A commonly used idiom, “variety is the spice of life”, is used to mean that life is more interesting when things are not always the same. And so it is when you are cooking and with your food storage pantry. Plain old rice and plain old beans will keep you alive but you may succumb to food fatigue from the boredom of it all.
Include some common spices with your other food storage items and everything changes. As l wrote about in the recent article 20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan, adding some spices and condiments to your food storage pantry will allow you to vary the taste of your storage foods, thus mitigating some of the boredom that is likely to occur over time. I maintain that the exact mix of spices and condiments is up to you but some of my favorites include garlic, chili powder, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salsa, oregano, thyme and black pepper. Yep, I have a lot of favorites.
Apparently I am not alone in my thoughts. This week ‘Above Average Joe’ shares his thoughts on both common and not so common spices that will liven up your food after the SHTF.
23 Common Spices That Should Be In Your Pantry Now
MRE’s, mac and cheese, powdered potatoes, and canned vegetables are going to get really old, really fast after the SHTF.
But if you take a little extra time to include herbs, spices, and seasonings into your supply lists, you can completely change the flavor of otherwise bland meals.
I don’t always follow the rules and tend to be a fan of the “throw it in, how bad could it be” cooking method when it comes to spices.
With many of the prepackaged survival meals on the market, it would be pretty hard to ruin a meal by adding some. (Which in a survival situation you really don’t want to do.)
- Black Pepper
- Crushed Red pepper
- Chili Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Garlic Salt
- Minced Garlic (If you can’t tell, I like garlic)
- Onion Powder
- Cinnamon (also great on fruit)
- Bay Leaves
These mostly include ingredients mentioned above and are way too high in sodium, but they sure can turn bland food into something delicious and take all the guess work out of seasoning.
- Meat Spices (those mixed spice things that are made for grilling) One of my favorites is Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick’s.
- Mrs. Dash
- Cajun Seasoning
- Chinese 5 spice
- Pickled peppers (jalapeno, banana, and pepperoncini are my all time favorites)
- Wasabi Powder
- Tabasco sauce (or my favorite Cholula… goes great on eggs)
- Sriracha Sauce
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Oils (olive oil is great and can be infused with other flavors for all kinds of uses)
- Honey (not technically a spice, but an unlimited shelf life that can be used to sweeten everything from coffee to baked goods is never a bad thing to have around!)
The great thing about spices is that they never actually spoil. But over time, spices will lose their potency and not flavor your food as intended and you may need to experiment on how much more spice needs to be added.
As a general rule, whole spices will stay fresh for about 3-4 years, ground spices for about 2-3 years and dried herbs for 1-3 years.
About ‘Above Average’ Joe: I am just an average guy with a passion for learning. I am excited to share the things I learn with you but I am most interested in learning from you. Survival Life is more than just one man. It is a growing and living community of individuals; all with the desire to be prepared to survive and thrive no matter what this world throws at us. I want to welcome you to the Survival Life community and look forward to growing with you! Thank you, Gaye, for inviting me to share the Survival Life with your readers!
THE FINAL WORD
How many of these common and uncommon spices to you currently have in your survival pantry? Heck, what about your day to day cooking pantry? There a just a few that I don’t have but you can bet that I am going to take an inventory to insure that I have plenty of these items on hand and ready to go just in case the SHTF.
Cayenne Peppers have many therapeutic properties
One more thing.
In addition to cooking, many spices and herbs have therapeutic properties. Turmeric, cayenne, garlic mustard, and fennel are just a few of the spices that will not only make your food taste better but will deliver medicinal and healing benefits as well. But that is a story for another time.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.