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Of all the nutrients to include in your diet, protein is one of the most important. Protein helps your body repair cells and create new ones, and it’s essential for retaining muscle mass. And if you have developing children, it’s imperative. If an emergency strikes, you want to be sure you have multiple protein sources in your food storage.
When we think of protein, we think of huge cuts of meat to sustain us for long periods. Meat may be expensive, scarce, or dangerous to hunt in your area, yet you still need protein sources. Here are 20 healthy and delicious protein sources to add to your food storage.
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1. Beef Jerky
If you cannot get fresh beef, dried and cured meat is the next best thing. The average amount of protein per serving is 11 grams in beef jerky. It also lasts a very long time, so a generous amount can sustain a family for a while.
2. Black Beans
Buying beans from dry is an amazing way to save money and have fresh beans whenever you want. Black beans are great because a half-cup of cooked beans equals 8 grams of protein. You can also keep cans of black beans in your food storage, although the price may fluctuate upwards if you’re buying strictly canned varieties.
3. Brown Rice
Whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains, so brown rice is a healthy addition to your food storage when compared to white rice. One cup of cooked brown rice has about 5 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Brown rice gives your servings of whole grains during an emergency so you can stay sharp and continue to build muscle.
4. Canned Salmon
Salmon is a superfood that has healthy fat omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are essential for a healthy body. Not only that, but a regular-sized tin of salmon has a whopping 36 grams of protein! This healthy fat and protein count can keep you sustained for a long time.
5. Canned Tuna
Perhaps more common than canned salmon, canned tuna can be found in almost all pantries across America. It is great for a quick snack, salad, or casserole. Each tin of tuna has about 26 grams of protein total along with omega-3s and other antioxidants. Pair a can of tuna with some dried noodles and canned soup for an affordable tuna-noodle casserole, the perfect emergency comfort meal.
Chickpeas are an essential food storage item in both dried and canned form. Dried, soaked chickpeas make for excellent stews and soups. Canned chickpeas can be used for hummus. The canning liquid, aquafaba, can be whipped and used as vegan whipped cream or folded into an egg souffle. ½ cup of cooked chickpeas contains about 6 grams of protein.
While it is a fresh food and not easy to store without cold storage, edamame is one of the most protein-rich foods on earth. If you live in a region that you can grow soybeans on your homestead, their nutrition alone is worth it. The boiled or steamed edamame pods have about 18 grams of protein per 1 cup.
If you have chickens on your homestead, you will be blessed with daily fresh eggs. While eggs do keep for a good amount of time without cold storage, you will want to consume your eggs as they are laid. A single egg has 6 grams of protein, adding tons of nutrients to your breakfast. Boil and mash your extra eggs with mayo for a big serving of egg salad to feed the family at lunchtime. Or just get yourself some pickled eggs.
9. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are crunchy little pockets of protein that are delicious in whole-grain cereal, smoothies, or on top of yogurt. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds have just under 10 grams of protein inside. These super affordable seeds are the perfect healthy addition to an otherwise boring snack.
10. Kidney Beans
Like black beans, kidney beans pack a lot of protein inside this little legume. Kidney beans are great to have to add to a pantry minestrone or chili recipe. Just 1 cup of kidney beans has about 14 grams of protein and is very filling. Kidney beans can be stored dry or in cans.
Lentils are a variety of legumes that is often sold dry and added to soups or stews after soaking. They are a common vegetarian meat substitute because of their awesome protein content. Cooked lentils can be made into a loaf in the style of meatloaf using eggs, root vegetables, and spices among many other preparations. A cup of lentils contains about 18 grams of protein.
All food storage should contain oats for many reasons. Oats can be ground into flour to make bread, pancakes, cakes, etc. They can also be made into porridge, cereal, and energy bars. Oats on their own have about 6 grams of protein per half-cup. That protein count can be bulked up by cooking them with 2% milk and sliced almonds.
13. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter has one of the highest protein counts of all nut butter varieties. It has a long shelf life, good nutrition, and is super filling, making it the ultimate survival food. It is also super affordable! Depending on the brand, peanut butter averages 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. Keep whole peanuts on hand for even more protein!
These little green vegetables may be disliked by children, but they really pack a protein punch. A half-cup of fresh peas has about 8 grams of protein, and a half-cup of dried peas as 24 grams. Fresh peas can be grown on your homestead, otherwise canned varieties are a great option for your food storage. Peas can be added to brown fried rice made from pantry ingredients.
15. Powdered Milk
Since keeping dairy milk in cold storage may not be available during a survival situation, survivalists have to get crafty. By keeping powdered milk in your food storage and mixing it with water, you can have fresh milk at any time. A one-fourth cup serving of milk mixed from powder contains about 8 grams of protein.
16. Pumpkin Seeds
When compared to other seeds, pumpkin seeds have some of the highest protein content. They can be added to oats, cereals, baked goods, trail mix, or any other emergency recipes. A 1-cup serving of pumpkin seeds provides 12 grams of protein. They also keep for a long time.
Quinoa is a cereal grain with one of the highest protein ratios. It has a long shelf life and is bought from dry. Quinoa is a superfood that has tons of vitamins and minerals. Although it is a whole grain, it is actually gluten-free. This protein-rich grain contains 8 grams of protein per cup.
Sardines are oily fish commonly found packed in tins. They contain omega-3 fatty acids and are anti-inflammatory. While they may have a pungent smell, they also pack a lot of nutrition. Their protein content cannot be matched, especially in a food emergency, so be sure to keep them in your storage. A 100g serving of sardines contains 22g of protein on average! Serve these fish on top of crackers or add them to soups.
19. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are one of the most affordable items on this list, as they are inexpensive to purchase and can easily be harvested from the plant. Add sunflower seeds to any salad to give the dish a protein boost. A one-fourth cup serving of sunflower seeds contains about 3g of protein.
20. Whey Protein Powder
Protein powder has a shelf life of about a year, making it great for your food storage. Although it is one of the pricier items on the list, a large container of whey protein will last quite a while. Choose your favorite flavor and then add protein powder to your cereals, oatmeal, morning beverages, or baked goods. One scoop of protein powder has 17 grams of protein on average.
Protein is incredibly important in an emergency food situation, so having tons of extra protein sources in your food storage is a priceless addition. All protein-rich foods on this list are affordable, accessible, and delicious. Take two or more of these ingredients to create a protein-dense dish to sustain your family another day. You can never have enough sources of protein in your stock!
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20 Best Protein Sources to Add to Your Food Storage is written by Tracy Nawara for urbansurvivalsite.com