10 Cheap and Healthy Superfoods with a Long Shelf LifeWritten by Daisy Whitbread, MScNWhether you live in a remote area, are going camping, or are looking to create a stockpile of food in case of a disaster, the follow 10 food groups will give you plenty of options and variety for your needs. Long lasting foods are typically dehydrated, cured, smoked, canned, or pickled. Great long lasting foods include dried beans, dried herbs, grains, dehydrated milk, dried fruits, cocoa powder, dried seaweed, canned foods, pickled foods, and coconut oil. Below are the details on the top 10 cheap superfoods that will last for a long time.
#1: Beans and Lentils
Health Benefits: High in fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, most beans also contain all the essential amino acids.
How to store: Beans should be stored in an airtight container, and in a cool, dry, place. If stored properly, beans can last for 2-3 years before any nutrient degradation occurs.2 Click to see complete nutrition facts for select beans and lentils.
#2: Dried Herbs
Health Benefits: Dried herbs are low in calories, fat, cholesterol, sugar, and are high in everything else.
How to store: Dried herbs should be stored in air tight containers in a cool dry place. If stored properly they can last for over 2 years. Click to see complete nutrition facts for select dried herbs.
Health Benefits: Grains are a great source carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, in addition to vitamins and minerals.
How to store: Grains should be stored in air tight containers in a cool dry place. If possible store them in a freezer. If properly stored grains can last up to 30 years.3 Click to see complete nutrition facts for select grains.
#4: Dried Seaweed (Nori)
Health Benefits: Dried Seaweed is the best source of iodine other than fortified salt. Low in calories and high in fiber it is a great inexpensive super food.
How to store: Store dried seaweed in a cool dry place, and keep it in an airtight container. If stored properly it will stay fresh for 6 months.
#5: Dried Fruits
Health Benefits: High in vitamins and minerals, dried fruit can also be a great source of calories, carbs, and energy. Don't eat too many due to their high sugar content, and be sure to keep your teeth clean after eating them to prevent cavities.
How to store: Store dried fruits in an airtight container, and preferably in a cool dry place, away from light. Click to see complete nutrition facts for dried fruit.
#6: Dehydrated Milk
Health Benefits: Dehydrated milk can be an important source of vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D (if it is added). Dried milk is also high in protein, carbs, and calories.
How to store: Dried milk should be stored in a cool dry place, and in an airtight container. If stored at room temperature, dried milk will start to go bad in as little as 6 months. Kept cool it can last for 3-6 years. 4 Click to see complete nutrition facts for dried milk.
#7: Cocoa Powder
Health Benefits: Cocoa powder can be paired with dried milk, and is a great source of iron and protein.
How to store: Like dried milk, store cocoa powder in a cool dry place. Click to see complete nutrition facts for cocoa powder.
#8: Canned Foods
Health Benefits: Canned foods vary from fruits, to veggies, fish, meats, beans, soups, etc. Look for canned foods without added sugars, sodium, or preservatives. However, canned foods which contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are recommended. Canned foods can be a great source of almost any nutrient, and can last for a very long time.
How to store: Store canned vegetables in an airtight container away from light and heat. Home canned vegetables should last about a year. For commercially canned products, check the date on the can. A general rule is they will last 2-5 years. Click to see complete nutrition facts for select canned foods.
#9: Pickled Foods
Health Benefits: Pickled foods can be a great source of fat (like olives), fiber, and vitamin K.
How to store: While pickled foods can last a long time, they typically don't last as long as their canned counterparts. Keep them in a refrigerator or try consume them in a couple weeks. Click to see complete nutrition facts for select pickled foods.
#10: Cocount Oil
Health Benefits: While high in saturated fat, coconut oil may help prevent heart disease by reducing LDL oxidation.5
How to store: Coconut oil should be kept away from light, but does not have to be refrigerated, and can last up to 2 years. Click to see complete nutrition facts for coconut oil.
Data Sources and References
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27.