Modern Food Storage – How can I store food that’s… (non-GMO, vegan, organic, sugar free, gluten free, wheat free, kosher)

If you are looking for answers about how to store food that is non-GMO, gluten free, wheat free, sugar free, organic, or just friendly on the gut, look no further.

If you haven’t reviewed the amount of food that is required to survival for a year, please go back and review my previous post. We’ll be going through the usual suspects and their alternatives in your pantry and food storage.

Organic and Non-GMO Food Storage Alternatives

The best way to store organic food is to grow you own vegetables and fruits. Then you can process them in a canner or dry them. This ensures that you know where the seeds were from, what they were grown in, what chemicals were on them, etc. The second best place to find organic and non-gmo fresh food is at the farmer’s market; then of course preserving them the same way.

Many pre-canned or dried organic/non-gmo/kosher pantry items can be found at local grocery stores, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Trader Joe’s. Even Aldi is starting to provide organic, natural pantry and canned goods. (PS. if you want a kid friendly cereal with 5-ingredients or less, check out Bear River Cereals.

Here are some awesome websites where you can buy bulk pantry items that are free of everything:

Organic Merchants Co.

Thrive Market

Bob’s Red Mill

Arrowhead Mills (sells bulk items)

 

Grains, Gluten, and Wheat Alternatives in Your Long Term Food Storage

The largest item on the food storage list is grains… 400 lbs of grains! You would be eating a lot of grain, right? However, if that’s not your typical diet or you have allergies, you may be scrambling to come up with an alternative or end up not storing food at all.

There are many different options for gluten alternatives, the key is just to be able to determine which type you like to bake with. All of these can be used in your pantry storage, then just rotate them through your regular supply within a year. You may also want to consider if you can store it long term or not. Additionally, you will need to store about 50% more yeast or leavening agent like baking powder, xanthan gum, or arrowroot flour.

Check out this table for more information on wheat alternatives, and then read about my favorite non-wheat flours, and learn why they are awesome.

Types of Wheat Alternatives
Fresh for 6 months
Fresh for 9 months (in the fridge)
Fresh for 12 months (in the freezer)
Moisture Content
Sealed with Oxygen Absorber
Gluten Free
*If your recipe calls for 1 cup of flour use…
Notes
Almond Flour
x
X (If frozen and airtight)
<10% x usually 1:1
Heavier. If you want it to be fluffy, you need to add 1 tbl of texture
Arrowroot Flour
x x x 10% x x
Gives texture to other gluten free flours
Don’t use with dairy products because of texture issues
Buckwheat Flour
x x 15% x 1 cup
ChickPea Flour
x x x 8% x x
⅞ cup (or just slightly less)
Corn flour
x x x
Not sure
Not sure
x 1 cup
Chia Flour
x x x 5% x x x
(also an egg substitute)
White Rice Flour
x x x >10% x x ½ cup
3 tbs of potato starch
Coconut Flour
x x x ⅓ cup
Increase one egg (or a substitute) & liquid, beat well, less baking time
Oat Flour
x x x 8% x
x(although has protein like gluten)
1 ½ cups
Not great for breads and some cookies
Potato Flour
x x x >10% x x ½ cup
Send me an email to receive this table as a PDF.

*Typically you’ll need to to add ½ tsp of xanthan gum (for texture), and 1 Tbsp of Tapioca starch, cornstarch, or Arrowroot starch per one cup of flour. These items will need to be rotated through your pantry, or use Arrowroot to be sealed for longer periods of time.

Here are my recommendations for long term storage of gluten free or wheat free flour: Potato Flour, Rice Flour, and Chickpea Flour. These are the best because they have low enough moisture content, are completely gluten free, are common, cheap, and are common foods in traditional food storage. If you have a nice grinder, you could easily store these dried, and then grind the flour yourself as needed. Chickpea flour has considerably less calories, and high nutritional content, which should be considered before deciding what to store (1 lb of chickpeas makes 2 cups of chickpea flour).

My second best favorite are Chia Flour and Oat Flour. Chia Flour is a little harder to find and somewhat more expensive. Oat Flour is cheap and common, but might still aggravate people who are sensitive to gluten.

A last note… I have read and spoken to several people with celiac disease that have claimed eating natural yeast reduces their negative reactions to gluten. The best book I have found that speaks to that is: The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast: Breads, Pancakes, Waffles, Cinnamon Rolls and Muffins. Natural yeast breaks down the protein in wheat that makes it more digestible. Learning how to make your own yeast is not only healthier for you, but ensures you’ll have a leavening agent for your bread making!

Cane Sugar or “White Sugar” Alternatives In Your Food Storage

Typically cane sugar is the go-to sugar storage of choice. This because it is cheap, lasts forever, and has a very low moisture content (eliminating the risk of botulism). Sugar may not seem critical for food storage, but it is in almost every baking recipe. You’ll need some of this for sure! However, many families are shying away from traditional cane sugar because of how it can affect your blood sugar levels. There have been several studies showing that less sugar is not only physically more healthy, but mentally more healthy as well. This is why sugar is particularly a problem for diabetics.

Luckily there are several alternatives (I have ranked them from worst to best options):

 

  1. Honey, Maple Syrup, Molasses

Honey, maple syrup, and molasses can be stored almost indefinitely, but is essentially still just sugar. If you are looking for alternatives to processed sugar, you’ll want to stock up on raw honey. However, if you are looking for an alternative for diabetes, this is not the option for you. Research is still up in the air for how effective honey is for helping blood sugar levels. Initially, it reacts the same as sugar, but could potentially reduce sugar levels over time. Similarly, molasses has varied effects on your health. (Use ¾ cup of honey + ¼ cup of liquid for every 1 cup of sugar, molasses and maple sugar can not be interchanged in recipes)

 

  1. Agave Nectar

This is a good substitute for people with diabetes. There is research that shows this does not raise blood levels like sugar, but it is unsure if this actually acts like high fructose corn syrup. Agave Nectar has very high levels of natural fructose, and you want to keep these levels low. Luckily this can be stored for a long time and can be substituted out like honey (use about ¼ less than the recipe calls for sugar, and add ¼ of liquid).

 

  1. Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar has a much lower glycemic index than glucose (or regular sugar), so it won’t spike your blood pressure as high. However, coconut sugar is… well sugar. To receive the benefits that can be found in coconuts, you’d have to eat a ton of this sugar. This again would be bad since it’s still sugar, but is higher on my list than agave because it has way lower fructose levels. You can store coconut sugar up to 2 years on the shelf when it is airtight. Do not use this with oxygen absorbers. Click here for a great coconut sugar brand.

 

 

  1. Sweetleaf and Truvia (Stevia leaves)

This seemed like the ultimate to me… initially. It can be stored airtight for long term, does not affect blood glucose levels, comes from the plant stevia, has added health benefits, has almost no calories, and is very sweet. However, I have found several sites that mention that most stevia found in the store is not actually natural. Since it seems to be more processed, I am putting this lower on the list. (use 1 teaspoon of Truvia for 1 cup of cane sugar)

 

 

  1. Whey Low

Wahoo! Whey Low has a low glycemic index and can be shelf stable for several months. If frozen it could easily last for a year. I was not able to find a moisture content for whey powders. Unless you are able to find otherwise, do not use this in long term storage (more than 1 year). Now this will raise blood sugar levels some, so don’t go crazy on it. Although on a positive point, research has found that consuming whey regularly may actually reduce blood sugar spikes when eating other carbohydrates.

 

 

Vegan/Vegetarian Alternatives for your Food Storage

Luckily, you will have lots of non-meat options in a traditional food storage. Actually adding protein is the more difficult part of storing food long term. Storing peanut butter, nuts, seeds (sunflower/sesame/poppy/Chia) powdered eggs, and protein supplements in your rotating storage is a great place to start. You may also want to include quinoa, beans (especially chickpeas for their other nutritional properties), and soy milk (shelf stable).

 

Most of these products are dried and ready to be stored long term. Stay away from storing nuts and seeds with oxygen absorbers.

Another area of food storage that is prepper and vegan friendly alike, is finding egg substitutes in your baking. For one egg you can add 1 tsp of ground flax or chia seed, plus 3 tablespoons of water. These items should not be stored with oxygen absorbers, but can last up to a year in the freezer (Did I mention you should get a deep freezer for all these flours you’ll be storing frozen? Well… you should haha).

Any other diet needs? Comment below with questions!

Additional Sources:

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