Healthy Pantry Prep
I’ve learned since I got to Florida that people go a little nuts when a hurricane’s coming.
Even though most people are used to readying for natural disasters, store shelves get wiped bare fast when a storm is in the forecast.
And at the pandemic’s beginning, it was doubly crazy.
I wish I had stock in a TP company.
It was, in a word, insane.
But it’s a harsh reminder of how important a food stockpile is to survival.
Whether you're prepping for a hurricane, snowstorm, or worldwide pandemic, you need a stash of non-perishable food in your home.
One that’s ready BEFORE you need it. Because if you wait, it could be too late.
I’m not talking about a bag of energy bars that tout themselves as "healthy" but are really just glorified, sugar-laden junk.
I mean pantry staples you can use to whip up a wholesome meal for your family in an emergency.
Now, before I get into my list, I want to make one point.
There are very few canned foods on this list.
I personally try to avoid canned foods due to the link with bisphenol-A (BPA).
Some companies make an effort to avoid it, which is good. But you don’t always know – and you need to know.
Because BPA has been linked to numerous health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and problems "down there" for men.
That's just not a risk I'm willing to take if I can help it.
With that in mind, here are 5 can-free foods you should start snapping up now, so you're ready for the next emergency that heads our way.
- Bags of beans
Beans are loaded with fiber and B vitamins, so they can support digestion, heart health and give you a burst of energy.
They're also a great vegetarian source of protein.
My favorite beans to cook with are chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils.
I like to throw them in the stockpot with some veggies and chicken or beef stock to make soup. Or, add them to a salad for an extra protein punch.
They even taste great on their own.
- Nuts and seeds
In my opinion, a handful of nuts make a perfect snack during an emergency.
Not only are nuts full of nutrients like omega-3s, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, phytosterols, and healthy fats.
They also help crush hunger.
And that's something we all need during a disaster when food is in short supply.
Seeds are like a cousin to the nut, in that they are versatile, filling, and pack a lot of nutrition in a small space. Focus on flax and chia – you’ll get a bunch of omega-3s, and filling fiber if you do.
- Shelf-stable milk
Back in the day, if you wanted shelf-stable milk, your only option was powdered cow's milk. Which is fine, but I like choices.
And now I have them.
Today, you can get shelf-stable soy milk, almond milk, milk flavored with vanilla, or other flavors.
There's literally a whole shelf in my local health food store just for shelf-stable milk.
If you like milk with your coffee, you'll want to have some shelf-stable milk on hand. And even in a power outage, with some shelf-stable milk and my Patriot Power Blender, I’m good.
- Dried fruits
Dried fruits like raisins, apricots, and berries are great alternatives to fresh fruits.
(Be sure to get the varieties without sugar added.)
While dried fruits lose some of the original vitamin C, most other nutrients are retained. And they work great for baking too.
- Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods
Beyond fruits, freeze-dried foods, like meat, are also great to include in your survival stash. And dehydrated, quick-prep meals are a staple in the pantry for emergencies as well.
Not only are these foods typically full of protein, they're also super light since their water content has been removed.
That makes transporting them a breeze when you need to make a quick exit ahead of an oncoming disaster.
The time to prepare is when it’s calm. Why wait in line in the midst of a frenzy?
In fact, it's why my buddy Frank over at 4Patriots is ramping up production on his Survival Food. He wants as many Americans as possible to have the peace of mind that only comes from being truly prepared.
But if you see some of these items in stores snatch them up now. And, keep getting them as food becomes more available.
We might not know when another disaster is coming, but one thing is certain... It is coming eventually.
Best to start preparing for it now.
Stay safe out there.