The Most Nutritious Survival Foods You’ll Actually Love

By SS Contributor | Updated: 08/07/2023

Best Survival FoodsToday I’ve got something extremely important to share…

A Complete Guide To The Best Survival Foods For An Emergency

Because you must prepare long before the emergency broadcast.

After THAT, the best foods will be gone…

NO MATTER how much money you have.

Instead, plan head you’ll have a high calorie, nutritionally balanced stockpile for your family…

TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…    ↓(click to jump)
Food Planning Guide eBook Cover - with dried foods and grains spilling out onto a wooden table

Want a free family-first food planning guide?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

Why You MUST Start NOW…

Today we have highly advanced warning systems, right?

That’s why hurricanes and winter storms are rarely a surprise…

But is ANYONE listening?

It’s shocking, but 53% of US households don’t have a three-day supply of nonperishable food.

53% is over half!

If that number doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will.

In times of crisis, nearly half the population would starve after only a single week.

↓ The Surprising Reason People Live A Fragile Life

The key here is non-perishable food items.

If you inventoried your food right now, you’d realize pickles and frozen, uncooked burgers won’t work in this type of emergency.

You might intend to rush to the store after work, but by then, it’s too late.

The milk, peanut butter, and bread are gone, as well as the candles and camping stoves.

What happens after a nuclear strike or an EMP blast?

You get to live off of what you stockpiled ahead of time.

And by the looks of the statistics, there will be many hungry people after just a few short days.

Best Survival Food Criteria

If you’re ever in a situation without electricity, you’ll need foods you can cook using survival methods.

Your fancy electric range will be out of commission.

For a snowstorm emergency, maybe the electricity remains, but you lose access to a grocery store.

Every survival situation is unique.

Massive floods will ruin unprotected foods due to contaminated waters.

Hopefully, you keep your bulk-dried food items in watertight, sealed 5-gallon containers.

Some crises might require a bug-out escape carrying very few staples. Ones that are not too heavy to carry.

You can’t prepare for every possibility, but there are some best practices for stockpiling the best emergency foods.

Foods You Love To Eat

Eating the same thing day in and day out will get boring.

You should include a variety of foods you eat every day.

There’s a reason we call these “comfort foods.”

Those foods make us smile and bring joy even in times of trouble.

If you love butter, get a #10 can of butter powder.

If you love cheese, go for a #10 can of freeze-dried mozzarella cheese.

It’s yummy and can provide needed fats and calories on an otherwise bland diet.

Don’t just stock items you never eat or don’t know how to prepare.

Why? Because a SHTF scenario is not the time to get creative with your cooking skills.

Food Planning Guide eBook Cover - with dried foods and grains spilling out onto a wooden table

Want a free family-first food planning guide?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

Long-Lasting Foods

If you stockpile foods before a crisis, it may be months or years before you use them.

You can rotate your pantry, but there will always be some foods that will take longer to use than others.

Most preppers consider this fact by opting for foods preserved in cans, freeze-dried meals, or with a long shelf-life.

The best survival foods last at least one year without refrigeration or are eaten and rotated out before then.

Or you can invest in long-lasting, high-quality freeze-dried food from Valley Food Storage or Legacy Food Storage.

With long-lasting freeze-dried foods, just boil water to create a tasty meal.

Nutritionally-Dense Foods

Beans and rice may not be a part of your favorite cuisine…

But they’re long-lasting foods that provide a robust source of protein and carbs.

You can opt for different types of legumes that you might like better or find easier to digest.

Try pinto beans, garbanzos, red kidney beans, or lentils.

Augason Farms has a large selection of survival beans.

Food Planning Guide eBook Cover - with dried foods and grains spilling out onto a wooden table

Want a free family-first food planning guide?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

Flexible Foods

The best emergency foods offer some flexibility to keep things from getting boring.

For example:

Dried powdered milk may not be something that will keep you satisfied on its own.

But it can create yogurt, cheese, puddings, and bread.

Foods with some trading value can also be used in your recipes.

And as a bartering chip for when you get tired of eating out of your stock.

Foods You Don’t Have To Cook 

You can include foods that require some processing, like whole grains or red wheat berries.

But ultimately, in the first few days, don’t expect to do much cooking.

You will need ready-to-eat foods.

The electricity grid might be down, and/or you might also have to leave the area.

If you’re on the road, you won’t have time to create a fire and cook.

Plan to have several lightweight food sources that do not require heat, like military MRE meals.

They’re some of the best foods in your emergency pantry.

Food Planning Guide eBook Cover - with dried foods and grains spilling out onto a wooden table

Want a free family-first food planning guide?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

Basic Food Groups

With these criteria in mind, let’s consider some choices you might want to add to your best survival pantry.

Remember that you will need to store these items in bulk.

You will also need to buy additional non-food items to ensure you can prepare the foods, should your emergency drag past the ready-to-eat options, like wheat grinders.

Create a balanced diet that is nutritionally dense, easy to store long-term, and tasty.

1. Drinks

Bottled water will be the most important food to add to your emergency pantry.

You won’t be able to survive more than 3 days without potable drinking water.

However, you can add calorie-rich powdered drink mixes to create milk, vitamin-rich waters, or flavored treats.

Even including Tang orange drink can be a way to get 100% of the RDA of vitamin C in your diet in an emergency.

Plus, it just tastes good.

These items are lightweight and also have a trading value.

They can double as medicinal supplies if you include teas and vitamin-powdered drinks.

↓ Storing Powdered Drink Mix Long Term In Your Pantry

2. Meat

Meat is the hardest item on your emergency food list.

You can’t store butchered meat for long and will be expected to hunt for food eventually.

You can store ready-to-eat canned meats like spam, ham, and chili, and they will make a satisfying meal.

However, they won’t travel well should you need to leave the area.

Some people solve the meat problem by raising chickens, rabbits, and goats and installing aquaponics systems as ready meat sources for long-term uses.

However, you’ll want a good supply of freeze-dried meat packages too.

You can get freeze-dried chicken or beef that some companies claim has a 25-year shelf life.

You will need to rehydrate this, but that’s easily done when you toss them into another recipe.

One of my favorite ways to stockpile meat is by making pemmican.

How you process meat into dried bars can last at least 50 years if processed and stored correctly.

↓ Making Pemmican – The Ultimate Survival Protien

3. Fish

One overlooked source of essential protein is canned fish.

You can eat tuna, sardines, and herring straight out of the can; they are all super-rich in nutrients.

However, I get it; not everyone gets excited about snacking on fish in a can.

But listen, that picky attitude will quickly change if you’re starving.

I like to say:

Starvation is the BEST seasoning there is!

After about 4 days of starvation, it’ll become one of the most delicious dishes you’ve ever had.

You can stock these food items even on a limited budget.

↓ Best Canned Food For Survival – Fish For Your Prepper Pantry

4. Dairy

You can freeze some cheese.

However, if your power goes out, so will your frozen food stockpile.

That makes dairy one of the hardest food groups to include in your emergency foods pantry.

Learn how to make your own cheeses and yogurts with dried milk.

Or you can buy a goat…

Or buy canned cheese.

Just be aware that this may be the first item to disappear off your shelf when people get hungry.

↓ Pepper Pantry Best Powdered Milk

5. Grains, Nuts, and Legumes

When put together, grains, nuts, and legumes produce a complete protein like meat and dairy.

They tend to also come in dried forms that store well.

If you store red wheat berries, they can be ground up and made into bread.

Combine that with nuts or legumes, and you have a complete protein.

You can get very creative in this area.

You can also use a hardtack recipe to make a basic survival cracker that can last decades if stored properly.

Pasta and beans comprise a complete protein | carb combo.

And both have a long-term shelf life and make some cheap survival food to buy in large quantities.

Use peanut butter powder instead of raw nuts to make a complete protein with crackers.

They don’t have to be heated to enjoy.

It’s not all about rice and beans.

Don’t forget to include grains, nuts, and beans that you can sprout for additional nutrition, like wheat berries, sunflower seeds, and garbanzo beans.

These can provide needed greens when you might have low-light growing conditions.

Store these foods in air-tight mylar bags to extend their shelf life for decades.

↓ Food Storage: How to Extend the Shelf Life of Nuts and Seeds

6. Fruits and Veggies

Dehydrated fruits are easy and lightweight to store.

They can be tossed into various recipes to create diversity in the diet and are nutrient-rich, too.

They can also be used in recipes when you’re not in an emergency and rotated out.

Combine them with grains and nuts for quick foods that don’t require heating to be served.

Also, canned veggies (such as green beans) are an excellent strategy.

Because unfortunately, fresh foods don’t have the shelf life for emergency food.

Of course, canned (or freeze-dried) veggies are a necessary source of vitamins and minerals – so stockpile LOTS.

↓ Freeze Dried Fruits and Vegetables

7. Oils

Oils are required to keep the body healthy and cook food.

Sweeteners, spices, and alcohol are not necessary or nutritional.

But can help you season foods that may not otherwise be palatable.

Are they non-essential?

It depends on who you ask.

Pick an oil you enjoy that has a long life and doesn’t go rancid.

Canned butter has a shelf life that exceeds a year.

Extra virgin coconut oil has a shelf life of at least 7 to 15 years.

It’s one oil that should be considered for its high nutritional value and ability to be solid at room temperature.

It has both antifungal and antibacterial properties.

It melts with the warmth of your hand, and it can work double-duty as a hair conditioner, hand cream, and salve.

However, if you’ve never cooked with coconut oil or used it, you’ll need to experiment before the emergency happens, or it won’t do you much good.

If you’re more familiar with Crisco, stock up on that.

It won’t be as nutritionally dense but won’t go to waste.

↓ Actual Shelf Life of Stored Fats in a Prepper Pantry

8. Sweeteners

Honey is another sweetener that can be stored long-term and has medicinal value.

Some say honey never goes bad, although that may be hard to prove.

For those that prefer something that is not in liquid form, you can store white sugar, which is also said to last indefinitely.

You can use either to preserve foods like wild fruits, berries, or roots.

9. Spices

Salt was once a trading spice and is valuable for making food flavorful and preserving food.

However, other spices that meet the same criteria are seasoning packets that are cheap to buy.

10. Alcohol

What about alcohol?

Don’t go for the flavored liquors and wine.

Instead, focus on distilled spirits that can be used in medicinal applications (sterilize a wound) and can also be used to preserve other foods, like fruits.

Good choices are vodka, rum, and whiskey.

If you learn how to make moonshine or ferment foods into alcoholic wines and beers, you will have a skill in demand after the SHTF.

Frozen Food Is Not The Solution

Prepared survivalists who think they’ll be sitting pretty while their neighbors starve.

Why? Because everyone who has a freezer stocked with game, cheese, and food will be bitterly disappointed if the power goes for long.

Building a pantry with the best survival foods is not the same as randomly hoarding food.

It requires a thoughtful approach.

It’s key to surviving when modern conveniences are stripped away, and you’re left alone.

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