One thing about eating the way that we do – mostly meat, produce, eggs, and dairy – is that it makes it difficult to have a store of food ready in case of an emergency. On the east coast, that would mean hurricanes or tornadoes. Out here, that means possibly an earthquake (which my husband worries this area is LONG overdue for). In any case, if we were without power and refrigeration for many days (or up to 2 weeks), it would be difficult for us to find things in our house that were edible after the first day or two.
Our house here doesn’t have a pantry – something that’s a little strange, and might have been a bigger issue if we were still eating “pantry foods” including canned soups, pasta, rice, crackers, etc. Rather, we have a couple baskets on shelves for things like extra nuts, maybe a bag of pork rinds, a summer sausage, extra coconut and almond flours, honey and maple syrup…and that’s about it. We also have one drawer for canned and jarred items – usually just a couple jars of tomato sauce, some cans of tomatoes and tomato paste, artichoke hearts, olives, coconut milk, and maybe a can or two of chicken (which I honestly can’t remember the last time I used).
So how should we set up an emergency kit?
I’ve been experimenting with our food dehydrator a bit – and it just makes everything look so beautiful, like food potpourri. I know there are entire recipes that can be made with dehydrated/reconstituted foods, but it’s difficult to find them – most recipes include many “fresh” ingredients along with the dehydrated ones. But I’m hoping to be able to figure out some good soup recipes I can put together with only dehydrated items… I’m not sure what else though, honestly.
Do any of you have good all-dehydrated recipes that I could make and package to store for an emergency? If the power were out, we’d be able to put a pot on our gas grill and cook that way.
Of course it’s easy to dehydrate vegetables – and while you CAN eat them in their dried states, it’s kind of odd…
Fruits are also easy, and delicious dried – think banana chips; dried blueberries, cherries, and strawberries; and various fruit leathers. Mmm…
For protein – I haven’t made jerky yet, but it’s on my list. If you have a suggestion of a yummy marinade or seasoning mix for jerky (one that doesn’t include sugars if possible – including honey or syrup), please share it!
I had thought about learning to can this summer, but I’m not sure if that’s a super idea because we’re likely to move in the fall, and jars are heavy and fragile – it would be much easier to move dehydrated foods! I definitely do want to learn the “art” of canning, but right now might not be the best time.
As far as store-bought canned and jarred foods go – I suppose our emergency kit could include canned/jarred tomato products, cans/pouches of chicken/tuna/salmon, summer sausage, cans and jars of fruit in their own juices (not in “syrup”), and boxes of broth or stock. As far as canned vegetables go, I hate that they’re all mushy and pretty much nutritionally useless – green beans are the only ones I can think of that I might eat, but they’re so soft, flavorless, and cooked to death! Canned pumpkin and beets are good… Nuts and dried fruits, cans of coconut milk, olives, and…
What else? I guess all of that would be fine in an emergency and would keep us alive, but it would be tough to actually put together meals from those things.
So, basically this has been a rambly post… just kind of spilling my thoughts about emergency stores of food when eating the primal/paleo way… any ideas or suggestions are really very welcomed!!! Especially if you’ve got experience with dehydrating for that purpose!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos of my pretty dehydrated veggies!
Three gold stars go to the person who can identify all four of the dried veggies! Can you figure out what they all are?