There are times in life when you have to stock up on food, whether It’s because you’re compromised by a natural disaster or a virus pandemic; perhaps you only want to make sure your pantry is well-stocked, just in case.
In order to make the best use of your resources and storage space, you should buy products with long shelf lives, and some are perfectly good to eat after decades! So, let’s take a look at 12 foods that have a really long shelf life.
#12 – Dried beans and other legumes
Let’s start with a few proteins, and when it comes to proteins, plant-based is your best choice.
Dried beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, soybeans and peanuts (yes, peanuts are legumes) are nutritious and a great source of proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Legumes are also very easy to cook and inexpensive. As long as they’re stored in a dry environment, and you make sure bugs don’t have access to them, you can store them for decades.
#11 – Powdered milk
Boxed, pasteurized milk has a long shelf life compared to fresh milk, you can store it up to six months, but there’s a problem, it takes too much storage space.
Powdered milk is just as nutritious as pasteurized milk and will keep for years. An excellent source of protein, fat, calcium and vitamins, powdered milk is essential in your survivor pantry.
#10 – Beef Jerky
Who doesn’t love salted dried meat, right? It’s chewy and utterly delicious. It will outlive you too, stored in an airtight bag, it can last for over 50 years.
Here’s the thing, bacteria and fungi spoil food, but they need moisture. As you might have guessed, dried meat has no humidity, and the salt acts like a conservative, so bulk buy!
#9 – Canned Tuna
Canned tuna is incredibly versatile; you can cook tuna pies and stews with it, but also tuna sandwiches and salads. For many, it’s quite tasty straight from the can too.
Canned goods have long shelf lives of three or more years and tuna is a good source of proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids.
#8 – Peanut butter
Peanut butter can last from nine months to a year if unopened, and almost the same period if opened and stored in the fridge.
Make sure you get real peanut butter, without trans fats and added sugars, and there are many other nut butters out there that are equally nutritious.
Low on carbs and high on proteins and plant-based fat, peanut butter is an excellent add-on to your diet.
#7 – Ghee
In case you’re not familiar with ghee, it’s clarified butter used in Indian cuisines, but very useful for cooking anything.
Butter is boiled to remove water and solids ending with a concentrated fat with a very long shelf life of up to nine months.
Ghee has no lactose or casein and has the same benefits (and lovely flavor) as butter, but it lasts much longer.
#6 – Potato flakes
Potatoes are very resistant root vegetables and can last for several months, but they’re nevertheless perishable. Potato flakes, on the other hand, are virtually immortal.
As long as you keep your potato flakes free of moisture, you can keep them for up to thirty years. With a splash of water, you’ll make yourself creamy potatoes to use in a wide variety of dishes, from mashed potatoes to fluffy potato rolls.
#5 – Dried pasta
Let’s face it, what would we do without pasta? It’s so simple and delightfully satisfying at the same time. With your favorite sauce, from Bolognese to pesto, a pasta bowl is a crowd-pleaser.
The good news? Dried pasta will keep for decades, and it will never lose its properties. Make sure you keep it dry and away from bugs, you can have pasta for over 30 years.
#4 – White rice
White rice can be stored for up to 20 years if kept dry and sealed. As with any other grain, try to use an airtight container for the best results.
The pearly white rice might not have many vitamins or minerals, since the bran and the germ are removed. However, rice is still an economical source of energy, and you can always make nutritious meals with it adding proteins and vegetables.
#3 – Canned fruits and vegetables
Canned foods can last over three years, and they’re virtually indestructible. And there’s no better canned food than fruit and vegetables.
In emergencies, the first things that suffer from shortage are fresh produce, and we can’t live without adequate sources of vitamins and minerals available in fruits and greens.
Fresh will always beat canned goods, but for shelf life, canned goods have a clear edge.
#2 – Dark chocolate
Chocolate is not only a sweet treat to have in your emergency pantry, it’s good for you too. Dark chocolate, preferably of over 70% cacao, add carbs, fat and antioxidants to your diet.
Unopened and away from bugs, heat and humidity, chocolate can last up to two years without losing its health benefits and decadent flavor.
#1 – Honey
Honey is well known to be one of the most long-lived foods on the planet, archeologists have found hundred-year-old traces of it in perfect condition.
Being mostly sugar, but with a distinctly heartwarming flavor, honey is a good source of calories and can make any sweet dish and pastry come to life.
This is quite a shopping list!
Remember always to store food that you’ll enjoy eating and not only long-lasting food for the sake of it.
Try to balance your stockpile with proteins, veggies and carbs, and don’t forget to add a few sweets too!