The word protein means to come first and it is certainly an important consideration in every diet. Unfortunately, we have developed an American diet that is too heavy in protein, especially animal based protein. Meat is the most expensive protein, both environmentally and economically which is leading many to move to at least some some plant based meals each week, I took a cooking class last night that focused on vegetarian pasta and sauce dishes. The food was amazing. Even a confirmed meat and potatoes person would have loved the stuffed manicotte and sweet potato lasagna.

I am shopping today to replenish my protein supply. It has been depleted over the winter which is actually the good news. It means I am eating what I store and rotating my stored food. This is especially important with canned meat which has a somewhat shorted shelf life than canned fruits and vegetables. Her is a list of proteins I store. Assume that all are commercially canned unless otherwise stated.

salmon

crab

chicken

tuna

ham

nut butters

I home can chicken and beef following the Ball Blue Book directions when I find a very good price on meat. A  lot of people who regularly can vegetables are afraid of canning meat. If you are careful with hygiene and follow the directions exactly, canning meat is perfectly safe. I store some beef jerky. Now that I have my Excalibur I will make my own jerky this year. I do not buy freeze dried meat. It is pretty expensive and I have cheaper options that I like as well. I have access to local eggs although I do store enough dried eggs to get me through a time I was not able to buy  or barter for eggs. I also store some canned meat meals like chili, soups and stews but I really don’t like them. They are too heavy in sodium and high in fat for my taste. I would make a lunch or dinner out of them if I had to but I put them low on my storage priority.

I store a lot of dried milk. I do not buy the boxed stuff from the market but instead spend the money for the # 10 cans of milk that is canned for long term storage. The milk you buy in a box is okay for cooking but my kids don’t care for the taste. They don’t complain at all about the canned powder milk. Having dried milk on hand makes cooking so many more things possible. If you buy nothing else from preparedness stores, you should buy a case of this. I get mine from Emergency Essentials.

I store a lot of beans. Many I grow, some I buy canned for convenience and ease of cooking without power but I buy a lot of dried beans. With rice, you have a complete protein for far less money than meat and with the added benefits of fiber.

It is probably a good idea to get a good vegetarian cookbook and practice cooking with legumes and grains. One of my favorites is Laurel’s Kitchen.

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