Of all the different food supplies in your stockpile, grains could be the most important. Of the three major macronutrients – protein, fat, and carbohydrates – carbohydrates are by far the most difficult to acquire in an off-grid scenario. Fat and protein can be obtained relatively easily through game hunting, but carbohydrates require months of preparation, many acres of land, and a ton of work and special machinery to cultivate. Obviously, the best choice is to focus on stockpiling carbohydrate sources rather than plan to grow them yourself.
That said, grains are the easiest source of carbohydrates to stockpile, and they can be kept shelf stable and used as-needed for years if stored correctly. But which grains should you choose to hoard? There are so many options!
Here are a few of the best grain choices for your survival pantry.
Hard White Wheat
This is the quintessential grain that you probably eat the most on a daily basis. However, it’s also the only grain on the list that contains gluten! So if you’re gluten-free, feel free to skip on to the next grain.
Still here? Ok, let’s talk for a second about why you should be stockpiling hard white wheat.
This grain can be used for a ton of different things. You can grind it into flour and use it for any standard recipe – bread, pasta, cakes, pies, and the list goes on and on. Plus, it can be sprouted before use for added nutrition value. If you don’t mind the gluten and you could only pick one grain to stockpile, there’s a strong argument to be made for making that grain hard white wheat.
In terms of nutritional bang for your buck, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is about as good as it gets. It originates from South America, and it’s actually considered an ancient grain superfood. The reason why has to do with the fact that it’s not only a good source of healthy carbohydrates, but it gives you a generous serving of protein, fiber, and vitamins too. In fact, quinoa is a complete source of protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) that your body needs to survive.
Quinoa can be ground into a flour or simply cooked and eaten plain. When cooked whole, it has a flavor and texture similar to brown rice.
Speaking of rice, you’d be well served to dedicate a portion of your grain stockpile to a good brown rice. As you’re probably aware, rice is a staple food across the far east, and a large portion of the world’s population uses it as their core source of sustenance. For good reason too, rice has several key benefits as a grain.
First of all, it’s extremely effective at stretching limited food resources. A little cooked rice, salt, and butter/oil can be added to practically any dish to increase the number of servings. It’s highly nutritious too, as both an ample source of vitamins and minerals and as a source of fiber. Actually, the fiber in brown rice is great for balancing blood sugar and keeping energy levels stable.
Another great option for creating easy meals, whole oats are an essential in every grain stockpile. One of their best qualities is how filling they are. Even a small serving can curb appetite and keep you feeling full for hours.
Be careful when choosing your oats, though. Some oats are rolled for easier cooking, which makes them less shelf stable and less nutritious. Instant oats are rolled even more, and the degradative effect is twice as bad.
Look for whole oats that you can process and cook as you need them.
What are your favorite grains?
The list of beneficial stockpile grains doesn’t end here. There are tons of other great grains that deserve a place in your survival pantry. Do you know of any in particular? Tell us about them in the comments.