Non-perishable foods are a must-have in any pantry, especially during times of emergencies or when fresh food is not readily available. These foods have a long shelf life and can be stored for extended periods without spoiling or losing their nutritional value.
Whether you’re stocking up for a natural disaster or simply want a backup supply of food, it’s essential to know which non-perishable options are the best to have on hand.
In this article, we will explore the top 27 non-perishable foods with a long shelf life, ensuring that you are well-prepared for any situation that may arise.
Let’s get started.
Rice is an incredible non-perishable food that can last for years if stored properly in a cool, dry place. There are several types of rice available too – white rice has been polished and lacks some nutrients, but it lasts longer than brown or wild, which have more nutritional value.
You can use this versatile grain as a side dish or main course by pairing it with other ingredients like vegetables, proteins, etc.
With its long shelf life and adaptable flavor profile, it is no wonder why many rely on this staple item worldwide.
Make sure to store rice in an air-tight bag in a cool environment to prevent maggots.
2. Canned Vegetables
Canned veggies remain fresh because they are sealed right after being harvested — making them the perfect pantry backup!
Not only do canned foods provide essential vitamins and minerals just like fresh ones, but they are also very convenient cooking essentials when you cannot access markets regularly due to any emergency situation.
And let’s not forget: compared to frozen vegetables, canned produce often takes up less room since there’s no need for freezer space!
3. Canned Meat/Fish
Don’t underestimate cans’ ability to preserve protein-rich meals either–they make great additions alongside your grains whenever time (or electricity) isn’t plentiful enough to prepare something from scratch!
This includes anything ranging from chicken soup down to salmon fillets, plus everything else
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that, unlike their fresh or even frozen counterparts, some canned meats and fish might contain higher salt content due to preservation procedures.
4. Dried Beans
Durable as well as versatile – what more could you want from pantry stock? These little wonders only need water for washing and soaking prior to cooking.
Not just a source of protein but full fiber too – dried beans can be used in countless dishes! From salads to stews [and chili/chillis], this food item’s possibilities are endless … All the while significantly reducing your meal prep time!
Who doesn’t love pasta on any day? There’s hardly anything quicker than boiling up spaghetti or creating an easy mac & cheese dish when feeling peckish.
Even better: with its virtually year-long shelf life (when maintained under adequate storage conditions), it easily retains structure without requiring freezing or refrigeration after purchase–ensuring dinnertime always has something worthwhile ready!
6. Dry Milk Powder/Dshelled nuts/Dehydrated Fruits
Dry milk powder proves useful beyond baking purposes; one can readily consume such by adding it back into a warm/hot liquid medium again, then stirring until dissolved entirely before sipping away!
Though not quite as long as the others; shelled nuts and dehydrated fruits (should you opt for these) still grant minimum six-month lifespans–nonetheless, their high energy/nutrient levels make all the difference despite shorter longevity rates!
These dry items also serve as fantastic on-the-go snacks during travels or emergencies.
7. Peanut Butter/Nuts
They’re not just delicious; peanut butter and assorted nuts are nutritious protein sources too. In addition, they’ve got plenty of shelf life to boot!
Peanut butter – either smooth or crunchy style – remains stable over long periods without needing any special storage conditions other than what normal room temperature provides.
Look out: due for fatty substances within them causing probable rancidity after expiry dates pass, always check freshness beforehand so surprises don’t pop up later down the line!
Here comes another incredible source that can spice your meals quickly: olives! Not forgetting how they brighten our taste buds with rich flavor enhancers while simultaneously providing you with excellent antioxidants.
Olives can last up to ten years if canned and stored in a pantry that is dark and cool.
Honey is a natural sweetener that never spoils – correctly stored honey can last indefinitely! This sticky amber-colored substance contains enzymes and low moisture content, which contributes to its endless stability, making it an ideal non-perishable food with a long shelf life.
Using it in cooking or spreading on toast–it’s sweeter than sugar yet healthier, too, thanks to different components having antibacterial properties embedded within themselves besides just satisfying taste buds alone!
10. Salt & Spices
Salts and Spices are another necessary non-perishable goods you should store. Seasonings preserve foods using their inherent antimicrobial functionality while bringing out each ingredient’s individual flavors for creating harmonious combinations every single time!
Salt helps maintain hydration balances, whereas diverse spice varieties (from black pepper through chili powder to turmeric, etc.) increase dishes’ aromatic notes so palates get served something nice and flavorful.
11. Instant Coffee/Tea
One of the best pleasures in life is a warm cup of coffee or tea to start your day, even during emergencies! The instant form keeps for years and can be prepared by just adding hot water.
Both offer an energy boost and contain antioxidants that contribute to our health. Whether you’re going camping or preparing for unforeseen events — it’s always smart to have some on hand!
Instant drinks are quick to make while requiring very little effort at all– making them excellent non-perishable items suitable anytime, anywhere, under any circumstance too!
12. Dried Lentils
Like dried beans, lentils do not require soaking before cooking, making preparation simpler than ever.
Hearty and nutritious – lentils can basically substitute meat in a meal for protein while still giving off complex carbohydrates, promoting longer fullness periods, and leading towards healthier eating habits.
They naturally remain stable indefinitely if stored correctly, meaning they’ll last long enough till the eventual usage date arrives.
13. Ready-to-Eat Cereals
Imagine having the comfort of your favorite breakfast cereal during an emergency! They don’t require any cooking, plus some varieties come enriched with essential vitamins and minerals, making these possibly one of the better choices to store long term.
Storing them right – inside sealed containers prevents bugs from getting into contact, thus ensuring prolonged shelf lives maintained securely everything is safely hidden away till eventual consumption.
14. Cooking Oils
Cooking oils are a vital part of any pantry due to their essential role in cooking and baking, making them excellent non-perishable items with long shelf lives when stored properly. Common varieties such as olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil provide vast options for culinary needs.
These oils do not require refrigeration, and they remain good for months or even up to a year if stored correctly, away from light and heat. The quality might degrade slowly over time but it would take an extremely long period before these oils turn rancid, making them impossible to use.
Crackers are another non-perishable food with a long shelf life that should be part of every emergency kit.
Crackers, especially whole grain ones, are low in fat and packed full of carbohydrates, making them an instant source of much-needed energy during unexpected times.
Crackers can last up to a year past their best-by date when properly sealed and stored. They are versatile and convenient snacks that pair well with canned meat or cheese.
Next on the list is sugar, which also has a long shelf life, making it an ideal non-perishable food item to have on hand. Granulated sugar can last indefinitely when stored in an air-tight container away from light and heat.
The many uses of sugar span beyond just sweetening your drinks – you could use it for baking or even preserving other foods – hence, another essential addition to the pantry. Sugar could also be stored in the freezer!
It may crystallize over time, but heating gently will restore it to its original state without causing any loss in quality, so whether white or brown, sugar is a sweet addition with longevity.
Quinoa is held as a superfood due to its expansive health benefits, including a high protein content and all nine essential amino acids! It can be stored for as long as two years if done properly in an air-tight container placed directly inside cool areas.
This grain-like seed boiled during meal times presents itself deliciously fluffy – wholeheartedly satisfying whether served on side plates or mixed together right within the main dishes themselves!
18. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce adds both color & savory depth, perfecting several Asian-themed meals. Unopened soy sauce bottles practically last forever when stored at room temperatures normally offered within typical households globally!
Keep these safely refrigerated to maintain fresh taste. A little shake before every use ensures flavors get distributed evenly again!
19. Beef Jerky
Following up is beef jerky, loved by many simply for its compactness and versatile uses as an energy-rich snack.
It is ideal for outdoor activities such as camping or hiking. But they could also prove beneficial throughout emergencies without chopping down nutritional values or sacrificing delicious tastes!
Most types of jerky can be kept up until about one year when properly sealed inside the original packing released from factories themselves – but once opened, refrigerating leftover pieces guarantees further freshness preserved for subsequent weeks following ahead closely.
Few things offer convenience, like canned tuna or poultry. They are excellent sources of protein that do not require any cooking.
In fact, unopened canned seafood such as tuna and assorted mixed cans of poultry typically last up to two to five years if kept under appropriate storing conditions; usually within cool, dry areas, thus preserving quality naturally without compromising their taste over time.
22. Ramen Noodles
One of many households’ best non-perishable foods! These affordable packets are perfect emergency food supplies given their long-lasting nature, which primarily boils down (pun intended!) to dehydrated components inside.
Although they might not win any accolades on nutritional fronts because of their often high sodium content; if needed in emergencies – coupling ramen noodles with assorted vegetables or canned proteins can turn these instant options into more balanced meals!
Try opting for reduced-sodium versions wherever possible when grocery shopping next time around!
23. Boxed Jello and Pudding Mixes
These sweet additions to our list are not just kids’ favorites but serve as lifesavers when craving a dessert during emergencies! If left unopened, boxed jello, pudding mixes, or gelatines have a long shelf life of one year.
Preparing these simple delicacies only requires adding boiled water and then cooling – voila, a sweet treat is ready! However, do remember that after preparing and if not consumed immediately – refrigeration becomes necessary for maintaining quality.
24. Energy Bars
Coming up next are energy bars – compact, portable powerhouses of nutrition! Made with whole grains and packed full of essential vitamins & minerals, these make excellent non-perishable food items for your stockpile.
Whether it’s as a post-workout snack or an emergency pick-me-up during outdoor activities like hiking; their shelf life typically spans anywhere from six months to over a year, depending upon the brand types chosen.
Ensure they’re sealed correctly when stowing them away – maintaining freshness alongside taste until subsequently needed!
25. Powdered Eggs
With the same nutritional value as their fresh counterparts, powdered eggs provide an excellent source of protein. They can be used upon rehydration in any recipe calling for a regular hen’s egg.
What makes them even better is their long shelf life – with unopened packets lasting up anywhere from 5-10 years if stored properly under dry conditions away from exposure to high temperatures or humidity levels.
26. Instant Mashed Potatoes
Instant mashed potatoes are made out of real ones! They’re simply dehydrated for convenience while letting you enjoy the comfort of creamy mash without tedious peeling and boiling steps.
When reconstituted with hot water (following packet instructions usually), these flakes or granules become fluffy mounds ready within minutes only!
Despite shelf life varying amongst different brands, it’s generally safe to estimate them lasting a year upwards given that they’re stored in cool, dark places having air-tight sealing preventing moisture entrance at all costs.
27. Canned/Dried Soup
A comforting bowl of soup is never far away when you have canned or dried options on hand! Soup mixes and cans are excellent non-perishable foods that can be stored in your pantry for extended periods without compromising flavor.
Whether it’s tomato basil, chicken noodle, lentil, or mushroom – these soups simply require heat before they’re ready to enjoy. Not only convenient but loaded with nutrients – their shelf life extends years depending upon whether you choose tin/box versions specifically picked out wisely before.
In conclusion, having a stockpile of non-perishable foods with a long shelf life can be a real game-changer in times when fresh food isn’t readily available or during emergencies.
These items should have reserved spots on your pantry shelves, from multi-purpose rice and pasta to canned meats and vegetables for proteins and fibers.
Therefore, planning ahead by investing in good quality nonperishables will definitely benefit all greatly down the line. If you want to learn more about optimizing your food storage needs, then check out this article on optimizing food storage.
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