans can take hours to cook, but, of course, it depends on the kind of bean. Adding dried spices such as cumin and garlic adds a lot of flavor and can make a simple meal more exciting.
One wholesome survival supper combination is corn, beans and green vegetables. Dried corn can last about as long as dried beans. Just boil in water until soft. This is a nourishing grain and can help round out the nutrients in your survival stash. Canned green vegetables can prevent many nutrient deficiencies, as green vegetables are dense with life-sustaining vitamins and minerals. Make sure to stock up on the low-sodium kind, as you won’t want anything to make you dehydrated when you may have to ration water. You can add flavor to them by warming them up in a pan with dried spices and herbs.
A very practical and comforting meal is soup. A can of low-sodium mixed vegetables, beans, a bottle of tomato juice, and dried herbs can make a simple healthy meal with a long shelf life. It’s best to get bottles of tomato juice, as the acidic fruit will not last as long in a can. Tomato juice is higher in vitamin C than orange juice, and vitamin C will be vital if you don’t have any fresh fruits. You can also add dried corn or rice or a can of low-sodium green vegetables for variety. For a great twist, I like to start a soup by sautéing canned onions in a teaspoon of coconut oil with dried basil and oregano. Then I add all the other ingredients and cook for an hour or so.
An absolutely invaluable resource for survival is a handbook on edible plants for your area. Adding fresh fruits, greens and roots to any of these recipes will help you adjust for when your survival stock runs out and you have to live completely off the land.
Here is the list of all 10 foods I have included in these recipes. These are great nutritious foods with a long shelf life.
Virgin Coconut oil
Canned green vegetables
Bottled tomato juice
Canned non-citrus fruits in juice
Canned potatoes and canned onions
Dried herbs and spices
What are your survival recipes and pantry items? Share your tips in the section below: