STOP Junk Food Stockpiling — Stock Up On These Long Lasting Healthy Foods Instead

By Jen Evansy / April 4, 2020

Stocking up on food for a few days is always a great idea, but what about if you're stocking up for months or even years? If riding out a global pandemic or any other crisis or disaster is the plan, you'll want healthy food that has long shelf life, stores well and delivers the vital nutrition you and your family need to survive, not chips, ding-dongs, and soda.

foods that last a long time

Our body requires many essential micronutrients. The foods we eat have a big impact on our immune system. If you have a poor diet you are more likely to catch an infectious bug or a cold. It's important to stock up on foods that pack a nutritional punch.

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In this article, I'll take a look at some of the healthiest most, nutritious foods that store safely for the longest time, so you can buy provisions that will help you get through any crisis in good shape.

Factors For Food To Be Considered A Good Choice For Keeping In Your Pantry.

All of the foods on the list below have been vetted for their nutritional qualities and ability to be stored long-term, including these factors:

  1. Why the Food is a Good Option For Stocking and Storage
  2. How Long the Food Can be Safely Stored and its Shelf Life
  3. How Long the Food Can Still Be Safely Used after its Expiration Date
  4. The Best Way to Store the Food, including some Methods, Tips & Tricks

1. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

extra virgin coconut oil

Why Is Extra Virgin Coconut Oil A Good Option For Stocking And Storage?

One of the most concentrated sources of pure energy of any food product, only 100 g of coconut oil can deliver 884 cal of nutrition, which is massive.

Also, coconut oil is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, making a person feel "full" while saving their body energy at the same time. As a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), coconut oil increases the level of blood HDL (good cholesterol). 

Coconut oil also contains a small amount of vitamin E or tocopherol. This antioxidant is important for building strong immunity and protecting the body from free radicals.

Coconut oil has antibiotic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, which can be extremely useful during times of crisis. The essential fatty acid, lauric acid, is also found in coconut oil, making it a very good option for stocking during a crisis.

How Long Can Coconut Oil Be Safely Stored And Its Expiration Time?

Coconut oil has an extremely long shelf life, right around 2 years. Still, if stored correctly, it can stay edible for even longer. Even more importantly, it stays edible at room temperature and is resistant to bacteria and mold.

The rule of thumb that many experts use when it comes to coconut oil is this; if it doesn't smell rancid or look bad, it probably isn't. 2, 3, and even 4-year-old coconut oil can still be edible. Just give it a sniff and, if it smells like regular coconut oil, it's probably good.

The Best Way To Store Coconut Oil

Coconut oil does not need to be refrigerated in order to stay edible. However, when the temperature drops below 75F for 24C, it will turn solid. The best way to keep and store coconut oil for the long-term is in a glass mason jar.

2. Chickpea Pasta

chickpea pasta with a long shelf life

Why Is Chickpea Pasta A Top Option For Stocking And Storage?

Chickpea pasta has a lot more fiber and protein than regular pasta but with fewer carbohydrates and no gluten. Making it perfect for people who have gluten sensitivity and everyone in general because gluten isn't exactly good for you. 

Chickpea pasta is also a low glycemic food and so a better choice for people with diabetes because it keeps glucose and insulin levels lower.

Chickpea pasta is digested more slowly than regular pasta and makes people feel satiated more quickly. In other words, smaller portions of chickpea pasta will make you feel more "full."

The carbohydrate content of chickpea pasta is approximately 40% less than regular, durum wheat pasta. Lastly, chickpea pasta tastes very much like regular pasta and is higher in fiber.

How Long Can Chickpea Pasta Be Safely Stored And Its Expiration Time?

The recommended shelf life for chickpea pasta is 30 months. Like most dried pastas, when kept in a cool, dry place, chickpea pasta can last for several years without a problem and without going bad. It is very rare for chickpea pasta to grow mold or bacteria and so it does not need to be refrigerated.

As long as it is kept dry and there is no sign of mold or bugs, chickpea pasta can be used far past its expiration date. The taste might change slightly, but it won't be harmful.

The Best Way To Store Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea pasta should be stored in its original packaging, but it can also be stored in an airtight plastic container and kept in a cool, dry place. Just keep in mind that drier food products don't like moisture. For the long term storage, keep them as dry as possible.

3. Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate

Why Is Dark Chocolate A Top Option For Stocking And Storage?

Dark chocolate that is high in cacao (and low in sugar) is an amazing food that's rich in minerals like zinc, iron, and magnesium. It is also rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, which are incredible antioxidants.

Antioxidants can reduce the damage that oxidative stress puts on the human body and may also lower the risk of many other ailments.

The flavonol's in dark chocolate could help lower blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease. It can lower the levels of LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, "bad" and "good" cholesterol, respectively.

Lastly, dark chocolate is a calorie-dense food, and a small amount will give someone a high amount of energy.

How Long Can Dark Chocolate Be Safely Stored And Its Shelf Life?

Dark chocolate can easily and safely be stored for as long as 2 years and even longer if it is kept in a cool, dry place. As with some of the other foods on this list, even past the official expiration date, you can eat dark chocolate as long as it hasn't gone moldy, have bugs, or smell "bad." 

There are reports of dark chocolate being eaten that's 5, 6, and 7 years old or older. It may have turned a bit gray in color, but it is still edible. 

The Best Way To Store Dark Chocolate

Store dark chocolate in a cool, dry place in its original packaging or in an airtight plastic container. It can also be stored wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, although the location should be rodent and bug-free.

Also, make sure it is out of sunlight and keep it in the low temperature.

4. Bottled Lemon Juice

bottled lemon juice

Why Is Bottled Lemon Juice A Good Option For Stocking And Storage?

Lemon juice has a number of excellent benefits and, when it's bottled, much longer shelf life as well. 

Also, one bottle of lemon juice can equal an entire large bag of lemons and so takes up much less storage space.

Lemon juice is very high in vitamin C, an antioxidant.

Maybe, more importantly, lemon juice may help prevent anemia because it helps the human body absorb iron from food. Studies have shown that drinking lemon juice can improve kidney function and also aid in weight loss. 

How Long Can Bottled Lemon Juice Be Safely Stored And Its Expiration Time?

Bottled lemon juice that has the normal preservatives will stay edible for up to 18 months when kept dry and cool. Due to its high level of acidity, an open bottle of lemon juice can remain edible for up to a year if kept refrigerated, and sometimes longer.

As long as the lemon juice does not smell "bad," have mold or look very dark yellow, it should be fine. Keeping it refrigerated below, 40F will slow down the growth of microorganisms like mold and bacteria.

The Best Way To Store Bottled Lemon Juice

Once opened a bottle of lemon juice, you should be stored in a cool, dry place. Opened, it should be stored in a refrigerator at 40F or slightly below.

5. Protein Powder

whey protein powder

Why Is Protein Powder A Good Option For Stocking And Storage?

Humans need protein to survive, but many sources of protein like meat and beans can go 'bad' quite fast. Protein powder, on the other hand, can last for a very long time and still provide all of the nutritional value of those other protein sources.

Also, it is much easier to store, takes up much less space, and can be mixed with water, juice, and practically any other edible liquid.

Protein powder is highly satiating (filling), which can help to satisfy your hunger and suppress hunger cravings. It lasts much longer than meat and fish without going bad also, and it is easier to digest.

Check out these great plant-based protein powders.

How Long Can Protein Powder Be Safely Stored And Its Shelf Life?

When stored in a cool, dry place, protein powder can easily last 2 years and, as long as no bugs have gotten to it, even longer. Experts say that protein powder kept cool and dry can easily last up to two years past its expiration date.

The Best Way To Store Protein Powder

Like many of the other foods on this list, protein powder should be stored in a cool, dry place and must be kept as airtight as possible. For long periods of storage, the access of air the moisture should be reduced as that is what makes protein powder spoil faster.

Read my full article here: How To Store Protein Powder? (Tubs vs. Pouches)

6. Peanut Butter Powder

powdered peanut butter

Why Is Peanut Butter Powder A Top Option For Stocking And Storage?

With a longer storage life and as much protein and fiber as regular peanut butter, peanut butter powder is a great addition to this list.

It is also much lower in calories and cholesterol than 'normal' peanut butter and can make you feel "full" and satisfied for a long time after eating it.

During times of crisis, peanut butter powder can also boost your energy level significantly and provides many essential amino acids. 

Read my full article here: Benefits Of Powdered Peanut Butter

How Long Can Peanut Butter Powder Be Safely Stored And Its Expiration Time?

Powdered peanut butter has notably long and stable shelf life of about 5 years. Some powdered peanut butter manufacturers insist that their product can be stored, "indefinitely," and others say from 5 to 10 years. Unless it has been exposed to microorganisms, pests, or insects, it should be fine to eat.

The Best Way To Store Peanut Butter Powder

A cool, dry cupboard and airtight container or a tub is the best place to store peanut butter powder.

7. Matcha Tea

matcha green tea powder

Why Is Matcha Tea A Good Option For Stocking And Storage?

Matcha tea is amazingly healthy. It detoxifies the body, can calm anxiety and relaxes someone without making them feel drowsy. It's packed with powerful antioxidants that can boost metabolism while also burning calories. 

Matcha can help you concentrate during times of stress and is rich in several vitamins as well as fiber, chlorophyll, and catechins.

Matcha tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which improves attention, reaction time, and memory.

It's made from the same plant that green tea is made from but packs more antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds because they use the entire leaf.

How Long Can Matcha Tea Be Safely Stored And Its Shelf Life?

Most experts agree that Matcha tea will last up to at least one year in your pantry if kept cool and dry. It is very rare for Matcha tea to "go bad" and, even after years, it is still safe for consumption even though some of the nutritional and health value might be diminished.

The Best Way To Store Matcha Tea

Matcha tea is best stored in a cool, dry cupboard in its original packaging. An airtight plastic or metal container is also a good choice.

8. Buckwheat

buckwheat

Why Is Buckwheat A Top Option For Stocking And Storage?

Known as a "pseudo-cereal," buckwheat has no relation to actual wheat and therefore is gluten-free. It's also high in antioxidants and minerals. 

Buckwheat is, nutritionally speaking, much better than many other grains, with a high amount of protein and fiber. It is also very low on the glycemic index, which means that it is slowly digested, metabolized, and absorbed and causes a lower and slower rise in blood glucose.

Lastly, rich in amino acids like arginine and lysine, buckwheat has a well-balanced amino acid profile and is easily digestible. And talk about packed with minerals! Manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and copper are all found in buckwheat, and even better, they are more easily absorbed than other grains.

Check out more nutritious grains here.

How Long Can Buckwheat be Safely Stored And Its Expiration Time?

Amazingly, if stored properly, buckwheat can last on the shelf for up to 12 years. Some people even say that buckwheat and other grains can be stored and eaten up to 30 years! 

However, if you do spot mold in your storage container, then the whole batch is probably contaminated and, therefore, unfit for use, or any consumption and should be thrown away.

The Best Way To Store Buckwheat

A cool, dry cupboard or pantry is the best place to store buckwheat. Adding a 200cc oxygen-absorbing pack is a great idea too, as it will absorb moisture and allow the buckwheat to last even longer. 

9. Steel Cut Oats

steel-cut oats

Why Is Steel Cut Oats A Top Option For Stocking And Storage?

Steel-cut oats are a definite must for any long-term food storage plans. Steel-cut oats are cheap, store very well, very nutritious, and gluten-free. They can be ground into flour, made into vegan milk, sprouted, and used as a meat extender also. 

Besides that, steel-cut oats are high in fiber (beta-glucans), protein, and vitamins and are a really tasty and nutritious food source. 

If you need to feed pets or livestock, steel-cut oats are a great choice also because chickens, dogs, and cats love them.

Lastly, when it comes to cooking, you can grind steel-cut oats into flour, bake them, boil them, sprout them, make them into milk and feed them to your pets, a variety of choices that you find with very few other foods.

How Long Can Steel Cut Oats Be Safely Stored And Its Shelf Life?

Like buckwheat, steel-cut oats last an incredibly long time on the shelf if stored correctly, up to 10 years at least. As long as they have been protected from bacteria, mold, insects, and rodents, steel-cut oats can be eaten for years after their expiration date has come and gone.

The Best Way To Store Steel Cut Oats

Store steel cut oats in their original packaging in a cool, dry place. An airtight plastic or metal food container is also acceptable. Adding few 200cc oxygen-absorbing packs is a great idea too as it will absorb moisture and allow the oats to last even longer.

10. Sauerkraut

storing sauerkraut

Why Is Sauerkraut A Good Option For Stocking And Storage?

Although most people only know sauerkraut from baseball games and hotdog toppings, it is actually rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium.

Sauerkraut is also an excellent probiotic and will support the "good" microorganisms in your gut. This has the effect of increasing and improving your digestion, stimulating your immune system, and is good for overall well-being.

Raw, naturally fermented sauerkraut, is what you need as cooking and pasteurization can diminish or eliminate the protective properties it offers. Sauerkraut is also very high in fiber and is easily digestible.

How Long Can Sauerkraut Be Safely Stored And Its Expiration Time?

Sauerkraut can last up to a year in the fridge without spoiling and retains its flavor and texture throughout that time. When properly stored, a can/jar of unopened sauerkraut can last even up to 2 years. Sauerkraut is also highly resistant to botulism because fermenting foods creates a condition that botulism doesn't like.

The Best Way To Store Sauerkraut

Whether in a can or a jar, sauerkraut should be stored in a cool, dry place, preferably in the fridge. 

11. Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

Why Is Apple Cider Vinegar A Top Option For Stocking And Storage?

Not something you want to drink straight from the bottle, apple cider vinegar has some amazing properties, including the ability to kill bacteria, preserve other foods, and disinfect surfaces.

Dilute it with water and take after a meal, apple cider vinegar lowers blood sugar responses and improves insulin sensitivity. 

Apple cider vinegar can also reduce cholesterol and is an excellent remedy for skin conditions like eczema.

Not only does it protect the skin but, since it has antimicrobial properties, apple cider vinegar can actually prevent infections on wounds and cuts.

Ingesting apple cider vinegar is best when it is diluted in water or used in salad dressing. It is highly acidic and, therefore, should not be drunk undiluted.

How Long Can Apple Cider Vinegar Be Safely Stored And Its Shelf Life?

An unopened, tightly sealed bottle of apple cider vinegar can last in your pantry for about two years, but some experts say that, due to his high acidity, it can last for much longer. Bacteria are killed almost instantly in apple cider vinegar because of its high acidity, and some people will even tell you that it does not expire and can even be safer the older it is.

The fermentation process of apple cider vinegar is the reason why it has such a long shelf life.

The Best Way To Store Apple Cider Vinegar

Sealed in a glass bottle in a cool dry place or in the refrigerator, apple cider vinegar should last for years, even if opened, just make sure the bottle is tightly sealed again once opened. 

12. Beetroot Powder

beetroot powder

Why Is Beetroot Powder A Good Option For Stocking And Storage?

One of the best benefits of beat root powder is that it is very high in nitrates, compounds that improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, Beat root powder is also highly nutritious as it is loaded with minerals and vitamins as well as antioxidants.

The list of vitamins in beetroot powder is long, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, iron, folate, and more.

Beetroot powder can boost your brainpower and improve your athletic performance. That is the reason why beetroot extract is added to many pre-workout supplements. 

Beetroot powder is also very easy to add to a number of different foods, and, rather than giving them a beet-like taste, it increases their sweetness slightly.

Beetroot powder is one of the true superfoods and definitely deserves a place in your long-term food storage pantry.

How Long Can Beetroot Powder Be Safely Stored And Its Expiration Time?

When stored correctly, beetroot powder has a shelf life of up to 3 years and, if it doesn't show any signs of mold or insect problems, even longer. Beetroot powder is perfectly fine to eat after its expiration date for months or even years.

The Best Way To Store Beetroot Powder

Store beetroot powder in a cool, dry place in its original packaging or a tightly sealed plastic container.

13. Mushroom Coffee

mushroom coffee

Why Is Mushroom Coffee A Top Option For Stocking And Storage?

If caffeine is a problem for you, mushroom coffee is a great choice because it only has about 50 mg of caffeine per cup, about half that of regular coffee.

Mushroom coffee is excellent for your digestive system because of the prebiotics and polysaccharides that it provides.

Adaptogens that support the adrenal glands are also found in mushrooms and can help to reduce the general side effects that coffee can cause, as well as lower stress levels and help lower anxiety too.

Mushroom coffee is also high in antioxidants, and some studies have shown that they enhance a person's ability to focus.

How Long Can Mushroom Coffee Be Safely Stored And Its Shelf Life?

The data on how long mushroom coffee can be stored varies. Generally speaking, it looks like 1 to 2 years is the longest, but, like many other foods on this list, if it is free from mold and bug infestation, it should last quite a bit longer. Mushroom coffee should be fine to use long after its expiration date.

The Best Way To Store Mushroom Coffee

In your cool, dry pantry is the best place to store your mushroom coffee.

14. Black Garlic

black garlic

Why Is Black Garlic A Good Option For Stocking And Storage?

Black garlic has probably one of the shortest shelf life on this list, but it is my personal favorite, and it has long been known for its benefits. I don't think I could go very long without having it.

Surprisingly, black garlic has been shown to have an even higher amount of the ingredients that make regular raw garlic so famously good for you, including antioxidants. 

Black garlic is an excellent source of nutrients like protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin C. 

It's also quite delicious and easy to add to many dishes like sauces, dips, and meat.

Lastly, black garlic may reduce inflammation and could have many more benefits to your body.

Find out: How You Can Easley Make Your Own Black Galrick In A Slow Cooker.

How Long Can Black Garlic Be Safely Stored And Its Expiration Time?

If properly preserved, black garlic can last as long as 6 months on the shelf. In fact, if it looks good and smells good, it probably is good. So, if it doesn't have mold, it smells right and hasn't been infested by bugs, it is probably perfectly fine. 

The Best Way To Store Black Garlic

You must keep black garlic dry for it to last as long as possible. A basket with a paper towel on the bottom is great or, if you want to keep black garlic in a jar, put a paper towel on the bottom of the jar first.

Conclusion

All of the foods on this list are exceptionally high in nutritional value as well as having exceptionally long shelf lives.

It is for that reason that they all should be on your "to buy" list if you are looking for healthy food that will last for a long time in your pantry or cupboard.

I hope you found this article useful and if you have any questions, need advice, or would like to leave a comment, please do in the space below. Thanks!

Keep your food safe and made it last extra long. Check out these 20 clever food storage ideas and useful supplies.

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About the author

    Jen Evansy

    Nutritionists, researchers, and writers, interested in everything healthy-living related. Helping you identify the best diets, learn about food and nutrition, to help you live happier, longer and stronger.


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