Canned Food for Survival

Cooking with Canned Foods: Recipes for Survival

Cooking with Canned Foods: Recipes for Survival

In times of uncertainty, canned foods can be a lifesaver. They are affordable, have a long shelf life, and can be used to create delicious and nutritious meals. In this article, we will share some tips on how to cook with canned foods, as well as some easy and tasty recipes that can help you survive during challenging times.

Why Canned Foods are Essential for Survival

Canned foods are essential for survival for several reasons. Firstly, they are non-perishable, which means that they can be stored for long periods without spoiling. This makes them ideal for stockpiling in case of emergencies, such as natural disasters, power outages, or economic instability.

Secondly, canned foods are affordable and widely available. They can be purchased in bulk, making them an economical choice for families on a budget.

Lastly, canned foods are versatile and can be used to make a wide variety of dishes. They can be used as a base for stews, soups, casseroles, and more. This makes them a great option for anyone who wants to create healthy and tasty meals without spending a lot of time or money.

What to Look for When Buying Canned Foods

When buying canned foods, it's important to look for high-quality products that are packed in water, brine, or tomato sauce. Avoid cans that contain high amounts of salt or preservatives, as these can be unhealthy.

It's also important to check the expiration date on the can before purchasing. Choose cans that have a long shelf life, as this will ensure that they are still edible even after a few years.

How to Store Canned Foods Properly

Proper storage is essential to ensure that canned foods remain safe and edible. Store cans in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing cans near heat sources, as this can cause them to spoil.

It's also important to rotate your canned food supply regularly. Use older cans first and replace them with new ones. This will ensure that your supply is always fresh and that you are not using expired cans.

Quick and Easy Canned Food Recipes for Breakfast

Canned foods can be used to make quick and easy breakfast dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Canned Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: Layer canned fruit such as peaches or pineapples with yogurt, granola, and honey for a quick and healthy breakfast.
  • Breakfast hash: Mix canned corned beef, potatoes, onions, and peppers for a hearty breakfast dish.
  • Baked beans on toast: Toast bread and top with canned baked beans for a simple and tasty breakfast.
  • Fruit salad: Mix canned fruit with yogurt or cottage cheese for a healthy and satisfying breakfast.

Canned Food Recipes for Lunch and Dinner

Canned foods can also be used to make delicious lunch and dinner dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Spaghetti and meatballs: Combine canned spaghetti sauce and canned meatballs for a simple and satisfying pasta dish.
  • Chicken and vegetable stew: Mix canned chicken, canned vegetables, and canned broth for a hearty and nutritious stew.
  • Canned Soup: Heat up canned soup for a quick and satisfying snack. Choose soups that are low in sodium and high in fibre and protein for optimal nutrition.
  • Chicken Curry with rice: Use canned chicken curry to add to boiled rice to make a tasty evening dish.

Canned Food Desserts and Snacks

Canned foods can also be used to make desserts and snacks. Here are some ideas:

  • Peach cobbler: Mix canned peaches with a topping of flour, sugar, and butter for a delicious dessert.
  • Salsa and crisps: Use canned salsa as a dip for tortilla crisps for a quick and easy snack.
  • Fruit smoothie: Blend canned fruit with yogurt and ice for a refreshing and healthy smoothie. Add honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
  • Canned Vegetable Antipasto: Mix canned vegetables such as artichokes, roasted peppers, and olives for a quick and easy antipasto. Serve with crackers.

For a great selection of meal ideas that can be made exclusively from canned foods, we suggest you visit 25 Meals Exclusively made from Canned Ingredients.

Tips for Making Canned Food Recipes More Flavourful

Canned foods can sometimes be bland or lacking in flavour. Here are some tips for making them more flavourful:

  • Add herbs and spices: Adding herbs and spices can give canned foods more flavour. Try adding garlic, basil, oregano, or paprika to canned soups, stews, or casseroles.
  • Use fresh ingredients: Adding fresh ingredients like onions, garlic, or herbs can help to enhance the flavour of canned foods. Try adding fresh herbs like basil or parsley to canned tomato sauce to make it taste fresher.
  • Use broth instead of water: Instead of using water to make soups or stews with canned foods, try using chicken or vegetable broth. This can add more flavour and depth to the dish.
  • Add acidic ingredients: Adding acidic ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, or tomato paste can help to balance out the flavours in canned foods. Try adding a splash of vinegar to canned beans or tomato paste to canned soups to give them a more robust flavour.

Creative Ways to Use Canned Foods in Recipes

Canned foods can be used in many creative ways in recipes. Here are some ideas:

  • Use canned fruit in baked goods: Canned fruit like peaches or pineapple can be used in baked goods like cakes, muffins, or bread for added sweetness and moisture.
  • Make a stir-fry: Use canned vegetables like corn, green beans, or peas in a stir-fry for a quick and easy dinner.
  • Make a dip: Puree canned beans with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil for a tasty and healthy dip.
  • Make a sandwich: Use canned meats like tuna, chicken, or ham in sandwiches for a quick and easy lunch.

How to Meal Plan with Canned Foods

Meal planning can help you make the most of your canned food supply. Here are some tips for meal planning with canned foods:

  • Take stock of your canned food supply: Before you start meal planning, take stock of what canned foods you have on hand. This will help you to plan meals that use the ingredients you already have.
  • Plan meals around canned foods: Start with a canned food ingredient and build a meal around it. For example, if you have canned chicken, plan to make a chicken and vegetable stir-fry.
  • Make a shopping list: Make a list of fresh ingredients that you need to buy to complete your meals. This will help you to avoid buying unnecessary items at the grocery store.

Canned Food Safety and Expiration Dates

It's important to use canned foods before their expiration date. Eating expired canned foods can be dangerous and can cause food poisoning. Always check the expiration date before using a canned food ingredient.

In addition, it's important to store canned foods properly to ensure that they remain safe and edible. If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as a foul odour or a bulging can, discard the canned food immediately.


Cooking with canned foods can be a lifesaver during uncertain times. By following these tips and recipes, you can create delicious and nutritious meals using canned foods. Remember to store canned foods properly and to use them before their expiration date to ensure that they remain safe and edible.

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