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    100 Foods That Can Last At Least A Decade

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    100 Foods That Can Last At Least A Decade

    In today's unpredictable world, having a well-stocked pantry of longer-lasting foods can provide peace of mind. You don’t have to worry about feeding your family if there is a severe storm, pandemic or some kind of economic collapse that leaves the grocery store shelves empty or unaffordable. You want to choose food that will last for the foreseeable future on a shelf with no refrigeration required.

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    Food Storage

    You can spend thousands of dollars on food that SHOULD last for a decade, but if you don’t invest in the right equipment and tools, it’s a waste of money. Before you spend a dollar buying food for your storage, you need to get your space ready. You need to spend the money on a few things.

    • Mylar bags are key to keeping dry goods for decades. The bags are available in various sizes. Choose sizes that will suit your family. If you’re a family of two, go with a smaller size. Every time you expose food to air, you’re shortening the lifespan. Mylar bags can be sealed with an iron, flat iron, or a food sealer.
    • Oxygen absorbers are an extra layer of protection. Oxygen is the death knell of your food supply. Oxygen means moisture. A single pack or a few to keep your food safe is all you need.
    • Five-gallon food-grade buckets with lids. Buckets keep your food dry and safe from pests.
    • Bay leaves are stinky and the pests that eat your food will stay away. Put a bay leaf in your mylar bags, along with an oxygen absorber to give your food the best chance.
    • Mason jars with clean lids. Mason jars are great for dried goods. You won’t need to seal the jars with anything more than a lid and band.

    Once you have your supplies, you’ll need to make sure you have a good place to store your goods. Cool, dry and dark are ideal. Basements, a spare room, root cellar or a pantry are your best bet for a long shelf life.

    If it’s too hot, it’ll ruin your food. Too cold and it will freeze and ruin your food. Avoid sunlight as much as you can. Leave the lights off. For any grains, put them in the freezer for a week or two before storing to kill off insect eggs.

    Protein

    1. Beef jerky is portable and lightweight. It’s a quick boost of energy.
    2. Canned meat are quick and easy to eat. It doesn’t take long to heat the can and you won’t have to waste precious water.
    3. Canned salmon packs a lot of protein and can be eaten cold.
    4. Canned tuna is another quick protein source that can be eaten straight from the can.
    5. Freeze-dried meat options can be eaten from the package or put in soups or stews.
    6. Peanut butter is a comfort food, and a couple of tablespoons give you eight grams of protein.
    7. Pemmican isn’t delicious but it will last and. Check out different recipes to find the one that works for you.
    8. Sardines eaten straight from the can are full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids that will keep you healthy.
    9. Whey protein powder can be mixed into water or added to recipes to provide a boost of protein.

    Fruit

    1. Canned fruit provides fiber when you can’t get your hands on fresh fruit. It’s a quick and easy way to satisfy a sweet tooth while giving your body important nutrients. You can eat as is or use to make desserts.
    2. Dried fruit is lightweight and easily transportable. It also has a longer shelf life.
    3. Freeze-dried fruits are great as is or add to oatmeal or use in baking.
    4. Fruit leather is perfect for taking on a hike to provide a little energy.

    Grains

    1. Barley is high in fiber and an anti-inflammatory while also being very filling. Use in soups, breads or beef up a can of veggies.
    2. Bulgur wheat is more of added boost of fiber to baked goods for extra bulk and nutrition.
    3. Cornmeal is a comfort food for some. It can be used to change boring fish into southern cuisine.
    4. Flour (white) is a critical item to store because you’ll need it for baking bread, tortillas, biscuits and so on.
    5. Grits while not technically a grain have the same texture as a cereal. They are a starch and provide an energy boost.
    6. Kamut isn’t common but is a whole grain that can be used similarly to oats.
    7. Millet is used like grits but can also be ground into a flour. The best part about millet is it’s gluten free for those sensitive bellies.
    8. Oats are filling for breakfast, added to bread or even soups and stews to thicken.
    9. Pasta (dried) things like spaghetti, macaroni and so on are quick to cook and provide a full meal in ten minutes.
    10. Quinoa is packed with protein and has more of a ‘meaty’ texture that can be mixed in with soup or eaten cold with some lettuce for a protein rich salad.
    11. Spelt isn’t common but it’s like wheat with a nutty flavor.
    12. Wheatberries can be eaten with a little milk or water for breakfast or ground to make wheat flour.
    13. White rice is another thickening starch that fills the belly and provides a burst of energy.

    Vegetables

    1. Canned vegetables i.e., peas, green beans, carrots etc.… are one way to make sure you’re getting the nutrition your body needs. They can be eaten straight from the can, heated up or added to rice or stew to make a healthy meal.
    2. Dehydrated potato slices or shreds are a quick side dish or additive.
    3. Dried mushrooms are kind of a veggie. Use them in your meals in place of fresh or canned mushrooms.
    4. Dried pozole which is hominy can be used to make the traditional Mexican soup.
    5. Dried veggies will typically need to be rehydrated for about thirty minutes before eating. However, you can toss in a simmering stew or rice and conserve water.
    6. Freeze-dried veggies are similar to dried vegetables but will last a lot longer on the shelf.
    7. Instant potatoes for a side dish or added to soups, stews or a bread recipe.
    8. Sauerkraut is a fermented veggie that will last a long while and is full of fiber and vitamin C.
    9. Tomato paste used in a casserole or soup can thicken while adding flavor.

    Beans/Legumes

    1. Beans (black, kidney, pinto, etc.) canned or dried are an absolute must. Beans are high in protein and fiber and can be eaten cold or hot.
    2. Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans are hard beans that have a nutty flavor that is a nice change and can be eaten as they are or ground up to make hummus.
    3. Instant beans have been pre-cooked and dried and require less water to cook while providing nearly the same protein.
    4. Lentils are high in protein and fiber. They are a quick and easy soup addition.
    5. Split peas are like other legumes and offer a big dose of protein, fiber and antioxidants. Best served in a soup.
    6. Sprouting seeds like mung beans, chickpeas and lentils are nice for a fresh green option.

    Dairy

    1. Canned butter isn’t common in the US but Red Feather out of New Zealand makes it and it will last if you have to have butter.
    2. Canned cheese for dipping or cooking.
    3. Ghee is easily made at home and will be your go-to when you want to bake or cook with butter.
    4. Powdered butter only needs a little water to make it spreadable or thick enough to use in baking. Butter makes the world go round.
    5. Powdered cheese only requires a little water to create a cheese sauce or use it in it’s powder form to sprinkle over popcorn or a spice rub.
    6. Powdered eggs are an option for scrambled eggs or baking.
    7. Powdered milk is a nice replacement when fresh milk isn’t available. Use it to flavor soups, breads and stews as well.
    8. Powdered sour cream is just like the rest and mostly more of a flavor enhancer than anything else.

    Condiments

    1. Capers packed in salt are an addition to salads, stews or veggie dishes.
    2. Dried herbs and spices will make life better. Bland food can cause food fatigue. A little spice goes a long way to making a bland dish more palatable.
    3. Dried onions can be reconstituted and used as a condiment or simply added to recipes to replace fresh onions.
    4. Fish sauce is great for Asian inspired meals or as a marinade.
    5. Hot sauce is something some people must have and capsaicin is actually good for you.
    6. Jams and jellies for sandwiches or a quick treat.
    7. Mustard is a tangy burst of flavor added to just about anything and it will last a long time, but it might lose some of the initial punch of flavor.
    8. Pepper is used in everything for a little flavor.
    9. Salt is never going bad and it is a critical staple not just for flavor, but your muscles need salt.
    10. Soy sauce is going to last forever, but just be sure to use sparingly given the high sodium content.

    Ready-to-Eat Canned Goods

    1. Broth is great to drink as is or use to flavor rice, beans and homemade soups and stews.
    2. Chili is a comfort food that packs a punch of protein.
    3. Ravioli eaten warm or cold straight from the can is a quick meal.
    4. Soups that require no actual cooking provide comfort and nutrition.
    5. Spaghetti O's if you’ve got kids, this staple can make everyone’s life a little better.
    6. Stew varieties are a way to get veggies and protein in minutes when both things are not readily available.

    Oils

    1. Avocado oil kept cool and dry will last well past use by date.
    2. Coconut oil is preferable to vegetable oil and will last for a long time when stored correctly.
    3. Extra virgin olive oil last longer than regular olive oil, but always use your nose to determine if it’s gone rancid.
    4. Lard got a bad rap a while back, but sometimes you need some fat to cook your food.
    5. Shortening powder is an option to the can of Crisco that may or may not last ten years.

    Miscellaneous

    1. Baking soda is an essential baking ingredient but is also a good cleaning agent.
    2. Bouillon cubes to flavor soups, stews, and rice dishes.
    3. Biscuit mixes after sitting in the freezer for a couple of weeks are a quick and easy bread option.
    4. Cocoa powder for baking or mixing up some hot chocolate.
    5. Coconut milk will typically be good for a long time after the use-by date.
    6. Corn syrup to make hard candy.
    7. Cornstarch for baking or as a thickening agent.
    8. Dip mixes like ranch or onion are great for meat marinades or soup and stew flavorings.
    9. Dried chiles can be reconstituted for a topping or put into a dish for a little heat.
    10. Dry soup mixes are lighter to carry and take up less shelf space than a can of soup.
    11. Freeze-dried prepackaged meals are great, but a little expensive.
    12. Gelatin powder with a little water makes Jell-o or as a soup and stew thickener.
    13. Gravy mix is another flavor additive that is cheap and easy to store.
    14. Hard candy for sore throats or just for something to have in your mouth.
    15. Hardtack is quick and easy to make now and can be a quick “cracker” for an emergency situation.
    16. Honey in its raw form lasts forever and is easily one of the most important items on your shelf. Use as a sweetener, a punch of energy or medicinally.
    17. Instant coffee is going to last forever and can help maintain normalcy in an abnormal world.
    18. Instant pudding mix for baking or eating as intended.
    19. Liquor may not be healthy, but sometimes, you need a drink and it can be used to barter if needed.
    20. Maple syrup isn't just for pancakes. Use it to flavor boring oatmeal or a bland biscuit.
    21. Molasses is another sweetener that requires very little to get the desired sweetness in a cake or cookies.
    22. Pancake mixes eliminate the need for baking ingredients.
    23. Popcorn kernels are a comfort food and a good snack to pack along on a trek.
    24. Powdered sugar with a little powdered milk makes a quick frosting—survival isn't always about eating to survive. It can also be good food.
    25. Pure vanilla extract for baking.
    26. Ramen noodles with or without the flavoring packet are good dry or tossed into a soup.
    27. Sugar is something most people simply cannot or do not want to live without.
    28. Tea, preferably loose leaf, is comforting as well as medicinal.
    29. Vinegar can be used to preserve food, flavor a dish, or as a cleaning agent.
    30. Wine when stored correctly is only going to get better with age.

    As always, use good judgement when opening a package to determine if the food has spoiled.

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