As coronavirus continues, a lot of people are stockpiling survival food items that have a long shelf life: canned goods, dried beans and lentils, and other foods that resist spoilage.
First things first: we’re likely going to be back to normal in the coming months, and there’s no sign of a food shortage.
Nonetheless, it can be comforting to have some emergency food in your pantry in case you can’t get to the grocery store or an emergency situation arises.
But what do you store in your pantry if you’re keto? Most common food storage choices are carb-heavy: canned beans, rice, oats, and so on.
Fortunately, there are quite a few shelf-stable keto foods that are good for long-term food storage.
Here’s a look at the seven best canned foods for prepping an emergency food supply — while still sticking to your keto diet. Just don’t forget your can opener.
1. Sardines, Mackerel, Anchovies, and other Canned Fish
Canned fish is one of the best foods for long-term storage. It lasts for years and is packed with keto-friendly nutrition, mostly in the form of complete protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Most preppers, keto or not, include canned fish in their emergency preparedness food stockpile. Canned fish are a great source of omega-3s, and you can make them into delicious meals.
Canned fish makes great burgers (salmon burgers, for example), and you can mix canned fish with mayo and canned pickles for an easy keto tuna salad-style meal.
Just don’t use actual tuna — it’s high in mercury, and you don’t want to rely on it as part of a food storage plan.
Instead, remember the acronym SMASH (sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, herring). Those five fish are packed with omega-3s and low in mercury.
Jerky isn’t a canned food, but it is a good choice for keto food storage.
Jerky has a shelf life of one to two years, and most jerky cuts are almost pure protein, which can be hard to come by in shelf-stable foods.
Beef jerky is great, and you can also find salmon jerky (for bonus omega-3s) in a lot of grocery stores.
Just make sure you get jerky that’s low in sugar. A lot of flavors — teriyaki, BBQ, and so on — have a bunch of added sugar that will kick you out of ketosis.
If you buy a dehydrator, you can also make your own jerky from any lean cut of meat, or from mushrooms and other vegetables. Just make sure you store your jerky in a cool, dark, dry place.
3. Canned Bacon
That’s right — you can get bacon in a can, and it’s surprisingly delicious.
Canned bacon is packed with calories, fat, and protein, which makes it perfect for your keto food stockpile.
It may sound kind of gross, but canned bacon actually looks and tastes more-or-less identical to fresh bacon. It’s fully cooked and is stored in a twisted up spiral pattern, with sheets of parchment paper between bacon strips so everything stays intact.
Once the bacon is out of the can, you’d never know that it isn’t fresh. It’s a tasty, convenient keto food that might as well have no expiration date — its shelf life is 10 years.
You may not find canned bacon at your local grocery store, but you can order it on Amazon or emergency food websites.
4. Chicken Breast
This is another choice that may sound gross in theory, but is actually quite tasty in practice.
Diced canned chicken breast is a great source of protein, and it serves as a base for all kinds of other foods. You can mix chicken with veggies and sauces to make a stir fry, use it to bulk up bone broth or canned soup, or just eat it on its own.
5. Nut Butters
Peanut butter is a classic survivalist’s staple. It’s calorie-dense and full of nutrients and it has a long shelf life.
While peanut butter is a solid choice, but it’s a little higher in carbs than a lot of other nut butters, even when it doesn’t have added sugar. If you want something that’s more in line with your keto macros, you may want to opt for another nut butter. Good choices include:
- Almond butter
- Macadamia nut butter
- Pistachio butter
- Pecan butter
Perfect Keto Nut Butters come in a variety of delicious flavors (snickerdoodle and almond butter and jelly are two favorites) and are packed with healthy fats. They’re also packaged in convenient pouches, which makes them lighter and easier to store as part of a survival kit.
6. Canned Veggies
It’s important that your keto food stash has vegetables in it. You want to make sure you stock up on something that contains vitamin C and has high micronutrient nutritional value. Canned veggies are the perfect solution.
Green beans, olives, sauerkraut, pickles, and tomatoes are all good low-carb canned vegetable choices. Carrots are slightly higher in carbs, but can also be a good choice.
You can also find canned coconut flesh and canned broccoli and cauliflower at many international grocery stores.
7. Bone Broth and Keto Soups
Bone broth is a shelf-stable choice that’s high in collagen protein, making it great for your joints, skin, hair, and nails. Bone broth is also nutrient-dense and easy to store. You can add bouillon cubes for extra flavor and electrolytes.
Similarly, shelf-stable keto soups are a good way to get plentiful nutrients (and veggies, in some cases). Just make sure you check the label — even things like beef stew, which you would think are low-carb, are often thickened with flour or cornstarch.
Keto Emergency Food Prep is Easy
Whether you’re a prepper, homesteader, or just a self-sufficient person, you have a lot of options for food storage that fit your keto lifestyle.
There are plenty of low-carb foods that will keep in your pantry for years. The above keto foods will help you stay healthy and fit, even in the case of an emergency.
And if you want to get in shape and improve your health as part of prepping, why not check out our beginner’s guide to keto? It has everything you need to start a healthy ketogenic diet today.