8 Dried Foods to Prep for Uncertain Times

Heap of Beef Jerky over a wooden counter close up
Photo by Getty Images.

Stuff happens. Whether it's high water, crazy amounts of snow, an earthquake, an epidemic, it's best to be prepared. You may need enough food and water to ride out the storm or outlast power outages or kinks in the normal, everyday system of food delivery. Preparedness is not just for survivalists. So to help you stock a proper prepper pantry, here are some favorite dried foods that can go the distance.

Storage Tip: Because these recipes are not laden with preservatives, they will not last indefinitely. Store dried foods in air-tight containers for about six weeks at room temperature or in the freezer for about 6 months. The good news is, these foods also make terrific healthy snacks or treats for kids' lunches, so they'll never go to waste.

01 of 09

Fruit Leather

The recipe calls for apples and pears -- but it's open to experimentation. Reviewers have used all kinds of combos: strawberries, raspberries, and apple sauce, as well as apples, bananas, and raspberries. Karin suggests, "You can even use canned fruit for this recipe too. Drain the juice and puree."

02 of 09

Homemade Beef Jerky

Heap of Beef Jerky over a wooden counter close up
Photo by Getty Images.

Homemade jerky isn't just for the End Times, of course. If the idea is to save this delicious jerky for periods of scarcity, maybe make a double batch -- as the first will likely be "taste tested" out of existence. For best results, have the butcher slice your beef nice and thin. Is beef jerky healthy? Well, if you start with lean beef and make it yourself using familiar ingredients (like Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce), jerky can be a healthy source of protein. "And thanks to a new wave of modern day cave-people, eating healthy, high-protein snacks is all the rage," says Chef John, "and while you can find many artisan brands out there, making your own is fun, easy, and using this method, relatively quick."

03 of 09

Baked Banana Chips

These crispy, light banana chips are better than packaged by a mile, and so easy to make. Just drizzle lemon juice over thinly sliced bananas and pop them in the oven.

04 of 09

Carrot Chips

"These carrot chips are a healthy alternative to potato chips and taste salty and sweet like sweet potato fries," says yesnomaybeso. "The thinner the slices, the crunchier the chips."

05 of 09

Apricot Leather

Shiny, shiny, shiny fruits of leather. "This is a great way to use extra apricots," says Cheri. "Apricots are very nutritious so you don't want to waste them and this makes a great snack. These will also keep for a long time."

06 of 09

Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Oven-Roasted Chickpeas
Photo by Buckwheat Queen.

A delicious, high fiber snack, these roasted chickpeas are a crispy, crunchy alternative to bland, mushy chickpeas.

07 of 09

Nori Chips

"A cheaper way to make those nori snacks you see in the store," says OtakuOkaasan. "This is quick and easy to make. These can be stored up to a week in an airtight container. You can also add other spices to the nori, but I would recommend adding most spices after you take them out of the oven. Otherwise, the spices themselves may burn."

08 of 09

Dehydrated Beet Chips

Even in uncertain times, the beet goes on. These beets are crisped in either a dehydrator or the oven. "Crunchy, delicious, and versatile chips," says cameal. "Try playing with the flavors of these chips: smoked bacon salt? sesame-tamari? Anything goes!"

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