Although there are many foods that will last for decades when stored properly (wheat, beans, pasta, etc.), there are some foods that last forever without canning, freezing or dehydrating. If you’re new to food storage, these staples are a great way to start. They’re the longest lasting foods in the world and are often referred to as “forever foods.” Technically, most of them are ingredients, but you can use them to make some great meals if you know how.
Next time you’re at the store, be sure to grab some of these foods/ingredients even if you don’t think you need them. Just seal them in an airtight bag, bottle, or container, keep them in a cool, dry location, and forget about them. When the time comes, they’ll be ready. Now on to the list, in alphabetical order:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar – This kitchen staple has many health benefits and will last indefinitely as long as you keep it sealed.
2. Bouillon Cubes – As long as you keep these dry, they should remain stable indefinitely. With these, you can make some delicious soup with just a few other ingredients, so get plenty of them.
3. Corn Starch – As long as it’s kept dry, corn starch can last indefinitely, so stock up. It’s not only great for cooking, but can also be used for other things like removing oil from the face and hair, soothing sunburns, and diaper rashes.
4. Corn Syrup – The most common substitute for sugar in America. You can use it for brownies, cookies or candy.
5. Ghee – This kind of butter is boiled until all the moisture is gone, which is why it never goes bad. As long as you seal it and keep it in a cool, dry location (as with every item in this list) it can last hundreds of years. Here’s some more information.
6. Hard Liquor – Distilled liquor never goes bad, even after it’s been opened. And it’s not just a temporary escape, it’s also important for disinfecting wounds and easing physical pain.
7. Hardtack – This is a mixture of flour and water forms a hard cracker that keeps for decades. Soldiers carried it with them in the civil war. It’s very hard and doesn’t taste great, but it will keep you going in an emergency. Here’s how to make it.
8. Honey – Archaeologists discovered ancient honey in the Egyptian pyramids and it was still edible! It crystallizes over time, but all you have to do is warm it up and stir it to get it back to the right consistency.
9. Maple Syrup – Like corn syrup and honey, this stuff lasts a long time because of the high sugar content. And what good are pancakes without maple syrup?
10. Salt – This stuff lasts forever, whether it’s sea salt or ordinary table salt. It’s also very useful. Just make sure it’s not seasoned salt, which is only good for a year.
11. Soy Sauce – As long as it’s never opened, soy sauce also lasts indefinitely. This is mainly due to the high sodium content.
12. Sugar – Brown, white and powdered sugar all lasts forever. The problem with sugar is it hardens over time, but you can break up the chunks by warming it up and stirring it, just like with honey.
13. Vanilla Extract – Like fine wine, pure vanilla extract actually improves with time because it’s a form of liqueur. It’s more expensive than imitation vanilla, but well worth it.
14. White Rice – Every type of rice except for brown rice will keep forever if you store it properly. Brown rice, on the other hand, has a lot of oil so it goes bad after several months.
15. White Vinegar – In addition to cooking, distilled white vinegar can be used for cleaning, polishing, deodorizing, and other things.