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13 Dried And Canned Foods With The Longest Shelf Lives

How is your food supply lately? If you want to make sure your stockpile will last for a long time, these are the best dried and canned foods you should have.

Canned Foods That Will Last You a Long Time

Stocking Up on the Right Type of Food

As the United States stares down the second month of lockdown due to COVID-19, interest in prepping and long-term food storage continues to pique. Politicians and doctors are still recommending that shopping trips be avoided as much as possible. And stores are having trouble restocking their shelves.

Although a pandemic does not instill panic in people that their electricity will go out, or that their source of drinking water will dry up, many Americans are doing their best to stay home and flatten the curve. Those that are taking social distancing seriously are avoiding stores altogether, forcing them to rely on foods with longer shelf lives if they cannot schedule grocery deliveries.

The reality of a worldwide pandemic and the resulting shutdowns happening around the country have opened people’s eyes to the types of emergency situations that could occur at any time. Being prepared for all types of emergencies is a responsible measure to take.

The top needs that you should strive to meet as your stock for future crises are those for food and water. Your basic survival needs must be met first. Luckily, canned and dried foods are highly recommended as having long shelf lives, and many fall into any budget, especially when purchased in bulk.

Some canned and prepackaged foods can last for as long as 30 years if stored properly! So what are the best items to buy?

13 Foods with the Longest Shelf Lives

Foods With the Longest Shelf Lives | Canned & Dried Foods with the Longest Shelf Lives

  1. Honey – Raw, unfiltered honey is full of nutrients and antibodies and will actually last forever if stored properly. You will want to keep it in a cool, dark place.
  2. Pasta – Dehydrated pasta can last up to 30 years and makes for a satisfying and comforting meal.
  3. Beans – Beans also fall into the 30-year category when stored properly. Much like pasta, beans will leave you feeling full for a long time. They are also a great source of protein.
  4. Carrots – Dehydrated carrots can last for 25 years when stored properly! Vegetables are a critical part of our diets but can be hard to store long-term.
  5. Powdered Milk – A great source of protein, powdered milk can last for 20 years. However, its nutritional value does decrease over time.
  6. Instant Coffee – With a shelf life of up to 10 years, be sure to keep some instant coffee in the back of your pantry for a guaranteed pick-me-up.

Other Items Worth Storing

Other Items Worth Storing | Canned & Dried Foods with the Longest Shelf Lives

  1. Corn – Dried corn is another winner with a potential shelf life near 10 years.
  2. Powdered Eggs – Fresh eggs will only last about a month. But powdered eggs can be used nearly 7 years after you stow them away.
  3. Lentils & Chickpeas – You can successfully store lentils and chickpeas for about 5 years.
  4. Canned Cheese – Cheese soup will still be edible after about 5 years.
  5. Fish – Canned fish like tuna and salmon will last about 3 years before going bad.
  6. Tomatoes – Canned tomatoes have so many uses, especially with all that pasta you may be hoarding. Since they are good for about 3 years, feel free to stock up.
  7. Fruit – Canned fruit has a shelf life of about 2 years and is a welcome treat when you’re surviving off of canned foods.

Preppers know that the time to prepare for an emergency is well before it arrives. While you may be late to the game in terms of coronavirus preparation, this is a great lesson for the future.

When storing canned and dehydrated foods for emergency use, be sure to check expiration dates and rotate your stock to ensure you always have edible, nutritious options available to you – no matter what happens.

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4 No Cook Meals For Surviving The Pandemic And Food Supply Shortages

prosciutto avocado sandwich

When it comes to your food supply, you just can’t risk not having enough. These no cook meals will be a great addition to your food supply planning. Check out the recipes below!

No Cook Meals to Help You Through the Pandemic

As of the writing of this article, there are 20 meat processing plants that have been shut down due to COVID-19 infections. We have been worrying about these types of effects on our food supply for months now, and this is the first real sign of how infections can affect the food supply.

When you walk into a supermarket, you might not see all the choices you had in the past. An empty meat case is a humbling thing for your eyes to fall upon. It’s the shocking realization that the seemingly infinite supply of chickens, pigs, and cows that are butchered for us has begun to run dry!

To deal with this issue, we are going to present four no cook meals that will help you create dinners at home that will feed your family without worrying so much about what’s available, or unavailable, in the meat case.

1. Smashed White Bean, Avocado and Salted Pork Sandwiches

Smashed White Bean, Avocado and Salted Pork Sandwiches | No Cook Meals for Surviving the Pandemic and Food Supply Shortages

As preppers we get beans. There are a bunch of ways to use beans and this a great example of how you can pack a sandwich with great nutrition and protein.

Serving: Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • Can of White Beans
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Avocado
  • 8 Slices of Whole Grain Bread
  • 8 Slices of Salted Pork (Prosciutto, Ham, Virginia Ham)

Instructions:

  • Begin by draining your beans in a colander then smashing them up in a bowl add a few glugs of olive oil, salt, pepper. This little mix is delicious. If you add some minced rosemary, you can even turn this into a delicious dip.
  • Pit your avocado and cut it in half and then quarters lengthwise. Leave the skin on.
  • Lay the bread out on a clean work surface for assembling the sandwiches.
  • Spread your mashed bean mix onto one side of the bread.
  • Peel your avocados and slice 1 quarter for each sandwich. Spread slices over the bean spread.
  • Add a few slices of your pork to over the top of the avocado.
  • You can finish this sandwich with some lettuces, fresh sprouts, or just eat it as is.

2. Delicious Crab Salad

Canned crab is a protein option that will likely be around through much of this meat crisis. It does have to be kept in refrigeration, but it’s delicious and this chipotle mayo salad is great in the spring and summer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can of Crab Meat
  • 1 Bunch of Asparagus
  • Chipotle Mayo
  • 1 Bunch of Green Onions
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro

Instructions:

  • Drain your crab in a colander and set it in the sink.
  • Slice your asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Throw them into a bowl.
  • Thinly slice your onions and your cilantro and throw that into the bowl, as well.
  • Gently toss in the crab meat.
  • Squirt on enough Chipotle mayo to coat everything and toss gently not to break up the crab meat.
  • Chill in the fridge and serve.

3. Simple Greek Salad

Simple Greek Salad | No Cook Meals for Surviving the Pandemic and Food Supply Shortages

The combination of simple summer ingredients makes for an incredible quick salad that you could add other proteins, too, if you wanted. These could be canned meats.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Red Onion
  • ¼ Cup of Feta Cheese
  • A Few Sprigs of Fresh Mint
  • ½ Cup of Kalamata Olives
  • Balsamic Dressing

Instructions:

  • I like to cut the tomatoes in large chunks and have them kind of be the main course in this salad. Peel and slice your cucumber in half. Remove the seeds and either dice or slice in half-moons.
  • Peel and slice your red onion in half. Julienne your, or thinly slice, your half onion.
  • Add all these ingredients to a bowl. Finely slice your mint.
  • Add your olives, crumbled feta, and mint to the bowl and add enough dressing to coat everything.
  • Stir it up and allow this to chill for at least an hour for the flavors to really blend.

4. Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps | No Cook Meals for Surviving the Pandemic and Food Supply Shortages

Using some similar ingredients and adding a protein like tuna, you can create some delicious lettuce wraps. The key to a good lettuce wrap is to have most of the items around the same size. So, consider that when you are preparing this dish.

Ingredients:

  • Iceberg or Butter Lettuce
  • Canned Artichokes
  • Canned roasted Red peppers
  • Fresh Cucumber
  • Feta Cheese
  • Minced Olives ¼ Cup
  • 2 Cans of Tuna
  • Green Onions
  • Basil

Instructions:

  • Start by peeling all the full leaves from your lettuce. Set them on a plate either cover them with a wet paper towel or put them back into the fridge.
  • Dice the peppers, artichokes, and cucumbers into cubes. Go no larger than ½ an inch.
  • Thinly slice your green onions and basil and add them to a bowl with your diced vegetables. Add your loves to this bowl and mix them thoroughly.
  • Crumble your feta cheese over the mixture.
  • Drain your tuna thoroughly and then add that to the bowl, as well.
  • Gently toss this mixture. Try not to break up the tuna and the cheese too much but incorporate it thoroughly.
  • If you want, you can add some olive oil to the mix or a few glugs of balsamic vinegar. It’s also delicious just how it is.
  • Scoop a few tablespoons into a lettuce leaf, wrap it up and eat up!

These no cook meals should help lessen the stress you feel when thinking of what to feed your family. If you don’t have the specific ingredients, use your creativity, and use what you have. You might discover a new recipe while you’re at it!

What’s your favorite no cook meal recipe? Please share it with us in the comments section!

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Best Plants For Your Survival Garden

With everything that’s going on, you might already be considered starting your own backyard garden. Why not? It will guarantee your food supply. But first, what are the best plants to put in your survival garden?

Survival Garden Plants You Can Start With

Pristine raised beds with perfectly manicured robust plants, void of weeds or any other blemish – this picture might come to mind when you think of a garden. The survival garden is a different thing.

Your perfect raised bed garden is designed to please the eye as much as it will please the stomach.

You can grow a lot of food in a traditional garden but the problem is, it’s as pleasing to your eye as it is to many others. Any onlooker will appreciate a great garden and when hard times arrive they might decide to appreciate that nice garden while you and your family sleep. They might help themselves to the things they want.

The benefit of a survival garden is that it blends in with the landscape and looks more like a bunch of overgrowths than an actual garden. No one has perfected this practice like Rick Austin the Survival Gardener and his books are best pieces of literature on the topic to date.

So, what are the best plants to include in your hidden survival garden?

1. Perennials

Perennials | Best Plants for your Survival Garden

There are no better plants to include in your survival garden than perennials. These are literally plants that come back year over year and provide you with food for truly little effort. You can add these anytime to your survival garden you are going to want to add them.

They can be a bit of an investment and many do not produce until the second year they are in the ground.

Another great thing about perennials is they are harder to identify than more traditional plants. Examples of great perennials are:

  • Asparagus
  • Horseradish
  • Sunchokes
  • Egyptian Walking Onions
  • Sea Kale
  • Day Lilies

2. Fruit and Nut Trees

Fruit and Nut Trees | Best Plants for your Survival Garden

Planting perennials around fruit and nut trees will give you a great base for the rest of your survival garden. Now, you will have food-producing trees, which very few people can identify, surrounded by hard to identify perennials that will all produce food for you.

Fruit and nut trees will require some mulching, pruning, and maybe even some fertilizing to assure you get some high-quality production.

These trees are another great investment that will produce food for years. Here are some easy to grow fruits and nuts to plant in your survival garden:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Paw Paw
  • Plums
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts (these will get HUGE but they will produce a lot of walnuts)

3. Herbs

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Herbs are a unique addition to your garden because they can be used to enhance food, used as alternative medicine, and to ward away bad pests and insects destroying your survival garden.

They can also double as a ground cover. Plants like thyme are great for this.

I am going to give you a list of some of the best multipurpose herbs for your survival garden. These are:

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Mint

4. Brambles

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Raspberries and blackberries are the very best of these to add to your survival garden. Not only do they produce an incredible amount of berries, but they also come back year over year.

These caning bushes will put up new shoots year over year and if they are not tamed they can even become quite invasive.

Because they are dense and thorny these brambles can also be used as deterrents to keep people out of your garden. Imagine a naturally occurring perimeter of these brambles around your robust food forest.

You might have naturally occurring blackberries in your area; these are very easy to transplant. You can pull up a single cane and transplant that to your property. In a couple of years, you will be building a nice blackberry patch.

We also keep Blackhawk raspberries, and they are very prolific.

5. Annuals

Annuals | Best Plants for your Survival Garden

What would a garden be without some great annuals? The mistake we make most is that we allow the annuals to dominate our garden year over year. Because of this, we find ourselves with mountains of work each spring because we are starting all over!

The survival garden is the opposite. It is dominated by trees and perennials.

That does not mean that we cannot use it to grow some annuals but just be careful. You want to grow annuals that produce the most food per plant. These are easy to identify.

1 carrot seed makes 1 carrot.

1 green bean seed makes dozens of green beans.

That is the difference. Choose the right plants and you can grow tons of food in a small area. If you dedicate your garden to low yield plants, well, you will have a low yield.

Start with these:

  • Sweet Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Corn
  • Pumpkins
  • Butternut Squash
  • Acorn Squash
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash

A Garden for Your Survival

You might have a prolific garden in your backyard already. If you choose to call this your survival garden, that is okay, but there are some tremendous risks in that. Namely the fact that this garden can be had by anyone who is willing to wait till you fall asleep.

Now in normal circumstances that would not happen, but we are not preparing for normal circumstances, are we?

Your survival garden should be a hidden location that offers up a collection of food-producing edible plants, trees, and medicinal herbs that looks as much a mess as any other collection of woods. When you walk into that section of woods, you will understand what you have created. But for most other people, it will be a mystery.

Do you have other ideas for survival garden plants? Let us know in the comments section!

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How To Use Traditional Food Preservation Methods

Why buy preserved foods when you can just make them on your own? Learn more about traditional food preservation methods below!

6 DIY Food Preservation Methods to Try

In today’s day and age, “food storage” refers to your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. It’s a very comfortable life that allows us to purchase canned, dried, frozen, and shelf-stable ready-to-eat goods. But what if that all went away?

The panic buying resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has given us a glimpse into if store shelves were ever unable to be restocked. Preppers ready and educate themselves for much more severe conditions, including a total breakdown of society.

It’s hard for the average person in America to imagine a world without electricity, clean running water, trucks delivering to our local supermarkets daily, and easy access to fuel and other commodities.

Most households would be almost immediately overwhelmed at the prospect of taking care of themselves with no outside help.

But the truth is that humans have navigated how to survive in all types of conditions, for thousands of years. It is only in our most recent history that we have come to rely so heavily on infrastructure and not ourselves.

Now is a great time to learn about food preservation techniques that have proved successful, in the case that you might ever need them. Here are some of the most simple and accessible methods for food preservation:

1. Dehydration

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An electric dehydrator is a great tool if you have electricity available, but sun-drying food without electricity is extremely simple, as well. All you need is a screen, sunshine, and a breeze.

You can dehydrate meats, fruits, and vegetables. The food needs to be cut very thin (less than ¼” thick), and scoring the food will help speed up the process.

Lay the food out on the screen and in direct sunlight. The breeze will help keep flies away; keep the screen high enough that animals cannot reach it. In several days, your food will be dried and can be stored!

2. Pickling

Pickling | How to Preserve Food Using Traditional Methods

You can pickle nearly any vegetable by putting it in vinegar. You can boil the vinegar to help with flavor, but be sure to let it cool again before adding the vegetables, to preserve their crunch.

Pickling extends the life of vegetables by up to 3 times.

3. Olive Oil

Olive Oil | How to Preserve Food Using Traditional Methods

Storing foods in olive oil can make them shelf-stable for up to a year! Used by Mediterranean people for centuries, olive oil preservation is perfect for any foods you would usually cook in the oil – meats, vegetables, fish, and herbs.

If you are planning to store foods at room temperature, prepare them with boiling vinegar or salted water first.

Glass storage containers are recommended, and the food should be fully submerged in the olive oil. As always, do not eat from leaky containers or those with bulging lids.

4. Eggs in Mineral Oil

Eggs have been one of the hardest foods to track down recently, and as a result, more people are buying chickens to ensure their personal supply. If you have access to fresh-laid eggs, you can successfully preserve them for up to a year with mineral oil.

The key is to not wash the eggs until you are ready to use them. Brush the dirt off the eggs and thoroughly and completely coat the eggshells with mineral oil. Store the eggs in an egg container on your counter.

Once a week for the first month, flip the eggs over. After a month, move the eggs to a cool, dry place until you need them.

When you are ready to use the eggs, put them in a bowl of cold water. Those that sink are good to eat; throw the rest away. Wash and cook them as you like.

5. Root Cellar Storage

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Root vegetables like potatoes and carrots can be successfully stored in cool, dark places like basements or cellars. Storing them in paper or burlap bags helps with ventilation to limit spoiling.

Temperatures between 45-50° F are perfect, but you’ll first want to cure them by laying them out (not in direct sunlight) for 2-4 weeks.

6. Canning

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Purchasing a pressure-canner and a supply of Mason jars, lids, rings, and jar tongs can help with food preservation of a bountiful harvest. Fruits, vegetables, meats, and even fish can be canned at home and stored for several years.

Jams and jellies are a real treat after eating simple, preserved food for a long time. Canning vegetables can also be done in boiling water but can take years to perfect your method.

One of the most important things to look out for are bulging lids, which indicate a strong seal has not been achieved. It is not safe to eat from cans with bulging lids.

Try Other Methods, Too

There are other traditional methods of preserving food, including smoking and salting meats, beeswax wraps, and preserving meat in lard.

We highly recommend researching and experimenting with multiple approaches. Take notes and perfect your techniques; self-sufficiency is something to be proud of.

What’s your favorite food preservation method and why? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section!

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