Stocking up your pantry with the right survival food is tricky enough, but for those of you with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, putting together a good selection of gluten-free survival food options may seem like quite a chore.
Gluten-free has been trending for a while now. The number of people who are gluten intolerant is increasing by the day. The gluten-free diet is a lifestyle change that many people make to avoid the unpleasant symptoms of celiac disease, wheat allergy, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
But what about when you need food on the go? Or when you’re traveling? Or simply looking for a quick and easy meal?
This guide will help you in making the right choice of food sources and alternatives for your gluten-free survival food preparations.
Things to Look for in Gluten-Free Survival Food
There are tons of products out there that claim to be gluten-free but actually are not. It can also be difficult to find ones that will not just satiate your hunger or cravings but also give you the energy and nutrients you need over a long period.
Before you grab the first thing on the shelf with a gluten-free logo, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Some products labeled “wheat-free” or “gluten-free” may be very low on vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and other nutrients your body needs to function optimally. So make sure to keep a close eye on the ingredient lists and look for things like vitamin and mineral contents.
Never trust the manufacturer’s claims, as some products may have undergone heavy processing and are full of preservatives and additives (hello, mystery ingredients). Sure, you want to avoid cooking, but when you are in an emergency, you are most probably operating on high-stress levels. So, you’ll want to ensure you eat healthily. Here again, scary ingredients on labels are what you need to look out for. Avoid these products at all costs.
Some survival foods are seasonal, meaning they may not withstand the rigors of summer or may not be meant for consumption in the winters. It is thus important to consider the time of year when stocking up. What is the current season? How long will the emergency last? If you feel the situation will extend from one season to another, you may need to stock up on products with long shelf lives.
Many gluten-free survival food products tend to be sold loose. That said, you cannot just shove them into your backpack then head out to the woods. It is vital to pack survival food correctly, or you will end up with a mess or, worse, have nothing to eat. That said, choose food packed in durable containers that will not burst or spill easily.
No one wants to eat the same food for weeks or months. Ideally, you would want alternatives. To stay fit and healthy, though, it is best to combine gluten-free survival food that provides a variety of nutrients while keeping you satiated until you can restock.
Best Gluten-Free Survival Food
We’ve listed some of the best gluten-free food products you might need to stock up in your pantry or take with you if you’re on the go.
Canned tomatoes are a great option. They can last up to two years and are a great source of vitamins A and C and potassium. They are also versatile since you can use them in soups, stews, main dishes, and even desserts.
Rice is one of the best things to stock up on if you are trying to steer clear of gluten. Under the right conditions, it can keep for 10 years which is perfect for your gluten-free survival food stockpile. Plus, there is a wide variety of rice options, including brown and wild rice. You can also prepare it in different ways—mixed with different spices, herbs, salts, and even meats to turn it into anything from a side dish to the main course.
When storing rice, it is important to keep it in an airtight container. It is best stocked at a constant temperature of 70°F with oxygen absorbers to stretch its shelf life further.
Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables
Not only are they a tasty gluten-free survival food option, but dehydrated fruits and vegetables are a great addition to any survival pantry. They will last longer than their fresh counterparts, so they are perfect for long-term storage. They are also a great source of vitamins and fiber, which are essential in an emergency if you want to stay healthy and keep your energy level up.
Some people like to prepare meals with dehydrated fruits and vegetables, too. Add them to rice or pasta, along with other spices, oil, herbs, and salts to create a variety of dishes while experimenting with textures and flavors.
Even if it is high in sugar, honey is still a great addition to your pantry. While some experts would recommend reducing your intake of refined sugar during an emergency, honey can help you ward off infections. It boosts your immune system and contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties.
Given all that, you will not only have a natural sweetener that lasts years or even decades but also get the nutrients you need to stay strong and healthy.
Dried Milk Powder
Unlike regular milk, you can store milk powder at room temperature, and it will remain fresh for up to two years, longer than any other dairy item. You can add milk powder to tea or coffee or use it for cooking.
You can mix powdered milk with sugar, honey, or cocoa powder to create a tasty drink or dessert that will be a welcome break or a decadent treat.
It is, however, a good idea to pick a brand that uses milk from grass-fed cows (organic, in other words). That way, you are getting the healthiest option possible.
Gluten-Free Ready-to-Eat Meal Kits
Meal kits are also a must-have, especially if you are not an expert cook. They are, after all, complete meals that only need reheating in a microwave oven or any available heat source. Even better, you can buy fewer condiments, seasonings, and other raw ingredients, which you will otherwise need to prepare meals.
To choose the best meal kits, check out online reviews. You want to ensure you are getting the right amounts of calories and proteins and enough vitamins and minerals to meet your daily recommended nutritional intake.
Gluten-Free Egg Powder
Eggs are another great source of protein that everyone should have handy. They last up to four years and take up less space than cans or jars. And there are numerous ways to cook them—boiling, frying, or poaching. They also make a tasty and nutritious addition to several dishes.
If you want to stay gluten-free, stock up on egg powder. It gives you the same benefits as fresh eggs and is equally rich in proteins, vitamin B, iron, choline, lutein, and vitamin D.
Potato flakes are another great addition to your gluten-free survival pantry and are handy to have around too. You can use them for dishes like mashed potatoes or potato salad. They are also a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin B6.
You can store instant potato flakes for up to 10 years. Note, though, that once you open the package, its shelf life reduces to a year at most. It is important to keep them from turning brown or going bad, so it’s best to store them in a cool, dry area that is not too humid.
Beef jerky is an excellent source of proteins and calories. It is also great for adding flavor to your favorite survival food, such as applesauce or oatmeal. Naturally gluten-free, it is also a great snack or side dish.
But the best part? Beef jerky does not come with an expiration date so long as it is kept in an airtight, bug-proof container. To ensure it stays fresh and does not spoil, secure its packaging to prevent it from getting damaged or accidentally opening. Discard it, at the first signs of moisture.
Beans and Legumes
Apart from their several health benefits, beans and legumes are also extremely satisfying and filling and a great source of proteins and fiber. If you are low on energy, they can fuel your body apart from providing essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B.
Beans and legumes need to be stored in a cool, dark place that is not too humid. Just like dried fruits and nuts, they go great in salads, pasta sauces, soups, and more. Some even like using them in homemade chili.
A well-stocked survival pantry can help you stay healthy during an emergency if you are on a gluten-free diet. What’s important is that you stock up on the right types of food and store them correctly.
Do you have any other tips for keeping a well-stocked gluten-free survival food pantry? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below.