When it comes to emergency preparedness, the word "fresh" might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Canned goods, freeze-dried meals, and MREs all have their place in keeping you fed during a crisis – and in fact, non-perishable items like these are the backbone of any survival food stash. But what about when you crave a little something green or otherwise garden-fresh, wild, and colorful?
That's why we put together this list of 6 superfoods for emergency preparedness you can easily grow at home. Not only are they relatively easy to cultivate – some right on your windowsill – but they'll provide a fresh and nutrient-packed addition to your survival stash...and let's be honest, after a few days of survival rations, something fresh can sound like a dream come true. Even the simple addition of a fresh element like bright and zesty herbs can do wonders for your taste buds and well-being.
So, from home-grown herbs to earthy greens to juicy berries, these superfoods will help keep you and your family healthy and satisfied in times of need. Plus, they can be stored for long-term survival. Read on to discover how to add a garden-fresh twist and solid boost of nutrition to your emergency preparedness plan.
Growing these nutritional powerhouses at home is a smart choice for both your taste buds and your survival stash. Berries thrive with minimal effort, making them a great option for even novice gardeners. The only caveat is it takes a little planning ahead and patience since they will likely not yield fruit in their first year. Both blueberries and blackberries are capable of producing fruit two years after planting, and they will become more vigorous fruit producers as they continue to mature. In the meantime, wild blueberries and blackberries are great plants to forage for while you wait for your own bushes to grow.
Once they're picked, you can enjoy them fresh, and you have plenty of save-some-for-later options like canning, jam-making, and drying, so you can have a berry-based winter nutrient boost. So if you're looking to add some sweet and healthy goodness to your emergency stockpile, it's time to start planting those berries so you can thrive on a steady supply.
Spinach and Kale (or other leafy greens): If you're in the market for some serious
nutritional reinforcements, it's hard to do better than leafy greens. These superfoods are packed with vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin K, which help keep your bones and blood vessels healthy.
They're both relatively plants to grow, making them black thumb approved, and they're ideal for growing in small spaces and can be planted in containers or garden beds.
They have a relatively short growing cycle, so you can have a constant supply of fresh greens throughout the season – regularly harvest outer leaves and allow inner leaves to grow for continuous production.
You can eat them raw in salads, juice them, or sauté them up for a tasty side dish. To store them long-term, blanch and freeze them in portioned bags, and then you can add a boost of green in your winter recipes. Alternately, you can dehydrate them.
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes: While your doctor probably never uttered "kale"
and "potatoes" in the same breath while urging you to eat more superfoods, don't underestimate the power of the humble spud. When it comes to emergency preparedness, potatoes and sweet potatoes are a true survival superfood.
They're calorie-dense and an excellent source of carbs to keep your energy levels up in a time of need, but that's not where their nutritional value stops. Potatoes are nutrient-rich too and are a good source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A and filling fiber.
When food is scarce, you can grow a bounty of potatoes in a small space, especially if you use a tried and true strategy like the potato tower method. Potatoes store well, meaning you can keep them fresh for months on end. Plus, if you save some of your haul from your homegrown crop as seed potatoes, you can set yourself up to have a potato stash for next growing season too.
So, while we're not knocking the health benefits of leafy greens and their rightful place on the superfood totem pole, sometimes it's the classic, underestimated potato that saves the day when it comes to emergency preparedness.
Herbs [such as basil, mint, thyme, oregano, cilantro, and parsley]: Growing your
own herbs can easily add a fresh twist and nutrition to your emergency food supply. Herbs add flavor and aroma to meals, are packed with a surprising amount of vitamins and minerals, and some also have medicinal properties.
Herbs can easily be grown in the ground, in pots, window boxes, or even inside in a mason jar on your windowsill the whole year round. Harvest leaves as needed but leave some to ensure continuous growth. You can also dry herbs by hanging them in bundles or use a dehydrator. Store dried herbs in airtight containers away from heat and sunlight.
Microgreens: Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are harvested after the
first true leaves have developed – and they're one of the easiest ways to supplement your survival diet with superfoods. These tiny greens are nutrient-dense pint-sized powerhouses and, like herbs, can be grown indoors year-round no greenhouse required.
Sow seeds densely in containers filled with a sterile growing medium, like potting soil, and place them in a sunny spot or under grow lights. Harvest them when they reach a desirable size by cutting just above the soil line, and many microgreens will grow back, giving you multiple harvests. Consume them immediately for maximum freshness and nutrition. With microgreens, you can easily add some extra nutrition to your meals with very little added effort.
Sprouts: Sprouts are germinated seeds or legumes that are consumed shortly after
they sprout. They are rich in vitamins, fiber, and enzymes. They're quite possibly the simplest superfood to grow at home indoors, even in the winter, and a fresh batch of sprouts can be ready to eat in mere days.
Sprouts can be grown in trays with moistened soil or in jars with screens or lids designed for sprouting. Rinse them twice a day and keep them in a warm, dark place until they reach the desired length. Rinse them thoroughly before consuming and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Sowing the Seeds of Survival - The Closing Argument for Prepping with SuperfoodsThese 6 superfoods are an easy way to elevate your emergency food supply due to their high nutritional value and long-term storage potential. They provide vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health and immune function. Incorporating these superfoods into your diet can help combat nutrient deficiencies and help you stay nourished during uncertain times, as well as help ensure a consistent food supply.