Many shelf-stable foods are full of preservatives, and sifting through the non-perishable items to find healthy options can seem like a daunting task. Whether you're preparing for an emergency, purchasing foods to donate, or packing for a camping trip, there are several non-perishable food options packed with protein, vitamins and minerals, perfect for a vegan diet.
In times of emergency (and not), it's important to provide your body with healthy and wholesome foods. Non-perishable foods may not sound like the most appealing options in the kitchen, but with just a few tweaks, they can be turned into a healthy and delicious vegan meal. If you're on the hunt for healthy and vegan non-perishable foods, then you've come to the right place! The list below features veggies, popcorn, and several other delicious vegan treats that will help accommodate any healthy lifestyle and diet plan.
What Is Non-Perishable Food?
Now you might be asking, "What is non-perishable food, and why would I need it?" In short, non-perishable food is food that can safely be stored at room temperature for months at a time. This food has been treated with heat or dried to kill off any foodborne microorganisms. This treatment process results in shelf-stable food that can go long periods without spoiling.
What makes non-perishable food items so convenient is that they do not need to be stored in a refrigerator. These shelf-stable foods are perfect for campers, hikers, donations and emergencies. Because non-perishable foods are often designed with urgency in mind, most of these foods require very little cooking time.
Vegan Non-Perishable Food Items
Though not all non-perishable food items are healthy and vegan, there are several that are! Before heading to the grocery store to purchase foods for your stockpile, be sure to review this list. Knowing what shelf-stable items to purchase beforehand can help ensure that you're making the healthiest choice possible! Remember, while all of the items on this list are shelf-stable, they can also be enjoyed daily. Just because something is non-perishable doesn't mean that you have to wait for months to eat it. Keep scrolling to discover delicious, healthy items you can keep in your pantry all year long.
It's no surprise that oats are near and dear to our hearts. Delicious and packed with nutrition, oats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Due to their versatility, oats can be used to make both sweet and savory dishes. Start your morning off with a savory bowl of Oatmeal Congee or break up your day with a delicious afternoon bowl Apple Pie Oatmeal. Oats are the perfect food to bring along on all of your adventures. Prepare them the night before and leave them in the fridge for a pleasant bowl of overnight oats, or bring them camping to cook atop of a campfire. Oats are a healthy, nutrient-rich non-perishable food item that can last over a year at room temperature!
Aside from being non-perishable, peanut butter is packed with healthy fats and plant-based protein, which make it the perfect healthy vegan treat to stock up on. Add it to your oatmeal or eat it by the spoonful! Kid-approved, peanut butter is a treat that will keep the entire family happy, especially in times of crisis. A sweet and creamy shelf-stable food, when kept at room temperature, most peanut butter can last up to nine months. When shopping for your shelf-stable peanut butter, it's crucial to check the expiration date. While processed peanut butter has a long shelf life, natural peanut butter expires much more quickly.
Not a fan of peanut butter? Don't worry! There are several different delicious kinds of nut butter out there that are also non-perishable. Almond butter, cashew butter and even walnut butter are just a few of the delightful varieties of nut butter to choose from!
Try out this Peanut Butter Protein Cookie Recipe as a great way to incorporate some high protein treats into your snack rotation.
Granola is another incredibly convenient food item. While you must pay attention to the ingredients and check the shelf life beforehand, the right kind of granola will make for the perfect non-perishable food item. Though the oats in granola are great for you, not all granola is healthy. Often, large amounts of syrups and oils are added to granola, turning this healthy treat into one that's high in sugars and preservatives. When selecting granola, we recommend thoroughly checking the ingredients to ensure that it's as nutritious as possible. Stock your pantry with wholesome granola like this Apple Blueberry Granola, or make your own homemade version. Homemade granola can easily be made by combining healthy shelf-stable food items like Gluten Free Rolled Oats, dried fruits and nuts. Use granola to top off your favorite yogurt, or combine it with milk to create a delicious breakfast cereal. It's a versatile treat that can be enjoyed at any time!
By far one of our favorite non-perishable food items, soup is a great way to warm up on a chilly day or to squeeze an extra serving of veggies into a meal. While many soups can be enjoyed straight out of the can, they can also be combined with fresh vegetables and grains to create an even more flavorful meal. Depending on which variety you purchase, canned soup can last anywhere from a few months to up to five years. Canned soup's long shelf life has made it a favorite amongst food donation organizations. When it comes to soup, there are several different flavors. From vegetable soup to potato soup, finding a healthy soup that tastes great isn't hard to come by. When looking for a wholesome, vegan soup, we suggest purchasing one that is low in sodium and contains natural ingredients. While organic and natural soups usually have a shorter shelf life, they are still long-lasting non-perishable items.
Note: It's important to note that when choosing a tomato-based variety of soup, due to the acidity, these soups tend to have a shelf life of around eighteen months.
You likely have a can or two of beans sitting in the pantry. But did you know that aside from being a delicious ingredient, canned and dried beans are an incredible source of plant-based protein? They're also packed with other vital nutrients like iron and fiber. The best part? Beans are remarkably versatile. Use them in everything from soups to salads and dips, canned beans are easy to cook and are the perfect option for a quick meal. When properly stored, an unopened can of beans can last anywhere from three to five years, which makes them the ideal addition to your pantry stockpile. The next time you head to the grocery store, add canned beans to your list. This one ingredient offers up an exciting mix of dishes that range from sweet and creamy to hearty and flavorful. If all of this newfound bean knowledge doesn't have you running for the can opener, then we don't know what will!
Use beans as a base in this delicious, meat-free Bean and Barley Burger recipe!
Naturally free of fat and low in calories, coconut water is a healthy pantry essential. Named "mother nature's sports drink," it's incredibly hydrating and jam-packed with potassium. Coconut water is full of benefits and believed to help with everything from dehydration to digestion. When purchasing coconut water, it's not to be confused with coconut milk. Coconut water is made from the water and the flesh inside of a mature coconut. Actually, over 95% of coconut water is water, which explains it's incredible hydrating benefits! Because coconut water is mostly water, it's a truly non-perishable food item. As long as the bottle/box remains unopened, there is not much that can spoil when in this tasty drink. To properly store this delicious beverage, it is best to keep it away from direct sunlight and heat.
Now that you have a good understanding of vegan pantry essentials, we hope that these items become a staple in your kitchen. From delicious drinks like coconut water to soul-warming soups, each item on this list can be kept in your pantry for months (even years!) at a time without spoiling. Whether you choose to stock up on these items in case of emergency or add them into your weekly recipe roundup, keeping them on hand will ensure that you always have healthy ingredients to use as the base for a delicious meal.
At Bob's Red Mill, we believe in taking care of one another, especially in times of uncertainty. This is why we're continually looking for new ways to help people enjoy simple and authentic foods. Have a list of healthy non-perishable foods of your own? We'd love to hear what's on it! Let us know your favorite vegan pantry essentials in the comments below.