Let’s take a look at your survival stockpile. Is it looking good?
Okay, so you’ve got some grains and potatoes for your carb sources. That’s great. You also got some dehydrated fruits and canned veggies. Double great!
How about your protein source? Wait--- are you going to rely solely on meat? The frozen and canned ones? Well, I don’t know about that buddy. You know frozen meat only lasts for so long, right? Will your freezer even work when SHTF?
Meat Isn’t The Only Protein Out There
Unfortunately, in a survival situation, protein and fats from meat prove to be quite hard to store. And you can’t live on canned goods forever as well. But here’s the good thing: we can always rely on good ol’ beans and nuts. They are great sources of proteins and fats. Now don't underestimate the power of these simple fare just yet. They might not be the fanciest type of food out there but the truth of the matter is, nuts and beans should be mainstays in your survival pantry.
Some people consider nuts as nothing but snacks. We preppers should know better, though. Nuts are, in fact, awesome survival food. They are ridiculously high in protein, fats (the good kind), fiber and B Vitamins. Nuts also have significant calorie content, making them convenient and handy energy sources. And in emergency situations where food may be tight, keeping your energy up is everything. Ever wondered why they are mainstays in every hiker’s pack? This is because they provide a lot of energy without taking a lot of space.
Another reason why nuts should be part of your survival stash is that they are very shelf-stable. When prepared and stored properly, nuts can last for a couple of years. In comparison, frozen meat can only last for 4 months max---given that your freezer is even working.
In storing nuts, make sure that they are thoroughly washed first then they are dried or roasted. This is important since raw nuts may have insects or parasites that can be harmful when ingested. The guys at prep-blog recommend using food-grade buckets to store your nut stash. They line the bucket with about 26 ounces of salt to absorb excess moisture. You can also use oxygen absorbers and mylar bags. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Another way to store nuts is to convert them into nut butter. Peanut butter, for example, can last for about 2 years in room temperature. You can learn how to make your own peanut butter using roasted peanuts here.
Now, which type of nut should you keep for long term storage? Here are our top picks:
An ounce of walnuts contains 4 grams of protein and carbs and as much as 18 grams of healthy fat. The omega-3 and 6 fatty acids in walnuts are essential in many body functions. Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and B vitamins.
28 grams of pistachios contain about 156 calories. It's also rich in good cholesterol, essential B vitamins and Vitamin E. It packs a lot of fiber, which is good for digestion.
Almonds are pricier than most nuts but they are also more nutritionally dense. They are rich in calcium iron, B vitamins, with each serving packing as much as 163 calories.
Peanuts are an inexpensive superfood. Did you know that 100 grams of peanuts can give you as much as 570 calories? The same serving can also give you about 25 grams of protein, which is higher than most nuts. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals like manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
These tasty nuts don't contain as much dietary fiber as its cousins but it does pack a lot of minerals and antioxidants that are great for the heart and eye health. A 100-gram serving contains a whopping 553 calories and can make up for 36% of your required daily protein intake.
Pecans are not only delicious, they can also give you 690 calories a serving and are filled with nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. If you want to complete your daily healthy fat intake in one go, you only need to get yourself some pecans.
Like its cousins, hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E, B vitamins and tons of good mono and polyunsaturated fats.
Let’s face it--- a lot of people don’t like beans. No, that’s an understatement; a lot of people simply detest beans. To most, beans could be a sign that the hard times are upon them. Okay people, let’s not be dramatic. Don’t count beans out just yet. Here are a few reasons why they should be in your survival pantry:
Beans are easily stored. Store them properly in mylar bags or food grade buckets with desiccants and they could last for as long as 2 -10 years. Beans are also versatile food--- if you're creative enough you can actually make a lot of delicious and filling dishes from them.
They pack a ton of protein, complex carbohydrates, folate, iron, and soluble fiber. These minerals help in building healthy muscles and connective tissues and aid the circulatory and digestive systems. They also prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol levels and have anti-cancer properties. The complex carbohydrates in beans also aid people with diabetes by preventing sudden spikes in their blood sugar.
So if they’re all that beneficial, why do most people hate beans?
For one, they are notoriously infamous for causing flatulence. A gassy stomach is something you don’t wanna have, survival situation or not. The good thing is this can be easily remedied by simply soaking and rinsing them properly before cooking. If you’ve got some dried herbs like fennel, you can mix them with your bean dishes to help prevent flatulence. Soaking your beans also has other benefits: it helps soften the beans and cuts down cooking time and fuel use significantly.
Here are a some dry beans that you can store in your survival pantry:
Lima beans, otherwise called butter beans, are good sources of dietary fiber which can aid in digestion. They contain no cholesterol and are very low in fat. Make sure to cook it well for at least 10 minutes---uncooked lima beans can be toxic. This recipe incorporates some onions and chicken broth into your usual lima bean fare, making it tastier and more filling.
Pinto beans have been a survival staple for ages. Many of our forefathers gathered them for the winter. Today, they're more of a burrito staple but their value hasn't changed. Pinto beans are rich in calcium and magnesium and are low in saturated fat. Check out how you can prepare a filling pinto beans meal with this recipe.
Garbanzos, or chickpeas are high in calories, essential amino acids, iron and phosphorus. They usually come in cans and are the main ingredient in hummus, a healthy Middle Eastern dip that you can easily make at home.
Nuts and beans are the dynamic duo of your survival stockpile. Make sure you have generous supplies of both as they have lots of nutritional and storage benefits. These foods may be simple but they are great protein and energy sources. Even when you’re short on meat, you can rely on nuts and beans to see you through lean and difficult times.
Got any tips for storing nuts and beans in your survival pantry? Let us know in the comments below!