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Avoid boring survival food: 18 Best herbs and spices to stock up on
By Divina Ramirez // Jun 18, 2021

When SHTF, it's important to have enough food and water to last a couple of weeks, if not several months. But it's also important to have some herbs and spices in your stockpile. While it wouldn't be life-threatening to leave them out, your diet could quickly become monotonous without the addition of herbs and spices.


Eating delicious food also promotes a healthier mindset that can help see you a crisis or disaster. Plus, some herbs and spices possess medicinal properties and double as natural remedies in a pinch.

Here are some herbs and spices you should consider adding to your stockpile:

  1. Basil – Basil is a fragrant herb commonly used to make pesto. Fresh basil can be rather expensive. So it is best to stock up on the dried version. Dried basil will keep for up to three years if stored properly.
  2. Garlic – Garlic can make virtually any dish taste better. Whole, unpeeled bulbs can last for three weeks. You should also stock up on garlic powder. It is ideal for seasoning condiments and sauces.
  3. Marjoram – This fragrant herb belongs to the mint family. It has a mild flavor and is often used to add a hint of freshness to soups and meat dishes.
  4. Mustard – Mustard adds a bold flavor to marinades, sauces and gravies. Store-bought mustard usually lasts up to two years if kept in the refrigerator. The powdered kind can last up to two years as well.
  5. Onion – Onion comes in different forms, all of which store well: dried, powdered and flakes.
  6. Oregano – Oregano is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. It is typically used to garnish pasta and combined with olive oil to make flavorful oregano oil, vinaigrettes and marinades.
  7. Parsley – Parsley is typically used to elevate the flavor of soups, salads and fish. Dried parsley normally lasts up to three years.
  8. Rosemary – Rosemary, another Mediterranean staple, is often used with chicken, lamb, pork and fatty fish. It also goes well with grains, mushrooms, onions, peas and leafy green vegetables like spinach.
  9. Sage – Sage is a strong herb that can be used to elevate the flavor of a dish at the last moment. It can be used to add herbaceousness to sauces, marinades and homemade pastries.
  10. Thyme – Thyme pairs well with eggs, tomatoes and cheese. It is also used to flavor teas. Dried thyme is incredibly shelf-stable, capable of lasting up to four years.
  11. Black pepper – Whole or dried, black pepper adds flavor and spice to meat, fish, vegetables, dressings, pasta and more. You can also add black pepper to egg dishes, toast, fruits and sauces for a spicy kick.
  12. Cinnamon – Cinnamon is an aromatic spice made from the bark of cinnamon trees. It's normally used to make cinnamon rolls and added to pies for extra flavor. Ground cinnamon lasts for a year.
  13. Chili – Chili powder is often added to rubs, soups and stews. You can also use it to make sauces. It lasts for a year if stored properly.
  14. Cloves – Cloves are used in spice blends for meat rubs, marinades and sauces. They have a sweet flavor, which makes them ideal for sweet dishes as well. Whole cloves can last up to nine years.
  15. Cumin – Cumin is a spice with a nutty and slightly peppery flavor. It is used in meat and vegetable dishes, as well as in soups and sauces.
  16. Ginger – Peeled, grated ginger or ginger powder can be easily thrown into sauces, glazes and marinades to brighten up a dish. You can use ginger slices when cooking noodle bowls, stir-fries and other savory dishes. (Related: 7 Reasons to eat more ginger.)
  17. Nutmeg – Nutmeg has a warm, nutty flavor that goes great with meat, root vegetables and squash. It's ideal for making hearty stews and soups.
  18. Paprika – Paprika adds a vibrant color to any dish. It also has a sweet pepper flavor without any heat.

Dried herbs and spices can stay fresh for one to two years. After that, the flavors begin to deteriorate. You may still use them after that because they won't turn completely bad. But they won't be as flavorful as when you bought them the first time.

Just like other foods, spices are sensitive to heat, light and moisture in the air. To keep them fresh, keep spices and herbs in canning jars, airtight containers or mylar bags. Add a label with the name of the ingredient and the date you repackaged it.

Fragrant herbs and pungent spices make your foods taste better. These ingredients are invaluable when SHTF, as they allow you to still enjoy delicious and healthy meals. Start stocking up on the herbs and spices above.

Learn more about other herbs and spices and their health benefits at Herbs.news.

Sources include:



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