- Guest Contributor Phil Cox -
When unprepared for a disaster – whether natural, financial or otherwise, emergency food ends up being whatever is on hand such as dried mac & cheese, crackers or bottles of energy drinks. But during – and in the after math of – the situation, it’s important to have a stash of food that can deliver sustained energy.
Ensuring you have enough protein in your diet can go a long way toward sufficiently fueling your stamina, especially when you need to think clearly and replenish your strength.
Here are eight protein sources to have on your emergency supply checklist:
Freeze-Dried Meat: Adding a serving of freeze-dried meat to your meal is an easy way to up your level of protein. Available from emergency food suppliers, freeze-dried beef has approximately 23 grams of protein per 4.0 oz serving, and freeze-dried chicken has approximately 25 grams of protein per serving..Be sure to look for USDA quality beef or chicken, and test which ones you prefer by taking a package along on a backpacking or camping trip.
Beans: A traditional plant-based protein staple throughout history, beans have at least 15 grams of protein per cup. Keep a sufficient number of cans of cooked beans or dehydrated beans in an emergency package. You can choose varieties as simple as black beans or white beans, or anything in-between. To mix it up, store a dried chili mix that can be easily cooked on an emergency stove or camping stove.
Egg powder: Egg powder has a long shelf life, and it reconstitutes by adding water. Eggs are low in both calories and fat, and they are easy to digest. Powdered eggs supply the same health benefits of fresh eggs, without the need for refrigeration. A serving of powered egg has approximately 6 grams of protein.
Peas: Traditionally considered a vegetable, peas are really a legume. Peas were a common diet staple throughout the Middle Ages. Today, protein from peas has gained popularity and is formulated as powder in protein shakes or the basis for energy bars. Peas have 8 grams of protein per serving.
Peanut butter: Want a bit of comfort food during your emergency? Peanut butter isn’t just a tasty treat, it’s also a protein-rich spread with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. For an extended emergency, powdered peanut butter has a shelf life of more than a decade, and you won’t have to refrigerate it after opening the seal. Just add water to hydrate.
Nuts: Speaking of nuts, the Mayo Clinic reports that eating nuts instead of a less healthy snack can help you better follow a heart-healthy diet. Mixed nuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E, both of which are good for your heart and arteries. If you want nuts with the highest amount of protein, stock up on almonds, which have 20 grams of protein in one cup. The American Heart Association recommends four servings of unsalted nuts each week.
Multi-grain cereal: Forget processed foods promoted by cartoons in the grocery store’s cereal aisle. A bag or pouch of true multi-grain cereal contains a blend of grains, and some add flax seeds. Such a blend can offer up to 14 grams of protein per serving. Check the nutrition label to make sure your cereal selection is offering sufficient protein, not just sugar and processed carbs.
Steel Cuts Oats: Often referred to as Irish oats, Steel cut oats are chopped oat groats and are cooked. Steel cut oats can offer a richer flavor than conventional oats because of their complex texture. They are also chewier and denser than traditional oats. Steel cut oats have up to 6 grams of protein per serving. While oats are also heavy in carbohydrates, they are a low glycemic index food, which means your blood sugar won’t spike. Oats are healthy because they are unprocessed grains and offer a good amount of soluble fiber. Cooking steel-cut oats is a cinch—the ratio is 4 units of water to 1 unit of oats. Bring water to a boil on an emergency stove or camping stove, pour in the oats, reduce heat to simmer, and let cook, usually for 20-30 minutes.
With these and an assortment of other well-balanced foods on hand, you and your loved ones will be able to survive if a disaster strikes. And with the right kind of advanced planning and selection, you’ll be able to enjoy your food, not just survive off of it.
NOTE: This month, BuyEmergencyFoods.com is offering 25 percent off Legacy Food Storage freeze-dried meets, including chicken and beef.
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