Vegetarian Food Prepping 101

Jacob Moore

Last updated July 4, 2021

While every disaster scenario is bound to look and feel different, it is incredibly vital to be prepared as much as possible.

Even if you are on your journey of veganism, it doesn’t have to break because of any emergency.

This vegetarian and vegan food prepping guide will help you pack and prep all the essential vegetarian options for any SHTF situation.

Can Vegans Prepare For the SHTF event?

vegetarian meals

Yes, they can fully prepare even if they are vegan, as being a vegan would not hinder in any way during the prepping process.

People might feel that vegan and vegetarians will have a hard time facing any crisis, but if one smartly preps, they can quickly tackle any SHTF situation with ease.

One of the main positives of being a vegan during an emergency is less spoilage, especially meats. If you encounter a grid down, the chances of getting your meat spoiled are very high.

Vegans do not have to worry about this; neither do they have to worry about using many heat resources. As meat needs to be cooked thoroughly, it can consume a lot of gas which you can easily save if your family is vegan.

So yes, vegans can prepare for any SHTF event with a bit of crafty nature and our guide.

Best Vegetarian Food To Stockpile

When people think about the vegetarian food stockpile, they usually have a common misconception that their diet lacks nutrients.

However, many food groups in the vegetarian diet can provide just as many nutrients as any steak or meat curry. You can follow our detailed best food groups to stockpile in an emergency.

Grains and Pasta

grains with pasta

Pasta and grains are the most nutritious, protein and fiber-filled ingredients. They can last a long time and provide various meal options. Some of the best grains to stockpile include:

  • Rice- While and brown
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Rice noodles

Canned and jarred goods

canned food

Canned goods should come on your priority list as they are straightforward to store and stay for several years without taking up much space.

They are excellent in making quick desserts, pasta, and stews. Some canned goods to stockpile include:

  • Tomato paste
  • Marinara sauce
  • Pizza sauce
  • Olives
  • Vegetable broth
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Beans

Fruits and vegetables

fruits and vegetables

These aren’t the most functional food group to stockpile as they perish very quickly but try to store them during the last moment as they can still provide nutrition for ten days during the starting period.

We highly recommend:

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Oranges, limes, and grapefruits
  • Eggplant
  • Parsnips

Beans and legumes

different kind of beans
Legumes, lentils, chikpea and beans assortment in different bowls on stone table. Top view.

If you are worried about insufficient fibers and proteins, you need to include beans and legumes in your stockpile.

Lentils also serve as a great alternative to meatloaf as one can very easily create a vegan meatloaf with it for a complete protein-packed meal.

  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Red and green lentils
  • Pinto beans

Seeds, nuts, and nut butter

These are great to add a healthy dose of fats, nutrients, and protein.

They provide outstanding lubrication to your joints and help build strong muscles. We suggest stocking:

  • Almond and peanut butter
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Cashews

Flour and baking essentials

baking essentials

Baking can help divert the mind of the entire family, especially kids and help you pass the time while providing adequate nutrition.

You can use many vegan alternatives to bake cookies, bread, and other stuff, just like regular baking. A few essentials to include:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Wheat flour
  • Almond flour
  • Chickpea flour
  • Gluten-free blend
  • Powdered sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Applesauce
  • Cocoa powder
  • Vanilla extract

Frozen foods

frozen food in freezer

If you have a deep chest freezer, we request you store frozen foods to add them to your diet.

Pack your freezer with fruits and vegetables, which can last for many months under the right temperature.

  • Mango
  • Bananas
  • Mixed berries
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Bell peppers

Snacks

You can surely avoid this list if you are only prepping for essentials, but having snacks can come in handy when you kids.

They also provide nutrition and stay fresh for an extended period.

  • Chips
  • Seaweed snacks
  • Salsa
  • Pretzels
  • Granola bars
  • Popcorn
  • Trail mix
  • Fruit leather
  • Dark chocolate

How Much Food To Prep?

food for one week

This question is the most important and depends on the emergency you are facing and preparing for.

If you prepare for several emergencies from grid down to nuclear attacks, you might need to store for months or years.

But if you are starting new, we highly recommend at least one month -four weeks’ worth of food prep. The grocery list should look something like this:

  • 1-2 weeks’ worth of perishable foods.
  • Two weeks’ worth of crackers, potatoes, onions, bread, and other semi-perishable groceries.
  • 2-4 weeks’ worth of frozen vegetables, fruits, and quick ready-to-eat meals.
  • Four weeks’ worth of flour, pasta, canned food, and rice.

Should You Dehydrate Your Food?

Should You Dehydrate Your Food

Yes, you should dehydrate your food, especially if you are prepping for a grid-down emergency.

Food dehydration is excellent if you have less space in your pantry. Dehydration saves room and also reduces weight drastically. The foods also get a high shelf life after complete dehydration because of moisture reduction.

Such dehydrated foods can come in handy when you want to leave your base and go out for days. The food would easily fit in your bug-out bag.

How To Dehydrate Vegetables And Fruits

To dehydrate fruits, you need to cut them in the desired shape and add a layer of lemon juice; lemon juice prevents it from turning extremely black.

Then place them in your desired chamber and let them get depleted of moisture.

To dehydrate vegetables, you need to cut them into tiny pieces and blanch them. Blanching is an essential step if you do not want to eat raw vegetables after rehydrating them. Then, coat these vegetables with a light layer of lemon juice and put them on a tray to dry.

Affordable Dehydration Options

Sun-drying

tomatoes on sun

You can use the natural sunlight to dry the vegetables and fruits. Of course, it will require a lot of time, but you can indeed work on drying and preserving fruits and vegetables without spending a single penny.

Air drying

It will undoubtedly take a lot of time, considerably more than sun-drying, but you can still dry fruits. Try air drying only when the weather is dry; humid weather would infest the food with fungus.

Expensive Dehydration Options

Oven drying

Oven dehydration can be easy and light on the pocket as you would not require to buy a dehydrator. However, the food might not be 100% neatly dried because of patchy drying.

Professional dehydrator

Professional dehydrator

These might be a little expensive. Still, if you plan on dehydrating a lot of food, we highly recommend buying these as they will dry the food quickly, evenly, and give out fewer electricity bills.

Having A Garden Is A Great Idea

Having a garden is not only an excellent idea but a complete necessity if you are a vegan.

If you were to be an omnivore, you would have a straight and easy option of hunting and fishing, but this isn’t the case with vegetarians and vegans. They need a plot to garden food that they can eat even after their stockpile gets empty.

Since a family can stock only a certain amount of food, they need a new replenishing source to eat and feed their family if the emergency stays on for years. Some of the best crops in the garden include potatoes, onions, soy, rice, peanuts, wheat, and lentils.

You might have to go through an extensive trial and error procedure, but once you learn to farm each ingredient, you can very easily feed your family for years to come. You can also garden herbs like oregano, parsley, chilies, lavender, etc., for adding seasoning to your food.

If you do not have ample space to garden or farm, you can try square foot gardening. This method enables survivors to garden a lot more variety of food within a small chunk of land.

Even if you have a few square meters of space, try to optimize it and plant something. It is always ideal to use all the resources at your disposal while surviving.

Is Foraging An Option

 

is foraging a option

Yes, it is a very viable option during emergencies. Most of the time, people run low on their stockpiles or fail at gardening.

During such time, foraging can be an excellent way to find and eat fresh and edible food. Even if you have ample stock, it is always a good idea to hunt for fresh nutrients in the wild. Foraging is precisely like hunting but for vegans and vegetarians.

If you have taken up residence in the woods, you will have a better chance of finding healthy, nutritional ingredients in the wild. If you see greenery, make sure to inspect, and you are bound to discover a few edible and nutritious ingredients.

Foraging tips that would come in handy:

  • Avoid eating anything if you aren’t 100% sure of its origins and characteristics. It is always essential to play it safe as you would not have doctors readily available during SHTF situations. Always remember the mantra of better safe than sorry.
  • Be very careful where you are going to carry the activity of foraging. Be sure that you know the landscape well and keep your eyes open for holes, dangerous things, and predators.
  • If you do not have a lot of time, stick to a small variety of items but make sure you know everything about them.
  • Try to compulsorily learn different types of edible grass according to your shelter geography.
  • Watch out for deadly insects and animals. Avoid foraging at night as it would put you at a lot of risks. Whatever happens, try to pass the night and wait for the dawn to go out for foraging.
  • Consult a professional who will teach you about various parts of plants.
  • Always tell someone where you are going, and the approximate time you will be back.

Five special features of poisonous plants should be kept in mind. First, do not touch or eat such plants:

  • Second, avoid eating if you notice a discolored or milky sap.
  • Most toxic plants can have fine hairs, beans, or thorns.
  • They might start tasting bitter upon tasting them.
  • A slight ‘almond’ scent in the leaves and woody parts.
  • Avoid any plant with a dominant three-leaved growth pattern.

Easy To Forage Nutritious Plants

Cattails

These are incredibly healthy plants. You can almost eat most parts of the plant from its roots, shoots, and pollen heads.Cattails might not be the tastiest, but they are indeed edible.

Dandelion

eidible dandelion

Dandelion is extremely easy to find, and you can eat the entire plant in different ways. You can eat its flower buds in the early spring as they are highly nutritious.

The light texture allows one to consume it raw as snacks or in salads. The leaves of these plants can be used for stir fry, and the roots are excellent during winters. Make sure to boil the roots twice to make them tender.

Prickly Pear

This cactus-looking plant usually grows in dry and rocky soil. So if you are residing in such a geographical area, you need to look at this plant.

Make sure to wear thick elastic gloves and use tongs as the spikes can be hazardous. You can squish its fruit in the water to remove the thorns.

You can use the de-spiked fruit to make juice, jellies, nectars, and pies. Its pads can be easily sliced and cooked as a substitute for vegetables.

You can also roast and peel its branches to access the edible pulp inside. The seeds can be dried and adequately pulverized to create an ingredient that thickens almost soup and recipe.

Grasses

As mentioned earlier, all grasses are edible. To get its nutrients and avoid any irritation to your stomach, you can chew on the leaves and swallow the juice. Then, spit out the rest of the fibers.

Jacob Moore

Jacob Moore is the founder of BasicFoodPrepper.com, and he has spent more time surviving in the wilderness than an average human being. A familiar face from the rural United States, Jacob has always wanted to live close to nature. Even after spending a few years in the buzzing world of cities and 9 to 5 jobs, he managed to get out to the outer world when he got a chance. Jacob would say that hiking is his passion, and he has spent up to several weeks in the wild.