Emergency preparedness is an important part of our lives that everyone should take seriously. In order to be fully prepared for potential emergencies, it is essential to have a supply of non-perishable food that will not spoil easily. Dried beans and lentils are a perfect, economical, and versatile option for emergency food storage.
Not only are dried beans and lentils an abundant source of protein and fiber, but they are also packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that help keep our bodies healthy. They can also be stored for long periods of time without needing any special storage conditions.
This article will provide an in-depth look at the many benefits of including dried beans and lentils in your emergency preparedness plan, as well as offer helpful tips on how to prepare and store them. We will also take a closer look at Total Prepare’s Storehouse line, which is a great choice for stocking up on emergency food supplies.
What Are Legumes and Lentils?
Legumes and lentils are members of the plant family Fabaceae, and both are incredibly nutritious and beneficial to our health. Lentils, which are small, lens-shaped, seed-like pulses, are the oldest known edible plant cultivated by humans and have been a staple in diets around the world for centuries. Legumes, on the other hand, are a family of plants that includes beans and peas and have been recognized for their variety of health benefits. From aiding in digestion to providing essential vitamins and minerals, lentils and legumes are an excellent addition to any diet. Not only are they incredibly nutritious, but they are also incredibly versatile, with many different varieties available to suit different palates.
Why Include Dried Beans and Lentils in Your Emergency Preparedness
Dried legumes and lentils are an excellent choice for emergency preparedness. They are a great source of protein, and are low in fat and calories, making them an ideal choice for those looking to manage their weight. Additionally, they are rich in essential vitamins and minerals that help to keep our bodies healthy and functioning properly.
The main reason, however, is that dried legumes and lentils are very easy to store and stay fresh for up to a year without any special storage conditions. They can be stored in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers for much longer periods of time too, making them a great choice for those who may need to stockpile essentials for an emergency.
Some Drawbacks To Keep In Mind & Avoid
The main drawback of dried beans and lentils is the long cooking times. Preparing lentils or beans for a meal can be a long and tiresome process. Dried legumes, such as black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans, for instance, can take anywhere from one and a half to two and a half hours to cook. For households in a hurry to prepare an emergency meal, this can be problematic. Furthermore, dried legumes require a lot of liquid to be cooked, so it is important to have enough water on hand – which can be tricky in an emergency.
Dried beans and lentils have a tendency to harden over time, especially if they are exposed to heat and moisture. This is problematic since it can make them quite inedible. It is thus important to ensure that legumes are stored in a cool and dry place, and checked regularly for spoilage.
In order to overcome these drawbacks, there are a few key steps that can be taken. In order to combat the long cooking times, it is possible to speed up the process by presoaking the legumes for several hours. This allows them to absorb the liquids needed for cooking and cuts down the cooking time. Additionally, it is important to check the legumes for stones or foreign materials before cooking.
Having access to a pressure cooker is also beneficial, as it can cut the cooking time of dried legumes in half. For those looking to add some more variety to their meals, investing in canned lentils and beans can be a useful option. Alternatively, stocking up on canned and vacuum-sealed legumes can also provide a bit more convenience during emergencies.
Finally, ensuring that dried legumes and lentils are stored in cool, dry places, such as the back of a pantry shelf away from any heat sources, can help preserve their shelf life and texture. This is especially important for those living in humid climates. Dried beans and lentils can have a shelf life of up to 25 YEARS if processed correctly, but we’ll talk about that more in a minute.
Overall, while dried legumes and lentils can be beneficial for emergency preparedness, it is important to be aware of their drawbacks and take steps to combat them. By managing storage and taking advantage of presoaking and pressure cooking, households can reduce the time needed to prepare a nutritious meal during an emergency. Additionally, investing in canned legumes can be a great option for those needing more variety in their meals.
How To Prepare Dried Beans and Lentils
When preparing lentils and beans, it is important to rinse them properly before cooking in order to remove any dirt, dust, or debris that may have accumulated. Different types of lentils and legumes need to be cooked differently – red lentils only need to be simmered in water for 10 to 20 minutes, while green, brown, or black lentils should be soaked overnight in order to achieve a more tender consistency. Additionally, beans will typically double or triple in size when cooked, so it is important to ensure that you have enough water to cover them before beginning the cooking process. This will also help to ensure that they are cooked evenly and that they retain their flavor and texture. Remember to season with your favorite spices and herbs before cooking to add a delicious flavor to the finished dish.
How to Store Dried Legumes and Lentils
When storing dried legumes and lentils, it is essential to ensure that they are stored in a cool, dark and dry environment. This is because, if exposed to too much moisture or light, the legumes and lentils can become damaged and thus, lose their nutritional value and flavour. To prevent this, it is recommended to store the legumes and lentils in an airtight container, to keep any moisture or humidity out. It is highly advised to label the containers with the date of purchase, so that you know how long the legumes and lentils have been stored. This is important, as legumes and lentils can become stale if stored for more than a year and will no longer be safe to consume. To ensure the best quality of legumes and lentils, proper storage is essential.
Total Prepare’s Storehouse Line
Total Prepare offers an incredible selection of dried legumes and lentils in their Storehouse line, with a wide range of dehydrated products to choose from. Not only are these items essential for a well-stocked pantry, they also have a 25 year shelf life! For those looking to build up their emergency preparedness supplies, they offer a selection of beans and legumes, such as dried chickpeas and great northern beans, which are easy to store and prepare with minimal effort. They even offer rolled oats! With Total Prepare, you can be sure that your pantry is stocked with the essentials to help you through any emergency. Check them out here.
Dried legumes and lentils are an essential part of any emergency preparedness plan due to their high nutritional value and long shelf life. Not only are they an excellent source of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals, but they are also incredibly affordable and widely available. When preparing dried beans and lentils, it is important to rinse them properly before cooking, and to make sure to use double or triple the amount of water than you would normally use. Additionally, you should be sure to carefully inspect the product before purchasing, looking for any signs of discoloration or foreign objects. Finally, when it is time to store them, make sure to do so in a cool, dark, and dry place in an airtight container. Total Prepare’s Storehouse line is a great option to check out, as they offer a wide selection of 25 year lentils and legumes that are perfect for emergency preparedness planning.