cooking ideas for long term food storage

Delicious Cooking Ideas for Long Term Food Storage

Long term foods usually call to mind basic but reliable foods that provide solid nutrition along with the capability of remaining edible indefinitely (if stored properly). Rice and beans are some of the best foods for this objective, along with corn, wheat, oats, dried pastas as well as other legumes.

However, there’s no need to settle for bland long term foods prepared the same way every time. With some planning and the storing away of key dried spices and canned goods that fit your appetite and palette, long term food storage cuisine can be something you and your family look forward to. Whether you love the flavors of Indian food, Mexican food, Spanish food, Asian, Thai, Italian, or good old fashioned American comfort food, all of these are possible if you have the right components on hand.

Before we get into the meat of this post, you better make sure you have adequate long term food storage to begin with. If you’re on a budget (like most of us), you might want to checkout how to build your long term food storage with just $5/week.

For starters, here is an expanded take on long term food storage staple possibilities:

  • Dried Pinto Beans
  • Dried Kidney Beans
  • Dried White Beans
  • Dried Black Beans
  • White Rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Dried Lentils
  • Dried Chickpeas
  • Hard White Winter Wheat
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Dry Italian Pastas
  • Dry Asian Rice Noodles

While you don’t have to store large amounts of each, having at least a couple of different kinds of your staples can certainly help to add variety to your menus throughout the week, even in the most spartan of cooking circumstances.

Herbs, Spices and Seasonings

Next — and this is key — be sure to pack away some of your favorite dried herbs, spices and seasonings to have on hand for creative long term food storage cooking. While dried spices may lose some of their flavor and impact gradually over time, they can remain edible indefinitely. Consider storing some or all of the following spices, as well as any other family favorites:

  • Chicken and/or Beef Bullion Cubes or Granules
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic (powdered and/or granulated)
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Dry Mustard
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Paprika
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Crushed red pepper

Pre-mixed spice blends can be a good option as well:

  • Seasoned salt
  • Steak seasoning
  • Dried onion soup mix
  • Powdered ranch dressing mix
  • Powdered Italian dressing mix

Other ethnic seasoning ideas might include:

Mexican food:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Packaged taco seasoning mix
  • Cilantro

Indian food:

  • Curry
  • Masala
  • Tandoori
  • Turmeric
  • Saffron

Asian and Thai food:

  • Dried Thai basil
  • Thai chilis
  • Soy sauce
  • Golden mountain sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Fish sauce
  • Oyster sauce

If you like cajun and creole food, pack away some spice blends or mixes.

Canned Goods

Canned goods have limitations on their shelf life, but storing some of them can allow for expanded creativity in some of your meals:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruits
  • Stewed Tomatoes (Italian and Mexican flavored)
  • Tomato Sauce and Paste
  • Cream of Chicken Soup
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Enchilada Sauce
  • Salsa
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Jam or Preserves

From here, your preferences and creativity should kick in. Does your family have a favorite Italian dish, or do you love Indian food? The ingredients listed here can be combined in a myriad of ways to tantalize the taste buds far beyond what just plain beans and rice can do. It’s not about replicating a meal to a T, because this will just not be possible in most survival circumstances. However, most of your staples can be tweaked and flavored to reflect the essence of just about any food ethnicity. A sample Indian menu might be:

  • Curried or tandoori beans
  • Lentils masala
  • Hummus (mashed chickpeas)
  • Saffron rice

As for Italian, your pasta, spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning can be the basis of a very flavorful meal.

Rice and beans can be the basis of a delicious Mexican-inspired meal. Use taco seasoning, enchilada sauce and cilantro to create those south of the border flavors your family has come to love.

Is this sparking any ideas in you? What delicious cooking ideas for long term food storage do you have? What kind of magic can you work with rice and beans?

HOPE FOR THE BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORST

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