9 Best Emergency Foods To Can

Last Updated: July 31, 2022

Canning is useful for preserving your garden harvest.

But you should also consider keeping around some of the best foods to can for an emergency.

Home food storage matters in a variety of situations, like an economic collapse, a weather-related crisis, loss of a job, or anything else you consider an emergency.

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Regardless of what your motivation is, you need to know which foods are best to keep around for when trouble strikes.

Here are 9 emergency foods perfect for canning!

The 9 Best Foods to Can for an Emergency

These foods are ones that are going to add nutrients to your body while still being delicious.

1. Canned Dry Beans

Beans are a good source of protein, and we know that protein is essential for survival and growth.

You can use beans for soups, stews, or baked beans. Perfect for Taco Tuesday fans.

It’s safe to can all types of dry beans, such as black beans, red beans, pinto beans, navy beans, and more. However, it takes a lot of time to prepare, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Make sure you have a pressure canner because it’s the only safe way to can dry beans.

Want to become more self-sufficient and make your food and harvest last longer?

Have a look at these 7 DIY Food Preservation Methods

2. Canned Meat

If you’re thinking about survival, meat should come to mind. So many people are intimidated by canning meat, but it’s far from complicated. So long as you use a pressure canner and follow safety-tested canning recipes, then you’ll be safe.

Meats that are safe to can include:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Bear
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Sausage
  • Veal
  • Venison

You can cut meat into strips, cubes, chunks, or use ground meat. Just make sure you are following a reliable recipe.

Adding meat to your stockpile is an easy way to pack your pantry with nutrients. It’s a source of protein, along with a variety of other things your body needs. You need the fat in meat for energy as well. Meat can be added to soups and stews, pasta dishes, or eaten on its own.

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3Spaghetti Sauce

You can’t eat spaghetti sauce on its own – well, you can, but it’s far from a full meal. However, if we’re thinking about dinner dishes that your family can enjoy, even during hard times, pasta falls into that category. Pasta is cheap and easy to stockpile. You can find boxes for as low as $.50 with sales and coupons.

Adding jars of spaghetti sauce to your stockpile gives you an easy meal option. You can add some canned ground beef or venison to boost the protein in your dish. Plus, spaghetti is a familiar dish for your children that almost everyone loves.

4. Canned Seafood

Canning seafood is a popular way to preserve your bountiful catch. Make sure you pack and process seafood properly to guarantee its safety when you open it to eat it. Seafood should be preserved as soon as possible after obtaining it for the best quality. Keep your seafood and shellfish cold until you can preserve it.

Adding seafood to your stockpile gives you healthy nutrients, and there are so many ways to use it. Here are some seafood items you can add to your emergency stockpile:

  • Clams
  • Crab
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Oysters
  • Smoked Fish
  • Tuna

Not only is seafood an additional source of protein, but it also contains iodine, zinc, potassium, and phosphorous. Salmon is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, along with vitamins D and B2.

It’s essential to can seafood safely, so check out the details set out by Washington State University.

5Canned Veggies

You need to add vegetables to your stockpile. The great thing about canning veggies is that there aren’t too many limitations. Some canned vegetables that you might want to add to your inventory include:

  • Corn
  • Cucumbers (pickles)
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Radishes (pickled)
  • Potatoes

Vegetables add versatility and nutrients to your stockpile. A side of green beans goes well with a jar of canned chicken, or veggies can be tossed into soup recipes.

Related post: A Beginner’s Guide To Canning

6Canned Fruits

Adding fruits to your emergency stockpile adds vital nutrients. You find potassium, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and folate in a variety of fruits. Of course, they can’t be your main source of nutrition, but a dab of jam is heavenly now and then.

There are so many ways to can fruits! Try diced fruits, whole or halve fruits, or even pureed, such as applesauce. Most fruits can be canned in some form or variety, even if it’s just jam or jellies. Yes, jams are full of sugar, but they can add some fruit to your diet, but as we said before, you can’t live on them.

Some examples of fruits that you might can for your stockpile includes:

  • Applesauce
  • Canned apple pie filling
  • Peaches – sliced
  • Pears – halved
  • Cherries
  • Homemade fruit cocktail

7Soups and More Soups

Soups are a meal in themselves, so why not add different soups to your home canned emergency stockpile? It’s important to note that there are several things you can’t add to your soups, such as:

  • Flour
  • Noodles
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Dairy

If you like chicken noodle soup, you’ll need to add the noodles after you open the can and cook it. Home canners are unable to reach the required temperatures to safely can noodles and other ingredients. This also means you can’t can cream-based soups.

That doesn’t mean you’re limited! Here are some soups you might want to add to your pantry.

  • Potato Soup – cube the potatoes, can in chicken broth with ham, carrots, celery, and onions.
  • Chicken Soup – carrots, onions, celery, chicken
  • Tomato Soup
  • Chicken Mexican Soup
  • Vegetable Soup
  • Chili
  • Ham and Bean Soup

8. Salsas

Are you skeptical about salsa?  You might not know that tomatoes are a source of vitamins and minerals.

For example, tomatoes have up to 18mg of calcium, along with potassium, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, and phosphorus. Don’t forget that you also have other veggies in the recipe.

Salsas can be added to dishes to make a complete meal. One of the easiest meals you can toss together to cook chicken breasts in a jar of salsa and serve over rice. The flavor of the salsa infuses the chicken and rice.

Salsa also makes a healthy snack. Considering its a healthy dose of vitamin C, which helps to keep illnesses at bay, eating some salsa with chips or crackers is the perfect emergency snack.

9Fermented Foods

You might not think of fermented foods as something other than condiments, such as sauerkraut and pickles. You might not realize how many things you can ferment. For instance, fermented radishes and carrots are a treat.

Aside from being a yummy snack, fermented foods add probiotics and digestive enzymes to your diet, which is essential for your gut health.

While you could can pickled foods, fermenting is another option for storage, especially if you have a cool storage location that isn’t dependent on electricity.

Here are 6 other preservation methods to help you get started with your emergency food stockpile.

Final Thoughts

Within these nine best foods to can for an emergency, there are dozens of options. That means you can create a pantry that is packed with foods that can sustain you during an emergency, no matter the type. Adding a variety of foods full of nutrients and vitamins will help maintain and nourish your family through any crisis.

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